English History


FROM THE YEAR 1235 TO 1273.

Late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.




How the pope secretly took to flight.

Whilst the year's orbit was revolving amidst these worldly changes, the emperor Frederick, urged on by the goadings of pride, began to repent of having, as above mentioned, humbled and bound himself to submission to the Church, and he now laid traps for the feet of the pope, and planned secret treachery, which afterwards, however, became evident enough. The pope, on the other hand, being forewarned of this, avoided as much as possible the fox-like meanderings of the emperor, and kept vigilant watch against them, nor would he put any trust in him or his friends, as he knew them all well, and thought of the future in comparison with the past.

On the day of the Holy Trinity, the pope, wishing to strengthen his party, because he had so few companions in his labours and participators in his anxieties, created ten cardinals; namely. Master John of Toledo, an Englishman by birth, and some others of distinguished family and morals. On the eighth day before the feast of St. John the Baptist's Nativity, he went with all the cardinals to the city of Castellana, eighteen miles from the city, in order to be nearer the emperor, to settle the peace, which was now become a suspicious, indeed a hopeless, matter; and on the eve of the day of the apostles Peter and Paul, he arrived at the city of Sutri. The emperor, however, kicking against him, sent him word that he would do nothing in the matters agreed on, unless he first received letters of absolution, and as the pope refused to do this, replying that it was dissonant to reason, a disagreement arose between them. The pope, therefore, foreseeing the results of his anger, determined on making a sudden and clandestine flight, and without any

2 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

one's being privy to his plans, lest the emperor should discover them and throw obstacles in the way of his retreat. There were some, however, who asserted that he did this more out of his love for the presents which people from this side of the Alps were about to bring to him, but who dared not pass through the emperor's territory, and that he fled more for the purpose of meeting and receiving them in his ever-open bosom, than from the fear of any one persecuting him. He therefore made some pretext or other, and diligently directed his steps towards Genoa, which was a country congenial to him, as the following narrative will show. On that day, therefore, that is, on the eve of the Apostles' day, it was intimated to the pope (so he afterwards asserted), that three hundred Tuscan knights were coming on that night to seize him. At this news he was greatly astonished, and put on a look of great alarm, and, at the time of the first sleep, leaving his papal ornaments, and again becoming Senebald, and but lightly armed, he mounted a swift horse, and with well-filled purse, and almost without the knowledge of his attendants, suddenly and secretly took his departure; nor did he spare his horse's sides, for before the first hour of day he had travelled thirty-four miles unattended by any one; indeed no one was able to follow him. In the middle of the night, the cry of "The pope has gone away", was raised, and nobody was aware of his departure except some, and those very few, of the cardinals. On this, Peter of Capua, with only one attendant, followed him at great risk, and on the same day found him at a castle on the coast, called Civita Vecchia, At that place the pope had been met by twenty-three galleys and sixteen barges, each of the former of which carried sixty well-armed men and a hundred and four rowers, besides sailors; and, owing to this, suspicious people conjectured that the pope had been for some time before expecting and wishing for their arrival. They were all manned by armed men, and were commanded by the podesta of Genoa, whom they called admiral, and the chief men of the city, who all boasted that they were related by kindred or blood to the pope, in order that they might get a reward. The pope now embarked late in the day, on one of these galleys, accompanied by seven cardinals and a few attendants, and put to sea. Scarcely, however, had the voyagers reached


the open sea, when they were attacked by a heavy storm, the wind, however, not being against them, and with sails spread, though not without fear and great danger, they were carried by the force of the storm for a hundred miles on the same course as the prelates had sailed who were taken prisoners by the emperor, and on the Friday following arrived at a harbour in an island belonging to the Pisans, where they passed the night. On the morrow, however, having been absolved from their sins, and heard the mass of the Virgin Mary, as they were in great dread of the Pisans, they set sail and arrived at an island of the Genoese, performing a hundred and twenty-four miles on that day. Escaping the dangers of the sea with much difficulty, owing to the storm, they made their way to the Port of Venus, and there stayed the Sunday and Monday; and on the Wednesday, to their great joy, they arrived at Genoa, and the pope was now fifteen days' journey distant from the city. In this city, where he was born, he was received by his fellow-citizens, relations, and kindred, with ringing of bells, with songs, and musical instruments, all crying out, "Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord"; to which they again replied, "Our soul is like a sparrow escaped from the toils", etc., etc.

The emperor is annoyed at the pope's flight.

When the fact of the pope's flight became known to the emperor, he gnashed his teeth like a satyr, saying, "It is written, 'The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth'"; and being overcome with astonishment and grief, he accused the guardians of the ports and citizens of sloth and idleness, for having permitted his enemies so easily to escape through them. He then ordered a most strict watch to be kept over all the ways of exit around Genoa, especially towards France, in order that no money might be carried to the pope. And now the emperor proclaimed himself the open enemy of the pope. The latter, too, now no longer considered Genoa a safe refuge for himself, being well aware of the emperor's power, and remembering the words of the poet,

An nescis longas regibus esse manus?

[Know you not the hands of kings,
Are mighty overreaching things?]

4 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

The emperor gains the friendship of several princes and nobles.

About the same time, namely whilst the pope was staying at Genoa, the Milanese and the Ligurians, as well as some Italians and Romans, and many of the nobles of Germany, conspired together, at the instigation of the pope, and one of the most powerful chiefs of the latter country, whom they call the landgrave, was encouraged to assume the imperial dignity, until he should be regularly elected, and, relying on the manifold assistance of the prelates and nobles, to make war against the tyrant Frederick, as a declared and general persecutor of the Church. His good name was blackened in no slight degree, and it was asserted that he did not walk with a firm step in the law of the Lord, being a confederate of Saracens, keeping Saracen harlots as his concubines, and doing other things unfit and too numerous to mention. But when the said landgrave was about to make this attempt, and was deliberating with his fellow-nobles, who had been summoned together for the purpose, as to what they should do, his friends told him that it would be rash to attempt it, and to trust himself to dubious chances when he now enjoyed peace and tranquillity, not withstanding whatever the pope's party promised him. And whilst their opinions were thus hanging in the balance of suspense, the emperor, by making a rapid journey, came suddenly amongst them, with only a few attendants, who knew of these occurrences, and by his arguments diverted the effeminate mind of the said landgrave from his intentions, and before they parted, he and the landgrave became the closest friends and allies, and they mutually exchanged presents. Having thus managed this affair, then the emperor went away as secretly and suddenly as he had come.

Whilst these events were passing, the emperor, in order to strengthen his party, which his enemies believed was now greatly weakened, gave his daughter in marriage to one of the most powerful Greek chiefs, named Battacius, a man hateful and disobedient to the Church, and a schismatic: on hearing of which, the emperor's enemies were struck dumb with confusion.

Of the rebellion and base treachery of the Welsh.

About this time of the year, the petulant Welsh, not


knowing how, and being unwilling to submit their necks to the unknown laws of the kingdom of England, appointed David, the son of Llewellyn, and some other princes of Wales, as their leaders, and made a most bloody war against the king of England and his marquises, forgetting their charters and their oaths. They, however, were, by the king's command, for the preservation of his territories, bravely resisted by the earl of Clare, the earl of Hereford, Thomas of Monmouth, Roger de Michaut, and some other powerful and illustrious marquises, who, although they at the commencement of the contest got the worst of the battle, yet at length, as is the usual case in war gained a victory over some of their enemies. In this battle a hundred men and more fell on both sides.

Divers rumours reach the king at St. Albans.

At the feast of St. Barnabas, the king was at St. Albans, where he stayed three days, and whilst there, rumours of the insolence of the Welsh became frequent, and some messengers came to him with news which greatly disturbed and grieved him; namely, that the election of Robert Passlow, his clerk, who had been elected to the bishopric of Chichester, was annulled, and that another person, named Richard de Wiche, had been suddenly appointed in his place; for Master Martin, a prompt clerk of the pope, had been there to lay his hooked fingers on the revenues for the use and benefit of the pope. Besides the aforesaid reports, he heard others; namely, that the king of Scotland had saucily sent a message to him that he did not hold the least particle of the kingdom of Scotland from him, the king of England; that he ought not to do so, and would not. The friendship between these two kings had become very much lessened since the king of Scotland had formed a matrimonial alliance with the daughter of Engelram de Coucy, who, like all the French, was known to be one of the chief, if not the chief one, of the king of England's enemies. The king, therefore, determining to revenge the injuries done to him, readily encouraged and assisted those who were sustaining the contest against the Welsh, and promised them more effectual assistance with troops and money. After arranging the business connected with the state of affairs in Scotland, he took the bishopric of Chichester into his own hands, and would not allow the new bishop elect

6 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

to exercise any authority; he also conceived great anger against those who had brought this matter about, and consented to it, but, above all, against the archbishop elect of Canterbury, whom he bitterly accused of ingratitude, and of being a plotter of treason ever since the commencement of his promotion. And that he might not appear to reply in a lukewarm way to the message and insolence of the king of Scotland, he sent word confidentially to the count of Flanders (as being a faithful ally, and one bound to him by manifold obligations) to come with a body of troops to assist him against the king of Scotland, which request the count readily complied with.

The recall of the bishop of Winchester and his reconciliation with the king of England.

About the same time, the king, taking wise counsel, recalled the bishop of Winchester in an amicable way from the continent, and, at the instance of the pope and some of his own nobles, who earnestly requested this favour for the bishop, he promised him his favour and the restitution of the property taken from him. The bishop then, with better expectations, took leave of the French king, returning him thanks for the benefits conferred on him by the king, in having received and protected him when an exile in his kingdom, and returned to England, where, after a prosperous voyage, he landed at Dover on the fifth of April. On his arrival, all the English, with the exception of those clerks and courtiers of the king who had sown the seeds of discord, and who were wounded by their own conscience, gave him their congratulations, saying, "Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord". For hopes were confidently entertained that he would, by his prudence and good sense, with which he abounded, strengthen the king, consolidate the kingdom, and bring his bishopric also to the best conditions. On his joyfully presenting himself before the king, he was received by him with a smiling and pleased look, as though he had always been free from all offence against the king; and their affection and pleasure increased in an extraordinary way, from day to day, according to the words of the poet,

Post inimicitias clarior extat amor, etc.

[When clouds of quarrel disappear,
Affection's sun becomes more clear.]


About this time B. archbishop elect of Canterbury, began, contrary to the expectations of all who had created him, to oppress the monks of Canterbury, with great severity and in a manner little becoming him, disposing everything in the priory more at his own pleasure than with any regard to reason.

The wretched death of Engelram de Coucy.

About the same time, as the month of August drew on, Engelram de Coucy, father of the queen of Scotland, met with his death in a remarkable way; whereupon John, his son, sent a body of troops by sea to assist the king of Scotland; but the king of England drove all whom he sent away by force. I say that the said Engelram, the old persecutor of the Church, but especially of the church of Clairvaux, which his ancestors had magnificently founded and built on his fee, died in a remarkable way; for he died, as it were, by a double death. Whilst living, he was a zealous builder up in material matters, but in spiritual matters a sad dissipator. One day, when travelling, he had occasion to cross a certain ford, when his horse's foot stumbled over some obstacle, and he fell backwards into deep water, into which he was unfortunately dragged by his stirrups; as he fell headlong, his sword escaped from the sheath and pierced his body, and thus drowned and pierced by his sword, he departed this life to reap the fruits of his ways. John, his son and heir of all his property, out of affection for his sister, the queen of Scotland, gave his advice and assistance as before stated, to the king her husband, and the latter also fortified the castles on the confines of England, and earnestly begged the assistance of the nobles his relations and neighbours against the king of England, who was plotting against him. The aid which was thus demanded in his time of need, was granted with a willing heart by some of the nobles, and the promised troops were sent to him in great numbers.

The king demands pecuniary assistance.

In the same year, by a summons from the king, all the nobles of the whole kingdom, consisting of archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, earls, and barons, were convoked at London, where, at a council held in the refectory of Westminster, the king, in the presence of the nobles, with his own

8 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

mouth, asked for pecuniary assistance, passing over in silence his design of making war on the king of Scotland. The reason which he openly gave to them for his demand was, that in the past year he had gone over into Gascony, by their advice, as he said, where he got indebted in a large sum of money, and that he could not release himself from that debt unless he was most effectually assisted by them; to this the nobles replied that they would consult on the matter. When the nobles left the refectory, the archbishops, bishops, abbats, and priors met together in a private place by themselves, to deliberate on the matter, and at length asked the earls and barons if they would agree to their advice, in giving an answer, and making provision in this case; to which the latter replied, that they would do nothing without the common consent of the whole community. By unanimous consent, therefore, there were chosen, on the part of the clergy, the archbishop elect of Canterbury, and the bishops of Winchester, Lincoln, and Worcester; on behalf of the laity, Earl Richard, the king's brother, Earl Bigod, Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, and Earl W. Marshall; and on the part of the barons, Richard de Montfichet and John Baliol, and the abbats of St. Edmonds and Ramsey; so that whatever those twelve might determine on, should be published to all in general, and that no terms should be offered to the king, unless by the general consent of all. And because the charter of liberties which the king had formerly granted, and for the observance of which Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, had given his oath, and become security, and had faithfully promised that the king would observe, was not yet put in force, and the assistance which they had so often given to the king had been productive of no advantage to him or the kingdom; and because, through the want of a chancellor, briefs had been often granted contrary to justice, when they asked that a justiciary and chancellor should be appointed on their election, by whom the kingdom might be consolidated, as was the custom, he, the king, that he might not appear to adopt any new plan of proceedings on compulsion, refused to agree to their petition, but promised that he would amend the things complained of on their parts; wherefore they were ordered to meet there again at the end of three weeks from the Purification of the Blessed Virgin; they, the

A.D. 1244.] THE POPE'S LETTER. 9

nobles, now declared that, if the king would, of his own free will, elect such counsellors, and would so manage the laws of the kingdom, they would be content, and would, at the stated time, give him a reply, and provide him with assistance, on condition, however, that, whatever money was granted to him should be expended by the twelve above-mentioned nobles for the king's benefit. The king, however, after putting them off for some days, endeavoured to weary them into consenting to give him their assistance without putting it off till a future time, and summoned them to meet him repeatedly; but he did not, however, overreach them; for the nobles, wisely weighing the matter in their minds, remained immovably fixed in their determination. The king, at length, hoping to incline the clergy at least to consent to his wishes, convoked the prelates, and publicly showed them letters from the pope to the following effect.

The pope's letter to the prelates of England.

"Innocent, bishop, etc., etc., to the archbishops and bishops, and to his beloved sons the abbats, priors, archdeacons, deans, and other prelates of the churches, and clerks in England, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Our mother Church should allow prerogatives to those who are exalted above their fellows by kingly honours, and should be forward to attach importance to them, inasmuch as their power is always zealous in devotion to her, the Church, and ever watchful in her service. Inasmuch, therefore, as, amongst all the other princes of the earth, we enfold our well-beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of England, in the arms of our especial affection, being one who, as a devout Catholic prince, always shows reverence to the Roman church, his mother, by his filial subjection and duty, in such a way that he never turns aside from doing its good pleasure, but, what is more, has always, with prompt solicitude, done those things which he knows to be pleasing and agreeable to us, it is not a matter of wonder, nay, it is becoming and proper for us, that we should comply the more easily with his entreaties, and seek the glory and increase of his honour and condition, when your liberality shall agree with what he himself desires. And whereas the said king, as has been set forth to us on his part, has already borne the burden of some heavy expenses on

10 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

account of some great and difficult matters which pressed on him, and is still under the necessity of incurring further expense, so as to be in need of your assistance, we beg, warn, and earnestly entreat your community, and by these apostolic writings, order you, inasmuch as it becomes you, and is expedient for you, to support the said king in his labour, and to lighten his burdens, to give him honourable and liberal assistance from your revenues, so that, without any damage to your honour and condition, and without any loss or inconvenience to any one, he may be prevented from being oppressed by a too heavy burden, and that, by the helping right hand of your assistance, he may more easily endure the burden of his expenses, and that, by so doing, you may be able at a future time to claim for yourselves the favour and thanks of the said king (which you, without doubt, are in want of), in whose good things you are participators, and in whose honour and glory too you are not without a share; and also that we, who wish from this time to show ourselves more prone to promote the advantage of you and your churches, may have good reason to commend the promptitude of your devotion. Given at Genoa, the twenty-ninth of July, in the second year of our pontificate".

He also wrote in the same style to each of the prelates separately, not, however, without the expense of a large sum of money, which was sent to him for his trouble in writing.

It was, however, determined by common consent, from which determination the nobles would not depart, that the answer to the pope's letter of entreaty on behalf of the king, should be put off till the before-mentioned period; therefore, when they were leaving, on the last day of the council, which had lasted for six days, till the night of each day, the king begged of all the prelates to meet again on the morrow. In accordance with this request, they assembled in the infirmary of the chapel of St. John the Evangelist, when the king sent Simon, earl of Leicester, P. of Savoy, Ralph Fitz Nicholas, William de Cantelupe, and John Fitz G., who, on the part of the king, explained his wishes to them, and earnestly begged of them to obey his will, on account of the request of his holiness the pope, even though the king's should not be taken into consideration. They also set forth to them the king's great necessity, and the perils impending


over him and the kingdom; namely, that war had broken out in Gascony, and that the insolence of the Welsh must be repressed. The prelates then asked for a copy of the pope's letter, in order that they might deliberate upon it; but whilst these discussions were going on, the king suddenly arrived in haste amongst them, and, protesting with his usual oath that their honour should be as dear to him as his own, and vice versa his ought to be dear to them in the same degree, he heaped entreaty upon entreaty in the above matter; but as they persisted in their reply, that they would consider of the matter, he went away in a disturbed state. After a long deliberation, some parties wishing that the prelates and laymen would give a milder answer to the king, the bishop of Winchester replied to them in these words on theological authority: "Let us not separate ourselves from the general wish; for it is written, 'If we are divided, we shall immediately die'". All arrangement was therefore postponed till the before-named term, both as regarded the request of the pope on the king's behalf, as well as of the king himself. He, however, thinking that he would not be able to weaken their determination when all united together, resorted to the cunning plan of the Romans, and determined, as he had done in another case, to try them one by one singly, and by imposing on them by false arguments to bend them to his will. He therefore returned, and asked them to wait one day longer; but some of the prelates, seeing the drift of this, would not be entrapped, and went away early in the morning, and thus prudently escaped the snares in which they were once caught, and thus the council broke up, much to the king's discontent.

The terms made by the nobles with the king's consent.

"With respect to the liberties obtained, granted, and confirmed by a charter of the king at a former time, that they shall be henceforth observed; for the greater security whereof a new charter shall be made, which shall make particular mention of these matters. And that those persons shall be excommunicated by all the prelates, who knowingly and deliberately presume either to violate the liberties granted by his majesty the king, or to prevent them from being observed, and the condition of those shall be reformed who

12 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

since the last grant have incurred any injury in their liberties. And whereas the promise which had been made at that time had not as yet been fulfilled by the king, thus paying no regard to the virtue of the oath he had taken, nor showing any fear of the sentence pronounced by the holy man Edmund, in order that danger of this kind might not occur in future, and thus new dangers arise worse than the former ones, it was agreed, four of the most discreet persons, of rank and power, should be chosen by common consent, who should be of the king's council, and sworn faithfully to dispose all matters connected with the king and kingdom, and to show justice to all, without any respect to persons. These shall remain by the king, and if not all of them, at least two shall always be present to hear the complaints of each and all, and, as soon as they can, to afford relief to those who are suffering injury. By their inspection, and on their evidence, the king's treasury shall be managed, and the money granted to him by the community in general shall be expended, for the benefit of the king and kingdom, according as they shall see to be most expedient and advantageous; and they shall be the preservers of the said liberties; and as they are elected by the common consent of all, so no one of them shall be removed or deprived of his office without the general consent. And if one of them is taken from amongst us by death, then another person shall be substituted in his place, by the consent and election of the other three, within two months. And the whole community shall not again assemble without these said four persons, unless when necessary, or at their request. Briefs which have been obtained in opposition to the king, and contrary to the custom of the kingdom, shall be entirely revoked and abolished. Mention should also be made of the sentence to be pronounced against gainsayers; also of the obligation of an oath between parties; also that, with respect to the circuits of the justiciaries, a justiciary and chancellor shall be elected by all; and as they ought to be frequently with the king, they shall also be amongst the number of the preservers of the liberties. And if on any occasion the king shall take away his seal from the chancellor, whatever is sealed in the interval shall be considered null and void; and afterwards the seal shall be given back to the chancellor. No chancellor or justiciary shall be appointed in the place of another, unless by a special and


general convocation, and by the free consent of all. Two justiciaries shall be elected in the Bench, and two barons also shall be appointed in the Exchequer, and at least one person shall be appointed justiciary of the Jews. On this occasion, all the aforesaid officials shall be made and appointed by the common, universal, and free election of all; so that, as they will have to settle the affairs of all, so the assent of each and all shall concur in their election. And afterwards, when there is necessity for any one else to be substituted or appointed in the place of any of the aforesaid officials, the substitution or appointment shall be made on the provision and by the authority of these four councillors aforesaid. Those who have been hitherto suspected, or who are least necessary, shall be removed from the side of the king".

The pope sends Master Martin into England invested with new and extraordinary powers.

Whilst the nobles had for the space of three weeks been diligently arranging these matters for the advantage of the commonwealth, that old enemy, that disturber of peace and originator of schisms, the devil, impeded all the said matters by means of the pope's avarice. For the pontiff, thinking that the pliant English would, according to their usual custom, submit their necks to the already-mentioned contribution, both on account of the king's eagerness, and also on account of the urgency of this request, sent a clerk of his a latere, one Master Martin, whom, owing to his infamous rapacity, many called Master Mattin, [1] who was invested with new and extraordinary powers, greater than we ever remember any legate to have had before. For he extended his hands to exact contributions, to make provisions for unknown purposes, in accordance with the impulse of his own mind, without any regard to reason, and, being armed with cruel authority by the pope, from whom he showed new charters every day, according to his desires, or adapted to any sudden case of emergency, he forcibly extorted revenues, to be conferred on the pope's relations. Hence many said that he had a number of parchments not written, but sealed with the papal bull, so that he might write in them whatever he pleased, which God forbid. This sophist of a

[1] The French translator reads "Marin", pirate.

14 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

legate, then, was sent, in the first place, to the king, begging him to do a good turn to the pope, and diligently to use his most strenuous endeavours to persuade the prelates of England to give a general consent to grant this contribution to the pope, or at least to promise a speedy payment of ten thousand marks; to which demand the king replied, that his nobles, prelates and clerks, as well as earls, barons, and knights, had been so often despoiled of their property by divers devices, that they had now scarcely enough left for themselves; and, said he, "They now will not, or cannot, give anything to me their king, or to the pope; however, as I have humbled myself to them, and inclined to their wishes, they reply with more moderation, and have promised me assistance according to their means". When Master Martin heard this, he went away with a dejected look, not conceiving any expectations from the king's assistance; he, however, summoned the prelates, and showed apostolic letters, in the form contained in the ensuing chapter, first to the archbishops and bishops, and afterwards to the abbats, both those exempt and not exempt.

The pope's letter to the prelates of England, demanding contribution.

"Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, etc., etc., to the abbats, both exempt and non-exempt, and their conventual brethren in the diocese of Canterbury, Health and the apostolic benediction.- In your sincere affection we conceive such hopes and feel such confidence, that when a case of necessity hangs over the Apostolic See, your mother, we can have recourse with all confidence to you, as her beloved and devoted sons, who are always prompt and ready to relieve her burdens. Inasmuch, therefore, as the aforesaid Apostolic See is not yet able to relieve itself from the burden of those debts which it has contracted for the defence of the Catholic faith, the liberty of the Church, and its own patrimony, by means of the sums which have been collected and bestowed for its assistance in England and other kingdoms of Christendom, by authority of our predecessor Pope Gregory, of pious memory, we now, urged by necessity, resort with confidence to your affectionate devotion, and, by the advice of our brethren, ask and warn, and by these apostolic letters command, your community, out of your filial affection, to


consider, as becomes you, the urgency of the necessity and the heaviness of the burden by which the Roman church, your spiritual mother, is severely oppressed, afflicted, and almost overwhelmed; to have due compassion towards her in this matter; and, for the payment of the aforesaid debts, to assist us and the said see with such a sum of money as, and in the manner which, our well-beloved son Master Martin, clerk of our chamber and the bearer of these presents, shall think right to express and declare on our behalf. We also command you to assign the money contributed by you to the said Master Martin, or to his messengers, within the period which he shall fix on for your so doing; and so to fulfil our commands, that we may have good reason to commend your devotion, and may not be compelled to have recourse to other means in this matter. Given at the Lateran, the seventh of January, in the first year of our pontificate".

When this was published at London, and was well understood by all the prelates, and abbats in particular, the latter refused to give a reply by themselves alone, but in conjunction with others; for a letter had been written to them in the same style. They therefore held a careful deliberation on the matter, and, giving vent to their complaints amongst themselves, said, "We are placed in a difficulty; our king and patron, the founder and renovator of many of our churches, is helpless, and asks assistance from us for the defence and protection of the kingdom, that is, for the common weal; and the pope also asks the same, on the king's behalf: this is a double petition, and equally valid and effective on both sides. And now another and an unexpected demand on the part of the pope comes upon us. The first, as it is doubly supported, preponderates, and is more worthy to be favourably acceded to. From the king's liberality we may expect some remuneration; from the pope, none. We are assailed and harassed on either side; on the one we are oppressed, and on the other we are bound, and are bruised, as it were between the hammer and the anvil, and are ground as between two millstones".

Messengers from the emperor forbid the English to give this contribution to the pope.

Whilst such events were in the course of occurrence, not

16 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

without causing bitter anxiety in the blood-stained hearts of many, and had reached the knowledge of all the nobles, a murmur arose amongst the people, and, not knowing what to do, they all resorted to the prelates, in order that they might adopt the same plan in all things; for this matter concerned the general welfare of the kingdom. On a sudden, however, Master Walter de Ocra and some other special messengers from the emperor, arrived at London, and going at once to the council, produced a letter from their lord, which was, notwithstanding the disapprobation and grumbling of Master Martin, read throughout in the presence of the king and the whole council. In this letter the emperor cleared himself from the charge of contumacy, by which the pope had defamed his character, and declared that he would obey justice with all humility, and would stand by the commands of the Church, and give satisfaction to it. To the truth of this assertion, also, the emperor of Constantinople and the count of Toulouse bore evidence by letters under their seals, which were there publicly produced. In justification of himself, too, the emperor Frederick declared, both in these letters and by the mouth of his messengers, who repeated the same, that the pope imperiously required to be made seised of certain cities, castles, and lands, with respect to which it was not yet clear whether they belonged to the empire or to the Church, and also demanded the liberation of some persons whom he, the emperor, detained prisoners, as being traitors to himself; and this, too, even before he should himself be absolved from excommunication. Fearing, therefore, as he said, that he would be ensnared in the pope's toils, he submitted himself to the opinion and decision of the kings of France and England and the barons of their two countries; for he stated that his genuine humility could never be attended to or properly appreciated by the pope - and of this he complained bitterly to all. At the end of the letter the emperor added a message with something like a threat, that all money sent to the pope's assistance would be added to the imperial treasury. He, therefore, by every means in his power, begged that the English would not contribute anything to his rival the pope, to his prejudice. He also added, that if the king of England would abide by his counsels, he would by force, and justly, free


England from the tax which Pope Innocent the Third had saddled on it, and would also rescue it from other burdens with which it was daily oppressed by the pope. By this, the emperor regained the affections of many; for it was also inserted in the said letter, that if the king would not obey his, the emperor's orders, he would visit with heavy vengeance whatever subjects of his he found in his imperial dominions.

How the nobles of England consented to give pecuniary assistance.

The nobles and prelates all assembled in council, at London, on the day appointed, namely three weeks from the day of the Purification of St. Mary, and held a careful deliberation on the matters above mentioned. There were there present the proxies of some absent prelates, namely of the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and of the three vacant episcopal sees, on behalf of the chapters of Coventry, Chichester, and Norwich. [1] The king's request for pecuniary aid was then renewed; and concerning this matter, the king summoned them from day to day, both in his own person and by special messengers, through whom he promised that he would preserve in their fullest force the liberties which he had at his coronation sworn to grant, and for which he had given a charter. And for their preservation, he asked that the bishops, each in his own diocese, would pronounce sentence of excommunication against him and all persons who should in any point oppose the said liberties. At length, as they could in no way be bent to any other terms, they granted to the king, for the purpose of giving his eldest daughter in marriage, a scutage of twenty shillings from each knight's fee, from all who held possession in chief of the king, one portion of which was to be paid at Easter, and the other at Michaelmas.

When the king was told to recall to memory these things, as well as past occurrences, he recollected how many times he had relentlessly made similar extortions from his faithful subjects, whom it was his duty to cherish - not to impoverish, and that, too, without any fulfilment of his promises to them. After the capture of Bedford, a carucage [2] had

[1] In the original, Coventry occurs twice, which is evidently a mistake.

[2] A tax on plough-land.

18 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

been at once granted to him from all England of two shillings for each plough; in the following year, the fifteenth part of all moveables had been granted to him; again, when he was about to go into Brittany, he received a large sum of money from the prelates and religious men, from the burgesses, and Jews; on his return from Brittany, he took a scutage of three marks from each scutcheon. After this, the fortieth part of all moveable property was granted to him; and again, a thirtieth part. Again, when he gave his sister Isabella in marriage to the emperor, he received as a marriage portion for her, a carucage of two marks from each plough. On the birth of his son, he, to his great disgrace, shamelessly extorted by force many presents, which altogether amounted to a large sum of money. Again, when going into Gascony, he received a large, indeed almost an endless, sum of money from the prelates, religious men, burgesses, and Jews, and from all whom he could scrape it together from. When he returned from Gascony ingloriously, and a deceived man, he ordered the nobles and prelates to meet him at the sea-coast; and after awaiting his arrival there a long time in vain, they received him, when he did come, with many and invaluable presents. The same was done by the London citizens, and others; and whoever was found not to have given a handsome present, was accused on some pretext or other, and punished. And how the king will fulfil his promises and agreements, in return for this present contribution, and for all the others. He alone knows who is not ignorant of anything.

The reply of the prelates to the demands of Master Martin.

When Master Martin, the pope's messenger, learnt that the nobles of England had given a general consent to the contribution to the king, he became more eager to accomplish the purpose for which he had been sent, and which was still remaining in a state of uncertainty; namely, the procuring of assistance for the pope. Having therefore summoned them all together, he said to them: "Men, brothers, and lords, well-beloved sons of the Roman church, in whose bosom reposes all the papal hope, what answer do you give to your spiritual father in the matters of the Roman church,- your mother, oppressed as she is, as you are informed by the


letter of the pope? You have willingly obeyed your temporal father, that is, the king your lord, and God forbid that you should not put forth a helping hand to your spiritual one, the pope, who rests his confidence on you, and is fighting, on behalf of the Church universal, against his rebellious children". The prelates, however, wisely considering that his speeches, although honeyed and softened for the occasion, sweeter than the honeycomb and softer than oil, were in the end more bitter than gall and more piercing than arrows, were not to be turned from their purpose, but, after holding due deliberation, they appointed the dean of St. Paul's, at London, a discreet and eloquent man, to give the answer they had agreed to in common, and through him returned the following answer to the aforesaid Master Martin: "Your grace, the community of English prelates begs to reply to you, both with respect to the affording of pecuniary aid to the pope, and also concerning the revenues which, through you, his holiness demands from each of the churches. The matters which you set forth to us concern our lord the king of England in particular, but all the patrons of churches in general. They also concern the archbishops and their suffragans, as well as all the prelates of England. Inasmuch, therefore, as the king is kept away by sickness, and the archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of the churches, also are absent, we ought not and cannot give a reply; for if we should presume to do so, it would be to the prejudice of those prelates who are absent". After they had thus spoken, John Marshall and other king's messengers, went to all the prelates who held baronies from the king in chief, and strictly forbade them to pledge their lay fee to the Roman church, as he, the king, would thereby be deprived of the service due to him. When Master Martin heard this, he appointed a day in the middle of Lent for those who were then present to meet him, and he himself, in the mean time, would procure the presence of the king and the absent prelates, in order to bring the business to a conclusion. They, however, without the consent of the king and the other prelates who were absent, refused to agree to the day fixed on, and all then returned home. Again, by the authority of new letters, of which Master Martin possessed an abundance to use at his pleasure, were some of the prelates convoked; but they not only

20 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

refused their consent to the contribution, but opposed it more strenuously than before, and gave the same reply as before, saying: "In the first place, the poverty of the kingdom of England, over which the perils of war are hanging, does not allow us to consent to this exaction, which threatens the whole kingdom; and on account of this poverty, several churches, and especially the monasteries, were burdened with heavy debts. Again, when lately a contribution was made at the demand of the cardinal legate, owing to the debts with which it is said the Roman church was burdened, it imposed a heavy burden on us, and nevertheless did not tend to the advantage of the Church, and now, when a simple messenger makes the demand, there is much stronger reason to fear that a similar, if not a worse result, will ensue on this occasion. Also, if a contribution is now again made, there will be grounds to fear that it will become a custom in consequence, as a thing twice done constitutes it a custom. Again, as it is believed - or at all events so reported - that the pope is in a short time about to hold a council, at which the prelates will, one and all, without doubt, be burdened with expenses, as well by long journeys as by expensive toil, and also by making visitations, agreeable, or not agreeable, to the pope, or some others, whom we never found to reject any presents, it may happen that, owing to troubles being heaped upon troubles, there will be found but few who can endure such unbearable burdens. Again, as our mother, the holy church of Rome, is burdened with debts, it would be just and honourable, as she cannot sustain that burden, for assistance to be granted to her by all her devoted children in common, who, it is believed, will meet in council in a short time. And what chiefly concerns all, should be approved of by all, in order that the Church may thus be the better relieved, and each of us singly may be the less burdened". When Master Martin heard these effectual arguments against any exaction of pecuniary aid from the churches and prebends so determinedly declared, he is said to have burst forth into violent threats against them; the prelates, however, endured this patiently, and, the council being dissolved, went away, adding also, at the end of their discourse, that, if they contributed, they feared the threats of the emperor more.

The treacherous Master Martin then clandestinely laid his


greedy hands on the revenues of the vacant churches; amongst others, of the treasurership of the church of Salisbury, which he caused to be given to a nephew of the pope, and he also seized on several others; but of these takings and givings away, it is better, out of respect to the Roman church, to be silent, than to relate them for the purpose of exciting scandal.

The dead hody of a boy found at London.

On the first of August, in this year, there was found, in the cemetery of St. Benedict, in the city of London, the unburied body of a boy, on whose legs and arms, and under the chest, was an inscription written regularly in Hebrew characters. Many having assembled, wondering at this sight, not being able to read the inscription, but knowing that the letters were Hebrew, they sent for some converted Jews who inhabited the house which the king had founded at London, and ordered them, as they regarded their lives and limbs, out of their honour, affection, and fear of the king, to reveal the meaning of the writing without any prevarication; for there were some of the king's bailiffs present, who were preservers of the peace. They also thought, and not without reason, that the Jews had, as a taunt and insult to Jesus Christ, either crucified this little boy (a circumstance stated to have often happened), or had tortured him in various ways previous to crucifying him, and, as he had died under their tortures, thinking him not worthy of a cross, had thrown his body where it was found. Besides, there appeared livid marks on the body, and the indentations made by rods, and manifest signs and traces of some other punishments. When the aforesaid converts were brought forth to read the inscriptions, they examined and endeavoured to read them for some time without effect; for, owing to the extension and contraction of the skin and flesh, the letters were spread abroad here and there, and much disordered and defaced, and some not legible. At length, however, they discovered the name of the father and mother of the child written, but without the surname, and words to the effect that he had been sold to the Jews, but by whom, or for what purpose, they could not find out. Some of the Jews of London, who had drawn down suspicion on themselves in this matter, in the mean time suddenly and

22 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

clandestinely took to flight, and never returned. Some also asserted that the Lord wrought miracles in favour of the boy; and it was discovered that the Jews had sometimes perpetrated such crimes, and that the holy bodies, when crucified, had been received in their churches, and had also become renowned by miracles; so that, although the marks of the five wounds in the side, hands, and feet, were not visible in the body of the said boy, yet the canons of St. Paul's hurried the body away and buried it, with the proper ceremonies, near the great altar in their church.

New saints spring up in England.

About the same time miracles were said to display themselves, and the benefit of health to be restored to the sick, to the praise of Christ, at the tombs of Roger, bishop of London, of pious memory, and of Master John Foxtone, guardian of the church of that city; as also at those of Master Robert, the brother of Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, and St. Robert of Karrebrag. [1]

Arrival of the count of Flanders to assist the king of England.

About the same time the count of Flanders landed at Dover, having come to assist the king of England in his design of making war on Scotland. His arrival excited great indignation and derision in the hearts of the English nobles, for, they said, England was capable of utterly uprooting Scotland without him. The said count brought with him sixty knights and a hundred retainers, well equipped with arms, and all of them eagerly gasping after the king's money.

The count, together with his brother, the archbishop elect of Canterbury, proceeded to St. Alban's, where they were met by Master Waltar de Suffield, bishop elect of Norwich, who was at once confirmed in that see by the said archbishop elect.

In this same year the Lady Blanche caused the church which she had founded at Pontoise to be dedicated.

About the same time Master William de Burg, a benevolent and inoffensive man, and one of unstained reputation, was elected bishop of Llandaff.

[1] Probably Carisbroke. The French translator reads Knaresborough.

A.D. 1244.] A DISPUTE ARISES. 23

Of the extraordinary extortions of Master Martin.

At this time unusual extortions of money and revenues were practised by Master Martin, who was staying at the New Temple in London. Carrying himself like a legate (although not invested with the legate's robes, which, was a cunning device to save the king's privilege), he sent word in all directions to such and such an abbat, such and such a prior, ordering them to send him costly presents of handsome palfreys, meats and drinks, and ornamental dresses; and when they had done so, Master Martin sent back to them what they had forwarded to him, declaring that they were insufficient, and ordered them to send more handsome gifts, under penalty of suspension and anathema; he also suspended all from the bestowal of benefices worth thirty marks and upwards until his cupidity should be satisfied. Hence the wretched English suffered worse than the sons of Israel of old, and grieved that they were obliged to endure slavery in the Egypt of Britain.

Of the dispute between the English and Scotch kings.

In the course of the same year the king publicly issued a proclamation, and by a general summons caused it to be notified throughout all England, that each baron who held in chief from the king, was to hold all his military services which were due to the king, ready to be discharged on the royal mandate, and the bishops, abbats, and lay barons as well. He then set out with a numerous army towards Newcastle-on-Tyne, alleging, as his principal motive for so doing, that Walter Cumming, an illustrious and very powerful baron of Scotland, and some others of that kingdom, had fortified two suspected castles in Galway and Lothian, to the prejudice of the king of England, and contrary to the charters of their ancestors; also that the above-named noble had entered into a confederacy with the French, and had received some banished men and fugitive enemies of his; for instance, Geoffrey Marsh at this present time, and some others formerly; thus, as it were, knowingly endeavouring to withdraw from him their allegiance, which was due to him alone. Having, therefore, assembled the whole community of the nobles of England near the aforesaid castle, a council was held about the time of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary,

24 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

and a careful deliberation was entered into on the matter. At this council, by the management of Earl Richard, and by the wise and prudent intervention of some other nobles on both sides, terms were agreed on between the two kings; for the king of Scotland, a good, upright, pious and liberal-minded man, was justly beloved by all the English, as well as his own people. He also had a very numerous and powerful army, consisting of a thousand armed knights, well mounted, although not on Spanish or Italian, or other costly horses, and well protected by armour of steel or linen, and about a hundred thousand foot-soldiers, who were all of one mind, and who, having made confession, and been encouraged by the consoling words of their preachers, that they were about to fight in a just cause on behalf of their country, had very little fear of death. In order, however, to prevent the blood of so many Christians being shed, and calling on the Lord for vengeance, and thereby giving offence to him into whose hands it is dreadful to fall, peace was happily re-established, as the underwritten charter testifies.

About this time, namely on the day after the feast of St. Lawrence, the illustrious baron Richard de Stuteville died.

The king of Scotland's charter.

"Alexander, by the grace of God, king of Scotland, to all the faithful followers of Christ who shall see or hear the contents of this instrument, greeting.- We would have you to know that we, on our own behalf, and on behalf of our heirs, have agreed and given our promise to our well-beloved and liege lord, Henry the Third, by the grace of God, illustrious king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, and to his heirs, that we will for ever keep good faith with him, and observe due affection for him; also that we will never, ourselves, or by means of any other persons on our behalf, enter into any alliance with the enemies of our said lord the king of England or his heirs, either to bring about or to make war, whereby injury may or can in any way accrue to them or their kingdoms of England and Ireland, or to any other territories of theirs, unless they shall injure us; and that those agreements are to remain in their full force between us and our said lord the king of England, which we lately entered into at York, in the


presence of Otto, cardinal deacon of St. Nicholas in the Tullian prison, the then legate in England of the Apostolic See; saving also the covenants made on the marriage being contracted between our son and the daughter of our said lord the king of England. And that this our agreement and promise, on behalf of ourselves and our heirs, may be strengthened and confirmed, we have caused our doorkeeper Alan, Henry Baliol, David Lindsay, and William Giffard, to swear, on our soul, that we will strictly and in good faith observe all the aforesaid conditions. We have also caused a like oath to be taken by the venerable fathers David, William, Geoffrey, and Clement, the bishops of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Dunkald, and Dumblane. We have also caused an oath to be taken by the following nobles, our faithful subjects, Patrick earl of Dunbar, Malcolm earl of Fife, Malise earl of Strathearn, Walter Comyn of Monteith, William earl of Mar, Alexander earl of Buchan, David Hastings earl of Athol, Robert Bruce, Alan our doorkeeper, Henry Baliol, Roger de Mowbray, Laurence de Abrinthia, Richard Comyn, David Lindsay, Richard Seward, William Lindsay, Walter of Moray, William Giffard, Nicholas de Sully, William Oldbridge, William Bevire, Aleome de Mesne, David Graham, and Richard Smingham, who have all made oath to the following effect; namely, that if we or our heirs shall act contrary to the terms of the aforesaid agreement and promise, which God forbid, they and their heirs will give no advice or assistance to us and our heirs contrary to the aforesaid agreement and promise, and, as far as they can prevent it, will not allow it to be afforded us by others; but that they and their heirs will, with respect to us and our heirs, make it their business to see that the aforesaid terms be strictly and faithfully observed by us and our heirs, and also by them and their heirs. In witness whereof we, as well as the aforesaid prelates, earls, and barons, have confirmed this writing by the affixing of our seals thereto. Witness the prelates, earls, and barons above mentioned. In the year of our reign, etc., etc". To this were at once affixed the seals of Alexander, king of Scotland, William de Bevire, William Oldbridge, William Lindsay, and Stephen Smingham. The seals of the others were afterwards affixed. The document was sent to the king of England at the following Christmas, in the

26 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

hands of the prior of Tynemouth, who had diligently used his best endeavours to effect this arrangement, to the honour of both parties.

This writing, as well as the others mentioned below, was, in order that it might be the better confirmed for ever, sent to the pope, in a letter to the following effect:-

The pope's confirmation of the above.

"To the most holy father in Christ Innocent, by the grace of God supreme pontiff, Alexander, by the same grace, king of Scotland, Earl Patrich, the earl of Strathearn, the earl of Levenath, the earl of Anegria, the earl of Mera, the earl of Athol, the earl of Ross, the earl of Caithness, the earl of Bute, Roger de Mowbray, Laurence of Aberinth, Peter de Mauvere, Richard Comyn, William Oldbridge, Robert Bruce, Roger Avenel, Nicholas of Sulling, William Murray, ... of Dunfeld, William Muref, ... of Petene, John Bissett the younger, William Lindsay, John de Vaux, David Lindsay, William Giffard, Duncan de Ergatila, John de Matervalle, and Aylmer his son Roger earl of Winchester, H. earl of Oxford, W. de Vescy, Richard Seward, William de Roos, Roger de Clare, Henry, son of the count de Britter, Eustace de Stuteville, Malcolm earl of Fife, the earl of Menethshire, Walter FitzAlan, Walter Oliphard, Bernard Fraser, Henry Baliol, David Comyn, David Marshall, David FitzRalph, William de Forthere, John Baliol, and Robert de Roos, Health, and all due respect and honour.- We beg to inform your holiness, that we have made oath on our bodies, before the venerable father Otto, cardinal deacon of St. Nicholas in the Tullian prison, legate for the time being of the Apostolic See in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and have also made a charter, the commencement of which is as follows: 'Know all present and to come, that it has been thus agreed in the presence of his grace Otto, etc., etc'. Which charter, attested by our own handwriting, is left in the possession of his majesty the king of England. And also another charter, commencing, 'We would have you all to know, etc., etc'. Whereas from the terms of our aforesaid obligations it is binding upon us, we have submitted ourselves to your jurisdiction, in order that you may have power to restrain us and our heirs by the Church's censure, if we should at any time act in opposition


to the aforesaid terms of peace; and if it at any time happens that some of our subjects, or all or any one of them, should rashly presume to contravene them, or attempt such presumption, or shall attempt to do so, whereas from this, serious peril would arise to our soul and those of our heirs, and no slight harm would accrue to our persons and property; we beg you, holy father, to give orders to some one of the suffragans of the archbishop of Canterbury, to compel us to the observance of the aforesaid terms of peace, as is more fully contained in the instruments executed in that matter; otherwise, to order whatever may be according to canonical rules with respect to the said terms of peace, checking gainsayers, etc. And for the fulfilment of this our petition we have to the present writing affixed our seals". When these arrangements were completed, the kings of England and Scotland became friends, and it is to be hoped, inseparable ones, without any pretence or quibbling contentious speeches. King Henry then took leave of the king of Scotland, and went to the southern parts of England, and it was immediately thought that this army was to march against the Welsh, and the king of Scotland betook himself to the interior of his territories. At the departure of the king of England from Newcastle-on-Tyne, his army was reckoned to consist of about five thousand well-armed knights, besides a very numerous and powerful body of foot-soldiers.

Of the incursions of the Welsh.

During all this time, the Welsh, swarming from their lurking-places, like bees, spread fire and slaughter, and unceasmgly ravaged the countries adjoining their own; the king, however, who was hastening on his return to London, would not, although he heard of these excesses, turn out of his way and proceed there with the army he then had ready prepared; but, following the woman's plan, he hurried to Westminster, to his usual retirement and pleasures, sending three hundred knights, under the command of Hubert Fitz Matthew, with the necessary money and supplies for the road, to check the insolence of the Welsh. Before, however, he reached London, the Welsh, assuming boldness because the king had dismissed his army, and was indulging in retirement, and had not, as they feared would be the case.

28 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

united the Scotch army with his own and attacked them, boldly assaulted the army of the English nobles on the borders, namely that belonging to the earl of Hereford, who had been the cause and fomenter of all the hatred and discord, because he would not give his third sister, who was married to David, her third portion; and they also attacked the army belonging to Ralph and Mortimer, and after cutting two brave and noble knights to pieces, cutting off the head of a third, slaying about one hundred foot-soldiers, and putting the whole English army into great confusion, they retreated again to their hiding-places, rejoicing in their victory. The said Robert on hearing of this, marched on the day afterwards against them, accompanied by three hundred knights in his pay, thinking to surround the Welsh, and attack them in that condition; but, being surprised by the enemy, he was defeated, and retreated, not without great loss of men and horses, to his own towns, and even there was hardly safe from his enemies.

How Peter, an archbishop of Russia, was put to flight by the Tartars.

"Whilst the die of fate was thus revolving the affairs of the world, a certain archbishop of Russia, named Peter, an honourable, devout, and trustworthy man, as far as could be judged, was driven from his territory and his archbishopric by the Tartars, and came into the Cisalpine provinces, to obtain advice and assistance, and comfort in his trouble, if, by the gift of God, the Roman church and the kind favour of the princes of those parts could assist him. On his being asked about the conduct of the Tartars, as far as he had experienced, he thus replied: "I believe that they are the remains of the Madianites, who fled from before the face of Gideon, to the most remote parts of the east and the north, and took refuge in that place of horror and vast solitude, which is called Etren". They had twelve leaders, the chief of whom was called Tartar Khan, and from him they derive the name of Tartars, though some say they are so called from Tarrachonta, from whom descended Chiarthan, who had three sons, the eldest named Thesir Khan, the second Churi Khan, and the third Bathatar Khan, who all, although they were born and brought up amongst the most lofty, and, as it were, impenetrable mountains, rude, lawless, and inhuman


beings, and educated in caverns and dens, after expelling lions and serpents therefrom, were, nevertheless, aroused to the allurements of the world. The father and sons, therefore, came forth from their solitudes, armed in their own way, and accompanied by countless hosts of warriors, and laying siege to a city called Ernac, took possession of it, and seized the governor of the city, whom they immediately put to death, and his nephew Cutzeusa, who took to flight, they pursued through several provinces, ravaging the territories of all who harboured him; amongst others, about twenty-six years ago, they devastated a great part of Russia; where they became for a long time shepherds over the flocks they had carried off and, after conquering the neighbouring shepherds, they either slew them or reduced them to subjection to themselves. Thus they multiplied and became more powerful, and, appointing leaders amongst them, they aspired at higher things, and reduced cities to subjection to them, after conquering the inhabitants. Thesir Khan proceeded against the Babylonians; Churi Khan against the Turks; and Bathatar Khan remained at Ernac, and sent his chiefs against Russia, Poland, Hungary, and several other kingdoms; and three, with their numerous armies, are now presumptuously invading the neighbouring provinces of Syria. Twenty-four years, they say, have now elapsed since the time when they first came forth from the desert of Etren. The archbishop, when asked as to their mode of belief, replied, that they believed there was one ruler of the world; and when they sent a messenger to the Muscovites, they commenced it in these words, "God and his Son in heaven, and Chiar Khan on earth". As to their manner of living, he said, "they eat the flesh of horses, dogs, and other abominable meats, and, in times of necessity, even human flesh, not raw, however, but cooked; they drink blood, water, and milk. They punish crimes severely; and fornication, theft, lying, and murder with death; they do not abominate polygamy, and each man has one or more wives; they do not admit people of other nations to familiar intercourse with them, or to discuss matters of business, or to their secret councils; they pitch their camp apart by themselves, and if any foreigner dares to come to it, he is at once slain". With respect to their rites and superstitions, he

30 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

said, "Eveiy morning they raise their hands towards heaven, worshipping their Creator; when they take their meals, they throw the first morsel into the air; and when about to drink, they first pour a portion of the liquor on the ground, in worship of the Creator. They say, also, that they have John the Baptist for a leader, and they rejoice and observe solemnities at the time of the new moon. They are stronger and more nimble than we are, and better able to endure hardships, as also are their horses, and flocks, and herds; the women are warlike, and, above all, are very skilful in the use of bows and arrows; they wear armour made of hides, for their protection, which is scarcely penetrable, and they use poisoned iron weapons of offence. They have a great variety of engines, which hurl missiles with great force, and straight to the mark. They take their rest in the open air, and care nothing for the inclemency of the weather. They have already enticed numbers of all nations and sects to them, and intend to subjugate the whole world; and they say that it has been intimated to them from heaven that they are to ravage the whole world for thirty-nine year; asserting that the Divine vengeance formerly purged the world by a deluge, and now it will be purified by a general depopulation and devastation, which they themselves will put in execution. They think, and even say, that they will have a severe struggle with the Romans, and they call all the Latins Romans; they fear the miracles wrought by the Church, and that sentence of future condemnation may be passed against them. They declare that, if they can conquer them, they will at once become lords over the whole world. They pay proper respect to treaties, in the cases of those who voluntarily give themselves up to them and serve them, selecting the best soldiers from amongst them, whom, when they are fighting, they always station in front of them. In the same way, also, they retain amongst them the various workmen. They show no mercy to those who rebel against them, reject the yoke of their domination, or oppose them in the field. They receive messengers with kindness, expedite their business, and send them back again". The said archbishop was finally asked as to their method of crossing seas and rivers, to which he replied, that they cross rivers


on horseback, or on skins made for that purpose; and that in three places on the sea-coast they build ships. He also said that one of the said Tartars, named Kalaladin, son-in-law of Chiar Khan, who was discovered to have told a lie, was banished to Russia, his life having been spared by the Tartar chiefs, out of kindness to his wife.

A terrible message from the Tartars.

In the same year, at the decline of summer, the chief king of the Tartars twice sent a message by different messengers to the prince of Antioch, ordering him to obey his wishes in three things, otherwise a bloody sword should wreak his vengeance on him. The first order was, that he was to destroy the walls of his cities and castles; the second, that he was to send him all the revenues in gold and silver proceeding from his principality; and the third, that he was to send him three thousand virgins. When the prince heard this message, he was overcome with grief, and said,- "As God lives, and as his saints live, I will never comply with any one of these demands: I would rather that we fought for our lives, and that this quarrel between us be determined in the sight of God". On this the messenger, after giving vent to threats, returned to their king. A like message was carried by the aforesaid Tartar messengers to the king of Armenia, and some other powerful Saracen sultans; but we do not know what message was sent in reply to their demands.

The church of Winchester becomes reconciled to its bishop.

About this time, the bishop of Winchester took leave of the king of the French, and those who had opened the bosom of compassion to him in his exile, and, after returning thanks to them, being now sure of the king of England's favour, hastened to Winchester, to devote himself to the pastoral care of his desolate church, and to reform its disordered condition. The prior of that place, on hearing of his approach, made a virtue of necessity, although late, and humbled himself to him on his arrival. In the same way also, the others - seculars as well as monks - who, trusting too much to the king's protection, had been the disturbers of peace and disseminators of discord, now made atonement.

32 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

and turned their affections towards their bishop. And soon afterwards, on the day of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist, the sentence of interdict pronounced by the bishop on the church and city of Winchester, under which they had long lain, was withdrawn, and the inhabitants were freely absolved by form of law.

The aforesaid prior, John de Cauz, however, though he was together with his colleagues absolved in the same way, was deposed, and some others with him, whom he, the said prior, had daringly installed as his officials and secular agents. The mayor of the city, who had given the greatest offence, was subjected to a heavier atonement and punishment.

On the 7th of November, Adam, bishop of Connor, died at Waredon, where he had been sometime abbat. In the octaves of Martinmas, the bishop of Lincoln set sail, in order to have a secret and careful deliberation with the pope, for the purpose of determining the injurious contention between him and his canons; and soon afterwards the dean of that church, attended by some of the canons, set sail, for the purpose of defending his cause against the bishop.

The consecration of Roger to the see of Bath.

On the 11th of September, in this year, Master Roger, precentor of the church of Salisbury, a man of polite manners, and endowed with great knowledge in theological subjects, was, at Reading, consecrated to the see of Bath; on the revenues of which see, whilst vacant, the pope's clerk, Master Martin, relying on his holiness's authority, had laid his greedy hands, for the purpose of bestowing them on some relation of the said pope.

The arrival of the king of France at the chapter of Cistercians.

As Michaelmas drew near, when the abbats of the Cistercian order, from the various provinces, assembled at their general chapter, as was their custom, the French king devoutly went thither to ask the aid of the prayers of all the monks there assembled. He was accompanied by the noble Lady Blanche, his mother, who had obtained from the pope the privilege of being allowed to go into the religious houses of the Cistercian order, attended by twelve other


women, to pay her devotions. There were also there with the said king and his mother, and for the same purpose, the king's brothers, the counts of Artois and Poitou, the duke of Burgundy, and six other counts of France besides, and all of them, on approaching the church at Chichester, dismounted from their horses, in reverence for the church, and proceeded in order and devoutly praying, from that spot to the church, the distance of a crossbow-shot. As they approached the church, all the abbats, with the members of their convents, to the number of about five hundred, came in procession to meet them, out of respect to the French king, as it was the first time he had ever come to their monastery. But the pope, having a fore-knowledge of his coming, had sent a letter to the chapter, earnestly beseeching all the abbats and brethren, when the king came amongst them at their chapter, to ask for their prayers, to beg of him on bended knee and with clasped hands to give, as was the old-established custom of France, his powerful assistance and protection to his father, the supreme pastor and chief ruler of the Church - namely, the Roman pontiff, against the insults which he endeavoured to avoid, offered to him by the emperor Frederick, whom, in his letter, he called the son of Satan; and also, if necessity required it, to open the bosom of his affection and kindly to receive him in his kingdom, as he had formerly done to Pope Alexander, of good memory, when an exile fleeing from the persecution of the said emperor Frederick; and as he was known to have done also to the blessed Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, now a glorious martyr, by affording him comfort and a place of refuge when escaping from the anger of Henry, king of England. When, therefore, the said king had arrived, preceded by his mother, and taken his seat in the chapter-house, in the midst of the nobles and abbats, all of the latter, with the brethren of their convents, on bended knees, with clasped hands and gushing tears, humbly made the above request to him. The king, then, on seeing them thus, and on hearing their request, himself bent the knee towards them and granted them the desired favour, declaring that, as far as honour permitted, he would repel from the Church the injuries offered to it by the emperor Frederick, and would, if the opinion of his nobles, which no king of France could reject, were

34 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

agreeable, willingly receive the pope himself, if obliged to exile himself.

The abbats, then, with reiterated thanks for this favour, granted to the king a special participation in the effects of their good works; but the emperor also had special messengers there, to prevent the demands of the pope froni gaining any good result.

Fulk Bassett consecrated bishop of London.

On St. Dionysius's day, Fulk Bassett, dean of York, a man illustrious by birth, as well as by the purity of his morals, was consecrated bishop of London, in the church of the Holy Trinity, in that city.

Otto and some other cardinals secretly go to the pope at Genoa.

About the same time, Otto, bishop of Porto, and some other cardinals, much against the wish, and to the confusion of the guards whom the emperor Frederick had stationed to guard the roads, received safe-conduct from the Milanese and other states which adhered to the pope; from the marquis of Montserrat and other potentates who favoured the Church; and went unhurt and without loss to the pope, at Genoa, in spite of the guards whom the emperor had stationed to watch the roads. At their arrival the pope was much rejoiced, and conceived hopes of improvement in his present troubled condition; and from that time there flocked to him, from the whole province of Genoa, innumerable relations, kinsmen, and friends of his, who had any connection with him, although an exile, either by reason of blood or friendship, requesting revenues to be given to them for the use of their sons and nephews, especially from the kingdom of England.

Of the arrival of the Cross-bearers in England.

On the Monday before the feast of All Saints, there came to the synod of the bishop of Rochester some persons, putting forth a new kind of religion, who were called the Crossbearing Brethren, from their carrying crosses on staves. These men demanded a place of abode from the nobles, setting forth an unheard-of privilege granted to them by the pope, which was, that no one was to be allowed to rebuke their order, or to insult or command them; and power had


been given to them to pronounce sentence of excommunication against persons so doing. Wise and discreet men were much astonished and wonder-struck at so many new orders daily springing up and shooting forth without end; and that so many learned men, despising the discipline of the most blessed Benedict, who was full of the spirit of all the saints, and that of the noble Augustine, should, contrary to the statute of the general council held in the time of Pope Innocent the Third, of glorious memory, suddenly fly to these unheard-of and lately-invented orders. At which council it had been unalterably determined and agreed, that after the initiation and authorization of the Preachers and Minorites, from that time forward no new orders should be introduced, or, if introduced, be authorized, lest the orders already authorized and received should become of little consideration and be despised and injured; and to this decree the cardinal brethren and the whole of the community of the holy council gave their consent.

How the pope betook himself to the city of Asti.

About the same time, the pope went to the city of Asti, at the instance of his relatives at Genoa, who, eagerly thirsting after money, persuaded him to go at once and meet the English and French, and their neighbours, who were bringing him presents, and not to close his hand and refuse the presents offered him by any one; and also, at the same time, to convoke a general council, to cause annoyance to the emperor Frederick, whom they hated, and to satisfy their desires of revenge, and for their enrichment. The pope, therefore, set out attended by a crowd of armed Genoese, and took the road suddenly and secretly to the provinces nearest the French territory; and now the cities of Asti, Alessandria, and several others, withdrew from all fealty and submission to the emperor Frederick, and turned to the pope; thus fulfilling the words of the poet,-

Mobile mutatur semper cum principe vulgus.
[The mob will e'er be fickle with their prince.]

The pope proceeds to Lyons.

After a short stay at Asti, the pope, who had now refreshed himself, eluded the guards of the emperor, who were

36 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

stationed in various directions to obstruct his journey, and, as the summer was now on the decline, betook himself to Lyons, there to pass the winter, travelling hastily, and by sudden stages, both day and night, and not without great risk.

The king of England is refused pecuniary aid.

On the morrow of All Souls' day the nobles of England assembled, when the king most urgently, not to say shamelessly, again demanded pecuniary aid from them; but as they had been so often injured and deceived, they unanimously, and as it were with one mouth, refused it to his face. The king was now designing to send a numerous army against the Welsh. Besides this, he owed so much to the continental merchants, wine-merchants and others, for wax, [1] and the other necessaries of life, that he could scarcely show himself amongst the people, owing to the clamorous requests of persons demanding what was due to them; hence it evidently appeared that he had been disgracefully attacked and ensnared in the deceitful traps of foreigners, seeking only their own gain.

How money was extorted from the citizens of London.

The king, therefore, eagerly gaping after money, without consulting the community of the kingdom in general, at least without the advice of his nobles, shamelessly and by force extorted fifteen hundred marks from the London citizens, for some reasonable cause, as was given to be understood by him and his agents; for the king's party asserted that twenty years back they had received one of their fellow-citizens, Walter de Buckerell, who had been justly expelled from the city, and had been a long time in exile; but the London citizens contradicted this, and declared that he had been made a legal subject by the entreaties of, and the presents made by, his brother Andrew to the king; that he was forgiven by the king's consent and command, and became one of their fellow-citizens, as the king's rolls would testify. To this a cavilling reply was at once given on the king's behalf, that he, the king, was at that time young, fickle, and easily led away; wherefore, what was then conceded by him was invalid. This, however, evidently redounded to the disgrace of his

[1] "Cera" in the text; possibly a corruption for cerevicia, "beer".


guardians; for the decision was supported, not by reason, but by will alone; but, finally, the citizens were obliged to pay the said sum of money, to be thrown away on foreigners.

Of the victory gained by Nicholas de Molis, seneschal of Gascony.

About this time of the year, Nicholas de Molis, seneschal of Gascony, whom the king, on leaving that country, had appointed governor of that province, and who had been carrying on a fierce war against the king of Navarre, was favoured by fortune in one engagement, and gained a victory over him.

The death of Margaret, sister of the king of Scotland.

On St. Hugh's day, Margaret, sister of the king of Scotland, and relict of Gilbert, earl marshal, died at London, and was buried with all due ceremony and respect amongst the Preacher brethren.

Death of William, bishop of Winchester.

Shortly afterwards, William de Bruyere, bishop of Winchester, paid the debt of nature; a man still in the prime of life, of good family, and distinguished by his morals and learning.

How the king of France recovered his health in a wonderful way, and took the sign of the cross.

In this year, at the Advent of our Lord, Louis, the French king, who was still suffering severely from the remains of the illness which he had contracted when engaged in war in Poitou, fell into a deathlike trance, and lay for some days as if dead, and, according to the statement of several who sat round him, was entirely deprived of breath. His mother and brother, and some others of his intimate friends, who stood by, thought that the king had grown stiff in death, and his mother, who was more affected with sorrow than the others, with sighs interrupting her speech, gave utterance to these words: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give the glory, and this day preserve the kingdom of France, as thou hast always heretofore done honourably". She then applied to her son's body the holy cross and crown of Christ, and the lance which had been obtained possession of in his time, and made a vow in his name that, if Christ

38 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

would deign to visit and preserve him, and restore him to health, he, the king, would assume the cross, and visit his holy sepulchre, which he consecrated with his blood. After his mother, and all the others present, had continued for some time praying with all sincerity of heart for him, the king, whom they thought to be dead, with a sudden sigh drew up his arms and legs, and afterwards stretched them out again, and, with a deep voice, as that of one aroused from the tomb, said, "He who sprang from on high has, by God's grace, visited me, and recalled me from the dead". Soon afterwards he entirely recovered his health, and solemnly took the sign of the cross on his shoulders, offering himself as a voluntary holocaust to God, and made a vow that, if the council of the kingdom, which he had undertaken the government of, would allow it, he would, in person, visit the Holy Land.

The endeavours of David, prince of North Wales, to release himself from the English yoke.

During this time, David, prince of North Wales, and nephew of the king of England, being in great dread of the anger of the said king, which was justly provoked against him, sent special messengers to the pope, intimating to him, by them, that he resigned himself and all his territory to the church of Rome, to be by it protected against the claim of the king of England, however, to be held by him, the said David, and his heirs; for which tenure they would pay five hundred marks annually. And on the plea of justice, he, although not without great expenditure of money, obtained letters in this matter to the following effect.

The letters obtained by the said prince from the pope against the king of England.

"To the illustrious Henry, by the grace of God king of England, the abbats of Aberconway and Kemere, of the Cistercian order, inquisitors appointed by his holiness the pope, Health in the Lord.- We have received a mandate from the pope to the following purport:- 'Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his well-beloved sons the abbats of Aberconway and Kemere, of the Cistercian, order, residing in the diocese of Bangor, Health and the apostolic benediction.- It has been set forth to us, on behalf of the noble David, prince of North Wales, that whereas war has for a long


time been existing between him, the said David, whom his parents gave as a foster-child to the church of Rome, and our well-beloved son in Christ the illustrious king of England, even after a final compromise had, by the mediation of good men, been made to our venerable brother the bishop of St. Asaph, and his colleagues, that both parties would abide by their decision in the matter of all complaints, and even an oath made by both parties to that effect, the said king, not considering that, pending their decision, it was not lawful for him to do anything in the matter, unexpectedly made war against the aforesaid prince, and by force and through fear, which sometimes seizes on the boldest of men, compelled him to forego what had been sworn to by him, the king, and others also of his subjects in the above matters, concerning which the compromise had been made. Inasmuch, therefore, as things which are done through fear, or by force, ought to be void of effect, we, by these apostolic warrants, order you, at your discretion, to examine diligently into the truth of this matter, and if you find the matter to be as above stated, by our authority to release the aforesaid prince from any observance of an oath thus extorted from him, and without any difficulty to absolve him, as is but just, according to the forms of the Church, from any sentence which has perchance been pronounced by any one on account of this matter against his person or territory. Witness, etc. Given at Genoa, the twenty-sixth of July, in the second year of our pontificate'. We, therefore, on the strength of this authority, order you to appear before us at Keyrus, in the church of Gustefend, on the eve of St. Agnes the Virgin, there to answer to the said prince on the matters contained in the said warrant, as you shall see expedient".

When this warrant came to the knowledge of the king and his nobles, and soon afterwards flew on the wings of fame to that of other chiefs, they were highly indignant, and persuaded the king not to attend to any orders of this kind, urging him on to war and to attack the said David without delay. When the pope heard of this, he winked at and concealed it all, but did not, however, restore to David the present he had received from him.

40 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1244.

Of the thunder heard in the winter.

In the month of November of this year, as a sad presage of coming events, thunder was plainly heard and lightning seen, which lasted for fifteen successive days, and was followed by a disturbed state of the weather.

Of the inquisition made respecting the occupation of the royal forest.

About this time Robert Passlow, a clerk of the king's, advised him to adopt a severe and cruel mode of proceeding, inasmuch as it was profitable to him; this was, to make a careful inquisition concerning the occupation of the royal forests, or unforested land, amongst the people dwelling near it, in order that those who presumed so to occupy might be mulcted in a heavy penalty. He, therefore, by the king's order, summoned all his colleagues for this purpose; namely, Lawrence, a clerk of St. Alban's, and Geoffrey de Langley, a knight; and the said Robert then went the circuit of the various counties, and, imposing upon many by manifold arguments, he, in order to enrich the king, irremediably impoverished all, religious men and seculars, the noble and ignoble, to such a degree, indeed, that many became homeless and wanderers, and were compelled to beg; others were committed to prison, or, being despoiled of all their property, prolonged a wretched existence in want and misery. Amongst others, John de Neville, the high forester, whose father Hugh had held the same office before him, and who was not the least of the nobles of England, was so deeply incriminated that he was committed to prison, and expected to be disinherited, or to be obliged to pay an ignominious ransom, or some other severe punishment, unless the royal clemency should, on the powerful intercession of the other nobles, mitigate the severity of the sentence. He, however, did not deserve the pity of compassionate persons, because in his prosperity he did not know how to pity those subject to him in a like calamity.

Of the election to the see of Chichester of Robert Passlow, which election was soon after annulled.

This said Robert Passlow, by thus adding some thousands of marks to the royal treasury, obtained the king's favour in a wonderful degree; on seeing which, the canons of


Chichester began to think him a fit and very useful person to undertake the rule of their church, as being a wise and circumspect man; hoping, therefore, to please God and the king, as well as to obtain the king's favour and protection, and the advancement of their church thereby, they elected the said Robert Passlow their bishop. But the archbishop elect of Canterbury and a great many of the bishops were highly indignant on finding this out; and, laying aside all fear of, and affection for, the king, examined the said Robert on some very difiicult questions, through the bishop of Lincoln, and finally rejected the bishop elect, and annulled his election at once, and without asking the king's consent - appointing Master Richard de Witz in his stead. The king's anger kindled at this, both against the elect bishop, and the other bishops, and the revenues of the said Master Richard, even after his election were at once given to fit and worthy persons; for Master Martin, the pope's clerk, who was present and ready, being appointed by the pope for this purpose, was gaping after his vacant revenues. When the king heard of this proceeding, he was vehemently enraged, and forbade the new bishop elect, who had been chosen without his being consulted, to the great prejudice of himself and the kingdom, to be allowed admission to any barony pertaining to his church, or to any secular possessions; but this has been mentioned before.

The king offers some costly presents in the church of St. Alban's.

On St. Thomas the Apostle's day, the king went to St. Alban's, to take up his abode there; and when, according to custom, he went up to the grand altar, to offer up his prayers, he also offered a valuable cloak, and three gold necklaces, to be suspended at the shrine, in memory of him, and in honour of the martyr, although he had offered seven before.

For three days the king stayed at this place, and, whilst there, a report reached him that the countess of Flanders had paid the debt of nature; and on this news he ordered, as was the custom with Christian kings, bountiful alms to be given to the poor on behalf of her soul, and solemn obsequies to be devoutly performed in the choir of St. Alban's.

42 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

Summary of the events of the year.

Thus ended this year, which was throughout abundantly productive in fruit and corn, so much so, indeed, that the price of a measure of corn fell to two shillings; its events were most inimical to the Holy Land; marked with disturbances in England; fraught with peril to the French kingdom; raised suspicion in the Church, and turbulence among the Italians.

How the king kept Christmas at London, and conferred the honour of knighthood on John de Gatesden.

Anno Domini 1245, the twenty-ninth year of the reign of King Henry the Third, he passed Christmas at London, and observed the solemnities of that festival in the company of many of his nobles. At that place, on Christmas-day, he conferred the honour of knighthood on John de Gatesden, a clerk, who had enjoyed several rich benefices, but who, as was proper, now resigned them all. This said John, a prudent and persevering man, had, by means of his own industry, enriched himself with many lay possessions; and, on marrying the daughter of a noble lady, named Roisia de Bruce, gave up the perilous cure of souls, and was advanced to the dignity of the higher nobles; hence, a great many who were noble by birth, though ignoble in mind, became envious, and laid snares to injure him; but the said John, by his prudence, escaped their attempts, although not without difficulty.

How the archbishop elect of Canterbury, and the bishops of Worcester and Hereford, crossed to the continent.

Whilst these events were in the course of occurrence, Boniface, archbishop elect of Canterbury, and the bishops of Hereford and Worcester, who, of all the prelates of England, were the most particular friends of the pope, and the most suspected by the English, suddenly set sail to go to the pope, on account of some secret business (which, however, was unknown to the general community); and all matters were disposed in the house of Canterbury, or that concerned the conventual assembly, as also the familiars of his court, the offices and officials, at his pleasure, more than any one of his predecessors had ever been allowed to do. The said Boniface also,


after making a careful examination, declared that the church of Canterbury was irremediably shackled with debts, on behalf of the archbishopric, to the amount of fifteen thousand marks. Therefore, when at his departure he was about to embark at Dover, he ordered the woods belonging to the archbishopric to be cut down and sold, and heavier collections and tallies to be made, as well amongst the clergy as amongst the people. Many people said that these exactions were made for the purpose of carrying on a war against a certain knight of Provence, who, on hearing the contents of the will of Raymond, count of Provence, conceived a design of clandestinely carrying off the said Raymond's youngest daughter. For the count, finding himself at the point of death, and being about to make disposal of his household effects, and to make his will, called his youngest daughter to him, and addressed her in these words:- "Dearest daughter, more beloved by me than all your sisters, I am aware that by the Lord's disposal all my daughters, except you alone, are exalted by marriage in a high degree, and to the admiration of all Christians. To you, therefore, at your marriage, I give and bequeath, by my will, the whole of my land, together with my money, castles, and all my other possessions; for your sisters do not need that the inheritance should be divided, in order for a portion of it to be given to either one of them". Owing to this, as was before stated, a certain knight of small property, but bold and brave in war, incited by the lady's beauty, as well as by the rich inheritance which belonged to her, secretly carried her off, and placed her in safety in a castle near, which belonged to him, considering it quite an excusable offence, according to the saying of the poet,-

Genialis praeda puella est.
[Woman is a pleasing prize.]

But all the count's relations and friends were indignant at the rash presumption of this knight, and made war against him. The knight, however, trusting to being in possession of the prize, and relying on his right, daily increased the number of his friends, and defended himself bravely; hence there arose in those provinces a great contention and injurious disturbances amongst the two parties, on account of

44 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

this lady. The French king, then, on account of the eldest daughter, whom he had married, boldly claimed the right, which belonged to him in particular; and by this, the contest daily increased in violence, for the Provencals were inspired with inexorable hatred against the French. Boniface, archbishop elect of Canterbury, and his brother Philip Bal, gave their attention to this war, because they were the uncles of the lady; thus causing great expense and injury to the English church; for, in order to sustain the war, they pleaded divers pretexts for raising money, and heaped together treasure on treasure, distributing it amongst the paid knights and other men of blood. They also asserted, in order to give some colouring to their wickedness, that they were in great need of this money for the purpose of releasing the church of Canterbury, which they said (much to the injury of their predecessors, who had been at the head of that church, and had always governed it blamelessly) the preceding archbishops had almost irremediably burdened with debts. Boniface also obtained from the pope an extraordinary privilege, such as we never remember to have been granted to any one before; his brother Philip, too, who had devoted himself to arms in this matter, obtained at great expense a privilege from the Roman court, giving him permission to hold the revenues which he had obtained in England, and also the produce of the bishopric of Valencia, as well as some other larger ones, which would then benefit him; but of this the following narrative will elucidate the particulars.

The queen of England gives birth to a son.

On St. Marcellus's day, Queen Eleanor gave birth to a son, who was, by the king's order, named Edmund.

Death of the countess of Oxford.

On the day of the Purification of St. Mary, the countess of Oxford, formerly Isabella de Belbec, departed this life, and was buried in the church of the Preacher brethren, at Oxford, of which she was the foundress.

Death of Baldwin, earl of Devon.

On the morrow of St. Valentine's day, died, in the prime of his youth, Baldwin, earl of Devon, commonly called


"De L'isle", whose death was an event to be lamented, even by his enemies, if he had any.

The emperor is again excommunicated in France.

At the commencement of Lent, the pope ordered the emperor to be again excommunicated throughout the whole of France, on account of some fresh injuries done by him to his, the pope's, relations and some ecclesiastics. On this order being sent by his officials to a certain priest living at Paris, he felt great grief at its falling to his duty to excommunicate the emperor, whom, we do not know why, he had a regard for, and cursed the Roman court, of which he had had experience; he, therefore, on a feast-day, said, in public, to his parishioners, who were present in great numbers,- "Give ear, all of you; I have received orders, with candles lighted, and bells ringing, to issue a solemn sentence of excommunication against the emperor Frederick; of the reason for this I am ignorant; but I am not ignorant of the serious controversy and unquenchable hatred that has arisen between him and the pope; I am also aware that one has done harm to the other, but which is the offender against the other, I know not; him, however, I, as far as my authority extends, excommunicate and denounce as excommunicated, who does wrong to the other, be it whichever of the two it may; and I absolve the one who suffers under the injury, which is so injurious to the cause of Christianity".

These light words, pronounced jestingly, after the manner of the French, were soon in the mouths of many, and were wafted far and wide, till they at length came to the knowledge of the emperor, who, after considering their probable effect, commended the said priest, and sent him some handsome presents; but the pope accused him of scurrility and lightness of speech, and punished him.

The slaughter of three hundred Welsh.

In this same Lent, three hundred Welsh and more were slain at Montgomery by the English under the command of the chastelain of the castle of that place, who had cunningly placed an ambuscade in their rear, and then, showing a semblance of alarm, retreated before the Welsh, when the English, who lay concealed, attacked them in the rear, and put them all to the sword.

46 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

The capture of Monthaut by the Welsh.

In the same week, David, wishing to redeem his losses, harassed the English by continued nightly incursions, and vigilantly employed himself in slaughter and rapine. But when the brave English knights on the borders came to oppose them with the borderers subject to them, the Welsh, as was their custom, flew to the crags and inaccessible parts of the mountains, to lie in ambuscade for their passing enemies. From the summits of rocks they hurled stones and weapons, wounding many of the English; amongst others one of the English nobles, named Herbert Fitz-Matthew, was overwhelmed by a mass of rock, which broke his neck and crushed him to death. To this same Herbert a wonderful occurrence happened, worth being told and handed down in writing. After it had been agreed and determined by the English on the preceding day that they should on the morrow proceed in order of battle against David and his Welsh troops, the said Herbert was so disturbed in his sleep by dreams, or rather apparitions, that he awoke in a state of great fear and tremor, and continued restless and sleepless the whole of the rest of the night. Early in the morning he sent for a priest, to whom he made full confession, and also fortified himself by partaking of the wholesome viaticum; and when asked the reason for so doing, he, with a sigh, addressed his friends, as if with a forewarning spirit, and related to them the particulars of his terrible dream, and at the same time said, "Many times have I indulged in the use of arms, and exposed myself to the dangers of war, but to-day, as I sincerely believe, my oft-repeated feats of arms will be brought to a final close". On hearing these words, his companions in arms, putting a good interpretation on everything, and declaring that very little faith ought to be put in dreams, took him away with them, in order that he, who had so often defeated his enemies, might not be accused of fear; but on that same day, as they were passing through a narrow place, commonly called a pass, the before-mentioned calamity happened, and he fell, overwhelmed by a mass of rock. The English were greatly grieved at this, and all the troops halted and buried his body with solemn rites. His death occurred on the morrow of the Purification of St. Mary.


Of the wretched death of Herbert Fitz-Matthew.

Other persons state that the said Herbert Fitz-Matthew fell from his horse, and whilst still alive the Welsh came up and contended with one another as to whose captive he ought to be, for the sake of the ransom, and one of them, wishing to put an end to the strife, ran Herbert through his body from behind, saying, "Now, whoever chooses may take him". On the morrow he was found with his body pierced through, and with his hand placed on the wound, and, being naked, was only recognised amongst the other dead by an emerald ring. The Welsh were much inspirited by this event, and indulged more daringly than usual in destroying their enemies, and frequently got the upper hand in their incursions. However, by an unexpected event, three hundred of the Welsh fell slain at Montgomery, owing to an ambuscade being placed in their rear; but David, and some of his companions, escaped and laid siege to the castle of Monthaut, which he took in a short time, and, after putting to death or bringing over to his own side, all whom he found there, enjoyed his triumph at his pleasure; but the lord of the castle, Roger de Monthaut, they did not find there, because he had betaken himself to a place of safety. From that time the war became a most bloody one, neither party showing any respect to sex, age, or rank, but involving all alike in one common destruction.

A treacherous council held by some of the cardinals.

About this time, at the instance of the pope, but secretly, some of the cardinals, who loved only money, with a semblance of great friendship, sent a letter to the king, the purport of which was as follows:- "We beg, in a friendly way, to recommend a plan to you, which will be beneficial and honourable to yourself, and glorious and of no slight advantage to your kingdom; that is, that by special messengers you send a request to the pope that he will deign to honour with his presence the kingdom of England, in which he is known to have a special right; and we will, as far as lies in our power, second your entreaties and render him favourable to your request, as we are desirous to promote the advantage of your kingdom. For it would be a most distinguished honour to you, and to your immortal glory, for the

48 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

pope, who is the father of all fathers, to appear in person during your time in the English territory; a circumstance which is not remembered to have happened at any former time. We remember, indeed, to have heard him say that it would give him pleasure to see the enjoyments of Westminster and the riches of London". When this was made known to the king, he was delighted, and would easily have been bent to acquiesce in this treacherous plan, had he not been encouraged to oppose and to disagree to it by the advice of wise counsellors, who said, that the purity of England was already enough, indeed too much, defiled by the usuries of his Caursins, and by the robberies and simony practised by the Romans and Italians, although he himself did not in person squander the property of the Church, and prey upon the good things of the kingdom. In the same way also he was denied admission to the kingdoms of France and Arragon, which he sent to ask for by special messengers; for the evil name of the papal court, the stench of which exhaled its foul smoke even to the clouds, deserved that such a result should ensue.

The pope convokes a general council at Lyons.

About midlent of this same year, the pope's messengers came into England for the purpose of convoking a general council, and were the bearers of the following papal mandate:-

"Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his well-beloved sons the abbats and priors throughout all England, Health and the apostolic blessing.- The virtue and wisdom of God, to whose unspeakable majesty all things are subject, has, from the beginning of the world distinguished his Church by the splendour of his good works. And the singular privilege of power has rendered it thus remarkable, that, by its agency, justice may be brought to effect, the whirlwinds of wars be lulled to rest, and tranquillity be established throughout the whole world. And whilst we, who, although unworthy, are appointed by divine providence to preside over the government of the Church in general, pay all due reverence to the pre-eminence of that dignified station, yet we become anxious at heart that the fierceness of the tempest by which the Church is disturbed and the Christian religion shaken to its foundations, should, with the favouring


affection of Heaven, be averted by the help of our arrangements. Hence we have determined to convoke the kings of the earth, the prelates of the churches, and other magnates of the world in general, in order that the Church itself may, by the wholesome counsel and beneficial aid of all true Christians, receive all due honour; that assistance may be speedily afforded to the Holy Land in its deplorable peril, and to the afflicted Roman empire, and that we may find relief against the Tartars and other despisers of the faith and persecutors of the Christian people, as also to determine the matters in dispute between the Church and the emperor. We also beg of, and exhort you in your devotion, and by these apostolic letters command you, laying aside all pretexts and excuses, to appear in person in our presence at the next festival of St. John the Baptist, in order that the Church may conceive spiritual joy by the honour of your visitation and profitable counsel from our industry. We also have to inform you that we have, in our preaching, cited the aforesaid emperor to appear in person, or by his messengers, at the council about to be held, there to answer to us and to others who may set forth anything against him, and to give proper satisfaction for the same. And with regard to a moderate number of attendants and conveyances when you come thereto, exercise such prudence as will prevent your churches from being too much burdened with expense. Given at Lyons, this thirtieth of January, in the second year of our pontificate".

How the king of England sent an agent to the Roman court.

About this time the king suffered what appeared to him and his friends an enormous injury, inasmuch as several bishops were created without his consent; he, therefore, in order to complain of this, and to prosecute his claim, which he had obtained, and which was established in times of old, sent Master Laurence, of St. Martin's, his clerk, a circumspect man, and one skilled in the law, as his agent to the court of Rome for that purpose, and, at the same time, to expedite some other difficult business concerning the king and the kingdom. His chief business, however, was connected with the affair of Robert Passlow, bishop elect of Chichester, whose election was, without the king's being

50 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

consulted on the matter, so precipitately annulled at the chapter of Chichester in the very middle of the kingdom, and the said Robert deposed by Boniface, archbishop elect of Canterbury, whom he, the king, had lately summoned into his kingdom, and promoted to such a high station, not without great murmuring and discontent being excited amongst a great many people. The king would deservedly have had no slight favour to his side of the question, but, because he had so often, by cunning arguments and frivolous pretexts, rejected several proper men, especially religious men, whom he was bound rather to promote and to protect, as the holy kings had done of old, a remedy for such a great evil was obtained, which was that, without the knowledge of him who designed so much evil, or even if he opposed it, provision should be made for the widowed churches, over which fit and proper persons should be set as soon as possible, that the Lord's flock might no longer be injured; which seemed consonant to reason. The nobles, however, grieved over these disturbances, and at the ruin of the kingdom, more than at the king's troubles.

Excuses made by the king for some prelates not going to the council.

When the general summons to attend the council reached the ear of the prelates, numbers of them made preparations for the journey. Some, however, who were attending to the king's business, and others who were sick or old, excused themselves from attending, either through the king, or by sending competent proxies. To the king, who had with all humility begged leave of absence for some of them from the pope, his holiness replied favourably as follows:-

The pope's letter.

"Innocent, bishop, etc., etc., to his well-beloved son in Christ the illustrious king of England, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Towards your person, as a devoted son of the Apostolic See, we feel a special paternal regard, and to your entreaties, as far as is compatible with our reverence to God, we give attentive ear, and grant a willing assent. Whereas you have, by our well-beloved Master Laurence, your appointed messenger to the Apostolic See, as also by your royal letters, humbly begged of us, that, as you purpose in


the approaching summer to proceed with an army to punish the perfidy of some of your rebellious subjects, we should hold as excused from attending the council which we shall, with God's permission, hold, at the ensuing feast of St. John the Baptist's Nativity, our venerable brother the bishop of Carlisle, and our beloved son the abbat of Westminster, whom you wisely appoint to take charge of your kingdom whilst you are absent on that expedition, and also our venerable brother the bishop of Llandaff, who has been deprived of all the wealth of his bishopric by the enemies of your majesty, and our well-beloved sons the abbat of St. Edmund's, who is suffering from gout, and the abbat of Waltham, who is broken down and worn out by old age; we, in our earnest desire to promote the welfare and establish the peace of your kingdom, are ready to show all favour and grace to you, and, on your behalf, to your friends, as far as we can do so compatibly with our duty to God, and therefore, by authority of these presents, grant your request, at the same time earnestly begging your majesty not to be offended at our not having thought proper to admit of your excuse on behalf of our venerable brother the archbishop of York, as mentioned in your royal letters aforesaid, and also urged on us by the aforesaid Master in your name; for, as he is an honourable member of the church of God, we consider his presence as necessary to the aforesaid council. Given at Lyons, this twentieth of May, in the second year of our pontificate".

How some of the English prelates remained excused, and how the abbat of Peterborough, who was compelled to go to the Roman court, was accused and ill-treated.

In the same way, also, some other English prelates, bishops as well as abbats (amongst others the bishop of Ely and the abbat of St. Alban's) were prevented from attending the council by divers expressed reasons, and sent reasonable excuses, either that they were unwell, or old, or infirm, by their agents, through whom they also sent their greetings to the pope and cardinals, as well as some handsome presents; and, rendering them compliant by these means, they were allowed to remain at home. The abbat of Peterborough, however, a harmless man, who had received from the pope a more special order than others on this matter, went to the Roman court, and on his arrival there a heavy charge was

52 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

made against him by Master Martin, the pope's clerk, who was residing in England; namely, that he had refused to give up (as, indeed, he ought not to have done) to him, the said Master Martin, for the use of a relative of the pope, a certain church which he, the abbat, had given to a competent and proper person. When, therefore, the abbat appeared at the Roman court, the pope, or the friends of the pope through him, insultingly reproached him, and ordered him to be disgracefully and irreverently turned out of his palace; owing to which he never afterwards took comfort, but was, through grief, thrown into an incurable sickness, and in the same year went the way of all flesh, to the great loss of his church, which he had governed with great wisdom and prudence.

Death of Gilbert de Hunfrunville.

About the same time, namely in the week of our Lord's Passion, died Gilbert de Hunfrunville, an illustrious baron, the governor and flower of the northern provinces of England, leaving a son, a child, as heir to his possessions. His governorship the king at once bestowed on Simon, earl of Leicester, which much annoyed Earl Richard, who was longing for the same.

Death of Cardinal Geoffrey de Turne.

In this same year, too, died Cardinal Geoffrey de Turne, a most particular and useful friend of the pope, than whom no one was more renowned for his learning and morals.

How Earl Richard, the French king, and some others, sent succour to the Holy Land.

About the same time, the most unfavourable reports were frequently brought from the Holy Land, so much so, that it was feared that the whole country was exposed to danger; wherefore Earl Richard, with the munificence innate in him, sent a thousand pounds thither in aid of the country, through the Hospitallers. Also, in order to dry up the tears from the cheeks of our mother the Church, who was weeping over her children lately slain, the French king, and the Templars and Hospitallers, sent thither in all haste some newly-created knights, and a body of troops, together with a large sum of money, for the consolation and assistance of those dwelling there, who were enduring daily attacks from the Chorosmins


and other infidels. The French king also procured the presence of an eloquent legate and discreet preacher in France, to preach a crusade thither.

The watchfulness of Master Martin in collecting revenues.

The oft-mentioned Master Martin, the pope's clerk, was in the mean time most watchfully and unceasingly busying himself in collecting revenues in any way he pleased for the use of the pope, and in bestowing them on the pope's relatives. But of his daring and injurious rapacity, I think it more honourable and safer, out of respect to the holy church of Rome, to be silent, than to offend the ears of my auditors, and to disturb the minds of Christians by the relation of such things. The revenues of the treasury of Salisbury, with many others, as above mentioned, were seized on by force, and were especially taken from religious men. Procurations and presents were required to be sent to him immediately, and those who refused compliance were severely punished. The king, too, favoured his cause, and protected him against all parties, perhaps from a hope of remuneration; and thus the condition of the kingdom became most wretched.

How a guard was set over the ports to prevent the pope's couriers from entering the kingdom.

In this most critical state of the kingdom of England, an order was given by some of the nobles, who lamented and compassionated the manifold and ceaseless oppression and pillage of the kingdom, that all the seaports should be diligently and closely watched, in order that the pope's letters, which were daily brought to England to extort money, might be seized on. It happened about this time, that one of the pope's messengers arrived, and landed at Dover, laden with letters for this purpose, under the pope's bull; and the governor of that port, and the provost of the town, immediately seized him, as they had been ordered, and after taking from him all his bulled letters and others, which contained many abominations in the shape of divers pretexts for extorting money, imprisoned the messenger himself in Dover Castle. When Master Martin heard of this, he went to the king to make a complaint to him of this proceeding; the king at once denied

54 MATTHEW PARTS. [A.D. 1245.

that he was the instigator of it, and, to the injury of the kingdom and detriment of his own honour, he ordered the messenger to be liberated, and the letters to be forcibly taken from the mayor of Dover, and presented to Master Martin, for him to rejoice at pleasure in the effects produced by some of them.

The pope's chamber burnt.

In Rogation week, as a sad presage, a chamber of the pope's house at Lyons, which was his private room, that is, his wardrobe, was burnt, with everything in it; and some evil interpreters of things declared that it was set on fire purposely, in order that the pope might by this have a pretext for asking and extorting money from the prelates, who were coming to the council. The fire, however, raged more extensively than was expected, and some things which were held in particular estimation by him were burnt, and a statement went the round of many people, that that detestable charter, concerning the English tribute, which was made in the time of King John, of lamentable memory, was reduced to ashes by this same fire.

How the pope was opposed by the canons of Lyons in his endeavours to invade certain vacant prebends.

About the same time, the pope wishing, without consulting the chapter, to intrude some foreigners, relatives or friends of his, into certain vacant prebends of the church of Lyons, the canons of that church opposed him to his face, and threateningly declared on their oaths, that if any such persons made their appearance in Lyons, neither the archbishop nor the canons would be able to protect them from being thrown into the Rhone; therefore, those who had been about to accept the benefices did not appear there any more. About the same time, a certain doorkeeper of the pope's, more rudely and saucily than he ought, refused admission to one of the citizens of Lyons, who asked it with humility and civilly, on which the citizen, becoming angry and indignant, cut the doorkeeper's hand completely off. The wounded man at once laid a serious complaint before the pope, showing at the same time his mutilated arm, whereupon his holiness demanded vengeance, according to the law of the city; which Peter de Savoy, the guardian of the


peace of the Church, managed in some sort of way or otlier, so that the pope's honour was, at least superficially, healed.

About this time, too. Master Elijah, of Durham, a canon of Salisbury, died, and on his vacant revenues Master Martin at once laid his rapacious hands lor the pope's use.

How the king conferred the honour of knighthood on Richard de Clare at London.

On Whitsunday, the king kept that festival with great splendour at London, where he conferred the honour of knighthood on Richard de Clare, now an earl, in the presence of about forty young nobles; the new knight therefore celebrated and consummated his initiation with great rejoicings amongst his fellow-knights. The king, at the same time, instituted a diligent inquiry throughout all the counties as to the amount of revenues received by Romans, and as to the number of Italians whom the Roman court had fraudulently and by force enriched in England. These revenues were found to amount annually to sixty thousand marks, a sum more than equal to the annual revenue of the whole of England; wherefore the king, late as it now was, was aroused to astonishment, and provoked, not without good cause, to anger.

About this time, also, the abbat of Clugny gave the pope thirty good and handsome palfreys, suitably accoutred, with the same number of beasts of burden, which we call "sumpter-horses", and these also equipped as became them.

How messengers were sent by the community of England in general to the council.

Then, indeed, although late, the king began to reflect somewhat, and was struck with abhorrence at the insatiable cupidity of the Roman court, and at the injurious seizures and unlawful robberies perpetrated by it on the Church, and, indeed, on the whole kingdom. An effective letter was, therefore, prepared by the community of the kingdom in general, in which was contained and set forth, as the following narrative will show, an account of the execrable extortions of the pope, and the manifold exactions of his legates and certain, clerks invested with unheard-of powers. With this letter, then, some noble and discreet men were sent to

56 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

the council, to lay before it a heavy complaint of these matters, and especially of the exaction of the tribute, to which the general community of England had never consented, and to beg for relief for the kingdom of England from such insupportable burdens. For this purpose were chosen, in the name of the community of the kingdom of England at large, and sent to the council at Lyons, Earl Roger Bigod, John Fitz-Geoffrey, William de Cantelupe, Philip Bassett, Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, and Master William de Poweric, a clerk.

How Master Martin departed from England in alarm.

About this time, the king having prohibited some tournaments from being held by some persons assembled at Luton and Dunstable, whose designs were malicious, on account, as he said, of their danger, Fulk Fitz-Warren, on behalf of the general community of the kingdom, was sent, on the morrow of the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul, to Master Martin, the oft-mentioned pope's clerk, who was staying at the New Temple at London. On coming into his presence, the said Fulk, eyeing the clerk with a scowling brow, thus addressed him:- "Depart, and leave England immediately". Master Martin then asked him,- "Who orders me to do so? Do you do this on your own authority"? To which, Fulk replied,- "You are ordered to do so, through me, by the community of armed knights, who lately met at Luton and Dunstable; and if you listen to prudent counsel, you will not stay here till the third day from this time, lest you and all your companions be cut to pieces". On the said Fulk's departing in anger, after heaping threat upon threat with a terrible oath. Master Martin immediately went, breathless with alarm, to the king, and said to him,- "My lord, I have just heard such and such things; is this done by your authority, or is it by the audacity of your subjects"? To this the king replied,- "I declare that I am not the author of this proceeding; but my barons can scarcely restrain themselves from rising against me, because I have hitherto tolerated the depredations and injuries committed by you in this kingdom on them, and which exceed all measure and justice; and with difficulty have I hitherto prevented them in their fury from attacking you, and tearing you limb from limb". With a trembling and a low voice. Master Martin then said,- "I,


therefore, ask your majesty, out of your love to God and reverence for the pope, to allow me a free exit, and to permit me to depart in safety under your conduct". To which request the king, who was much excited, and provoked to anger, replied,- "May the devil take you, and carry you to hell, and through it". When the nobles, who sat round, had appeased the king's anger, he ordered Robert Norris, seneschal of his palace, to conduct Master Martin in safety to the sea-coast. Master Martin, therefore, set out on his journey, and kept close by the side of his guide, Robert, and whenever he saw any persons riding or passing by them, he was seized with such fear and trembling, that, if the earth had opened, he would have hidden himself under the turf. As they were proceeding on their way, they came to the borders of a wood which the archbishop elect of Canterbury had offered for sale, and where some countrymen had assembled to choose out the trees they wished to buy; at sight of whom, Master Martin said in alarm to Robert, his guide, "Alas! alas! what I feared has come to pass: see, they are about to attack us. My lord and friend, Robert, have you any son, nephew, relation, or friend, whom you desire to be benefited with an ecclesiastical revenue? I am ready to grant any request you may make. Behold, they are lying in wait to take my life: protect me under the shadow of your wings". Robert replied,- "God forbid that any one of my relations should, through my means, be thus admitted to an ecclesiastical benefice: I do not know who they are; but do you await me here, and I will hasten to them, that, if they be evil-disposed persons, I may check any rashness on their part, by showing them the king's warrant". When, therefore, he came up to them and learned the truth, he soon returned to Master Martin; but in order to impose upon him, he said,- "It was with difiiculty I checked their fury, and prevented them from tearing you to pieces; but now let us walk stealthily and cautiously, lest anything worse happen to you; but when you set sail, you will, if you are wise, never return, lest you should fall into the hands of those who seek your life". From that time, Master Martin did not spare the sides of his horse, but made all haste to the sea-coast, reproaching his conductor for delay; and on his arrival at Dover he at once embarked, and by

58 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

his departure rejoiced the hearts of many. But to the effect that the force of this virulent plague might not entirely cease, he gave authority to one Master Philip still to exercise all the powers granted to himself in the extortion of revenues, and thus he left his foul traces behind him. Thus much I have said, that every one may know how timid these gapers after money are, when wounded in their own consciences.

These things soon reached the ears of numbers of Italians who were fattening on the richest revenues in England, on which they at once disappeared, and sought concealment in out-of-the-way places. Many of the Caursins, too, who had till now been spreading the deadly poison of their usuries amongst the western provinces, which were ignorant of these proceedings, now secretly took their departure.

How Geoffrey Marsh died in exile and poverty, a banished man.

About this time, Geoffrey Marsh, a man who had been formerly a noble, and not the least one amongst the magnates of Ireland, who had incurred an indelible stain by the treacherous murder of Earl Richard Marshal, and who was now an exile, and a wretched and proscribed man, having been expelled from Scotland, banished from England, and disinherited in Ireland, after the ignominious death of his son and the loss of all his friends, was himself taken from amongst us; thus finally ending so many deaths by his own.

Master Martin complains to the pope.

Master Martin in the mean time had come to the pope, and given him a full account of all the events above described; at hearing which, his holiness ground his teeth, and broke into a violent rage. And recollecting that the kings of France and Arragon had refused him ingress into their territories, and also that the king of England would not suffer him to go to England, but also, what was worse, had cursed his messenger, and ignominously expelled him from England; he said in a voice which shrieked with vehement rage, and with a scowling brow, and wrinkling his nostrils, "It is expedient for us to make terms with your prince, in order to crush these petty princes, who are kicking against us; for when the dragon is crushed or pacified, the little serpents will be easily trodden under-foot". This saying was


soon published abroad, and caused great indignation in the hearts of many.

The king of England prepares for an expedition into Wales.

Just before the commencement of July, the king, by his royal letters, summoned and convoked all the earls, barons, knights, and other nobles of England, who owed him military service, to follow him into Wales, whither he was about to set out, being unable as well as unwilling any longer patiently to endure the sudden incursions and outbreaks of the Welsh; at the same time, he made preparations himself to join the expedition to invade their territories, attended by a large body of knights. He therefore came to St. Paul's church, at London, to take leave of the citizens of London, and all who might be assembled there.

How William, bishop elect of Coventry, resigned his claim.

In these days, whilst the revolution of time was dragging with it the revolution of events, William de Montpellier, a monk and precentor of Coventry, a good man, without fault or ambition, had been elected to the see of Coventry; but Master William of Drouhedale, who had been his zealous advocate in England, now dying, the king would not accept his appointment, and Master Laurence, of whom we have before spoken, continually opposed him, and laid accusations at his door; the canons of Lichfield also took a hostile part against him; and he, perceiving that the house of Coventry was suffering for his election, was bitterly grieved that ever he had been elected at all. In this strait, he went to the pope, and, intermingling his words with sighs, said,- "Holy father, I am attacked on all sides, and totally upset. The king of England with his councillors impugns my innocence in a great degree, and God knows I have never deserved such persecution; and even if I were to obtain the dignity to which I have been duly elected, I should never enjoy peace in England. I therefore resign everything into your hands: God forbid that I should any longer be a source of loss and disturbance to my church. Your paternal care must watch over that church whilst deprived of that of a pastor". The pope agreeing to this, the bishop elect took his departure, as if relieved of a heavy

60 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

load. Those who sincerely desired the salvation of the king of England's soul were grieved to see this, greatly fearing that imminent peril would accrue to themselves as well as to the kingdom, on this account as on many others, because he had taken a strong part in the matter.

Election of Roger de Weseham, dean of Lincoln, to the see of Chester.

When this became known, Master Robert de Weseham, dean of Lincoln, a man distinguished for his morals and learning, was, chiefly at the instance of the bishop of Lincoln, elected and appointed bishop of Chester, or Coventry, in the stead of the said William de Montpellier (who, as was stated, had voluntarily resigned his claim); this was done without asking the king's consent, in order that he might not, by cavilling pretexts and excuses, as was his custom, impugn or impede this election, to the injury of his soul and the prejudice of his good name. The bishop of Lincoln, then, having obtained the accomplishment of his wishes in this, entirely sequestered and alienated the church of Aylesbury, which he had long wished to do, from the deanery of Lincoln (because he believed that the dean would, owing to the rich condition of that church, assume boldness and kick against him, the bishop), and at once gave it to Master Robert Marsh; not, however, without great prejudice and injury to his church, as was evident to many, since it was known to have been united to the deanery of Lincoln from time immemorial.

Of the consecration, at Lyons, of Boniface of Provence to the archbishopric of Canterbury, of R. de Witz to the bishopric of Chichester, and of R. de Weseham to that of Chester.

In the course of this year, Boniface, a Provencal by birth, was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury by the pope at Lyons. This Boniface was a man distinguished more by his family than his learning, a man more to be feared in temporal than spiritual warfare, and was promoted to this dignity (would that it had been a fortunate promotion) by the influence of the king of England and his own niece, the queen. His brother, Philip Bal, bishop elect of Valencia, was at this same time promoted to the possession of the archbishopric of Lyons, the prior yielding to this for reasons to be stated. He obtained this great dispensation from the pope on these


conditions; namely, that he was to retain the powers of this archbishopric, with all its advantages, and the pope was to receive the revenues of his bishopric of Valencia, as also some other rich ones, which he had held in England and Flanders (which, as was evident, was done more for secular reasons than spiritual ones), and he should be freely allowed to convert them to his own use, and should also hold possession of the provostship of Bruges. This man, therefore, of handsome person, well skilled in the use of arms, and fattened on abundant revenues, was, at the council held at Lyons, made, as it were, the chief of the papal chivalry, and a powerful guardian of the peace; and the chief reason for this was, that he was distinguished by his nobility of birth. There were also two other prelates consecrated by the pope at Lyons; namely, Master Richard de Witz to the see of Chichester, and Master Robert de Weseham, dean of Lincoln, to that of Chester; both of them men of learning and good morals. Nothing was omitted in the way of appeal by the king's agent, who perseveringly exclaimed against this proceeding, because the king's assent was not asked for in the matter of their promotion; he was, however, told to his face, that as the king abused the high office and privilege granted to him, he had rendered himself unworthy of enjoying this honour. Thus, owing to the sins of the king, his own dignity as well as that of the kingdom was tottering; but when these things came to his knowledge, he ordered the property belonging to the two bishoprics of Chichester and Chester to be confiscated.

Of the addition to the king's treasury by the inquisition of the forests.

Meanwhile the king's clerk, Robert Passlow, with his colleagues, was diligently busying himself for the king's emolument; carrying off the small substance of the poor and increasing the king's money, draining the little wells of the needy with the draw-bucket of his cupidity, in order that, by the drops of those in want, the sea of those living in abundance might be increased, he unceasingly went the circuit of the different provinces of England, discharging his duties of justiciary, and especially where the forests abounded and people dwelt on the borders of them. By a diligent scrutiny, he examined into new occupations rashly made in the forests,

62 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

and any found guilty of so doing be burdened with a heavy pecuniary fine, so that he drove many from their dwellings and rendered them homeless and beggars. Amongst others, as we before stated, John de Neville was the subject of many, and being disgracefully convicted, was reduced from riches to poverty; he, however, did not receive the pity or compassion of any one. For when he returned from the Holy Land some few years back, he, by cunningly-devised and cavilling pretexts, despoiled of their property all who were subject to him, and now deservedly fell into the same snares himself. The articles of the forfeiture will be found written in the Additamenta annexed to this work.

How the king ordered the church at Westminster to be enlarged at his own enpense.

In the same year the king, inspired by the devotion which he felt towards St. Edward, ordered the church of St. Peter, at Westminster, to be enlarged. He therefore caused the old walls, with the tower on the eastern side, to be pulled down and new and handsome ones to be erected by clever architects at his own expense, and the remainder of the building on the western side to be altered to suit the other.

The pope receives handsome presents from several of the prelates.

The pope now continued to make bitter complaints to his friends, that the Roman church was almost irrecoverably oppressed, and borne down by debt; this complaint was soon wafted abroad by their means, and as on this occasion he gave it to be understood that he was in the greatest need of pecuniary aid, numbers of the prelates who abounded in the good things of this world, eager after more ample possessions, came to him asking his favour, as that of a father, and lamenting his sufferings and perils, and now that he had escaped the emperor's toils, and had arrived amongst his devoted children, they eagerly hastened to congratulate him, and offered him the most costly presents, in the shape of horses, vessels, garments, gold and silver, and all kinds of useful furniture. Amongst these, the abbat of Clugny, not wishing to be the most backward, lest he should be considered idle, by impoverishing his church, and by oppressing and despoiling his priories, presented such a large sum of money to the pope, that it caused great wonder, and with good


reason, amongst all who heard of it; and for this he was rewarded by being elevated to the dignity of bishop of Langres. Indeed we learned from the narration of the prior of Westacre, who was formerly a monk of Clugny, that the aforesaid abbat gave the pope eighty handsome palfreys, most handsomely accoutred, and to each of the cardinals, of whom there were about twelve, he gave one palfrey, and one choice sumpter-horse. The pope, preferring that this said abbat should be his stable-keeper rather than any one else, ordered him to take good care, for his use, of the horses he had given him. The said abbat also gave the pope a large amount of treasure in ready money and costly vessels. It is also stated that the abbat of Citeaux, following his example, urged on by filial devotion, and not wishing to be considered second to any one, offered presents of no less value to his afflicted and needy father, the pope. The archbishop of Rouen, too, desiring to please his holiness, and that he might not be accused of being the most backward, involved himself as well as his church in some heavy debts for this purpose, and increased the papal treasury by a no small sum of money. On hearing of these proceedings, the abbat of St. Denis, who was longing and making interest for the archiepiscopal dignity, through extortion, and by cheating his church out of many thousand pounds, which he charitably bestowed on the pope, was, as a reward, elevated to the archiepiscopal see of Rouen, through the effectual interest of his predecessor, now a cardinal. The French king, who was the special manager and patron of the church of St. Denis, on hearing of the said abbat's proceedings, compelled him to beg this money in some other quarter. Thus these two persons, the abbat and the archbishop, left their foul track behind them to fly to loftier stations, and, by impoverishing the churches which they had undertaken the rule of, originated scandal throughout many kingdoms. Shortly afterwards the archbishop of Lyons, a blameless man, now verging on old age and infirmity, resigned all his offices into the pope's hands. Other prelates now, day by day, flocked to the Roman court, vieing with one another in offering the most costly presents to the pope, which justly excited the astonishment of all who saw them, so that it was evident to many, and openly asserted by them, that the pope had come to Lyons

64 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

willingly, rather than for the purpose of fleeing from any one. To all these presents the pope opened his receiving bosom, that no contempt or pride might appear in him, and he declared that he was in need of a great deal more, continually putting forth good reasons for his necessity, since, according to his assertion (we know not whether it be true), the Roman church was indebted in the sum of more than a hundred and fifty thousand pounds of sterling money, besides interest, which amounted nearly to as much as the principal debt.

In the year of grace one thousand two hundred and fifteen, in the time of Pope Innocent the Third, a general council was held, at which it was decreed and committed to writing, that a general council ought, by right, only to be held once in fifty years, which is the period of a jubilee. In the year of the jubilee, or within the space of fifty years, a general council ought to be held, at which all abuses were to be reformed, and everything restored and confirmed in good order.

Commencement of the proceedings at the council of Lyons.

When the sun's orbit traversed its course at a higher altitude, that is, about midsummer, there assembled at Lyons, to hold this council, the venerable prelates from almost the whole extent of Christendom, or their competent proxies; the proxies also of the emperor, and many other princes and others, attended in accordance with the pope's especial mandate. A great number of prelates who did not attend gave sufficient and lawful reasons for excusing themselves through their agents, whom they sent in their places; some, for instance, of the kingdom of England, as has been more fully stated above, amongst whom the abbat of St. Alban's, who was a corpulent man and now verging on old age, sent reasonable excuses for his absence by a monk of his convent, named John de Bulum, and Master Roger de Holden, a clerk, and to the truth of his statements in this matter. Master Martin, who was at the time dwelling in England, gave this testimony, and thus he remained indemnified and peaceable, sending civil greetings to the pope by the said messengers of his. From the kingdom of Hungary, however, which had, to a great extent, been laid waste by the Tartars, none came. From Germany,


which was disturbed by a war with the emperor, but very few prelates could assemble; and from the Holy Land, which was exposed to great peril, no one at all could come to it, nor were they summoned.

By chance, however, there came thither from the Holy Land, one only, the bishop of Beyrout, the general messenger of the whole of Syria, and syndic of all the Christians in the Holy Land, who brought a lamentable account of the destruction perpetrated, by God's permission, in that country.

How the pope, on the first day, gave instructions to the council.

When the pope saw that a great many of the prelates, although not all of them, were assembled, he, on the Monday next after the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, entered the refectory of the religious brethren of St. Just, at Lyons, attended by the cardinal brethren, the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and other prelates summoned to the council, and also by the proxies of the absent prelates and princes. There were there present, besides the cardinals, two patriarchs; namely, he of Constantinople, who was also patriarch of Antioch, and he of Aquileia, who was also patriarch of Venice; the emperor of Constantinople, the count of Toulouse, and, as proxies from England, Earl Bigod with some of his fellow nobles, and a hundred and forty archbishops and bishops. The patriarch of Constantinople then set forth the condition and necessities of his church, declaring that he formerly had more than thirty suffragans under him, of whom there now remained but three. He added, moreover, that the Greeks and some other enemies to the Roman church had already taken forcible possession of the whole empire of Romania, almost up to the gates of Constantinople; that they obeyed the Roman church in nothing, but in their detestation of it opposed it by every hostile means in their power: that, owing to this, grief and confusion was impending over all Christians, as his said church was the first privileged one, and deserved to be more honoured than others. For, in the first place, it was a fact, that St. Peter, in time of old, abode at Antioch (which city was subject to the empire or kingdom of the Greeks), and had put to confusion and flight therefrom Simon Magus and other heretics. On this the pope preserved silence. Afterwards was

66 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

preached a true sermon, worthy of all acceptation, concerning the canonization of St. Edmund, formerly archbishop of Canterbury, whom the Lord had rendered famous by the most manifest miracles; to the truth of which assertion eight archbishops and about twenty bishops bore evidence, and earnestly begged that he should be canonized with greater solemnities at this council. To this, however, the pope was adverse, not by his own inclination, but urged thereto by the envious spirit of others, and replied, "Some arduous matters concerning the Church now press upon us, which do not admit of delay, therefore this matter ought to remain suspended for a time; however, whilst we are alive, he shall never hereafter be doomed to neglect; and we rejoice in the Lord, and give abundant thanks to him, that God and the whole world bear testimony to his holiness and virtues". There was also present at the council, as an agent from the emperor Frederick, Thaddeus de Sessa, a man of prudence and singular eloquence, a knight and doctor of law, and the judge of the imperial palace, who came to answer boldly as well as carefully for his lord. To make peace with the pope, and to re-establish their former friendship, he confidently offered to recall the whole of Romania, that is, the empire of Greece, to the unity of the Roman church, and to oppose in person, as a faithful soldier of Christ, the Tartars, Chorosmins, Saracens, and other enemies and despisers of the Church; also that, as far as he was able, he would, at his own expense and in person, re-establish the condition of the Holy Land, now exposed to such great and imminent peril; and at the same time restore to the Roman church the possessions he had taken from it, and also give full satisfaction to it. In reply to all these offers, the pope exclaimed, "Oh, how many and what great promises, never and in no way fulfilled, or to be fulfilled. And now it is evident that these promises are made in order that, by deceiving and breaking up the council, the axe, which is now laid at the root, may be turned aside by delay. Let him observe the terms of peace lately sworn to on his soul, according to the purport of his given oath, and I agree to his offers. But -

Quo teneam nodo mutantem Protea vultus.
[How shall I bind this ever-changing Proteus?]


If I were now to grant his request, and he should choose to retract from his agreement, who would be security for him to compel him, if he shrunk from the performance of his compact"? On Thaddeus promising that the two kings of France and England would be security in this matter, the pope replied, "We do not choose to accept of them; for if he were at any future time to modify the bargain, or entirely annul it (and we expect no other result, from his having frequently done so), we should be obliged to animadvert on them; and the Church would have three enemies, who are exceeded by none - indeed, without equals - in secular power". As the arguments of Thaddeus were not sufficient to answer this, and as there was not sufficient time, he observed a melancholy silence.

Of the bad news from the Holy Land, which was published in the council.

Walleran, bishop of Beyrout, who had endured the troubles of a journey six months amidst the perils of the sea, and one by land, in order, as has been stated above, to bring word of the calamities of the Holy Land, and to ask counsel and assistance, now ordered Arnulph, one of the Preacher brethren, publicly to read the letters which the nobles left in the Holy Land had sent to all the Christians of the West. These letters have been inserted in a former part of this work; and their mournful contents now excited all who heard them to tears, and not without good reason.

The proceedings on the fourth day of the week.

On the following Wednesday, the pope, clad in his pontifical robes, entered the church of St. John, attended by all the other prelates above mentioned, also dressed in such festive robes as pertained to each. After an invocation of the Holy Spirit, followed by the Litany, and other prayers having been duly read, the pope preached a sermon, prefacing it with the following text:- "Oh, all ye who pass by the way, attend, and see if there is any grief like my grief". He then proceeded with an eloquent sermon, in which he compared his five principal griefs to the five wounds of the Crucified One. One of these griefs was the cruelty of the inhuman Tartars, who were devastating Christendom; another was the schism of the church of Romania,

68 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

that is, the Greek church, which had, in our times, only a few years back, been torn away from the bosom of its mother, as if she were a stepmother; another grief was caused by the creeping in of new heresies, namely, those of the Paterins, Bugarians, Jovinians, and other schismatic and erroneous sects, which had by degrees polluted many cities of Christendom, and especially of Lombardy. Another cause of grief originated with the Holy Land, where the detestable Chorosmins had levelled to the ground and utterly destroyed the houses of the Templars and Hospitallers, the city of Jerusalem, and many other Clmstian cities, and caused a great effusion of Christian blood, even to a general massacre. And another grief was caused by the prince, that is, the emperor, who, although he was bound to be the chief manager of secular affairs and protector of the Church, was now become an active and powerful enemy of the Church of Christ, indeed its chief one, and an open opposer of its ministers.

The pope then, proceeding with these subjects as far as seemed expedient, wholesomely touched all his hearers with grief, for their eyes poured forth abundance of tears, and their sighs broke in on his discourse; and at the conclusion of his sermon he set forth the enormities of the emperor Frederick, namely, heresy and sacrilege. Amongst other sins of his, he stated that he had built a new, large, and powerful city in Christendom, and peopled it with Saracens, using, or rather abusing, their customs and superstitions, and rejecting all Christian counsel and religion; that he had contracted, as his holiness asserted, a familiar friendship with the sultan of Babylon and some other Saracen princes; that he was distracted and led away by obscene allurements, and shamelessly polluted himself by connection with Saracen women, or rather harlots, indiscriminately. He imputed manifold acts of perjury to him, and that, without any regard to truth, he never kept his agreements, nor in any way fulfilled his promises; concerning which accusations he, in order the more strongly to convince his hearers, showed many and manifold letters under the golden seal of the emperor, by which he clearly proved him guilty of perjury. Thaddeus then, rising undismayed before the whole assembly, contradicted these words of the pope, and showed letters,


under the pope's bull, in reply, which appeared flatly to contradict the ones previously shown by the pope. However, on a diligent inspection of the contents of the letters on both sides, which it would be too tedious to elucidate and demonstrate fully in this chapter, they did not positively contradict one another, as the pope's letters were conditional ones, and the emperor's were positive; and the breach of faith appeared to be on the part of the emperor, who, although he had positively promised everything, yet had never fulfilled anything according to his promises. To this Thaddeus strenuously endeavoured to reply by various arguments, apparently at least well grounded, in order to clear his lord the emperor from the charges; and showed other letters from the pope in reply, declaring that what was contained in them had not been observed, and therefore that the emperor was not bound to abide by his promises. To the charge of heresy made against the emperor, he replied as follows, looking round on all present, as if addressing all:- "My lords, on this matter of accusation, which is a most serious one, no one can be fully convinced, unless the emperor himself were present, that what is locked up in the secret recesses of his own bosom might be elicited from his own mouth; but that he is not a heretic a probable proof may be adduced; for he does not allow any usurer to dwell in his empire or his realms; thus throwing an accusation in the teeth of the Roman court, which it is clear is much oppressed with this vice. In reply to the charge made against the emperor of holding a special and suspicious familiarity with the sultan of Babylon and some other Saracens, whom he allows to dwell in his territory, he declares that this was done voluntarily and from motives of prudence, to check the rebellious proceedings and insolence of certain people subject by right to him, and to quell sedition. In his expeditions he employs them, as he thinks that any misfortune which happens to them will not be lamented by any Christian, and by so doing also he spares the useless effusion of Christian blood. He does not indulge in connection with Saracen harlots - who can prove it? but he amuses himself with the jests and certain performances of some women, whom he has, however, now dismissed, never to return, because they became a source of suspicion". When Thaddeus had concluded his speech, he begged for some short

70 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

time of respite to be allowed him, that he might be able to send word to the emperor, and to use effectual means to persuade him to come in person to the council, which expected him, or else to grant him some further powers. To this the pope replied, "God forbid; I fear the snares which I have already had some difficulty to escape; and if he comes, I will depart; I do not wish for blood, and I do not feel myself fit or ready for martyrdom, or for imprisonment". On the following day, however, at the instance of the proxies of the French and English kings, who grieved for the peril and disgrace of such a great prince, and especially of the English king's proxies, owing to the relationship and the alliance contracted between their lord and the emperor, a respite of a fortnight was granted to Thaddeus, much to the injury of the many who were waiting at Lyons. When these things were told to the emperor, he is reported to have said, in great trouble of mind, "I see as clear as the light that the pope is aiming with all his efforts at my degradation. He is stimulated by an eager desire and an itching to revenge himself on me, because I caused his relatives, Genoese pirates, old and open enemies of the empire, to be seized at sea and imprisoned, together with the prelates, who were their leaders and protectors. For it is evident that he has convoked the council for no other purpose: and it is not becoming for the holy empire to abide by the decision of a synod, especially one hostile to it". When it came to the knowledge of the pope, and of the whole community assembled, that the emperor had spoken thus, and refused to attend to or abide by their decision, many withdrew their favour from him who had heretofore vied with one another in supporting him, the English especially being greatly blamed for their taking his part. Most severely and most bitterly, then, was the emperor Frederick, in full council, accused by the inhabitants of the four quarters of the world, as a contumacious rebel against the whole Church; and one archbishop arose, and more earnestly than the rest accused him of the enormous crime of treason, in the matter of the seizure of the aforesaid prelates, and other heavy charges. On this, however, Thaddeus, who now stood almost alone, replied on the emperors behalf, and, looking on his accuser, said, "No confidence is to be reposed in you, and yet your words must not be passed


by in silence; for you are the son of a traitor, legally convicted at the court of my lord the emperor, and hung; and you, following his steps, endeavour to take after your father in everything". At this the accuser was silenced, and dared not, nor was he allowed, to utter another word. In the same manner, also, Master Thaddeus prudently but boldly contradicted and refuted the accusations of some others. The discourse was, however, taken up with renewed spirit by a great number of the relations and friends of those who had been drowned or imprisoned, who reproached the emperor for the aforesaid seizure the more bitterly and the more boldly, as they saw that he was declining in favour; to whom Thaddeus replied, "My lord is truly sorry for that affair, which happened by chance and contrary to his intentions; but he could not, as may be well known, in a sudden and fierce engagement by sea, separate those prelates from his enemies, so as to prevent them from being indiscriminately involved with his enemies; but if my lord the emperor had been there, he would have used his utmost efforts for their preservation". To this the pope replied, "After their seizure why did he not allow the innocent, although oppressed by manifold injuries, to depart free, and retain only the others"? Thaddeus replied, "It must be remembered that the form of the summons was altered, as well as of the meeting of the prelates summoned to the council held in the time of Pope Gregory, and this alteration was for the worse; and the emperor, unchangeable as his feelings are, was justly exasperated. For that the pope, although he ought only to have convoked those who were summoned, called together the open enemies of the empire, laymen, forsooth, supported by an armed band, and amongst them the count of Provence and others, as is plainly shown in the letter to the king of England, which we have given above. And it is clear that they were summoned, not on account of their wisdom, or for the purpose of arranging a peace, but rather to promote sedition. Thereupon, my lord the emperor sent letters to England as well as to other countries, begging the prelates in a friendly way not to come to such a treacherous council, warning them beforehand, that, if they did come with the enemies of himself and the empire, they would be attacked; he also refused them safe transit through his dominions, and civilly

72 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

forewarned them of the impending danger. Wherefore the Lord justly delivered them into the hands of him they had despised. Yet, angered as he was, he remembered mercy, and, softened by the counsels of his faithful advisers, wished to dismiss those prelates, and other unwarlike persons, in peace, when, lo! the bishop of Preneste, and some other saucy prelates, heaping threat upon threat, although prisoners, hesitated not to excommunicate the emperor to his face, heedless of that salutary counsel, 'Himible yourselves to the hand of power'. Thus, from being rebels they became harmless, and even imbecile, and, from being friends, enemies, and deserved imprisonment". The pope replied, "Your lord the emperor ought to have been convinced, unless he distrusted his own cause, that such a large assembly of such good men would rather have released than bound him, if he deserved to be released; but from his proceedings it plainly appears that his conscience gnawed him, and the offence of which he was guilty wounded him". To this Thaddeus replied, "How could my lord expect, at the council where Pope Gregory, his chief enemy, presided, to find those favourable to him who were confederated with his enemies, when he saw them kicking against him and threatening him when prisoners"? The pope answered, "Although one, by rebuking him, had forfeited his favour, why did he involve the other innocent ones in the common calamity? Through his manifold deserts, his ignominious and complete deposition is imminent". When the English heard this, they cried out on behalf of his children, exclaiming against the son's being made to suffer for the iniquities of the father, and the whole river being contaminated owing to its spring. At the third sitting of the council, Thaddeus appeared before it to answer and make an appeal on the emperor's behalf; for he was grieved and alarmed at his peril, and especially because the daughter of the duke of Austria was either married or about to be immediately married to the emperor; and if the danger of deposition, in addition to excommunication, were impending over him, she would shun his embraces with abhorrence. But as he was not listened to when he began to plead various excuses on the emperor's behalf, he appealed to the next general council to be held; for neither did all the prelates, nor their proxies, nor those of the princes, appear at the


present one. To this appeal the pope replied, "The general council of the many patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and other nobles from various parts of the world, who have all been waiting for your lord the emperor to humble himself, is fully satisfied; those who are absent are prevented from attending by becoming ensnared in the toils laid by your master. Therefore it is not proper for the sentence of deposition, which is to be pronounced against him, to be any longer retarded, lest he should appear to gain advantage from his malice; as deceit ought not to profit any one".

The complaint made by agents of the community of England at the council of Lyons.

When the before-named agents of the English community had taken their seats in the council, Master William de Poweric, their spokesman, rose, and, in the name of the whole English community, made a serious complaint of the oppressions practised in that kingdom, setting them forth in an eloquent speech; namely, that in time of war an injurious tribute had been extorted by the Roman court, to which the ancestors of the nobles of the kingdom had never consented, nor did they themselves now consent to it, neither would they for the future; for which they now asked justice and relief to be afforded them. To this demand the pope answered not a word, nor did he even raise his eyes; and, after a short silence, the said William gave an account of the manifold extortions of revenues in England practised by the Roman court, at the same time showing the following letter:-

Letter from, the community of England on the extortions of the Roman court.

"To the reverend father in Christ Innocent, by the grace of God, supreme pontiff, the nobles and the general community of England, their commendation, and kisses to his blessed feet.- Our mother the Roman church we regard and love with our whole heart, as we ought to do; and with all possible affection we aim at the increase and advancement of its honour; with it we ought to have a refuge at proper times, that the oppressive sorrow of the son may be alleviated by the consolation of the mother. And this comfort the mother is bound to afford to the son the more mildly and

74 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

easily, as, in return for the nourishment of her maternal kindness, she requires the son's gratitude and devotion. The mother, indeed, cannot be ignorant of the gratitude which for many years past the kingdom of England has shown to her; granting proper and fruitful supplies for its own exaltation, and for its greater security, in order that by these means an alliance of affection may be more firmly established between the Church and the said kingdom. This supply, in process of time, was called 'Peter's pence'. The said Church, however, was not satisfied with assistance of this kind, but in later times, both by her legates and by other repeated messengers, asked assistance in divers ways in the aforesaid kingdom, which assistance was freely and liberally given by her devoted sons, as it were embracing their mother with the arms of sincere affection. We believe, also, that your holiness is not ignorant that our ancestors, as true Catholics, alike loving and fearing God, and desiring to insure the salvation of their souls, and those of their ancestors, as well as their posterity, founded monasteries, and enriched them out of their own possessions, both with demesne lands and the patronage of churches, in order that religious men, laudably fulfilling their religious duties in those monasteries, and diligently serving the Most High, might enjoy peace and full secmity, as is meet in the service of religion, receiving the necessary means of support, such as befitted their religious duties, from the said domains; and that their clerks might hold the churches under their patronage, and fulfil the labours outside, and, adhering to the second branch of religion, might protect them from the incursions of others. Wherefore it is not without great annoyance and intolerable injury to us, that the aforesaid religious men should be in any way defrauded of their rights of patronage and collation to churches. But now, by you and your predecessors, having no consideration, besides the aforesaid supplies, Italians (of whom there is an almost endless number) are now enriched on the churches belonging to the patronage of those very religious men, who are called the rectors of the churches, thus leaving those whom they ought to defend entirely unprotected, giving no care to the souls of the people, but allowing these most rapacious wolves to disperse the flock, and carry off the sheep. Hence they can say with truth,


that these persons are not good shepherds, as they do not know their sheep, neither have the sheep any knowledge of the shepherd. They do not practise hospitality or the bestowal of alms enjoined on the Church, but they only receive the fruits to carry them out of the kingdom, impoverishing it in no slight degree, by possessing themselves of its revenues, by which our brothers, nephews, and other relations, well-deserving men of the said kingdom, ought to be benefited; and they both could and would compassionately and piously put in practice the said works of charity, and several others, and would in person serve the said churches, that, according to the words of Paul, those who serve the altar may live by the altar; but they, urged by necessity, are now become laymen and exiles. But in order that the truth may be known to you, these Italians, receiving sixty thousand marks and more annually in England, besides divers other receipts, carry off more clear gain in revenues from the kingdom than the king himself, who is the protector of the Church, and holds the reins of government in the kingdom. Moreover, we hoped that, after your creation (and we still hope the same, as we repose confidence in you), by the intervention of your paternal compassion, we should rejoice in the re-establishment, during your time, of our aforesaid almsgiving in its former proper condition".

"We cannot, however, pass over in silence our own oppressions; for we are not only injured, but oppressed beyond measure. In the first place, Master Martin, who lately came into the kingdom, without the king's permission, invested with greater powers than we ever remember any legate asked for by the king to have had before (although not possessing the insignia of the legateship, yet performing the manifold duties of that office), is daily putting forth new and hitherto unheard-of powers, and, in his excess of power, is continually making encroachments. He has bestowed some vacant benefices, with thirty marks and more, annually, on some Italians; and when they die, others will be appointed in their places, without the knowledge of the patrons; and thus are the latter cheated of their right of gift. Even more, also, does the said Master Martin attempt to assign similar benefices, when they happen to be vacant, to divers persons; and reserves to the Apostolic See the right of gift of some;

76 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

and, moreover, extorts immoderate pensions from religions men, pronouncing sentences of excommunication and interdict in all directions against gainsayers and opposers, to the great risk and peril of their souls. Inasmuch, therefore, as the said Master Martin, to the great disturbance of the whole kingdom, exercises the said jurisdiction, which we cannot believe to have emanated from you knowingly, because he discharges higher duties than we ever remember a legate to have discharged before, which greatly detracts from the privilege especially granted to his majesty the king, by the Apostolic See, by which it is decreed that no one shall fill the office of legate in England, unless especially asked for by the king; we therefore, with all possible humility and devotion, beg of your holiness, inasmuch as the affectionate father is bound to extend the hand of compassion to relieve the oppression of the children, by an effectual and seasonable assistance, soon to relieve us, in your paternal kindness, from the above-mentioned injuries and oppressions. For although our king, who is a true Catholic, and zealously attends to his reliogious duties, without considering the wasting away of his body, wishes, in the performance of his duty to Jesus Christ, to reverence the Apostolic See, and desires to promote an increase of honour and advantage to the Roman church, as its well-beloved son ought, but at the same time preserving the royal rights and dignities; yet we, who endure the labour and heat of the day in his service, and whose duty it is, in conjunction with the said king, to see to the preservation of the kingdom, cannot endure with patience these said oppressions, detestable alike to God and man, and such unendurable burdens; and, by God's grace, we will no longer endure them, through the interposition of your affectionate assistance, which we hope and trust to receive speedily and opportunely. May it therefore please your holiness to give a favourable ear to our entreaties, that you may deservedly obtain special thanks from the nobles and the general community of the kingdom of England, as your most beloved sons in Christ".

The pope delays giving a reply to the ambassadors from England.

Although this letter had been read and published openly amidst a general silence, the pope did not reply, because, he


asserted, such a difficult matter required prolonged deliberation; he therefore postponed giving a reply for a time; and, although the aforesaid nobles, the special messengers, vehemently urged him to do so at once, he would not accede, but promised he would do so at no distant period. In addition to the former complaints, also, the said messengers added another heavy one; namely, of the virulent oppressions, intolerable injuries, and shameless exactions which were practised, owing to that hated additional clause so frequently inserted in the papal letters, "Notwithstanding", etc., etc.

But the pope was intent on matters of greater importance; and although Master Thaddeus, the emperor's agent, eloquently pleaded against it, now, without any hesitation, dissimulation, or delay, he thundered forth the sentence of excommunication against the emperor Frederick in full council, to the amazement and dread of all his hearers.

How the pope excommunicated the emperor Frederick at the council of Lyons.

"Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, etc.- In the presence of the sacred council, in lasting memory of the event, and for the exaltation of the Apostolic See, we, who, unworthy as we are, have been raised to office by the dispensation of the Divine Majesty, ought to give our sedulous and watchful attention to the care of all Christians, and with the eye of deep consideration to distinguish the acts and words of each and every one, and to weigh them in the scale of prudent deliberation, in order that we may exalt to becoming favour those whom a strict examination may prove to be worthy of it, and may inflict due punishment, according to the nature of their fault, on all those whom we find guilty or culpable in any way, always weighing their merits, and reward with an equal scale, repaying to each the amount of reward or punishment according to the nature of his works, whether good or bad. Whereas the commotions of protracted wars have long disturbed some provinces and countries professing Christianity, we, desiring with our whole heart to restore tranquillity and peace to the holy Church of God, and to all Christians in general, considered it worth our while to send special messengers to the chief secular prince, who was the author of this dissension and trouble, and who had been, for his excesses, excommunicated

78 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

by our predecessor, Pope Gregory, of happy memory; we accordingly sent on our behalf men high in authority, namely, our venerable brother P., abbat of Albano, at that time archbishop of Rouen; W., then bishop of Sabina, but formerly of Modena; and our well-beloved son William, cardinal-priest of the church of the Twelve Apostles, at that time abbat of St. Facundus, all of whom were inspired with zeal for the salvation of the said prince. Through them we stated that we and our brethren, as far as lay in our power, endeavoured to be at peace with him in every way, as we were ready to be with all men, and we wished to allow peace and tranquillity to him and to the whole world. And as a restoration of the prelates, clerks, and all others whom he was detaining prisoners, and also of all the clerks as well as laymen whom he had taken in the galleys, would be very conducive to a peace and reconciliation, we, by the same messengers, asked and demanded of him to restore them to liberty (as he, as well as his messengers, had promised to our said predecessor, before we were called to the apostolic office). And we moreover declared that the said messengers were prepared, on our behalf, to hear his proposals for, and to arrange terms of peace, and also to listen to any offers of satisfaction which he, the said piince, might choose to make in the matter of all on whose account he was excommunicated. Besides this, that even if the Church had injured him in any improper way (which she did not believe she had), she was prepared to make amends, and re-establish him in his proper condition; and if he should say that the Church, or that we ourselves, had injured him in any way contrary to justice, that we were ready to summon kings, prelates, and chiefs, ecclesiastics as well as laymen, to assemble, either personally or by their special messengers, in some safe place; and that the Church was prepared, according to the decision of the council, to give him satisfaction, if it had injured him in any way, and to revoke any sentence of excommunication which it had pronounced against him unjustly, and to treat him with all kindness and compassion, as far as could be granted compatibly with its reverence to God and its own honour; and also to receive satisfaction from him for the injuries and offences committed against the said Church by him, or his followers through him. That


the Church also wished to allow all his friends and adherents to be at peace, and to enjoy full security, so that they might never at any future time undergo any risk or peril on this account. But although we thus endeavoured by our paternal admonitions and by general entreaties to urge him to peace, the said prince, imitating the hard-heartedness of Pharaoh, and stopping his ears like a snake, in his haughty obstinacy and obdurate elation and pride, despised and rejected our entreaties and warnings in this matter. And although, in process of time, in the next year, on the day of our Lord's Supper last past, in presence of us and our brother cardinals, and also of our well-beloved son in Christ the illustrious emperor of Constantinople, a large assemblage of prelates, the oldest and wisest of the senators and people of Rome, and of a multitude of others, who had assembled at the Apostolic See on that day, on account of its solemnity, from various parts of the world, he, the said prince, through the noble count of Toulouse, and Master Peter de Vinea, and Thaddeus de Sessa, judges of his court, and his agents under orders from him in this matter, gave a solemn oath that he would abide by our commands and those of the Church, yet afterwards he did not fulfil what he had sworn to. Indeed, it is probably believed, and is gathered from his after-proceedings, that he made that oath for the purpose of deceiving, rather than obeying, the Church, since, although a year and more has now elapsed, he could neither be recalled to the bosom of the Church, nor has he troubled himself to give satisfaction to her for the injuries and losses suffered by her from him, although frequently asked to do so. Wherefore, as we are neither willing nor able, without serious offence to Jesus Christ, any longer to tolerate his iniquities and offences, we are in conscience compelled to proceed against him".

"To be silent for the present on his other crimes and iniquities, he has committed four most heavy offences, which cannot be excused by any palliation, for, often as he has made oath to observe the peace formerly re-established between the Church and the empire, he has rashly broken it. He has also committed sacrilege, in causing the capture of the cardinals of the holy Roman church, the prelates and clerks of other churches, religious men, and seculars, who

60 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

were coming to the council which our said predecessor had thought proper to convoke. He is also suspected of heresy; not on dubious and light grounds, but by evident proofs; and that he has committed many acts of perjury is sufficiently clear, for when formerly he was staying in Sicily, before he was elected to the imperial dignity, he, in the presence of G., cardinal-deacon of St. Theodore, of good memory, the legate of the Apostolic See, gave an oath of allegiance to our predecessor Pope Innocent, of happy memory, and to his successors, and also to the church of Rome, in consideration of the cession of the kingdom of Sicily to him by the said Church; and, as is reported, he, after he had been elected to the said dignity, and had come to the city, renewed that oath before the said Innocent and his brother cardinals, and in the presence of many others, and did legal homage to the said pope with uplifted hands. After this, when he was in Germany, he, in the presence of the princes and nobles of the empire, made oath to preserve to the said Pope Innocent, and, at his decease, to Pope Honorius, our predecessor, and to his successors, and to protect in all good faith, as far as lay in his power, the honours, rights, and possessions of the Roman church; also, that whatever came into his hands he would restore to it without any opposition; the said possessions being expressly named in the terms of this oath, which he afterwards confirmed as soon as he obtained the crown of the empire. But of these three oaths, he has proved himself a daring transgressor and violator; thus incurring the stain of treachery and the charge of treason. For he sent to the cardinal brethren letters containing threats against our predecessor Gregory and his said brethren, and, as appears by the letters then sent by him, presumed to defame the said Gregory amongst his said brethren, and, as is reported, by letters of a similar purport, to slander him in manifold ways throughout the whole world. He also ordered the persons of our venerable brother Otto, bishop of Porto, at that time cardinal-deacon of St. Nicholas in the Tullian prison, and of J., bishop of Preneste, of good memory, the legates of the Apostolic See, and high members of the Roman church, to be seized on; and, after depriving them of all their goods, and several times carrying them ignominiously about through divers places, committed them


to prison. He has moreover endeavoured with all his power to diminish, or to deprive the Church altogether of, the privilege which our Lord Jesus Christ granted to St. Peter and to his successors; namely, that, 'Whatever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatever ye shall loose on earth, shall be also loosed in heaven', (in which privilege rests the power and authority of the Roman church); and, writing word that he did not regard the sentence of excommunication pronounced against him by our predecessor, Pope Gregory, he, despising the keys of the Church, not only did not observe it himself, but also, by means of his officials, compelled others not to observe that sentence, or others, of excommunication and interdict, which he himself altogether despised. The possessions also of the Roman church, namely the Marsh and the duchy of Benevento (the walls and towers of which he caused to be destroyed), and other possessions which she held in parts of Tuscany and Lombardy, and some other places, with a few exceptions, he dared to occupy, and still holds possession of them. And as if it was not sufficient that, by presuming so to act, he was manifestly violating the aforesaid oaths, he, either himself or by his officials, compelled the inhabitants of those possessions to take an oath, absolved them, although he had no power by right to do so, from the oath of fealty, by which they were, de facto, bound to the Church, and, after making them abjure the said oath of fealty, he compelled them to make oaths of allegiance to himself. That he has proved himself a violator of the peace, is plainly evident. For formerly, during the peace which had been re-established between the Church and him, he made oath, before John de Abbeville, of good memory, bishop of Salisbury, and Master Thomasius, then a cardinal priest of St. Sabina, and in the presence of many other prelates, princes, and barons, that he would strictly and unconditionally abide by, and be obedient to, the commands of the Church, in the matters on account of which he had been excommunicated, the causes of that excommunication having been duly explained to him; he also, at the same time, through the count of Acerra, made oath on his soul, that he would forgive all offence and remit all punishment to the inhabitants of Germany, and of the kingdom of Sicily, and to all others, of whatever

82 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

condition or rank, who had adhered to the Church; that he would at no time injure them, or cause them to be injured, on account of their having adhered to the Church; yet afterwards, not feeling the least shame at being involved in such perjuries, he failed in observing this peace and these oaths of his. For some of these very people aforesaid, nobles as well as others, he afterwards caused to be seized and imprisoned, and, after despoiling them of all their goods, also incarcerated their wives and children; and, besides this, contrary to the promise which he had given to the said J., bishop of Sabina, and Cardinal Thomasius, he irreverently invaded the Church's lands, although the aforesaid prelates had, in his presence, promulgated sentence of excommunication against him, if he should at any future time in any way contravene the aforesaid articles and conditions. The same prelates, by the authority granted to them by the Apostolic See, forbade him, either himself or by means of any one else, to prevent nominations, elections, and confirmations to churches and monasteries from being freely made in the aforesaid kingdom for the future, in accordance with a decree of the general council; and they also ordered that no one should from that time impose talliages or contributions on the ecclesiastics in that kingdom, or on their goods and possessions, and that no clerk or ecclesiastic in that kingdom should be thereafter convened before a secular judge in any civil or criminal cause, unless the matter in dispute was a civil question concerning fees; they also enjoined on him to give proper satisfaction to the Templars, Hospitallers, and other ecclesiastics, for the injuries and losses done to them; yet all these commands he refused to fulfil. It is also evident that there are eleven archiepiscopal sees, and a great many episcopal sees, as well as abbacies and other churches, at present vacant in the aforesaid kingdom, and that they have, through his means, as is clearly evident, been for a long time destitute of the management of prelates, to the great injury of the churches themselves, and to the peril of many souls; and although perhaps in some churches of that kingdom elections are made by the chapters, yet, because by them clerks who are their friends have been elected, it may probably be concluded that they have not the means of making a free election. He has not only caused the substance and goods of the churches of the said kingdom to be taken


possession of at his pleasure, but has carried off the crosses, chalices, thuribles, and other holy treasures and silk cloths belonging to them, as if a despiser of the divine worship; however, it is stated that they have been, in part, restored to the said churches, but a certain sum has been previously demanded for them. Clerks are oppressed in manifold ways by collections and talliages, and not only are they dragged before a secular tribunal, but even, as it is reported, are compelled to undergo the ordeal of single combat; they are imprisoned, slain, and tortured on gibbets, to the confusion and disgrace of the whole clerical order. No reparation has been made to the Templars, Hospitallers, and other ecclesiastical persons for the damage and injuries done to them. That he is guilty of sacrilege is certain; for when the aforesaid bishops of Portua and Preneste, and several prelates and clerks of the churches, as well as religious men and seculars, were coming by water to the Apostolic See, for the purpose af attending the council (which he, the emperor, had asked to be convoked), all the roads of his territory were altogether stopped by his command; and having sent his son Henry with a number of galleys, and he lying in wait for them near the sea-coast, with some others which he had procured in Tuscany, in order to discharge upon them the full force of his heavy anger, dared to lay his sacrilegious hands upon them, some of the prelates and other persons being drowned at the time of capture, some slain, and others put to flight and pursued by their enemies; the rest were deprived of ali their property, ignominiously carried about from place to place in the kingdom of Sicily, and were afterwards consigned to prison there, and some of them, worn away by sickness, and oppressed by want, have fallen away to a wretched condition. With good cause, moreover, had a suspicion of heresy arisen against him, since, after he had incurred the sentence of excommunication issued against him by the aforesaid J., bishop of Sabina, and Cardinal Thomasius, and the aforesaid Pope Gregory had pronounced an anathema upon him, and after the capture of the Roman cardinals and the prelates and clerks of the churches while on their voyage from various quarters to the Apostolic See, he despised, and still despises the keys of the Church, causing, as far as he can effect it, divine service to be performed,

84 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

or rather profaned, before him, and boldly asserting, as above stated, that he does not fear the sentences of excommunication pronounced against him by Pope Gregory. Besides, he is united by a detestable alliance with the Saracens,- has ofttimes sent messages and presents to them, and in turn received the same from them with respect and alacrity; he embraces their customs, notoriously keeping them with him in his daily service, and, after their fashion, he shamelessly appoints as guards over his wives, whom he has received from the descendants of a royal race, certain eunuchs, especially those whom he has lately caused to be castrated; and what is a more execrable offence, he, when formerly in the country beyond sea, made a kind of arrangement, or rather collusion, with the sultan, and allowed the name of Mahomet to be publicly proclaimed in the temple of the Lord day and night; and lately, in the case of the sultan of Babylon, who, by his own hands, and through his agents, had done irreparable mischief and injury to the Holy Land and its Christian inhabitants, he caused that sultan's ambassadors, in compliment of their master, as is said, to be honourably received and nobly entertained in his kingdom of Sicily".

"He also, in opposition to the Christians, abuses the pernicious and horrid rites of other infidels, and, entering into an alliance of friendship with those who wickedly pay little respect to and despise the Apostolic See, and have seceded from the unity of the Church, he, laying aside all respect to the Christian religion, caused, as is positively asserted, the duke of Bavaria, of illustrious memory, a special and devoted ally of the Roman church, to be murdered by the assassins. He has also given his daughter in marriage to Battacius, an enemy of God and the Church, who, together with his aiders, counsellors, and abettors, was solemnly expelled from the communion of the Christians by sentence of excommunication. Rejecting the proceedings and customs of Catholic princes, neglecting his own salvation and the purity of his fame, he does not employ himself in works of piety; and what is more (to be silent on his wicked and dissolute practices), although he has learnt to practise oppression to such a degree, he does not trouble himself to relieve those oppressed by injuries, by extending his hand, as a Christian prince ought, to bestow alms, although he has been eagerly aiming


at the destruction of the churches, and has crushed religious men and other ecclesiastical persons with the burden and persecution of his yoke; and it is not discovered that he ever built or founded either churches, monasteries, hospitals, or other pious places. Now these, then, are not light, but convincing grounds for suspicions of heresy being entertained against him; since civil law declares that they are contained in the list of heretics, and ought to submit to the sentences pronounced against them, who have been detected in deviating, even in a slight degree, from the judgment and rule of the Catholic religion. Besides this, the kingdom of Sicily, which is the spiritual patrimony of St. Peter, and which he, the said prince, holds in fee from the Apostolic See, has been reduced by him to such a state of emptiness and slavery, as respects both clerks and laymen, that they are ejected from their homes, and expelled the country with insults, after being deprived of all their possessions, and those who remain there, he obliges to live in a state of slavery as it were, and to insult and attack the Roman church in manifold ways, whose subjects and vassals they for the most part are. He ought, also, with good reason, to be blamed, because he has omitted, for nine years and more, to pay the annual pension of a thousand sequins, in which he is bound to the Roman church for the tenure of the said kingdom. We, therefore, having maturely and carefully deliberated with our brother cardinals and the holy council on the above-named and other nefarious deeds of his, seeing that we, undeserving as we are, hold on earth the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to us in the person of St. Peter, 'Whatever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in heaven, and, etc.', do hereby declare the above-named prince, who has rendered himself unworthy of the honours of sovereignty, and for his crimes has been deposed from his throne by God, to be bound by his sins and cast off by the Lord, and deprived of all his honours, and we do hereby sentence and deprive him, and all who are in any way bound to him by an oath of allegiance, we for ever absolve and release from that oath, and, by the apostolic authority, strictly forbid any one from obeying him, or in any way whatever attempting to obey him as an emperor or king; and we decree that any who shall henceforth give him assistance or advice, or show

86 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

favour to him, as an emperor or king, shall be, ipso facto, excommunicated; and those in the empire on whom the election of an emperor devolves, may freely elect a successor in his place. With respect to the aforesaid kingdom of Sicily, we, with the advice of our brother cardinals, will make such provision for it as may seem expedient to us. Given at Lyons, the 16th of July, in the third year of our pontificate".

The emperor's agents depart in confusion.

When this letter was published in open council, it struck terror into all who heard it, as if it were flashing lightning; and Masters Thaddeus de Sessa and Walter de Ocra, and other agents of the emperor and their attendants, with exclamations of sorrow, and beating their thighs and breasts, could scarcely refrain from shedding tears; and Master Thaddeus exclaimed, "Oh! dreadful day, day of anger, calamity, and misery"! But the pope and the prelates sitting round him in council, with lighted tapers, thundered forth dreadful sentences of excommunication against the emperor Frederick, whilst his agents retreated in confusion.

Decrees for the relief of the Holy Land, and on the affairs of the cross.

The pope, being full of anxiety for the relief of the Holy Land, and concerning the affairs of the cross, made the following decrees in those matters.- "Pierced to the heart as we are at the deplorable perils of the Holy Land, and especially at those which are known to have recently happened to the Christians living there, we desire, with our whole heart, to release it, by God's assistance, from the hands of the wicked, and, with the approbation of the sacred council, we determine, by means of the Preachers and our special messengers, to intimate to all true Christians who have made arrangements to cross the sea, that they are to prepare to assume the cross, and to meet at a convenient time for this purpose, and at suitable places, whence they may proceed to the assistance of the Holy Land, attended by the divine blessing as well as that of the Apostolic See. Let the priests and other clerks who may be with the Christian army, inferior ones as well as prelates, diligently employ themselves in exhortation and prayer, teaching the people, by word as well as example, always to have the fear and love of God before


their eyes, and not to say or do anything which may offend the majesty of the eternal King. And if at any time they fall into sin, let them soon rise again by true penitence, conducting themselves with all humility, both of heart and body, observing moderation in their food as well as clothing, entirely avoiding dissension and rivalry, and dismissing all hatred and envy from them; so that, being protected by spiritual as well as temporal arms, they may fight more securely against the enemies of the faith, not, however, presuming on their own power, but trusting in the divine virtue. Let the nobles and chiefs of the army, and all who possess abundance of money and wealth, be urged by the pious warnings and exhortations of the prelates, to abstain, as they reverence Christ, on whose behalf they have assumed the sign of the cross, from all useless and superfluous expenses,- especially from those incurred by too much feasting and expensive food,- and to convert their money to the use of those persons by whose means the affairs of God may prosper; and to them, on this account, remission of their sins will be granted according to the discretion of the said prelates. To the aforesaid clerks we grant the indulgence of holding their benefices for three years in their entirety, as though they were residing in the churches; and, if necessary, they may put them on pledge during that time. In order, therefore, that this holy design may not be retarded or impeded in any way, we strictly order all the prelates, each in their own places, diligently to warn and induce those who have laid aside the cross to resume it, to sign them as well as others with that holy symbol, and those who still continue to wear it to fulfil their vows to the Lord, and, if necessary, to compel them to do so by sentences of excommunication and interdict, laying aside all excuses".

"For this purpose, that no contingencies may be omitted in the affairs of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is our will and command, that patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbats, and others who have the cure of souls, zealously preach the word of the cross to the people committed to their care, and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the one true and only God, earnestly beseech kings, princes, dukes, marquises, earls, barons, and other nobles, as also the train-bands of cities, towns, and villages, those who have not gone in person to

88 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

the assistance of the Holy Land, to supply a proper number of troops, with the necessary expenses, for three years, according to their means, for the remission of their sins; according as is expressed in the general letters which we lately sent throughout the world, and which will, for greater security, be expressed below".

Note concerning the letter.

"All these were written in the year of grace one thousand two hundred and thirty-four, preceded by an eloquent sermon".- See after death of Richard Marshall.

"In this remission we wish to be participators not only those who will provide their own ships for the expedition, but those also who employ themselves in building ships for the occasion. But to those who refuse, should there perchance be any so ungrateful to the Lord our God, let them protest on behalf of the Apostolic See, that they may know that at the last day of strict judgment they shall have to answer to us for this before an awful judge. Previously, however, bidding them consider with what conscience or what hopes of safety they will be able to appear before the only-begotten Son of God, into whose hands the Father delivered all things, if they refuse in this matter, so peculiarly their own, to serve him who was crucified for their sins, by whose gift it is they live, by whose kindness they are supported, and by whose blood they were redeemed".

"But, with the approbation of the council in general, we decree that all clerks, inferiors as well as prelates, shall contribute the twentieth part of all church revenues for the assistance of the Holy Land for three whole years, by the hands of such persons as shall be ordained by the wisdom of the Appostolic See for the purpose, excepting, however, some religious men, who may be exempted from such contribution on good grounds, and those also who have assumed, or are about to assume, the cross, and to proceed to the Holy Land in person; but we and our brother cardinals of the holy Roman church will pay a full tenth part. And we would have all people to know that they are bound to this under penalty of excommunication; so that those who knowingly practise deceit in this matter will incur the sentence of excommunication.


"And whereas, by a just dispensation, it is proper for those labouring in the service of the heavenly ruler, to enjoy a special prerogative, those who shall assume the cross shall be exempt from contributions and talliages, and from other burdens, and after they have assumed the cross, we receive their persons and property into the protection of St. Peter and ourselves, decreeing also that their property shall continue under the protection of the archbishops, bishops, and all the prelates of God's Church, proper protectors being nevertheless appointed for this especial purpose by themselves, so that their possessions may remain quiet and entire, until certain intelligence is obtained of their return or their death. And if any one shall presume to act contrary to this, he shall be restrained by the Church's censure.

"If any of those who set out on this expedition shall be bound by oath to pay any interest, we order their creditors, under the aforesaid penalty, to remit to them the oath they have made, and to desist from demanding interest. And if any of their creditors shall compel them to pay interest, we order him to be compelled to restore the same under penalty of a similar sentence. It is our order that Jews be compelled by the secular power to remit interest, and, until they shall remit it, that all communication with Christians shall be denied them by means of the sentence of excommunication. With respect to those who cannot at present pay their debts to the Jews, the secular rulers shall, by a salutary delay, make such arrangements that, from the time when they set out on the expedition until intelligence is gained either of their return or their death, they shall not incur the inconvenience of accruing interest; the Jews being compelled, after deducting all necessary expenses, to reckon the proceeds of the money pledged, which they have received in the mean time, as part of the debt; since a benefit of this kind does not seem to have much loss attending it, for, although it postpones payment, it does not do away with the debt. Besides this, the prelates of the churches who shall show themselves negligent in affording justice to those who have taken the cross, or to their families, may rest assured that they will be severely punished. Again, whereas corsairs and pirates much obstruct us in sending supplies to the Holy Land, by capturing and pillaging those going to and returning from

90 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

that country, we excommunicate them and their principal aiders and abettors, forbidding any one, if he is aware of it, under penalty of anathema, from holding any communication with them in any matter of buying or selling; and we enjoin on the governors of cities and other places to withhold and restrain those said pirates from practising such annoyances; otherwise, since to refuse to disturb the wicked is nothing less than to favour them, and whoever refrains from opposing a manifest crime is not free from suspicion of secret connivance with the perpetrator, it is our will and order, that rigorous ecclesiastical measures be put in practice by the prelates of the churches. We moreover excommunicate and anathematize those false and wicked Christians who, in opposition to Christ and Christ's people, carry arms to the Saracens, and iron and timber for their galleys; those also who sell them galleys or ships, as well as those who fill the offices of commanders in the Saracen ships, and also those who give them any advice or assistance in their engines of war, or in any other matters, to the injury of the Holy Land. We decree that such shall be mulcted of all their goods, and shall be the servants of those who seize them; and it is our order, that such sentence be publicly renewed against them on each Sunday and feast-day throughout all the cities on the sea-coast, and that the bosom of the Church shall not be open to such persons, unless they shall transmit all they have received by such a damnable traffic, and as much again of their own property, for the assistance of the Holy Land; that thus they may be punished on an impartial judgment, according to their fault; but if by chance they cannot pay this, whoever is guilty of such actions shall be punished in some other way, so as to prevent any one else from presuming on similar audacious proceedings. Moreover, we prohibit and interdict all Christians, under penalty of anathema, from transmitting their ships into the territory of the Saracens who dwell in the East within the term of four years, that by these means a greater quantity of shipping may be procured for those wishing to go to the assistance of the Holy Land, and the Saracens may be deprived of that assistance which, by these means, has been usually given to them in no slight degree. Although at various councils tournaments in general may have been interdicted under a certain


penalty, yet, inasmuch as at this time the crusade is very much impeded by them, we strictly prohibit their being held for a period of three years, under penalty of excommunication. And whereas, in order to carry out these matters, it is above all things necessary that Christian princes and nations should be at peace amongst themselves, we, by the advice of the general synod, decree that peace be observed in general throughout the whole Christian world for at least four years, and that, by the intervention of the prelates of the churches, those at variance may be induced inviolably to observe a full peace, or at least a binding truce. And if any shall refuse to acquiesce in this, they shall be compelled to it by sentence of excommunication against their persons, and interdict on their lands, unless the malice of their injuries is such that they ought not to enjoy such a peace. And if they should pay little or no regard to the Church's censure, they will have good reason to fear that, by the influence of the Church, the secular power may be brought to bear upon them, as disturbers of the affairs of the crucified one. We, therefore, by the compassion of the omnipotent God, and relying on the authority of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by that power which God has given us, unworthy as we are, of binding and loosing, grant to all those who shall enter upon this duty in their own persons, and at their own expense, full pardon of their sins, of which they shall repent and make true confession with a contrite heart, and in reward of the just we promise an increase of eternal salvation. To those also who do not go there in person, but shall nevertheless send proper persons thither at their own expense, according to their means and rank, we also grant full remission of their sins, as well as to those who shall go there in person, although at the expense of another. In this remission we wish and allow to be participators (according to the extent of their assistance and the nature of their devotion) all those who shall furnish adequate assistance to the Holy Land out of their property, or shall give opportune aid and advice on the aforesaid matters. To all those who piously aid in this work, the holy and universal synod will impart the assistance of its prayers and good wishes, that it may have due weight towards insuring their salvation.- Amen".

92 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

Concerning the sentence of excommunication.

"Judges injuriously misapply the Church's censure when they indiscreetly endeavour to tear away the innocent from the bosom of the mother Church, owing to the fault of another party, by which the person who is improperly branded is not hurt, but becomes an accusing party. Wishing, therefore, to obviate the arrogance, or rather unskilfulness, of such persons, we by these presents establish a decree, that no judge shall, before communicating with the canons, presume to excommunicate by any minor excommunication those who become participators with the man excommunicated by them, by holding conversation with him, or any other means which render them participators; saving, however, the constitutions legally promulgated against those who dare to participate in the crime of another which has been condemned".

"But if by conversation, by despising holy things, or any other means by which a participator with the excommunicated person falls under the minor sentence, he shall have incurred the penalty of the greater excommunication, in order that he may be the more easily recalled by previous atonement to obtain absolution, the judge may, after canonical communication, visit the participators with that same person with a similar censure; otherwise, excommunication will not hold good against participators, and those pronouncing the sentence will have reason to fear lawful punishment".

The punishment for contumacy in an absent person.

"If any person is litigating with another possessor concerning the holding of any dignity, parsonage, or any other ecclesiastical benefice, on account of the contumacy of the adverse party for the sake of keeping possession of the same, we decree that he shall not be put into possession, lest admission to them by these means may appear faulty. It may, however, be lawful in this case, as the Divine Presence makes up for the absence of the contumacious party, even though the matter be not brought to trial, to make a careful examination, and duly to determine the same".

No hinderance to be caused to the trial of the matter in dispute.

"The interposition, before the matter is brought to trial, of


peremptory exceptions, or any principal defence pertaining to or containing recognisance of the matter, unless the litigator shall make exception in the case of a matter adjudged, transacted, or determined, shall not obstruct or impede the trial of the matter, although the objector may say, that a reply has not been obtained, in the case where the grounds of opposition to the claimant had been made known to the defendant".

Causes not to be intrusted to deputy judges, unless in well-known places.

"In the unravelling and final settlement of the business of causes, obscurity is hateful, and to be avoided; but that there should be none about persons and places, is very expedient and commendable. In this matter, therefore, we have thought proper to decree, and most strictly to ordain, that no causes shall be intrusted by the Apostolic See, or its deputies, to any parties, unless to persons who are endued with proper qualifications, or appointed in cathedral churches or other venerable assemblies; and that such causes shall not be argued in any places but in cities, or large and distinguished places, where the number of those skilled in the law may be available. And judges, who, in opposition to this decree, shall cite either of the parties, or both, to any other places, may be disobeyed with impunity, unless the citation shall have been issued with the common consent of both parties".

No summons to be allowed to a contumacious plaintiff.

"If any plaintiff neglect to appear at the period for which he has cited his opposer, he shall be lawfully condemned to pay to the accused party, if he appear, the expenses incurred by him in the matter; and he shall not be allowed to give another summons, unless he gives sufficient security that he will appear at the period determined on".

That no one is to be dragged before different judges for different personal actions.

"Wishing by all possible means to diminish, and keep within the bounds of equity, the costs of causes in dispute, we, enlarging on the decree of Pope Innocent the Third, of happy memory, promulgated on this matter, decree and ordain, that if any one chooses to bring several personal actions against another, he shall endeavour to obtain

94 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

warrants concerning all the causes, not from several judges, but from one only; and if any one shall act contrary to this decree, he shall be deprived of all advantage of the warrants, and the proceedings obtained on the strength of them shall be invalid; otherwise he shall be condemned to pay all lawful expenses to the defendant, if he has harassed him by means of them. Also if, during the trial, the defendant shall say that the plaintiff is bound to him by a bond of recompense or covenant, if he has wished to obtain a warrant against the defendant, he shall try his right before the same judges, unless he can reject them as suspected; and whoever shall contravene this regulation, shall be similarly punished".

Of the persons who shall be compelled to appear on judgment.

"It seems not to be an ambiguous point of law, that a deputed judge, who has not received a special command from the Apostolic See for the purpose, cannot order either of the parties to appear in person before him on trial, unless it is a criminal cause, or he shall order the parties to appear personally before him for the purpose of stating the truth or making oath of their claim".

Concerning negative propositions.

"We decree and ordain, that judges shall not admit of negative testimony, which cannot be proved, unless by acknowledgment of the opposing party, when in equity they shall see expedient".

Of elections.

"Whereas the days and other circumstances of legal proceedings need no legal sanction, and amongst legal proceedings the election of pontiffs is held to be of the greatest importance, inasmuch as by it certain bonds of, as it were, spiritual marriage are contracted between the electors and the elected, we reprobate and prohibit, in elections, nominations, and scrutinies, from which the right of election emanates, all votes which are conditional, alternative, and uncertain; decreeing that all votes of this kind are to be held as if not given at all; and the election must flow from the free consent of all".


A digression relating to the princes of Germany.

"The nobles of Germany who are non-electors of the emperor, are,-

The king of Bohemia.
The duke of Lorrain.
The duke of Brunswick.
The duke of Swabia.
The landgrave of Thuringia.

The electors of the emperor are as follow:-

The duke of Lemburg.
The duke of Carinthia.
The duke of Saxony.
The count of Gueldres.


The duke of Austria.
The duke of Bavaria.
The duke of Saxony.
The duke of Brabant (who is also duke of Louvain).


The principals.- The archbishop of Cologne, and
The archbishops of Mayence and Salzburgh.

"These electors shall be taken to an island in the Rhine, and left on it by themselves; all boats shall be removed, and there they shall discuss the election of an emperor, and no one shall go to them till they are agreed in their choice. At the head of this matter shall be the archbishop of Cologne, he of Mayence the second, and he of Salzburgh the third".

To these electors most urgent warnings and entreaties were sent by the pope, that they would elect another emperor over them, and he promised them the advice and assistance of himself and the whole Church; and, in the first place, with the hope of succeeding better, he promised them fifteen thousand pounds of silver. This, however, was prevented by the overpowering dissuasions of the emperor Frederick, who was united to them by the bonds of relationship, and especially to the duke of Austria; wherefore the electors showed but little obedience to the warnings or entreaties of the pope.

That people are not to he brought more than three or four days' journey to stand trial.

"In many points of law, multitude and infinity is to be reprobated. We have therefore thought proper wisely to decree, that, according to the general clause, commencing, 'Some others, etc.', which is frequently inserted in our letters,

96 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

people shall not be brought more than three or four days' journey to trial; decreeing also, that if the protectors, whom we grant to several parties, can defend from violence and open injury those whom we intrust to their protection, they shall not have power to extend that protection to other things which require judicial examination".

No one to impede elections or nominations.

"We decree, that if any one shall impugn elections, nominations, or provisions made, by making any objection to forms or persons, and an appeal is in consequence made to us, both the party who opposes and the one who defends the appeal, as well as all in general who are concerned or connected with the cause, shall set out to the Apostolic See within a month from the time of the objection being made, either themselves in person, or shall send agents instructed in the cause. But if any party who is waited for does not appear within twenty days after the arrival of the other party, the matter of the election shall be proceeded with according to law, notwithstanding the absence of any one. And it is our will and command, that these rules be observed in dignities, parsonages, and canonicals".

The penalty on those who fail in their proofs.

"We have to add, that if any party fails in fully proving what he sets forth in the form, he shall be adjudged to pay the expenses which the other party can prove that he has incurred in this matter. And whoever shall fail in proving the objection he has made to the person of any one, he may rest assured that he will be suspended from ecclesiastical benefits for three years. And if within that time he shall intrude himself by his own rashness, he shall be in justice deprived of them for ever, without any hopes of obtaining mercy therein, unless it shall be shown by the most clear proofs that a reasonable and sufficient cause exculpates him from the fault which he has committed".

Of the duty of the legate.

"It is the duty of our office to provide for the relief of our subjects; for whilst we shake off their burdens and remove their causes of offence, we enjoy rest in their tranquillity, and are nursed by their peace. Therefore, by these presents, we decree that the legates of the Roman church,


whenever they hold the full rank of legate, whether they are sent by us or on the business of their own churches, shall assume to themselves the full duties of the legateship, and shall not by virtue of this legatine office have any power of conferring benefices, unless we shall have thought proper especially to grant this power to them. This, however, we do not mean to be observed in the case of our brethren when performing the duties of the legateship, for, as they enjoy the prerogative of honour, so we wish them to hold fuller powers".

Of the restitution of stolen goods.

"A frequent and urgent complaint sounds in our ears, that the plea of spoliation is sometimes falsely put forth in prosecuting a claim, which greatly impedes and disturbs ecclesiastical causes; for whilst the plea is urged, it happens sometimes that appeals are interposed, and thus the hearing of the principal cause is interrupted, and sometimes done away with. And moreover, as we apply our endeavours voluntarily to procure tranquillity for others, and desire to put an end to litigations, and to cut off all materials of such claims, we decree, that in civil causes, the judge shall not postpone proceeding in the principal cause on account of the plea of spoliation which is set forth by any one except the plaintiff; but if in civil causes the plea is to be set forth by the plaintiff, in criminal causes, if the accused declares that he has been despoiled by any one, he shall prove his assertion within fifteen days from the day on which the assertion was made; otherwise he shall be condemned in the expenses which the plaintiff has incurred in the mean time owing to it, judicial taxation having been previously made; and he shall also be punished in some other way, if it seem just to the judge. By the despoiled person in this case, when the charge is a criminal one, we wish to be understood him who affirms that he has been despoiled of all his substance, or the greater part thereof, by force. And according to this, it must be believed that the canons say wisely, that being naked, we ought not to contend; and being unarmed, we ought not to make opposition in a case of error; for the despoiled party has this advantage, namely that, being naked, he cannot be stripped. It is generally a matter of doubt amongst scholastics, whether, if a party that has suffered a third act of spoliation, pleads

98 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

spoliation against the accuser, a certain time ought to be allowed him by the judge, within which to claim restitution, lest perchance he should thus wish to elude every accuser; and this we think consonant with justice. And if within the time granted he does not ask restitution, and does not, when he can, bring the cause to a determination, he may from that time forward be accused, notwithstanding his demurrer of spoliation. In addition to this, we decree that spoliation of private property shall in no ways be pleaded in ecclesiastical causes, or the contrary".

Of accusations.

"With affectionate consideration the mother Church has decreed, that the plea of the greater excommunication, in whatsoever part of the trial it is put in, shall delay the suit and bar the parties; that from this the Church's censure may be more feared, the risk of excommunication may be avoided, contumacy may be checked, and excommunicated persons, whilst they are excluded from common proceedings, being overcome with shame and confusion, may be the more easily inclined to humiliation and reconciliation; but as the malice of mankind increases, what was provided as a remedy tends to their injury; for very often, when this plea is put forth in ecclesiastical causes through malice, the business is delayed and the parties are harassed by trouble and expense. Therefore, since this has crept amongst us as a common disease, we have thought fit to apply a common remedy. If, therefore, any one makes opposition on the ground of excommunication, he shall express the kind and the name of the excommunication, and he must know that he is to bring the circumstance to public notice, and must prove it by the most clear docmnents, within the space of eight days, not including the day on which it was set forth. And if he shall not prove it, the judge shall proceed in the cause without hesitation, and condemn the accused in the expenses which the plaintiff shall prove that he has incurred during those days on that account, besides taxation to be previously taken. But if afterwards, whilst judgment is pending, and the time for adducing proof arrives, the plea again be put in concerning the same excommunication or a different one, and the case be proved, the accuser shall be barred in the ensuing proceedings until he


obtains absolution, the foregoing proceedings, however, to remain in full force. Proviso, that this demurrer shall not be set forth more than twice, except when a fresh excommunication shall have arisen, or clear and ready proof of the old one be adduced. But if, after the matter is adjudged, such a plea be put forth, it shall be taken as an excuse, and the sentence which has preceded it shall not the less obtain strength, saving, however, that if the plaintiff be publicly excommunicated, and the judge shall learn this at any time, although the defendant shall not enter this plea, the judge shall, without delay, expel the plaintiff from his office".

Of the sentence and subject matter thereof.

"Since the tribunal of the eternal judge does not hold him guilty whom a judge has unjustly condemned, as witness the prophet, who says, 'Neither shall he condemn him when judgment shall be passed upon him', ecclesiastical judges must beware and take wise caution that no undue regard be had either to hatred or favour; let all fear be removed, and let no reward nor hope of reward overturn justice. But let them carry the scale in their hands, and evenly balance between the parties, that in all matters to be brought forward in the causes, especially in determining on and pronouncing sentences, they may have God alone before their eyes, imitating the example of him who, entering the tabernacle, referred the complaints of the people to the Lord, for him to decide them by his judgment. But if any ordinary ecclesiastical judge, or even a deputed one, who is prodigal of his good name, and the destroyer of his own honour, shall, contrary to the dictates of his own conscience and to justice, come to any decision to the injury of either party, through favour or for the sake of filthy lucre, he shall be suspended from performing the duties of his office for a year, and, notwithstanding this, shall be condemned to pay the injured party according to the amount of the injury. We would also have him to know, that if he intrudes himself during the time of his suspension in divine services, he will incur the charge of irregularity, according to the canonical rules, from which he can only he released by the Apostolic See; saving, however, other decrees which direct and inflict punishment on judges who give improper decisions. For it

100 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

is proper that any one who offends in so many ways should be visited with manifold punishment".

Concerning appeals.

"It is the wish of our heart to diminish litigations and to relieve our subjects from their troubles. We therefore decree, that if any one on trial or out of court shall think proper to appeal to us concerning interlocutory proceedings, or any injury done him, let him at once commit to writing the cause of appeal, and demand letters dismissory, which we order to be granted to him, and in which writing the judge shall express the cause of appeal. And when the appeal is not admitted of, or any delay is made in the matter of it out of respect to a superior, after this, time for prosecuting the appeal shall be granted to the appellant, according to the distance of the places and the nature of the business, if the appellant wishes it, and the principals shall either themselves, or by agents, demand conveyances, orders to proceed, grounds and documents relating to the cause, and let them go thus prepared to the Apostolic See; so that, if it seem expedient to us, when the matter of appeal is determined, or is dropped by consent of both parties, they shall proceed in the principal cause as far as they can and ought by right; not, however, altering the decrees which have been made of old respecting appeals made from definitive sentences. But if the appellant shall not observe the foregoing decrees, he shall be considered as non-appellant, and shall return to the decision of the former judge, and at the same time be condemned in all legitimate costs. But if the person appealed against shall neglect this statute, proceedings shall be taken against him, as a contumacious person, as far as is allowed by law, both in the expenses and in the cause itself For it is but just that the laws should rise up against him who deceives the law, the judge, and his opponent".

Of the sentence of excommunication.

"Since excommunication is meant to heal, not to kill; to correct, and not to destroy, provided, however, that he against whom it is pronounced does not despise it, the ecclesiastical judge should take great care, in pronouncing the same, to show that he follws the course of a corrector and healer. Whoever, therefore, excommunicates any one, let hime set it


forth in writing, and he must expressly add, in writing, the cause for which the sentence of excommunication was pronounced; and a copy of this writing he shall be bound, if required to do so, to deliver to the excommunicated person within a month from the day of the issuing of the sentence; and concerning this requisition, it is our will that a public instrument should be drawn up, or testimonial letters, sealed with an authentic seal, be written. If any judge shall rashly violate this decree, he shall be suspended from entering a church, and from hearing divine service, for one month; and the superior who is resorted to shall, without opposition, withdraw the sentence, and shall condemn the promulgator of it to pay all expenses, and visit him in other ways with condign punishment, in order that, from the punishment, the judges may learn how serious a thing it is to fulminate sentences of excommunication against any one without mature deliberation; and it is our will also, that these same rules should be observed in sentences of suspension and interdict. Let, however, all the prelates and judges beware that they do not incur the aforesaid penalty of suspension; for if they should ever perform divine services as formerly, when thus suspended, they will not escape the charge of irregularity, according to the canonical rules; in which case they will not be able to obtain a dispensation unless through the supreme pontiff".

On the same matter.

"It is generally a matter of doubt with some, whether, when any one demands to be absolved by a superior on giving bail, and at the same time declares that the sentence of excommunication against him is invalid, the benefit of absolution ought to be granted to him without any opposition; and whether, before this said absolution, any one who offers on trial to prove that he was excommunicated after a lawful appeal, or that a palpable error was evidently committed in the sentence, ought to be avoided in other matters, except in that of the said proof. With regard to the first matter of doubt, we decree that absolution shall not be denied to any one asking it, although the excommunicator or adversary may oppose it; in which case only three delays of eight days shall be allowed to the one who makes this statement, unless he proves what he pleads in opposition; nor shall the sentence

102 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

be withdrawn, unless sufficient satisfaction be previously given, or adequate security, to abide by the right, if a doubt of the offence is brought forward. With regard to the second question, we decree that any one who is admitted to proof shall, during the said proof, be avoided in other matters which he may have accepted as a party in the cause. But after trial he shall, nevertheless, be admitted to his duties, to nominations, elections, and other lawful proceedings". [1]

Concerning the matter of the crusade.

When these statutes were made known to the assembly, they gave satisfaction to all the wise part of the community, and in this matter, indeed, the pope deservedly obtained the thanks and favour of all in common. Yet some statutes were made before the council, some during the council, and some after it; and some decrees were wisely and prudently made at the council concerning the matter of the crusade; but when mention was made of a contribution of money, the pope was refused to his face, chiefly on account of that universally detested clause, "They shall give their assistance by the hands of those who are appointed for that purpose by the foresight of the apostles". For many times, and in manifold ways, have the faithful followers of the Church complained that they had been cheated by the Roman church of the money which they had contributed for the assistance of the Holy Land. But the other decrees, which were wisely ordained, and gave satisfaction to the hearts and ears of Christians, were written word for word according to those made by Pope Gregory in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and thirty-four; under which date will also be found a most eloquent sermon composed by Pope Gregory; and that same sermon was now repeated at this council by Pope Innocent the Fourth, as if it were a new one. His holiness also declared that he should irrevocably observe all these decrees, especially those concerning the emperor.

[1] I have translated the statutes of this council as well as lay in my power: many passages are perfectly unintelligible to me in the original, and will, it is feared, be equally so to the reader in the translation. The Latin text is, I believe, full of corruptions, and the general reader will, perhaps, be satisfied with the version given above; but those who wish to study the subject more carefully, must consult a more experienced canonist than I am.


Master Thaddeus, on hearing this, said with a sigh, "I see that there is no remedy open for this peril"; and then added, with weeping and lamentation, "Truly was that day a day of anger", as he had said before when all the prelates in full council had inverted their lighted tapers, and extinguished them when deposing the excommunicated emperor Frederick. At the end of his speech Master Thaddeus said, "From this time forth heretics will sing, the Chorosmians will reign supreme, and the Tartars will rise in their strength and prevail"; and he then returned to tell all these proceedings to the emperor. The pope then publicly said to all, "I have done my duty, now let God do what he pleases, and proceed as he wills in these matters".

How Frederick, on being deposed by the pope, crowned himself.

When the emperor Frederick heard and was made fully aware of all these proceedings he could not contain himself, but burst into a violent rage, and darting a scowling look on those who sat round him, he thundered forth, "The pope in his synod has disgraced me by depriving me of my crown. Whence arises such great audacity? whence proceeds such rash presumption? Where are my cases which contain my portable treasures"? And, on their being brought and unlocked before him by his order, he said, "See if my crowns are lost now"; then finding one, he placed it on his head, and being thus crowned he stood up, and, with threatening eyes, a dreadful voice, unrestrainable from passion, he said aloud, "I have not yet lost my crown, nor will I be deprived of it by any attacks of the pope or the synodal council, without a bloody struggle. Does his vulgar pride toss him to such heights as to enable him to hurl from the imperial dignity me, the chief prince of the world, than whom none is greater,- yea who am without an equal? In this matter my condition is ameliorated: in some things I was bound to obey, at least to respect him; but now I am released from all ties of affection and veneration, and also from the obligation of any kind of peace with him". From that time forth, therefore, he, in order to injure the pope more effectually and perseveringly, did all kinds of harm to his holiness, in his money, as well as in his friends and relations.

He, therefore, in order the more to strengthen his party,

104 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

conceived a design of marrying the daughter of the duke of Austria; and, to bring this about, he sent special messengers, with all haste, to the said duke. But when this came to the knowledge of the lady, she firmly refused all connection or marriage with the emperor Frederick until he should be absolved. This also was approved of by her father, and word was sent to the emperor to that effect, who was much ashamed at his being refused by both of them. He, however, became hardened, and endeavoured to turn the hearts of kings and princes from their devotion to, and reverence for, the Church, as well as from the prelates, especially the pope; and to effect his purpose, he wrote a very reprehensible letter, in which he vomited forth the long-concealed poisonous designs of his heart.

The emperor Frederick's letter,

"Frederick, etc., to the king of England, etc.- An old saying describes those as fortunate who take caution from the peril of others; for the condition of the successor is strengthened by the principle of the predecessor; and as the wax receives impression from the seal, so the mortality of human life is formed by example. I would that your majesty had anticipated or preceded me in this good fortune, and that the experience of the caution which we now leave to you, O Christian kings, from the great injury done to ourselves, had been rather left to us by other kings and princes who have been similarly injured. Moreover, those who are now considered as clerks, who have fattened on the charities of our fathers, now oppress the sons of their benefactors; and the sons of those subject to us, forgetful of their fathers' condition, do not deign to show any due respect either to emperor or king, as soon as they are ordained to bear the titles of apostolic fathers. The truth of what is here hinted at in these circumlocutory words of ours is now fully proved by the presumption of Pope Innocent the Fourth, who, having summoned a general council, as he called it, dared to pass sentence of deposition against us, who were neither summoned to the said council, nor proved to be guilty of any deceit or wickedness, but which sentence he could not establish without great prejudice to all kings. For what will there not remain for each of you kings of each kingdom to fear from


the face of such a prince of priests, if he attempts to depose us, who have been honoured, as it were, from heaven with the imperial diadem, by the solemn election of princes, and with the approbation of the whole Church, when the clergy were flourishing in faith and religion, and who are also governing many other noble kingdoms? For it is not his business to exercise any severity against us, as far as temporal injury is concerned, even though lawful causes might be adduced. But we are not the first, nor shall we be the last, whom this priestly abuse of power harasses, and is endeavouring to hurl downwards from the summit. This, indeed, you are doing, you, who show obedience to these pretender's to holiness, whose ambition hopes that 'the whole Jordan will flow into their mouth'. Oh! if your simple credulity would, according to the words of our Saviour, 'turn from the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees, which is hypocrisy', and take heed to itself, how many basenesses of that court would you have it in your power to execrate, the recital of which is forbidden by honour and shame! The copious revenues by which they are enriched, to the impoverishing of several kingdoms, as you yourself know, cause them to rage in their pride. Christians or pilgrims beg of you, that the Paterinians may eat among us. There you are destroying the houses of your people, that you may here build towns for your enemies. Thus, by your tithes and almsgivings are these poor followers of Christ supported, but by what recompense, or even what show of gratitude, do they show themselves to be conscious of these kindnesses? The more readily you extend your hands, the more eagerly do they grasp, not only the hands, but also the arms, detaining us in their toils, like a little bird, which, the stronger the attempts it makes at escape, the more firmly is it entangled. For the present we have made it our business to write so far, although but insufficiently explaining our wishes; we will give you further information more secretly, namely, of the uses to which the prodigality of these avaricious people devotes the riches of the poor; what designs we have conceived ourselves obliged to make concerning the imperial power, and how it is intended, by means of mediators, to re-establish peace at least superficially between us and the Church; how we propose to arrange concerning the affairs of kings

106 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

in general, and of each one in particular; what arrangement has been made respecting the islands in the ocean; and how that court is plotting against all princes in common by certain plans, which, although clandestinely arranged, could not escape our notice or that of some persons, subjects and friends of ours, whom we had there. How, with all our troops ready for war, and by using all our endeavours, we hope, in the spring now approaching, to be able to oppress those who now oppress us, ay, though the whole world should oppose us. But whatever our faithful subjects, the bearers of this letter, may state to you, you may safely believe, and place the firmest confidence in the same, as though St. Peter had sworn to it. We beg you, however, not to consider that the majesty of our high station is in any way depressed by the sentence pronounced against us by the pope; for we are pure in conscience, and consequently have God with us, on whom we call to bear testimony to the truth of our words. For it has always been our intention and wish to induce the clerks of every order, and chiefly those of the highest rank, to continue such to the end as they were in the primitive state of the Church, leading an apostolic life, and imitating our Lord's humility. For they used to see angels, to shine forth in miracles, to heal the sick, to bring the dead to life, and to reduce kings and princes to submission to them, not by arms, but by holiness. But these men, devoted to the world, and intoxicated by its pleasures, put away the Lord; and by the superabundance of their riches and possessions all religion is choked. To take away from such persons the injurious wealth with which they are burdened to their own damnation, is a work of charity. For this purpose, therefore, you and all princes ought to unite with us, and use all diligence to make them lay aside all superfluous wealth, and to serve God, contented with moderate possessions".

How Frederick's reputation daily diminished.

When this news reached the ears of the Christian kings of France and England, it appeared as clear as the light to them and their nobles that Frederick was endeavouring, by all the means in his power, to destroy the liberty and nobility of the Church, which he had never augmented, although his noble ancestors had done their best to establish it; and by


this very fact rendering himself suspected of heresy, he had, by his impudence and shamelessness, extinguished and destroyed every spark of good opinion and respect for his wisdom, which had heretofore existed amongst the people. But these kings, because it would appear womanlike and dishonourable at once to attack one whom they had formerly protected, some time concealed their anger and kept silence, although not without grumbling. Thus, by this proceeding, the pope's condition was ameliorated, and he began to recover breath.

One grievous wound, however, pressed upon princes as well as prelates in a heavier degree than all others; this was, that although the emperor Frederick was deserving, on too many accounts, of being humbled and deprived of all his honours, yet if, by God's assistance, the papal authority should irrevocably depose him, the Roman church, abusing God's favour, would in future be puffed up to such a degree of haughtiness and intolerable pride, that it would, on some light cause or other, either depose Catholic chiefs,- especially prelates,- although just and innocent, or opprobriously threaten to depose them; and the Romans, although sprung from plebeian blood, would, with lofty talk and boasting, exclaim, "We have trodden down the most powerful lord and emperor Frederick, and who are you that rashly think to resist us"? And the nobles, being thus provoked, will raise the heel against them, and, by God's vengeance, the Roman authority will stand a chance of being destroyed.

How the attempts of the agents of the English community were deprived of effect.

To the agents of the English community, namely Earl Bigod and his beforenamed colleagues, who were awaiting a favourable answer from the pope, as he had promised, it was at length given to understand that they would not obtain their demands. They therefore departed in great anger, giving vent to threats, and swearing with a terrible oath that they would never satisfy the ever detestable avarice of the Romans by paying the tribute, neither would they allow it to be paid, nor would they any longer suffer the produce and revenues of the churches (especially of those of which the nobles of the kingdom were known to be patrons) to be any

108 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

longer extorted from, them as heretofore. Nevertheless, the pope dissemblingly passed by all these things with a patient mind and with the eyes of connivance, and quietly awaited a time for proceeding with greater severity, when prosperity smiled upon him. He therefore sent to all the bishops of England, most strictly ordering each one to affix his seal to that detestable charter of the tribute, which King John, of unhappy memory, had made, notwithstanding the opposition of Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, in order that by their so doing it might be confirmed and perpetuated; and this, alas! these bishops, who were become inexcusably effeminate through fear, did, to the enormous prejudice of the king and kingdom. The king, on hearing of this, flew into a most violent rage, and swore that, although the bishops had disgracefully submitted, he would boldly stand up for the liberties of the kingdom, and would never, as long as he drew the breath of life, pay any tax to the Roman court, under the name of tribute. Fulk, bishop of London, was the last one to lend himself to this wicked plan, and to affix his seal to this charter; hence he deserved less blame than the others.

In like manner also, for the better confirmation of the sentence of deposition pronounced against the emperor Frederick, and in lasting memory of the circumstance, all the prelates affixed their seals to a large charter relating to the same, which was copied word for word from that sealed with the papal bull.

The council being then broken up, those who had assembled there returned with a blessing to their homes, excepting those who were detained by special business, which the pope had postponed till after the council.

The papal mandate to the Cistercian chapter.

Whilst the revolutions of the world were dragging these events with them, the Cistercian abbats of various countries, as was their custom, when the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross drew nigh, came in crowds to their chapter; and when they were all assembled, they received a message from the pope, the purport of which was as follows:-

"We would have your brotherhood to know that the Church is in a state of fearful peril, and in need of your urgent prayers more perseveringly; for a crisis is at hand


which threatens all Christianity in a fearful way. Henceforth we shall not trouble to employ the sword of steel against the Roman emperor Frederick, that powerful and obstinate enemy of the church of Christ, but only the spiritual one. The mouth of those speaking evil is closed. Let not, we beg of you, the reproaches of ignorant and truthless men induce you to think that this sentence has been pronounced by us against the said Frederick in a headlong way as it were, and without a deliberate and lengthened consultation with our brethren and many other learned men. For we do not remember any cause to have ever been discussed with so much deliberation and such diligent examination, or to have been so carefully weighed in the minds of skilful and holy men; so much so, indeed, that, at our secret councils, some of our brethren assumed the characters of advocates for him, and some, on the other hand, pleaded against him, in order that, by the pleas and replies of the inquirants and disputants, as is the custom in schools, the truth of the cause on either side might be discovered from the very bottom. But we could not, without injury and serious offence to God, and alarm to his Church, or without wounding our own conscience, find any other way of proceeding than as we have acted, however unwillingly, and much as we pitied the misery of the said offender. We are therefore prepared, in and for this cause, to stand firm to the death; and in it and for it all our brethren as well as ourselves, are ready to die, undauntedly fighting on behalf of God and his Church".

This message having been fully published to the whole chapter and the brethren in general, they abandoned the cause of the emperor Frederick, and wonderfully inclined to the side of the pope, praying to God that he would by no means suffer his Church, which he had established on a firm rock, to fall eternally, although it was now somewhat tottering.

Of the proceedings at Gannock whilst the king was staying there.

The king, in the mean time, had been now staying for nearly two months on the lower confines of Wales, near a river flowing between the mountains of Snowdon, where he was employed in building a castle, impregnable in its walls and its position, and on the 24th of September, a certain

110 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

noble of his army, wishing to inform his friends who were anxious about this matter, wrote to them as follows:-

"Health.- His majesty the king is staying with his army at Gannock, for the purpose of fortifying a castle which is now built in a most strong position there; and we are dwelling round it in tents, employed in watchings, fastings, and prayers, and amidst cold and nakedness. In watchings, through fear of the Welsh suddenly attacking us by night; in fastings, on account of a deficiency of provisions, for a farthing loaf now costs five pence; in prayers, that we may soon return home safe and uninjured; and we are oppressed by cold and nakedness, because our houses are of canvass, and we are without winter clothing. There is a small arm of the sea which flows and ebbs under the aforesaid castle, where we are staying, and forming a sort of harbour, into which, during our stay here, ships have often come from Ireland, and from Chester, bringing provisions. This arm of the sea lies between us and Snowdon, where the Welsh quarter themselves, and is, at high tide, about a crossbow-shot wide. On the Monday next before Michaelmas, in the afternoon, a ship from Ireland, bringing provisions to us for sale, was coming up towards the entrance of the harbour, but being incautiously steered, as the sea receded, it remained aground under our aforesaid castle, but on the opposite bank, towards the Welsh, who immediately rushed down and made an attack on it as it lay on dry ground. We therefore, seeing this proceeding from the bank on this side, sent three hundred Welsh, our borderers from Cheshire and Shropshire, across the water in boats, together with some crossbowmen, to defend the said ship; on seeing which, the Welsh hurriedly retreated to their accustomed and well-known hiding-places in the mountains and woods. Our knights, attended by their followers, pursued them for a distance of two leagues, and, although they were on foot (for they had not brought their horses across the water with them), they wounded and slew many of the Welsh. Our people then returned, after defeating their enemies, and, like greedy and needy men, indulged in plunder, and spread fire and rapine through the country on the other side the water, and amongst other profane proceedings, they irreverently pillaged a convent of the Cistercians called Aberconway, of all its property, and even of the


chalices and books, and burnt the buildings belonging to it. The Welsh, in the mean time, having assembled a large host of their countrymen, suddenly rushed with noisy shouts on our men, who were laden with booty acquired by the most wicked means, and impeded by their sins, and put them to flight, wounding and slaying many as they retreated towards the ship; some of our people, choosing rather to trust to the billows, and to perish by drowning, than to be slain at will by their enemies, threw themselves of their own accord into the waves, there to perish. Some of our knights they took alive, to imprison them; but, hearing that we had slain some of their nobles, and above all, Naveth son of Odo, a handsome and brave youth, they also hung these knights of ours, afterwards decapitating and mangling them dreadfully: finally, they tore their miserable corpses limb from limb, and threw them into the water, in detestation of their wicked greediness in not sparing the church, especially one belonging to religious men".

"There fell in this conflict on our side some knights of the retinue of Richard, earl of Cornwall; namely, Alan Buscel, Adam de Moia, Lord Geoffrey Sturmy, and a fourth, Raymond, a Gascon crossbowman, of whom the king used often to make sport; and about a hundred retainers were killed, besides those drowned, and the same number of the Welsh, or more. In the mean time Walter Bissett, who was on board the ship with his followers, bravely defended it, and was engaged till about midnight in continued fight with the Welsh, who fiercely attacked him on all sides, and if our men had not had the sides of the ship for a wall, they would have altogether fallen into the hands of the enemy. At length, as the sea rose, the ship began to roll, and it being now inaccessible, the Welsh withdrew, lamenting that our people had been snatched out of their hands. On board this ship were sixty casks of wine, besides other much-desired and seasonable provisions, of which we were at the time destitute. When morning came, and the tide receded, the Welsh returned with alacrity, thinking to seize on our people in the vessel, but, by God's providence, they had, during the night, when the tide was high, made their escape to us by means of our boats, before the arrival of the Welsh, leaving only the ship; the Welsh, however, approached, carried off nearly all

112 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

the wine and the other things on board, and, leaving it as the tide rose, set fire to the ship, a portion of which was consumed; the other part, however, was saved, in which were seven casks, which we dragged to the near shore".

"Whilst we have continued here with the army, being in need of many things, we have often sallied forth armed, and exposed ourselves to many and great dangers, in order to procure necessaries, encountering many and various ambuscades and attacks from the Welsh, suffering much and often, by the fortuitous chances of war, doing damage to them. After one conflict, we brought back in triumph to our camp the heads of nearly a hundred decapitated Welsh. At that time there was such a scarcity of all provisions, and such want of all necessaries, that we incurred an irremediable loss both of men and horses. There was a time, indeed, when there was no wine in the king's house, and, indeed, not amongst the whole army, except one cask only; a measure of corn cost twenty shillings, a pasture ox three or four marks, and a hen was sold for eightpence. Men and horses consequently pined away, and numbers perished from want".

The pope comes to a conference with the French king at Clugny.

About the same time of the year, the pope went to Clugny, on a summons from the French king, who wished for an interview with him. His holiness, however, was not allowed to proceed any further into France. About the feast of St. Andrew, the French king came there to him, after he had been waiting for him for fifteen days, and there they held a secret council for seven days, no one being privy to the busmess but themselves; namely, the pope and the French king, and the Lady Blanche, the mother of the latter. It was most undoubtedly believed that they were deliberating as to arranging a peace between the Church and the empire, and on the way in which an honourable reconciliation could be effected; for the French king had come to a fixed determination to set out to Jerusalem in company with many French nobles and chiefs who had now assumed the cross, both on account of the king and on behalf of God; and they could not, unless the emperor were pacified and fully reconciled to the Church, travel by sea or through his territories, without great danger to all Christendom. And even if they could do


so, it would not be expedient to fight for Christ in the Holy Land, when they left behind them in a Christian country such an inveterate and injurious quarrel between persons of such high stations. Again, it was firmly believed that they were treating of a re-establishment of peace between the kings of France and England, or at any rate of prolonging the truce, in order that he, the French king, might proceed on his pilgrimage in greater security. At the conclusion of this interview, the French king, when about to depart, appointed a day in the fortnight of Easter for a conference with his holiness, at which the presence of the said emperor Frederick should be procured.

From this place, the French king went to the city of Macon, which city, with the whole province, had in this year fallen under his power and rule in the following way:- When that inheritance fell into the possession of the countess of Macon, she at once sent word to the king that she would willingly sell him all the right which she held in the said city and province, for she purposed taking the religious habit. To this offer the French king agreed, and bought the territory for an immense sum of money, the whole of which the countess liberally expended for the benefit of the poor, and on other pious purposes, and soon after took the religious habit in a nunnery which the Lady Blanche had founded at Pontoise; thus leaving behind her a memorable example of humility for all ages to all nobles, and especially to women.

Death of Raymond, count of Provence.

About the same time, Raymond, count of Provence, paid the debt of nature; an illustrious and distinguished man, who had been wonderfully tossed about on the wheel of fortune, and who left an unusual source of wonder to all ages in the excelling beauty of his daughters, to the youngest of whom he, in his last words, left his county of Provence as a bequest. But when the French king heard this, he sent five hundred chosen knights, provided with anns and other necessaries, to take possession of the aforesaid county of Provence, by reason of the eldest daughter of the lately-deceased count, whom he had married, as above mentioned; as he considered the aforesaid will of the said Count Raymond to be null and void, as being illegal. The king of England, on hearing of

114 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

the count's death, urged by feelings of affection, performed his funeral obsequies with great splendour, amidst bountiful almsgiving, devout prayers, with tapers lighted and bells ringing,- at the same time strictly forbidding every one from announcing this event to the queen his wife, lest she should be overcome with grief.

The city of Damascus taken by the Babylonians.

In this year, in the week next preceding Michaelmas-day, the noble city of Damascus, which is said to have been the chief city of Syria in times of old, was taken from the Christians, to their great confusion and deplorable desolation, by the treacherous infidels the Babylonians, and their accomplices the Chorosmians, the enemies most hostile to the Christian name. For although this city had been polluted by the faith of Mahomet, it was in alliance with the Christians, and injured none of them, and was very profitable and convenient to them, from the mutual traffic and intercourse carried on between them; but now, from being a friendly city, it became most unfriendly and most hostile to them; its sultan was expelled, and with difficulty found a safe hiding-place in the eastern part of the country, whilst the city itself, together with the country round on all sides, became subject to the Babylonians and Chorosmians.

The king of England, after ravaging that part of Wales called Anglesea, purposes to return to England.

On the morrow of the feast of the apostles Simon and Jude, the king being unable, as well as unwilling, to make any longer stay at Gannock, owing to the want of provisions, and the near approach of winter, after a stay of about ten weeks there, fortified and stored his aforesaid castle of Gannock, which he had built, and made preparations to return to England, in order that he, as well as his army, might recover breath. He was now well convinced of the irreparable ruin of his enemies the Welsh; for, on his arrival, the Irish had ravaged the whole of Anglesea, which is, as it were, the protectress and place of refuge for all Welsh; and at his departure, he cruelly put to the sword and reduced to ashes everybody and everything that remained there; so much so, that the whole country seemed reduced to one vast and uncultivated desert solitude. He also caused the salt-pits at Witz to be


filled up and destroyed; and in order that the Welsh might not obtain provisions from the neighbouring provinces, as they used to do, even in time of war, either by purchase, or by robbery, through friendship, relationship, or kindred, he caused the inhabitants of that country, and those in subjection to him, to be impoverished, and especially deprived of food, so much so, that, in Cheshire and other neighbouring provinces, famine prevailed to such a degree, that the inhabitants had scarcely sufficient means left to prolong a wretched existence. He also prohibited, under pain of death and loss of property, any provisions from being brought, or allowed to be brought, for sale from the English or Irish provinces. This castle of Gannock, too, well supplied with men, provisions, engines of war, and arms, was, as it were, a thorn in the eye of the wretched, yea, most wretched Welsh; and they could not, by any means, pass into England without being intercepted by the castellains, who were, by the king's order, obediently followed by the whole country; nor could they stay in their own country for want.

How the king left Gannock, after fortifying the castle there.

Having prudently disposed all matters, the king returned to England in safety, and crowned with good fortune, except that the fame of his brother, Earl Richard, was clouded in no slight degree by this expedition, and sinister reports were spread about him. For it was stated everywhere, both in the army, and throughout the whole kingdom, that the said earl, to the dishonour, loss, and injury of the king, had, on the plea of affection and relationship, favoured his nephew David with greater friendship than was either proper or expedient, and had at one time secretly entertained the said David, when wearied, harassed, and in bad health, in his castle of Tintaiol, that he might recover breath, and, when restored, rise with greater strength against the king; also, that he had promoted the cause of the said David, by his counsel and assistance, because the king, at the instance of the queen, had refused to bestow Chester, with the honours pertaining to it, on him when he asked for it. It was also stated that it was because he met with a refusal through the queen's interference, when he asked for Gascony as a gift from the king, that he left the king in anger, and with

116 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

unbecoming threats, at Bordeaux. These assertions ought not, however, to be believed; for when the king had been in need of money for the building of his castle at Gannock, and for the support of the army, the aforesaid earl, touched with fraternal compassion, liberally lent him three thousand marks on the security of his jewels; and thus the mouth of evil speakers was stopped. The king then returned from Wales as the winter drew near, and set out on his march on the morrow of the feast of the apostles Simon and Jude, in order, as has been before stated, that he himself, as well as his over-wearied army, might recover breath, but intending to return to the same labour after the severity of the winter was past.

The unhappy Welsh, therefore, as the inclemencies of winter set in on them, were oppressed by want in all shapes, homeless and destitute of all kinds of provisions, nor were they buoyed up by any hopes of an amelioration in their condition, as all their lands were lying uncultivated and rotted of their own accord, and thus, overcome with hunger and cold, as well as by mental and bodily despair, they pined away and died.

Deposition of Maurice from the justiciaryship of Ireland.

The king now deposed Maurice, justiciary of Ireland, from his office, being very angry and indignant at his being so slow in coming to his assistance when he had as fair a wind as he could wish, and in his stead he appointed and authorized John Fitz Geoffrey. Maurice, however, patiently endured all this, because, since the death of his son, he despised all the glory and dignities of this world.

A legate sent into France to promote the cause of the crusade.

In the same year, at the request of the king of France, whom the Lord had restored to health, as it were with a renewed spirit, and who had assumed the cross, a legate was sent into France by the pope for the purpose of more effectually promoting the crusade by his preaching.

About the same time, too, the bishop of Beyrout, before mentioned, accompanied by A., one of the Preacher brethren, came from the Holy Land to England, and, after informing the king of the lamentable state of affairs and the sufferings of the Holy Land, he begged that they might be allowed to


promote the cause of the crusade in England by preaching. On making this request, they, in evidence of the truth of their assertions, showed a charter which they had brought from the Holy Land, and also one of indulgence which they had brought from the court of Rome; on seeing which latter the king said, "Although you may be true and able messengers, yet we have been so often deceived by the Roman court, through its agents and proctors sent on this same business, who have only employed themselves in extorting money, that you will scarcely find any who will put faith in you". When, in order to interest the king in their favour, they went on to state that almost all the nobility of France had assumed the cross, the king said, "The king of France has taken the cross, and if his subjects follow him, who is to wonder at it? I am surrounded by my enemies; the king of France is an object of suspicion to me, and the king of Scots is still more so; the prince of Wales is in open hostility against me; the pope protects those who rise against me; I do not, therefore, choose that my territory should be emptied of its soldiery or money, so as to be deprived of all its strength". The bishop and the Preacher, thus balked in all their hopes, then went away.

The abbat of Clugny extorts a tithe from his priories.

About this time, when the pope was a guest at the convent of Clugny, before his departure from that place to seek refuge at Lyons, the abbat of Clugny obtained from him a license and a warrant to exact a tithe for one year from the whole of the brethren at that place. This was granted for two reasons; namely, because the said abbat had made some handsome presents to the pope when an exile and coming to the cisalpine provinces (for he had given him thirty palfreys well accoutred, and the same number of pack-horses), and also because he had magnificently and courteously received him and entertained him for nearly a year. And this tithe the aforesaid abbat was to receive from all members, notwithstanding the opposition of any ordinary person. Of this money the pope was to receive three thousand marks, and the rest to be given to discharge the debts which the church of Clugny is known to have incurred for the advancement of the cause of the Roman church. And the pope made this

118 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

grant to the abbat, that he might make for himself a broad strap out of his own skin.

How several nobles took the sign of the cross.

Directly that the French king led the way and set the example, as if he were standard-bearer, many of the French nobles assumed the cross; amongst others his brother Robert, count of Artois, the duke of Burgundy, the duke of Brabant, the countess of Flanders, with her two sons, Peter count of Brittany, his son J. count of Brittany, the count of Bar, the counts of Soissons, St. Paul, Dreux, and Bethel, Philip de Courtenay, Walter de Joigny, Gilles de Mailly, the advocate of Bethune, and many other nobles, whose number daily increased, because the king, by taking on himself the functions of a preacher, incited them to it. Some of the prelates also, aroused by a similar zeal, in order to set a pious example to the laymen, took the sign of the cross on their shoulders, to avenge the cause of Christ. Amongst these were the archbishop of Rheims, the archbishop of Sens, the archbishop of Bourges, the bishop of Laon, the bishop of Beauvais, and many others whom Christ daily called and incited to enter in his service.

The Saracens are reported to have poisoned the pepper.

The Saracens, on hearing of these proceedings, made many preparations for defence, and, devising plans of evil, they poisoned the pepper, which they knew was to be sent to the Christian provinces, whereby many people in France, being unaware of this evil deed, were killed. But as soon as it was found out, proclamation was made by the herald in all the chief cities in France and England, in order that this danger might be more carefully avoided. Other persons, however, said that the traders did this, in order that the old pepper, which had been kept for a long time, might sell the better.

The consecration of Richard, chancellor of the church of Exeter, to the see of that place.

About this time, namely near about the beginning of December, Master Richard, chancellor of the church of Exeter, a man without blame, and of praiseworthy morals and learning, was consecrated bishop of Exeter, at Reading.


Death of Walter, earl marshal.

On the 4th of December in this same year, or as others say, on the 24th of November, Walter, earl marshal, went the way of all flesh at London, and was buried at Tintern, near Strigoil, where many of his noble ancestors were entombed.

Death of Anselm, brother of the above.

Soon afterwards, on the third day before Christmas-day, died Anselm, the next younger brother of the above; and as both these two died without any children, that noble inheritance was scattered about in manifold ways, and fell to the possession of many, by reason of their sisters, to whom it severally belonged.

The scutcheons which, alas! were at this time laid low in England.


The marshal.
The earl of Chester.
The earl of Arundel.
The earl of Mandeville.
The earl of Huntingdon.
Hugh de Lacy (in Ireland).
Count Raymond (in Provence).
William of Lancaster.
Osbert Giffard.
Walter, son of Gilbert de Bohun, and his brother.
Alexander Arsic.
Robert of Ropesle.
Robert de Burgate.
Robert de Turnham.
William, Nicholas and Eustace de Stuteville.
Roger de Montbegunt.
Philip d'Ulecote.
Faulkes de Breute.
Richard Percy.
Henry de Trubleville.
Philip Daubeney.
Ralph de Trubleville.
Richard de Rivers.
Richard, son of Robert de Chilcham, and Richard of Dover, his son.
The earl of Warwick.

A remarkable occurrence connected with the great W. Marshal and his five sons.

A wretched and lamentable misfortune, and one hitherto unheard of, happened to the five sons of the great W. Marshal, who were all, in the order of their birth, taken from amongst us childless, whilst prosperity was smiling upon them in the midst of their possessions, and in the prime of life, which accorded with a prophecy of their mother, who said, that "all of them would be earls of one earldom", for, although Anselm was not invested with the earldom, it devolved on him; and thus their mother proved herself a sibyl. I do not think, however, that we should believe that this occurred without the divine interposition, and as this occurrence is worthy of mention, we have thought fit to

120 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

insert an account of it in this work. When the aforesaid brave and warlike William, surnamed the "Mareschal" (as though "Seneschal of Mars"), was indulging in slaughter and pillage in Ireland, and was acquiring a large territory, he presumptuously and by force took away from a certain holy bishop two manors which belonged to his church, and held possession of them as if they were his own by a just claim, because they were acquired in war. The bishop in consequence, after frequent warnings, to which the earl replied with insolence, still retaining possession of the said manors, and contumaciously persisting in his sin, fulminated sentence of excommunication against him, and with good cause; but this the earl despised, and, pleading as an excuse that it was in the time of war, he heaped injury on injury. It was owing to these proceedings of his, that one Master Gervase de Melkeley, composing verses on him, and speaking as if in the person of the earl, said,-

Sum quem Saturnum sibi sensit Hybernia; Solem
Anglia; Mercurium Normannia; Gallia Martem.

[In Ireland I am Saturn; in England the Sun's rays surround me:
In Normandy I'm Mercury, but France for ever Mars has found me.]

The said earl, then, held these manors under his jurisdiction all his life. After some years he died, and was buried at the New Temple, in London, which circumstance coming to the knowledge of the aforesaid bishop (it was the bishop of Fernes, who had been a monk of the Cistercian order, an Irishman by birth, and a man of remarkable sanctity), he, though not without much personal labour, went to the king, who was at the time staying at London, and, making a heavy complaint of the abovementioned injury done to him, declared that he had excommunicated the said earl for the same, not without good cause: he then begged of the king, by his royal authority and warrant, for the release of the soul of the said Earl William, to restore his manors to him, that the deceased might obtain the benefit of absolution. The king, touched with sorrow at hearing this, asked the bishop to go to the earl's tomb and absolve him, promising that he would himself see that satisfaction was given him. The bishop therefore went to the tomb, and, in the presence of the king and many other persons, as if a live person was


addressing a living one in the tomb, said, "William, you who are entombed here, bound with the bonds of excommunication, if the possessions which you wrongfully deprived my church of be restored, with adequate satisfaction, by the agency of the king, or by your heir, or any one of your relations, I absolve you; if otherwise, I confirm the said sentence, that, being involved in your sins, you may remain in hell a condemned man for ever". The king, on hearing this, became angry, and reproved the immoderate severity of the bishop. To this the latter replied, "Do not be astonished, my lord, if I am excited; for he despoiled my church of its greatest advantage". The king then, privately, spoke to William, the earl's eldest son, and heir of all his property, who was now invested with the earldom, and also to some of his brothers, and begged of them, by restoring the aforesaid manors, which had been unjustly taken away, to release the soul of their father. To this William replied, "I do not believe, neither ought it to be believed, that my father took them away wrongfully; for what is taken in time of war becomes a just possession. If that old and foolish bishop has pronounced the sentence unjustly, may it be hurled back on his own head; I do not choose to diminish the inheritance with which I am invested. My father died seised of these manors, and I, with good right, entered into possession of what I found". In this decision all the brothers agreed, and the king, being at the time a young man, and under a guardian, would not on any account give offence to such a powerful noble. When this afterwards became known to the bishop, he grieved more at the contumacy of the sons, than at the injury done him in the first place by the father; he then went before the king, and said to him, "What I have said, I have said; and what I have written, I have written indehbly. The sentence is confirmed. A punishment has been inflicted on malefactors by the Lord, and the malediction which is described in the psalm is imposed in a heavy degree on Earl William, of whom I complain,- 'In one generation his name shall be destroyed', and his sons shall be without share in that benediction of the Lord, 'Increase and multiply'! Some of them will die by a lamentable death, and their inheritance will be scattered; and all this, my lord king, you will see in your lifetime, ay, in the prime of

122 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

your life". After delivering this speech in the bitterness of his heart, as if inspired by a prophetic spirit, the bishop went away in sorrow. Thus was the noble Earl William Marshal, who had placed his confidence on an arm of flesh, left entangled in the bonds of the anathema. As an evident proof of this circumstance, some years afterwards, after the death of all his sons, when the church of the New Temple was dedicated, in the year 1200, the body of the said earl, which had been sewn up in a bull's hide, was found entire, but rotten, and loathsome to the sight. The last of the brothers but one, Earl Walter Marshal, followed in his steps; for although he had most faithfully promised a revenue of sixty shillings to the house of St. Mary, belonging to the monks of Hertford, and had given a written promise thereof, because his brother Earl Gilbert died there, and his bowels still remained buried there, he forgot the pledge and promise which he had made for the redemption of his brother, and, after causing much useless vexation to the prior of the said house, he proved himself a manifest deceiver and transgressor.

How the emperor Frederick proceeded against the Milanese.

About this time, the pope having persuaded the nobles of Germany, to whom the right of election belonged, to elect a new emperor over them, some of them, the chief of whom was Conrad, archbishop of Cologne, agreed in fixing on the landgrave of Thuringia, who, however, refused to acquiesce or agree to such a piece of temerity, being content with his own duchy, and preferring to enjoy peace and security rather than trust to the risks and dangers of a doubtful war, especially against the emperor Frederick, whose prowess he had often tried, and whom he had found to be full of fox-like cunning. The pope, however, to encourage and inspirit him, promised him his protection, and that of the universal Church; the Milanese, also, and the Italians allied with them, sent their special messengers, and, calling his prudence pusillanimity, promised him their effectual assistance and counsel in everything, if he would consent to this election in the place of the said Frederick, an apostate, an excommunicated and deposed man, and one ignominiously reprobated by God and the Church. The emperor Frederick, on hearing of this proceeding, ground his teeth with rage, and


grieved to see that his enemies raised their heads from his adversity, and heaped insult on insult, and threat upon threat on him; and, aiming wholly at vengeance, he drew out his troops in order, and being aware of their movements beforehand, cunningly placed an ambuscade in the rear of the enemy, under the command of his son Henry, king of Sardinia, and provoked the Milanese to battle as they were about to sally forth in their usual way. The Milanese, sallying forth in crowds, and unaware of the ambuscade, rushed undismayed and with alacrity on the emperor Frederick; seeing which, the king of Sardinia interposed his army between the Milanese and their city, and attacked them at the sword's point, committing a great and pitiable slaughter amongst them. The citizens, on looking back and seeing the means of retreat cut off, and the approach to their city blocked up, were thrown into despair, and numbers of them fell slain, leaving, however, a bloody victory to the emperor. Countless numbers fell on both sides, and people, on hearing of it, inconsolably lamented the slaughter of so many Christians.

The archdeacon of York murdered in the vestibule of the church.

About this time, a canon of the church of York having, by insults and reproaches, provoked the anger of a certain knight, was slain by him in the vestibule of the church. The knight, who was not of ignoble descent, was taken and committed to prison, where he awaited the punishment to be inflicted on him for his crime.

The ill-usage of the Poitevins by the French.

During all this time, the wretched, although not to be pitied, Poitevins, in whom treachery was innate, became so loathsome in the sight of the French, that they did not dare, nor were they allowed, to give their daughters in marriage, without permission of the French; and as they were lorded over by people who hated them, they fell into the very lowest condition, and deservedly reaped the fruits of their ways under the manifold yoke of Egyptian slavery. Now, therefore, they repented of having traitorously received such large sums of money from both kings, and of having deceived and expelled from his territories their natural lord, who believed that he had found faith in faithless men, who, as they thirsted

124 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

for gain, fell into a snare. Their castles also, which were about to be destroyed at the will of their enemies, were with difficulty allowed to stand, after a large sum had been paid by way of ransom-money, and a garrison of French was put in them; for

Serviet aeterno, qui parvo nesciet uti.

[For he shall ever be a slave,
Whose mind for riches still doth crave.]

The privilege obtained by the bishop of Lincoln from the pope.

About this time, as winter was approaching, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, like Ismael, knowing no rest, opposing many, and himself opposed by very many, after much expense and trouble, obtained his request against his canons, as is mentioned in the following letter from the pope, whom he rewarded with some costly presents:-

"Innocent, etc., to his venerable brother the bishop of Lincoln, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Amongst other things which frequently attack our mind, who, unworthy as we are, by God's dispensation preside over the management of the Church universal, this circumstance presses on us in our frequent meditations; namely, that churches which are disturbed by disputes should not break down under the costs incurred by them, and that a proper end should be put to suits, which, owing to the endeavours and subterfuges of the parties, seem in a manner immortal. Whereas a matter of dispute has arisen between yourself on the one part, and the dean and chapter of Lincoln on the other, concerning the dignities and common right of them and their prebendal and other churches, also concerning the visitation, and the correction and amendment of the morals, as well of the deans as of the canons and clerks of the choir, and also of the ministers, vicars, chaplains, and parishioners of all the said churches, and also concerning the respect and canonical obedience which ought to be paid to you by them, and also concerning some other dignities and matters pertaining to the episcopal office; we, after divers commissions on one side and another, obtained from the Apostolic See, before judges, and by processes held by them, desiring to put an end to that cause, have thought proper to bring it under our own inspection. And whereas you and the proctor of the


other party appeared before us, and it was set forth on your part, that, although by virtue of your pastoral office you are bound by common right to visit the chapter of Lincoln, and all the prebendal churches with respect to their dignities and common rights, and to fulfil those duties which pertain to the office of visitation, according to form of law, and although, as the chapter as well as the churches are by common right subject to you, you are bound to correct the faults of the dean as well as of all the canons and the clerks of the choir, and the ministers of the same, and also of the vicars, chaplains, and parishioners of the aforesaid churches, and to reform their morals, that their blood might not be required at your hands, and also to examine into and decide the cause of all the aforesaid persons, whenever a dispute arose amongst themselves, or against any who were opposed to your episcopate, or others against them, whether they were civil or criminal causes, properly belonging to you as ordinary, yet appertaining to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the dean and chapter, contrary to justice, opposed you in these matters, because you could not, as the duties of your office demanded, freely fulfil the foregoing duties. You moreover added, that, as you were the head of the church of Lincoln, your consent ought by right to have been asked of you, as the head, before making an election of a dean of Lincoln; yet they assert that they are at liberty to proceed to the election of a dean without asking your leave, and you asked justice to be shown you in this matter. You also said, that although the dean, on his confirmation, and the canons, when prebends were conferred on them, were bound by right to swear canonical obedience to you, they, void of due respect, had not troubled hitherto to do so. You moreover alleged, that although, by the diocesan law, the sequestration of the deanship, dignities, and vacant prebends by right belonged to you, the aforesaid dean and chapter, contrary to justice, opposed you in these matters. Wherefore you asked for your rights in the aforesaid matters to be declared, and an adjudication to be made by a definitive sentence, and that you might be admitted to the office of visitation in the chapter of Lincoln and the prebendal churches, with regard to the dignities and common rights, and also allowed to correct the faults and reform the morals of all the aforesaid

126 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

parties, notwithstanding the opposition of the dean and canons, and that a definitive decree might be pronounced in these matters, and silence be imposed on them for ever, unless they could by a privilege from the Apostolic See, or some other special right, defend themselves in their aforesaid opposition. You also asked that an adequate procuration should be granted to you by reason of the visitation of the chapter, and that the expenses incurred in this suit should be allowed to you, and that whenever you should come to the church of Lincoln, they should cause the church bells to be rung for you, and should show respect to you as to a father; that the dean should not henceforth compel any canon to swear canonical obedience to him, unless the episcopal dignity and authority were excepted; nor to oblige the canons to swear to observe any customs which were contrary to canonical decrees; and that he should not henceforth, in that chapter, issue any decrees which might be contrary to rules, and the episcopal authority and dignity. You also requested that, as the visitation of the prebends and churches with respect to their dignities and common rights pertained by right to you, the dean should be by sentence compelled to desist from the visitation of them. The proctor of the other party, however, contesting the matter, replied, that the statements made were not true as they were put forth, and that these demands ought not to be acceded to. The cause, therefore, having been legally disputed, and having carefully listened to the allegations of both parties, we, at the conclusion of it, after holding due deliberation, by the advice of our brethren, pronounced a decree, that you are to be freely admitted to the visitation of the dean and chapter, as well as the canons, clerks of the choir, ministers, chaplains of the churches, and parishioners pertaining to all the aforesaid churches, and also to correct the faults and reform the customs. No procuration, however, shall be given by the chapter for the making of the visitation in the cathedral church. The faults of the canons of the cathedral church, which have usually been corrected by the chapter, shall be corrected by it, according to the custom of the church, which has been hitherto peaceably observed, at your summons and order, and at that of your successors, within a proper period, to be assigned to them by you or your said successors. Otherwise, from that time you or your successors,


having Almighty God before your eyes, shall correct them by the Church's censure, as the cure of souls requires".

"We also command the aforesaid canons to pay and observe canonical obedience and reverence to you: they shall not, however, be obliged to bind themselves to this by oath, by giving the hands, or by promise, as you are not entitled to this by custom. In the other matters demanded in your petition, we absolve the aforesaid dean and chapter. No one, therefore, shall be allowed to infringe or rashly contravene this, our definitive writing; and if any one presumes to attempt so doing, he will incur the anger of Almighty God, and of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Given at Lyons, this twenty-fifth of August, in the third year of our pontificate".

Death of John, bishop of Hertford.

On the 14th of October in this year, John, bishop of Hertford, [1] paid the debt of nature, having lived thirty years since he was deprived of his bishopric by the pope's order, retaining, however, his episcopal dignity. As he was happily closing his mortal career, not forgetting the benefits conferred on him by the church of St. Alban's, he, in his will, left to that church his books and some church ornaments; whereby he was rewarded with a participation in all the good works which are done in it, as if he were another abbat, and also was buried therein, before the altar of St. Amphibalus, with all due solemnities.

Death of Walter, abbat of Bourg.

On the 22nd of December in this year, after much unworthy vexation and trouble, and a heavy sickness, which he had brought on at the court of Rome on that account, Walter, abbat of Bourg, went the way of all flesh, to the great loss and trouble of his church.

Of the civil and pious deceit of the French king.

As the feast of our glorious Lord's Nativity drew near, at which time the nobles usually made a custom of distributing fresh changes of raiment, which we commonly call new clothes, to their domestics, the French king, the standard-bearer of the cross, took on himself the office of preacher and agent in the matter of the crusade in a new form; for he ordered cloaks, with their appurtenances, a great many

[1] It is doubtful what bishop is here meant.

128 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1245.

more than was usual, to be made of the most costly cloth, with divers skins let into them, and crosses made of fine gold-work, to be sewed on the shoulder part of the cloaks. This work he caused to be effected secretly, and by night, and early in the morning, before the sun rose, he ordered the knights, wearing their royal cloaks, to appear with him in the church, to hear mass, which they did early in the morning, that they might not be rebuked for idleness or sloth; and whilst they were intent on the service.

And o'er the world the blithesome sun
Again began his course to run,

and according to the proverb of Persius -

Melius spectatur mantica tergo,-
[Each sees the wallet on his neighbour's back,- ]

each knight beheld the sign of the cross worked on the shoulders of his neighbour; and at length they found out that the king had thus practised a pious deception on them, and, entering upon a new and never before heard of method of preaching the crusade, had become a preacher by deeds, rather than by words. And as it would seem unbecoming and disgraceful, as well as unworthy, for them to lay aside these crosses, they, with a smile, not however of derision, and with floods of pleasant tears, called the French king, on account of this occurrence, a hunter of pilgrims, and a new fisher of men.

Summary of the whole year.

This year throughout was remarkable for an abundance of corn, increased by the greater fertility of the preceding year; so much so, that the price of a measure of corn fell to two shillings only; but, owing to the unseasonableness and inclemency of the atmosphere during the summer, the fruit-trees did not produce any fruit. The events of it were productive of prosperity and increase to France; of trouble and loss to England; to the Holy Land, of enmity and danger; to the Irish, of labour and toil; to the Welsh, of blood and misfortune; to the Poitevins, of such treatment as children get from their stepmothers; and it made the whole empire and court of Rome tremble.


The pope's indignation against the English because they dared to complain at the council.

Anno Domini 1246, the thirtieth year of the reign of king Henry the Third, the said king was at London, at Christmas, in company with many of the nobles of the kingdom, his brother Earl Richard, the queen, and her sister the countess of Cornwall, who all, after having endured the toil and heat of the day together with the king, in Wales, celebrated the festivities of Christmas with much rejoicing; and thus those who had been companions in trouble were now participators in pleasure and rejoicing. But at this time, in order that pleasure might not smile on mortals unmixed with grief, a sinister rumour arose, and out of this rumour a no slight suspicion, that the pope still retained feelings of rancour in his heart, although no reasonable cause remained for his doing so; indeed he was very much enraged, and began to threaten the king and kingdom of England in manifold ways, declaring that, if he could subdue the emperor Frederick, he would afterwards tread down the insolent pride of the English, who were kicking against him, for having complained at the council of the oppressions of the Roman court, and especially of the tribute. For it did not appear to him that the wretched English ought to be allowed to weep or groan under the infliction of the manifold injuries done to them. And at the long and secret conference which he had with the French king at Clugny, he endeavoured to persuade and provoke that monarch to take adequate vengeance for such a great injury by attacking the petty king of England, and depriving him of his inheritance, or at least to punish him in such a way as would make him bend, willingly or unwillingly, to the will of the Roman court. In this, his holiness said that the Church and the papal authority would assist him with their utmost endeavours. This, however, the French king is said to have positively refused to do, because they, the two kings, were relations, and their queens were sisters; also, because the French king had no manifest claim upon the kingdom of England; again, because there was a truce between them; and this he would rather prolong, on account of his pilgrimage, than treacherously rescind; also, because there was a more powerful enemy to be tamed

130 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

and one much more injurious to the Roman church, and that was Frederick; also, because a no slight quantity of Christian blood would be shed before the kingdom of England would yield to the French; and because the Christians in the Holy Land, oppressed and beleaguered by the pagans, were awaiting his expected coming like men in danger of shipwreck, looking for a more gentle and favourable breeze.

The anger of the king of England at the injury done to him hy the countess of Provence.

Just before the feast of the Epiphany had completed the solemnities of our Lord's Nativity, reports were brought from Provence, which disturbed the king's mind in no slight degree; for Beatrice, countess of Provence, the queen's mother, who had for five years received annually four thousand marks from the king, for the purpose of fortifying sixteen castles in Provence, which belonged to the king by reason of his marriage, had now, unmindful of justice, of her faith and agreement, and forgetful of the manifold honours so liberally conferred on her when she went to England, given up Provence and its castles to the French king; and, making no mention of the right of the king of England, or her agreements with him, had given her youngest daughter, who was now free and safe from all plots against her, to the French king, to be married to his son Charles. The said countess by this broke her faith in a worse degree, inasmuch as she had firmly and faithfully promised the king of England that she would never on any account give up the said castles to any one, except to him. The king, however, did not meet with compassion or condolence from any one on account of this loss and disgrace, for when the Countess Beatrice some time since came to England in great pomp, the king, without any regard to what was proper or expedient, and in a very unusual and indiscreet way, subjected himself and his followers and their property to the most lavish expense, as has been before stated in its proper place; whereupon the said countess, after cunningly weighing the king's actions and words, is reported to have said,- "I am sorry that I have given my daughters (whom, according to the vulgar phrase in Provence, she called her boys) in marriage to this king and his brother".


The French king asks for a prolongation of the truce.

As the feast of St. Hilary drew near, the French king, who was employed in preparing for his pilgrimage, being anxious that all matters should be consolidated and arranged peaceably in his kingdom, and that he might not, when he set out on his expedition, leave any suspected snares behind his back, asked for a prolongation of the truce which had been made in Poitou between him and the king of England. He also, although secretly, as is reported, offered certain terms of peace, which, however, the king of England hesitated to receive: these were, that all the territory on the continent, which had formerly been in his possession, except Normandy, should be freely restored to the said king of England, on consideration that he should give over Normandy, in which he believed he had a right, to the French kingdom in quiet possession for ever. To one part of this message the king of England replied, but the other he left for more mature deliberation; to the first part he replied that he would willingly grant a longer truce to the French king at the will of the latter, that he, the king of England, might not appear to impede the matter of the crusade; but on condition that the French king would not injure him, but would peaceably resign to him possession of that part of Provence, together with the sixteen castles before mentioned, wich belonged to him by reason of the marriage contracted between him and Eleanor, the daughter of Raymond, count of Provence, lately deceased.

A dispensation obtained by the archbishop of Canterbury.

About the same time, the following letter emanated from the bishop of Lincoln, for the better information of people on the foregoing matters. "To all the sons of the mother Church to whom these presents shall come, Robert, by divine mercy, bishop of Lincoln, Eternal health in the Lord.- Be it known to you in general, that we have examined a mandate from the pope, not cancelled or abolished, or vitiated in any respect, the purport of which is as follows:- 'Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brethren the bishops, amd his well-beloved children the abbats, priors, archdeacons, deans, chaplains, and other prelates and clerks of

132 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

the churches throughout the city, diocese, and province of Canterbury, Health and Benediction.- The profoundness of the celestial plans, which by an incalculable and inscrutable providence arranges all things, not without a dispensation of sure grounds alternates the vicissitudes of affairs, so as at one time to render the aid of inferiors necessary to superiors, at another that of superiors to be necessary to inferiors, in order that, by changes of this kind, the human race may see the instability of its condition, and by compassionating and assisting one another, may fulfil the law of Christ, by which each is ordered to love his neighbour, and to bear the burdens of his fellow. Since, therefore, as our venerable brother, the archbishop of Canterbury, has set forth to us the church of Canterbury, as well in the time of his predecessors, who suffered innumerable troubles, and were annoyed by the disadvantages of several necessities, as also during the long vacancies of that church, during which times both friends and strangers alike went out of their way to plunder and carry off her property, was oppressed with such a heavy weight of debt that it could with difficulty free itself without applying to the providence of the Apostolic See, he has humbly begged of us, in our usual kindness, to deign to assist the said church, lest, through accumulating interest, its loss should become more severe, and, as it were, irremediable. But as the said church of Canterbury above all others in the world is held in such honour, that it is regarded with sincere affection as a particularly beloved daughter, and distinguished with marks of singular favour by the Roman church, by the sweet odour of which it is refreshed, restored to a state of tranquillity, and advanced in prosperity, let us also treat the said church of Canterbury with that special prerogative of favour and grace, that, in compliance with the urgent request of the said church, and chiefly in consideration for the said archbishop, who, as a devout son and noble limb of the Church, fervent in his devotion, pure in his mode of life, and distinguished by his nobility, is held in the highest esteem and affection by us and our brethren, we, by the advice of our brethren, give a favourable assent to his entreaties, and, by these our letters, give orders to our venerable brother, the bishop of Hereford, that for seven years, and no more, he shall collect the revenues of the first year of all the ecclesiastical benefices

A.D. 1246.] THE KING'S ANGER. 133

which shall from this time become vacant in the city, diocese, and province of Canterbury, to the amount of ten thousand marks; but if this sum can be raised before the expiration of the seven years, nothing further shall be demanded; also that he shall collect two thousand marks annually from the revenues of the said archbishop, and shall faithfully apply the aforesaid sums to the payment of the debts of the aforesaid church; provided, however, that he, the said bishop, shall cause a sufficient portion out of the aforesaid revenues to be assigned to the persons doing duty in the said benefices for their support, that they may not be defrauded of the benefits due to them. And if it should happen that these revenues of the said benefices of the first year should belong, according to the custom of the country, to persons dying, the said bishop shall collect the proceeds of those benefices in the following year, checking all gainsayers by our authority, and putting aside all appeal. Wherefore we beg, warn, and exhort, and by these apostolic letters order the whole community of you, giving heed to the fact that it is proper for the necessity of the mother to be relieved by the wealth of the children, and that they ought devoutly and kindly to support her burdens, to show yourselves prompt and ready, both by word and deed, in collecting and paying these said revenues to the said bishop, that you may thus at a future time have a claim on the favour and good-will of the said archbishop, and that you may find him more ready on this account to promote the advantage of you and your churches. Given at Lyons, the twenty-seventh of August, in the third year of our pontificate. In witness whereof we have to these presents affixed our seal'".

How the king became enraged, but his anger was soon calmed.

"When these things came to the king's knowledge, he was at first astonished, and being much provoked and enraged, he loudly gave vent to his feelings, saying, "I wonder that Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, whom I promoted to that station, has caused such expense to my kingdom, and that he is not satisfied with having saucily hurled from the bishopric of Chichester Robert Passlow, whom I had selected, and whose promotion I had brought about, but is daily engaging in war, like a freebooter, and is now about to devise

134 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

plans against me, to my loss and dishonour, in Provence as well as in England. Here, now, is a new and hitherto unheard-of pecuniary extortion! How manifold are the snares of the hunters to deceive the simplicity of their subjects! By this machination my nobles, to whom the patronage of churches pertains, are defrauded; the land is despoiled of its revenue, and a recurrence of similar extortions is to be feared". When, however, it was at length whispered to the king that he had very little reason to be angry with the archbishop for annulling the election of the said Robert, both because on his examination he was found to be incompetent, and also because the annulling his election was advantageous and profitable to him the king, because he, Robert, was now daily diligently employed for the royal emolument, womanlike, his resolution to oppose this proceeding was broken, and, as was reported, he was shamefully softened by a woman's intercession. How trudy is woman so called, as bringing woe and weakness to man. [1]

Neither did the king (with shame I say it) stand up boldly as he ought for the indemnity of the church, as it was not clear that the church of Canterbury was oppressed to such a great degree by Archbishop Edmond, especially as regarded interest, nor for the protection of his kingdom, or the honour of the holy pontiffs of Canterbury; but gave permission to the said Archbishop Boniface to receive the aforesaid contribution throughout England. However, he at the same time, by his royal letters, issued an order prohibiting any one coming from the Roman court by the pope's order, and bearing letters under the bull, to make decrees for the purpose of extorting money from the English church, and of impoverishing the kingdom, from being allowed to wander about the country to the prelates, and that any one who should be caught so doing should be seized and confined in his royal prison. He also ordered the ports to be guarded, and enjoined this order on the wardens of them. This, however, but little inspirited the hearts of the wretched English, who knew the slippery disposition of the king, and had learnt by frequent experience that he was dissuaded

[1] The Latin word for woman is "mulier", as if a contraction of "molliens-herum", effeminating the man.


from any resolution with the same facility as he was induced to make it.

How a fine was levied on the Londoners.

About this same time, although the calmness of a vernal atmosphere smiled on men, yet the world in opposition disturbed the state of them. For the citizens of London, whom the royal clemency was bound to keep under the wings of its safe protection, were compelled, in bitterness of heart, and to the great injury of themselves and diminution of their property, to redeem themselves by the payment of a thousand marks, under the title of a talliage; and many people agreed with the prophecy of Merlin, and bore testimony to the truth of it, declaring that this king Henry was truly a "lynx penetrating all things with its eye"; that is to say, peering into and penetrating the purses of all.

The convocation of the nobles of England.

Whilst the stream of time was thus measuring out the age of man, the king issued letters summoning the nobles of the whole kingdom to assemble at London on the day on which is chanted "Let Jerusalem rejoice", namely, at Mid-Lent, to arrange the affairs of the kingdom in general.

Of the ambition of the Preacher brethren.

About the same time, the Preacher brethren, passing the bounds of the poverty which they had lately professed, began to ascend to higher grades, aspired at being reverenced and feared by ecclesiastic prelates, and aimed at being not merely preachers, but confessors as well, usurping to themselves the duties of ordinaries, whom they caused to be held in contempt, as though they were incompetent both in learning and power to rule the people of God and to hold the reins of the Church. By this proceeding they appeared to many discreet men to be enormously disturbing the arrangement of the Church universal, as was established by the sainted apostle, and the holy doctors, our ancestors, whose sanctity was evident to the whole world. It was even testified that neither the order of St. Benedict nor that of St. Augustine had broken out into such excesses during a course of many years as the order of these Preachers, who had only transplanted their shoots into England within these thirty years. After the lapse of a few years, they obtained an unheard-of privilege

136 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

from Pope Gregory, who was a particular favourer of them, and now at this present time they obtained from the pope this new one to strengthen the first, to the great loss and prejudice of the ordinaries.

The first privilege of the Preachers.

"Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God. to his venerable brethren the archbishops, and bishops, and to his beloved sons the abbats, priors, provosts, deans, archdeacons, archpriests, and other prelates of churches to whom these letters shall come, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Whereas iniquity abounds, and the charity of great numbers has grown cold, see the Lord has brought to life the order of our well-beloved brethren the Preachers, who, seeking not what is their own, but what is Christ's, have, for the purpose of putting an end to heresies and exterminating other deadly plagues, devoted themselves to the preaching of the word of God, in the debasement of voluntary poverty. We, therefore, to aid their holy purpose and necessary ministry with our favour, earnestly commend them to your community, begging and praying, in the Lord's name, for your charity towards them, and by these apostolic letters we order you, as you reverence God, kindly to admit our beloved sons, the brethren of this order, to the duties of preaching, for which they have been deputed; and to allow the people intrusted to you devoutly to receive the seed of the word of God from their mouths, and to confess to them, as they are allowed by our authority to hear confessions and to enjoin penances; and we sedulously admonish you in your reverence for us and the Apostolic See, liberally to assist them in their necessities, that the people, being prepared by your exhortations to receive the aforesaid, may, like good and fruitful land, begin to put forth the harvest of virtues, instead of the thistles and brambles of vices, and that the said brethren, by your co-operation, may happily consummate the course of the ministering they have undertaken, and may reap the wished-for fruit of their labours; namely, the salvation of souls. But inasmuch as vices often enter by stealth, under the semblance of virtues, and the angel of Satan often falsely transforms himself into the angel of light, we, by authority of these presents, give orders, that if any, who say that they are of the order of Preachers, shall


preach in your provinces, converting their discourse to the purposes of obtaining money, by which the religion of those who have made profession of poverty would be disgraced, you at once seize on all such, and punish them as false preachers. Given at Anagni, the twenty-eighth of September, in the first year of our pontificate".

A second privilege confirming the first.

"Innocent the Fourth, bishop, servant of the servants of God; to the venerable brothers the bishops of Winchester, Worcester, and Norwich, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Whereas some people so delight in wickedness, that, breaking the bonds of abstinence, they give a free loose to unlawful actions, and, laying aside all fear of God, presume to molest religious persons in manifold ways, the affectionate mother Church has made a practice of charitably assisting those persons against such wickedness, by granting them the means of defence, whereby the rashness of these disturbers may be checked, the same persons may remain in safety, and others may be precluded from the means of committing similar offences. Inasmuch, therefore, as the provincial prior and brethren of the order of Preachers in England (as has been intimated to us on their behalf) are suffering manifold injuries from some who fear not to take the name of the Lord in vain, we, wishing to protect the same against the insolent attempts of evil-minded persons, by these apostolic writings command your brotherhood, by the protection of your favour, effectually to assist the aforesaid prior and brethren against the boldness of wicked men, and not to allow them to be improperly molested by any, in opposition to the privileges granted them by the Apostolic See, hindering all such persecutors of them by the Church's censure, postponing all appeal, notwithstanding the decree concerning two days' journey issued at the general council, the present to be of no effect after a period of ten years. And if you cannot all be present at the carrying these matters into effect, two of you shall, nevertheless, see to the fulfilment of them. Given at the Lateran, the seventeenth of May, in the first year of our pontificate".

The reply of the archdeacon of St. Alban's.

Delighted and elevated by this privilege, the Preachers, insolently addressing themselves to divers prelates of

138 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

churches, bishops, and archdeacons, when presiding at their councils, where many influential men, such as deans, priests, vicars, and rectors of churches had assembled, publicly showed them these privileges granted to them, stiff-neckedly demanding that they should be recited and received with reverence, and recommended in their churches; and that they, the Preachers themselves, should be admitted, without any opposition, to preach to the people at the synod, and in the parochial churches, as being legates, and even angels of God. With an insolent bearing, also, they were continually asking every one, and even religious men, "Have you been, confessed"? and if they answered in the affirmative, the Preachers asked them, "By whom"? and on the reply being given, "By my priest"? they added, "Who is that idiot! he has never listened to theology, he has never studied the decrees; he has never learnt to unravel any one question. They are blind, and leaders of the blind; come to us, who can distinguish one leprosy from another, to whom the arduous, difficult, and secret mysteries of God are revealed; confess without alarm to us, to whom, as you see and hear, such great power has been granted". Many people, therefore, especially the nobles and their wives, despising their own priests and prelates, made their confessions to the Preachers, whereby the dignity and condition of the ordinaries became of very little consideration; and, in great confusion, they grieved at their being held in such contempt, and not without evident reason; for they saw that the ecclesiastical order was much disturbed; that order, which for a long time past, walking in the Lord in calm simplicity, had evidently presented to God many saints on their departing from this world, of whose holiness I think it wicked to entertain doubts. They also saw their parishioners sin, boldly and impudently, because they knew that they would not be exposed to shame before their own priest, when confessing their sins, which was considered a great danger, inasmuch as shame and confusion in confession are the chief and greatest part of penitence; and when about to commit any sin, they said in a whisper one to another, "Let us do whatever seems pleasant and voluptuous to us, and after we have done what we desire, we shall confess, without any annoyance, to some of the Preachers or Minorites when passing


near us, whom we have never seen yet, and shall never see again"; and thus, as the ordinaries and their disciplines were despised, sin abounded. Whilst the world, then, like the sea, was heaving and tossing with such agitations, certain Preachers, armed with their privileges, assumed boldness, and entered the church of St. Alban's (where the archdeacon of that church, as was the custom, was duly holding council), and showed their privileges, by which they were invested with new and unheard-of powers and dignities; and one of them, who seemed to be of higher authority than the others, demanded that silence should be observed, as he was going to preach; whereupon the archdeacon replied, "Conduct yourself more moderately, brother; wait a little, till I explain my opinions to you. We simple persons, who are used to old and approved customs, wonder at this sudden innovation; nor is it to be wondered at that such an unheard-of innovation should produce astonishment and alarm. Why do you so pertinaciously consider us unworthy or incompetent to discharge the duties of the office assigned to us? Do you think that you alone will be amongst the number of those to be saved? for the apostle says, 'No man knows whether he is deserving of hatred or love'. You are now intruding yourselves not only to preach, according to your name of Preachers, but also to receive, or rather, to extort, confessions, that you may add to your other title, that of 'Brothers Confessors'. My brethren, I do not think it is wise to leave a certainty for the sake of an uncertainty, to recede from what you have been used to, to adopt what you are unused to, without further deliberation and consulting with your prior; I will not yet allow you to preach to, or receive the confessions of, those over whom I am appointed by the abbat's order. For it is clear to the whole Church, that those decrees, which I shall show to you and all around me, were made and confirmed by a general council, held in the time of Innocent the Third, in the year of grace one thousand two hundred and fifteen, at which were present the primates of the whole community of Christendom, sixty-one archbishops, four hundred and twelve bishops, and eight hundred abbats and priors; and these decrees were ordered to be inviolably observed at all times". Then opening the book, he pointed out and read the decretal on this matter.

140 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

The decretals on the aforesaid matters.

"All Christians, of either sex, when arrived at years of discretion, shall privately confess all their sins, at least once in a year, to their own priest, and shall endeavour, as far as lies in their power, to fulfil the penance enjoined on them; and shall reverently receive the sacrament of the Eucharist, at the least at Easter; unless, perhaps, by advice of their own priest, they shall think proper to abstain from receiving it for a time, for some reasonable cause, otherwise they shall, whilst living, be denied admission to the church, and when dead, shall be refused Christian burial. This salutary decree, therefore, should be published frequently in the churches, lest any one, out of the blindness of ignorance, should assume the veil of some excuse. If any one wishes, for some just reason, to confess his sins to a strange priest, he must first ask and obtain permission of his own priest; for if he does not this, the strange priest cannot loose or bind. The priest should be discreet and cautious, that, like a skilful physician, he may pour oil and wine into the wounds of the injured man, carefully inquiring into the circumstances of the sinners and the sin, by which he may understand how to give such counsel to the person confessing as he ought to receive, and to apply some kind of remedy, making divers experiments, to heal the sick man. He must, however, take all possible care that he do not by word or sign, or in any way whatever, betray the sinner; but if he, the priest, needs advice from any wiser person, let him ask it carefully without mentioning the man's name; and whoever shall presume to disclose any sin revealed to him at the penitential tribunal, shall not only be deposed from his sacerdotal office, but shall also he immured in some strict monastery, to undergo perpetual penance".

The death of David, prince of North Wales.

About the commencement of spring in this year, when those about to engage in war are usually more prompt than usual in making the necessary preparations, David, prince of North Wales, and nephew of the king, on his sister's side, a perjured man and fratricide, as, if worn out by various troubles, departed from this valley of mortals to the vale of


death, after enduring innumerable sorrows of mind, seeing the destruction of his territory, and witnessing the various slaughters and sufferings of his subjects from hunger, and even now leaving Wales in a disturbed and wretchedly desolate condition. In his stead the Welsh elected the son of Griffin as their chief, who, when he heard of this, at once left the king of England, and took sudden flight, like a hare, to the lurking-places of the Welsh, although the said king had received him in the bosom of his compassion, had honourably brought him up for a length of time past, and raised him to rank.

A parliament held at London.

In this year, certain laws were made with an increase of severity against all those who clandestinely perpetrated injuries in the parks or warrens of others, a fuller description of which is given in the book of letters after that of the inquisition concerning the offences connected with the forest.

About Mid-Lent, namely on the day on which is chanted "Let Jerusalem rejoice", all the nobility throughout the whole of England, consisting of the prelates, abbats, priors, and bishops, as also the earls and barons, assembled at a general parliament at London, on a summons by royal warrant, to make effectual arrangements, as necessity demanded, of the affairs of the kingdom, which was now in a tottering condition: for the people were harassed by the intolerable oppression incessantly practised upon them by the Roman court, and which they could not any longer endure without incurring the charge of cowardice, and without bringing ruin on themselves. And they were the more severely hurt in their minds because the pope, violating his promise, exasperated and oppressed them daily more heavily than he did before they made their complaint. The following are the promises which were made by him at the council of Lyons:-

Another privilege.

"Innocent, etc., to all the prelates in general, both of cathedral and other churches, and also to the clerical and lay patrons of churches throughout England, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Whereas we are unwilling that

142 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246

injuries should be inflicted on you, either by ourselves or by others on our authority, but would rather endeavour, as is our duty, to protect you from the annoyances of certain people, be it known to you by the tenor of these presents, that if our well-beloved son, Master Martin, clerk of our chamber, shall have, by our order, suspended any of you from the collation or presentation of benefices, we have determined to withdraw such suspension, unless it has been specially enforced, for certain persons, whom, however, we determine to limit to twelve; provided that amongst those twelve persons those shall not be reckoned on whom any of the aforesaid benefices have been bestowed, or who have letters concerning the holding of them from their patrons, or from those to whom the collation of them belongs".


"Innocent, etc., to the venerable hrethren the archbishops and bishops throughout the kingdom of England, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Whereas the Apostolic See is influenced by such an affection towards the English, that she designs to raise them above their brethren by manifold favours, and to honour them by a special mark of good-will; it is our great and earnest desire that the said English should perseveringly continue in the pursuit of devotion, and laudably promote the practice of good works, that they amongst the rest may be held worthy and acceptable. Hence we beg, advise, and exhort, and by these apostolic writings command, the community of you, by urgent and continued exhortations to induce the clerks of your cities and dioceses, and those who ought to be considered amongst the clerical knighthood, especially the sons of the nobles and men of rank, strenuously to practise honesty of morals, and to cultivate a knowledge of letters and of the virtues, studying with all diligence to make themselves grateful, and fit to lay claim to the favour of the aforesaid see, and the good wishes of others, as a reward for their probity. For we are ready liberally to open the hand of ecclesiastical provision to the well-deserving clerks of England, and also to make a dispensation of a plurality of benefices on those whom, as being more noble and of better morals, we know to be deserving of a larger share of our favour".



"Innocent, etc., to all the archbishops and bishops throughout the kingdom of Ungland, Health amd the apostolic benediction.- Your devotion well deserves that the Apostolic See should strengthen you by opportune favour, and should exalt you by a privilege of especial grace. Hence we, inclining to your supplications, and wishing to preserve your rights uninjured, advise, warn, and exhort, and by the apostolic authority order your community, and by the same authority grant you permission, as far as concerns you, freely and without any opposition, to bestow the ecclesiastical benefices in your gift, when they fall vacant, on fitting persons, who shall have the wish as well as the power of fulfilling the duties of them to advantage. Let no one, therefore, etc".


"Innocent, etc., to his beloved sons the patrons of all churches throughout the kingdom of Ungland, Health and the apostolic benediction.- The fervent devotion of the English deserves that the Apostolic See should embrace them with the arms of her maternal affection as her favourite children, strengthen them by opportune favour, and exalt them by the privilege of especial grace. Hence we, inclining to your entreaties, and desiring that your rights should be preserved inviolate, grant you permission, as far as concerns you, freely and without any opposition to present to the ecclesiastical benefices in which you have the right of patronage, whenever they fall vacant, fit persons who shall have the wish as well as power to fulfil the duties of them to advantage. Let none, etc".


"Innocent, etc., to the illustrious king of England, etc., etc.- We beg to inform your highness by the tenor of these presents, that, although those who have assumed the cross for the assistance of the Holy Land are exempt in many things, we do not wish that those of your kingdom, who have now assumed the cross for that purpose, should be exempted from the observance of the usual customs of the said kingdom, but be bound, as the others, to observe them".

144 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.


"Innocent, etc., to the illustrious king of England, etc., etc.- We beg, by the tenor of these presents, to inform your highness, that as we lately decreed, with the approbation of the sacred council, that the twentieth part of all ecclesiastical revenues should be devoted to the aid of the Holy Land, and that a similar portion of the revenues of certain churches - a thu'd portion of some persons, and a twentieth portion of others - should be given for the succour of the Roman empire (as is more fully contained in the statutes published on this matter), your messengers, whom you sent to the aforesaid council on behalf of you and your whole kingdom, strenuously opposed all decrees of that kind at that council".

The reason of this opposition was, that the pope had decreed that the office of collecting this tax should be given to whomsoever he should choose, which circumstance became suspicious.


Again he wrote to the king, commencing his letter with - "By the tenor of these presents, we wish it to be made known to you, that although permission has been heretofore granted by the Apostolic See to some prelates of churches freely to retain for a certain time the ecclesiastical benefices which they had held before their promotion, we do not henceforth intend to grant any similar indulgences".

One privilege besides, namely, "that an Italian should immediately succeed an Italian", was granted on account of the frauds of those who, on the death of beneficed persons, clandestinely appointed others in their places; but all these and other decrees are weakened by that stumbling-block, "notwithstanding, etc". Where then is faith? where are the rights which used to be confirmed by writings? They are banished.

How the French king endeavoured to reconcile the emperor to the pope.

About this time, whilst the sea of the world was agitated, by these tempests, Frederick, after some little reflection, being perhaps alarmed, and fearing attacks from the Germans as well as the Italians, from his own subjects as well


as his neighbours, or, as it is charitable to believe, through fear of God's anger, was touched by better feelings, and, being endowed with the spirit of humanity by him who says through his prophet David,- "Fill their faces with shame, and they will seek thy name, O Lord", offered to make atonement to the pope for his offences. In this matter he appointed the French king as his agent and mediator, who interposed his efforts, and went to the pope, who was staying at Lyons, but who came to Clugny on his approach, to meet him, to make arrangements for effecting a peace, if any terms could be come to. The emperor Frederick offered to take his departure for the Holy Land never to return; that he would pass his life there in fighting for Christ, and would use all his endeavours to restore his whole kingdom to Christian worship, on condition that his son should be installed in the imperial dignity in his stead; that a charitable dispensation and absolution should be granted to him, the said Frederick, with a full pardon for his transgressions, that, his good name being thus entirely restored, he might, from being a traitor, become a child of reconciliation. To this offer the pope replied, "How often have similar, or even greater promises, been made by him, and confirmed by oath on his part, which not only has he broken and refused to fulfil, but has added enormous offences besides". Then, looking humbly on the king, he said, "My lord, king of the French, and well-beloved son, not only is it my cause which is in question, but that of all Christendom also. Let your majesty consider how often and how humbly he was summoned for the purpose of reconciliation, whilst the whole council was waiting, but would not come, although summoned, in order to abide by the wholesome decision of the council rather than stand a trial by tribunal, and how he refused to fulfil what he had formerly promised and had sworn to himself, at the risk of his soul, and through the nobles, his mediators, who also had sworn on his soul, whereby they were exposed to shame, and which promises, moreover, he had committed to writing, and sealed with his imperial topaz.

Quo teneam nodo mutantem Protea vultus?
[How shall I bind this ever-changing Proteus?]

"Hehas rendered himself unworthy of belief in everything".

146 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

To this the pious French king replied, "Your holiness, is it not written in the Gospel, that 'seventy times seven times' should the bosom of compassion be opened to him who asks pardon? Consider how evil the times are. The Holy Land is in danger, and no means of freeing it are open to us, unless, next to God, he assists us who holds command over the ports, islands, and the extensive territories near the sea-coasts, and who knows all things that will benefit us who are about to set out on our pilgrimage. He makes great promises; I ask, and advise you, as well both on my own behalf and on that of the many thousand others who are about to make the pilgrimage, who are awaiting a favourable opportunity to cross the sea, or rather on behalf of the Church universal and the whole of Christendom, to accept of such a humiliation on the part of such a great prince, following in the steps of Christ, whose vicar you are on earth, and who is said to have humbled himself even to submit to death on the cross". But as the pope stiffneckedly rejected and refused to comply with his request, the French king went away in anger and indignation, because he had found but very little of that humility which he had hoped for in this "servant of the servants of God".

How the Templars and Hospitallers endeavoured to ransom their brethren who were captives.

Whilst Fortune was revolving her wheel amidst the proceedings of the people on this side the Alps, she was also causing various vicissitudes to the Christians in the provinces beyond sea. For the Templars and Hospitallers feeling their own misery, on reflecting amongst themselves, late as it was, determined to put up special prayers, and institute fastings more than usual for the release of the Holy Land; understanding, moreover, that their masters, together with some Knights Templars and others, were detained alive as prisoners in the power of the sultan of Babylon, they sent some of their brethren, whom they knew to be more prudent than the rest, to the said sultan, to treat effectually with him for the release by ransom of the said prisoners, however large the sum demanded might be, and ordering them not to spare gold or silver to effect their object. These brethren, having obtained a truce and safe-conduct, in the first place offered costly presents to the sultan's nobles, beseeching them

A.D. 1246.] THE SULTAN'S REPLY. 147

strenuously to intercede for them with the sultan, to induce him to accept of a sum of money, as much as he should choose to demand, for the ransom of their masters and some of their brethren. When the sultan heard of this, he rebuked these intercessors, and, reproaching the said Templars and Hospitallers, said, "What wretches are those Christians whom we call Templars and Hospitallers, transgressors as they are of their law and their order; for in the first place, a few years back, they wished traitorously to betray their emperor Frederick when a pilgrim in the service of Christ, but, owing to our regard to justice protecting him, they did not succeed in their attempts. Again, these people, who are mutually bound to love their brothers as themselves, and to assist them in their necessities, have now, for five years, carried on a war amongst themselves, and cherished feelings of inexorable hatred one against another; nor could Earl Richard, the English king's brother, who was held to be the most distinguished of all the Christians, pacify them; these Templars also saucily broke the truce wisely made by him, in contempt of him, the said Earl Richard, whom they called a boy, and in contumely of their brethren the Hospitallers. Also in the battle lately fought between us and them, their chief and standard-bearer (whom they call 'Balcanifer'), was, contrary to the established rule of their order, the first to withdraw, a fugitive, from the battle. And now, adding evil to evils, and heaping transgressions on transgressions of the rules of their order, they are endeavouring to procure the release of their masters and brethren who are captives, by paying a large sum of money, when we know that, according to the rules of their order, they can only be ransomed by a certain belt or cape. Owing to their manifold deserts, therefore, the Lord has delivered them as prisoners into the hands of those who hate them". Then, with a severe and scowling look he ordered these intercessors to depart, declaring that the condition of the prisoners should be worse for the future. When the result of the application was told to the messengers, they said in sorrow to those who had interceded for them, "What is to be done in this emergency? have we to no purpose given you presents, seeing that we had such confidence in you? Advise us effectually as to the means by which our imprisoned brethren, whom we require, may be

148 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

liberated". The interpreters replied, "It is true you have given us handsome presents, and we will repay them to you by faithful advice: all that you have to do is this;- prevail on the emperor Frederick, whom our lord loves and respects above all men, to send word by a messenger, or in writing, with the most gentle entreaties, and all those whom you require will be gratuitously set at liberty". The messengers replied, "Never, as long as we breathe, will we consent to a plan of this kind"; and thus, after having been severely rebuked, they went away in confusion, without any hopes of effecting the liberation of the captives. From this circumstance can be gathered how great the friendship was which united the emperor Frederick with the said sultan.

The assemblage of all the nobles of England.

On the assembling of the nobles at the parliament before mentioned, on the day when is chanted "Let Jerusalem rejoice", the king, in the first place, with his own mouth, addressed the bishops by themselves, afterwards the earls and barons, and finally, the abbats and priors, on the matters for which he had sent his special messengers to the council at Lyons, and showed them certain indulgences and papal letters before mentioned in this book, which the messengers had brought back with them, and told them how the pope had made many good promises to the said messengers on behalf of himself and the kingdom. But because he, the king, perceived, as also he had generally heard, and afterwards discovered, that even after the said indulgences and promises the pope laid his hand on more heavily, and, as if in contempt, acted more wantonly than usual towards the kingdom by his oppression of the Church, he showed them articles concerning the oppressions and injuries practised on the Church and his kingdom, the tenor of which is as follows.

The injuries of the kingdom of England.

"The kingdom is oppressed because the pope is not content with the supply, which is called St. Peter's pence, but extorts a heavy contribution from the whole of the clergy of England, and is still endeavouring to practise still greater extortions, and this he does without the assent or consent of the king, contrary to the ancient customs, liberties, and


rights of the kingdom, and in spite of the appeal and opposition made by the proctors of the king and kingdom at the general council".

"Item, the Church, as well as the kingdom, is oppressed because the patrons of the churches have not the power to present fitting clerks to them when vacant, which the pope, by his letters, granted to them; but the churches are given to the Romans, who are entirely ignorant of the proper language of the kingdom, to the peril of the people's souls, and who carry money out of the kingdom, thereby impoverishing it beyond measure".

"Item, it is oppressed by the provisions made by the pope in exacting pensions contrary to the tenor of his letters, in which is contained a statement that, out of all the reservations made in England, he only intended to confer twelve benefices, after the writing of the said letters; but we believe that a great many more benefices were given away, and provisions made by him afterwards".

"Item, it is oppressed, because Italian succeeds Italian, and because the English are, by the apostolic authority, dragged out of the kingdom in their causes, contrary to the customs of the kingdom, contrary to the written laws, because they ought not to be convened amongst their opponents, and contrary to the indulgences granted to the king and kingdom of England by the predecessors of the pope".

"Item, it is oppressed by the reiterated appearance of that infamous message, 'Notwithstanding', by which the religious bond of an oath, old customs, the strength of the Scriptures, the authority of grants and concessions, and established laws and privileges are weakened and destroyed, so that great numbers of people in England are severely oppressed and injured; nor does the pope himself, in revoking the plenitude of his power, conduct himself with regard to the kingdom of England as courteously and moderately as he had verbally promised the proctors of the kingdom of England".

"Item, it is oppressed by the general talliages, collections, and assizes, made without the consent or wish of the king, and contrary to the appeal and opposition of the proctors of the king and the community of England".

"Item, it is oppressed, because in the benefices of the Italians, neither the laws, nor the support of the poor, nor

150 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

hospitality, are observed; neither is the preaching of the word of God attended to, nor the useful ornamenting of churches, nor the cure of souls, nor are divine services performed in the churches, as is proper and the custom of the country; but in their edifices the walls and roof fall together and are entirely destroyed".

After giving attention to those articles, each and all unanimously agreed that, out of reverence for the Apostolic See, they should, by letters as well as by special messengers, once more beg of the pope to put an end to such intolerable injuries, and to withdraw such an insupportable yoke from them. They accorchngly wrote to his holiness as follows:-

The complaint of all the English of the aforesaid oppressions.

"To our reverend father in Christ, Innocent, by the grace of God supreme pontiff, the suffragan bishops of the province of Canterbury, with commendation of kisses to his blessed feet. - The benignity of the Apostolic See, which placed us in the bosom of honour and especial affection, when we were lately present at the council of Lyons, and its sublimity, which in so many respects shows condescension to our littleness, invite our minds as its spiritual children to zeal for the honour and prosperity of our holy mother Church, seeing that we are willing to labour for her and her honour, and to maintain her in peace as we are justly bound to do. The more fervent we wish to be found in our devotion, the more strenuously are we bound to cherish our people and our kingdom in the unity of the mother Church; but this can in no way be effected by us without the special aid of the said see. At a council lately held at Mid-Lent by our illustrious chief and king, at which we were present, we heard certain things which we repeat to your holiness with sorrow: these were, that the king and nobles, and as it were the people in general, were discontented, and murmuring with reiterated complaints, that in the collations of benefices, which are promptly made by provisors in England, they and the kingdom, as well as the people in general, are weighed down by intolerable oppression by the nobles and others being summoned to trial out of the kingdom, contrary to their privileges and to those of the kingdom, and also by several other


annoyances which, as we believe, they purpose to inform your holiness of more fully. And, when openly condemning these things, they declared, as if from their hearts, that they would rather die than endure them any longer, as they appeared to shoot forth more and more day after day, especially too as these said oppressions afflict them, as they assert, more heavily and more severely, notwithstanding the promise of alleviating them which they say was made to their proctors by your holiness at the above-mentioned council. Moreover, the clamorous and tumultuous complaints of so many and such powerful persons, however dangerous and heavy to bear they seemed to us, could not by any means be appeased by us, although we laboured with all diligence, and by all the means we knew of to effect this purpose. And as matters thus go on, we think and fear that they will be the commencement of griefs and the source of many evils in England; we therefore throw ourselves at the feet of your holiness, and with tearful entreaties beg of you, giving heed to the fervour of faith in the English, and considering that the kingdom of England has proved itself particularly devoted to the holy Roman church, in your reverence for God to look on the disturbed state of the said kingdom, and to aid the people in it by your paternal consolation in those matters which conduce to their safety and tranquillity. And we also, as we eagerly desire their salvation and tranquillity, will use our endeavours so to keep them together in the unity of the faith and in devotion to the Church, that, with Christ's assistance, it may tend to the honour of God and the Church, as also of yourself, holy father. In addition to this, may it please your holiness to appease on honourable terms the minds of our said prince and his brother, Richard, earl of Cornwall, who assert that they are mutually injured, and declare that the cause of the said injury is the undue favour shown by the Roman church to the adverse party".

Letters of the abbats of England to the pope.

"To the most holy father in Christ, and well-beloved lord. Innocent, by the grace of God supreme pontiff of the universal Church, his devoted children the abbats and priors, and the brethren of their convents in the provinces of Canterbury and

152 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

York, Health and kisses to his blessed feet.- The providence of the Divine Majesty, disposing all things in number, weight, and measure, has so placed the foundation of the Church, its spouse, on a solid rock, that on the structure of a firm foundation, strongly consolidated by the cement of the blood of his Son, the building might rise more easily and more prosperously. The Church universal, springing from the blood of Christ, who cries out more for pardon than vengeance, is, by the disposal of its spouse, ruled by one father and pastor, in the same way as the ark, which was finished to a cubit, was guided over the waters of the deluge. Christ, I say, who is the virtue and wisdom of God, has united to himself the universal Church as his only spouse, because she is his only dove, his elect one, who, though she is divided into particular parts, ought not to separate from the divine worship, and the church of England has unceasingly shown herself glorious to her spouse, who entered into a contract with her in the virginal womb without spot or blemish. Even to the latest times many glorious things have been said of the city of God, namely the English church, which, as a special limb of the holy Roman church, the honour of Mounts Lebanon, Carmel, and Sion, always frequent and attentive in her divine duties, with the clearness of purity pours forth her heart like water, raises her pure hands to God, and continually directs the incense of her prayers to the judgment-seat of the Trinity. Although, however, she is in no slight degree intent on her divine duties, yet she grieves and mourns, and is troubled about the exactions, oppressions, and manifold tribulations which have fallen on her heavily; for as we have learnt from the assertions of the nobles, and also from the cries of the people, the wind, rushing forth from the desert, has violently attacked and agitated the four corners of the said church like the house of Job. Wherefore she has changed her rejoicing into wailing, and her joy into lamentation, because her soul is in bitterness, unless, by the favour of your majesty, its now-dejected head be raised again. To you, therefore, reverend father, as to a pillar which God has fixed, not man, the English church resorts, confidently hoping in the Lord, whose acts are goodness, that you will apply a wholesome remedy against her oppressions, and by justice.


which looks down from heaven, through the medium of God's union with man, you will give to each his rights and preserve all in their justice. Inasmuch then as we are faithful and devoted children of the holy Roman church, we have, in order that, the missile being foreseen, may hurt less, thought right to intimate the foregoing matters to the Apostolic See, seeing that manifold peril is impending over it, and unless in many points a remedy is applied by you, there will be reason to fear that a disturbance will occur amongst the people, scandal will arise, and manifold schisms be produced. For the people are excited against the king, and are ready to secede from their allegiance, unless the impending diseases are quickly met by the royal power. For the nobles and men of rank declare, that if the churches bestowed on the monasteries by them are conferred on Italian clerks, they will have a just right to recall those churches and other benefices into their own possession, because the revenues proceeding from them ought by right to be applied to the benefit of poor persons and pilgrims, since this was the intention of the givers, and the cause of their being given. May it therefore please your holiness to make provision that the kingdom and the priesthood shall on no account be separated. For if the English church, which was once considered the pride of all ages, and according to the saying of the prophet, a land of giants, were to be dragged to ruin, a division being thus made between the kingdom and the priesthood, the people as well as the priesthood would be discontented, and a massacre of many people would follow without delay. Concerning the injuries of which the nobles and men of rank complain, you will be informed by the bearers of these presents, so that, by correction immediately following, their grief may be converted into joy".

Letter from the general community of England to the pope.

"To the most holy, etc., etc. His devoted sons, Richard earl of Cornwall, Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester, De Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex, R. le Bigod earl of Norfolk, R. earl of Gloucester and Hereford, R. earl of Winchester, W. earl of Albemarle, H. earl of Oxford, and others throughout the whole of England, barons and nobles, as well as the nobles of the ports dwelling near the sea-coast, as also the

154 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

clergy and people in general, Health and due reverence in all respects to such a potent pontiff.- The mother Church is bound so to cherish her children, and to assemble them under her wings, that they may not degenerate in their duty to their mother, but may make stronger efforts on her behalf, if necessary, and, taking up the sword and buckler, may oppose themselves to every peril in her defence, from whose milk they derive consolation, whilst they hang on the breasts of her motherly affection; for the mother ought to remember the children of her womb; lest, by acting otherwise, and withdrawing the nourishment of her milk, she may appear to become a stepmother. The father, also, who withdraws his affection from his sons, is no father, but ought, with good reason, to be called a stepfather, as he considers his natural children as illegitimate ones, or stepsons. On this account, reverend father, 'chariot of Israel and its charioteer', we confidently resort to the asylum of your affection, crying aloud after you, humbly and devoutly praying of you, in the hopes of divine retribution, compassionately to listen to the voices of those crying after you, and to apply a salutary remedy to the burdens, injuries, and oppressions repeatedly imposed and practised on the kingdom of England, and our lord the king; otherwise, scandal will necessarily arise, urged on as we are ourselves, as well as the king, by the clamours of the people; since it will be necessary for us, unless the king and kingdom are soon released from the oppressions practised on him and it, to oppose ourselves as a wall for the house of the Lord, and for the liberty of the kingdom. This, indeed, we have, out of respect for the Apostolic See, hitherto delayed doing; but we shall not be able to dissemble after the return of our messengers who are sent on this matter to the Apostolic See, or to refrain from giving succour, as far as lies in our power, to the clergy, as well as the people of the kingdom of England, who will on no account endure such proceedings; and your holiness may rest assured that, unless the aforesaid matters are speedily reformed by you, there will be reasonable grounds to fear that such peril will impend over the Roman church, as well as our lord the king, that it will not be easy to apply a remedy to the same; which God forbid".


The king's letter to the pope to release England from the papal oppressions.

"To the most holy, etc.- He knows, who is ignorant of nothing, that we always entertain sincere affection for our mother, the holy Roman church, inasmuch as she is one which we are bound to love, and to which we fly with confidence in times of urgent necessity, as a son to his mother, which she has suckled at her own breast, and whom she is bound to cherish when fighting under her special protection. But we cannot turn a deaf ear to the unusual clamorous complaints of the nobles of England, clergy as well as people, however much affection we may feel towards our said mother, and intend, by God's favour, continually to show towards her. For the said nobles have become more than usually loud in their complaints, calling on us to procure their liberation from the oppressions which have been, ere now, brought to your notice by their special messengers; but bad as they were, the recent oppressions weigh much more heavily on them. Wherefore, as the said nobles with good reason send their special messenger to us, we earnestly beg your holiness to accede to their entreaties in such a way that you may render us, the sons, well-wishing and devoted to our mother and to yourself, lest, if you act otherwise, we, as well as the Roman church, may be placed in such peril (which may God in his compassion avert), that we shall never be able to release ourselves from it".

Another from the same to the cardinals, on the same matter.

"To each and all the venerable fathers in Christ, by the grace of God cardinals of the holy Roman church, H. by the same grace king of England, etc., Health and sincere affection.- However much we may love the Roman church, and desire its advantage and honour, we cannot dissemblingly pass by the clamorous complaints of the nobles of England, clergy as well as people, who have now become more than usually urgent in their outcries against the oppressions which have been at some former time brought to the notice of the pope as well as yourselves by their special messengers. Wherefore they humbly and devoutly entreat of the pope, that he will condescend to listen to their reasonable entreaties, which have been made to him by reiterated messengers, so that he

156 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

may render them more favourable and devoted to the said Church and to us, and prevent them from becoming estranged from their allegiance. We also earnestly beg of you in your paternal affection to interpose your efforts, that the messengers of the said nobles now again sent may be listened to with such favour by the pope as well as by yourselves, that the imminent peril which seems to hang over the said Church, to which we are bound to show submission for ever, may not fall on us and it, although it is feared in no slight degree by each and all of our kingdom. Witness myself at Westminster, the twenty-eighth day of March, in the thirtieth year of our reign".

How complaints were heaped upon complaints.

Many people, who had been seriously injured by the Roman court, now continued to come to the king with accounts of the daily occurrence of the above-mentioned oppressions (concerning which complaints multiplied in all directions), hoping that the king and his agents would remain firm in their purpose; and by their complaints brought many injuries inflicted on them fresh to his memory, and to that of his council; and some injuries, which were not previously recollected, were now added to the list of their former ones, which were in no slight degree derogatory to the king and kingdom, as follows:-

Complaints against the Roman court.

"Letters have lately emanated from the Apostolic See containing matters in no slight degree prejudicial to the king and kingdom; namely, that certain prelates should provide his holiness the pope with a certain number of knights, some with ten, others with five, and others with fifteen, who were to continue in the service of the Roman church for an entire year, and, whilst on service, should be under the pay of these prelates, and who should be well and sufficiently furnished with horses and arms, whenever the pope should think fit, which military service is not due to any one except only to a king and to the princes of a kingdom, and is never remembered, up to our present time, to have been exacted by any one; and even if it should please the pope to make an exaction of this kind without the king's consent, or to receive a large sum of money by way of redemption from it, it would


by no means be due to him. Besides, in order that the king might not have the means of taking precautions against this, it was fraudulently managed by certain messengers of the Church, and an order was given by them to each of the prelates, that they were not, under penalty of excommunication, to disclose this exaction, or the heavy ransom taken instead of it, to any one for the space of half a year. Again, to the no slight prejudice and injury of each and all of the patrons of the English churches, about this time a grant was made to the archbishop of Canterbury, that all the revenues and proceeds, for one year, of the benefices which might become vacant in the province of Canterbury, should be given to him, the said archbishop of Canterbury".

How the Holy Land recovered breath a little from the oppressions of the Babylonians.

About this time, the detestable Chorosmins, having completed their wicked deeds in the Holy Land, insolently and urgently demanded of the sultan of Babylon the fulfilment, without delay or opposition, of certain promises and agreements made by him to them for their services in war, and on the said sultan's haughtily refusing, in reply, to accede to their demands, declaring that they were sufficiently enriched out of the spoils of the conquered, the Chorosmins said that, although they had carried off some booty, yet they had given up to him, the sultan, the persons of the noble captives, who would be ransomed at a great price. From words arose reproaches, and they all left the sultan in a rage, and with angry threats, and, at once making a compact with the sultan of Damascus, they entered into an alliance with, and adhered to him. He also, to the injury and ruin of the Babylonians, gave his daughter in marriage to the chief of the Chorosmins, and from that time the Damascenes recovered breath, and, relying on the assistance of the said Chorosmins, made fierce war on the Babylonians, the greatest enemies of the Christians. The latter also, on learning this circumstance, conceived some kind of hopes and consolation from the discord amongst the Saracens, and especially from the divisions amongst their enemies.

How the emperor Frederick cleared himself from the charge of heresy.

About the same time, Frederick, whom the Church did not

158 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

allow to be styled emperor, in order to restore his fame, which he perceived was much injured by the charge of heresy, sent the following letter to the nobles of England, all of whom he hoped would, together with the king, boldly stand up against the importunities of the Roman court.

The emperor's letter.

"Frederick, etc., etc., to the prelates of the churches, earls and barons, and the nobles in general throughout England, to whom these presents shall come, as his devoted friends, Health and every good wish.- Although we believe that the pre-announcement of common fame and the true testimony of the messengers of various countries has brought to the knowledge of your community the justice of our cause, because, although 'what reaches the ear is slower to excite the mind' than, that which reaches the eyes of Christians, we lay before you the pure and naked truth of the proceedings which the supreme pontiffs have hitherto carried on against us, for a full and attentive examination of which, although persons have been appointed at so many times to examine into our business, we trust your affection may grant a fixed and sufficient time at which, if possible, you may consider in your own opinions, whether there is in our pontiffs a due regard to pontifical rectitude; whether a just defence ought to be denied us who have been provoked by so many and such great injuries; in fact, whether the vicars of Christ have fulfilled Christ's duties, and whether these successors of their predecessor Peter follow his example; and also may consider under what title a proceeding of this kind instituted against us ought to be styled, or by what name a sentence, if it can be so called, is to be entitled, which an incompetent judge has promulgated. For although we, as due regard to our Catholic faith suggests, most distinctly acknowledge our belief that full power in spiritual matters was conferred by the Lord for the high priest of the holy Roman see, however great a sinner (which God forbid) he might be, and also that whatever he should bind on earth should be bound also in heaven, and whatever he loosed should also be loosed; and yet nowhere do we read that power was given to him, either by divine or human law, to transfer empires at his pleasure, or to decide on the temporal punishment of kings or princes.


by depriving them of their kingdoms or territories; since, although the duty of consecrating us belongs to him by right and by the custom of our ancestors, yet the duty of depriving us of the same, or of deposition, does not belong to him any more than to certain prelates of kingdoms, who, according to custom, consecrate and anoint their kings. Let it be without any prejudice to us that he holds such power. Is it from this plenitude of authority that he can punish all whom he declares to be subject to his authority, without observing any regard at all to law or order? For he has of late, as is stated, proceeded against us, not by the regular means of an accusation, as no proper accuser appeared, and no writing preceded it; nor has he proceeded by summons, according to law, nor by way of an inquisition, previously setting forth his claims; since also no copy of the proceedings of the inquisitors has been made out for us, since there were none at all, as they were appointed to the inquisition by such a judge as this, he declares that everything is notorious, which we openly deny to be so, and they are not proved to be notorious by a legal number of witnesses. For in this way any judge might, laying aside all regard to law, of himself condemn any one merely by declaring the crime to be notorious. There arose against us at the council (as we are told) some very few unjust witnesses, one of whom, the bishop of Calvi, had a reasonable cause for conceiving hatred against us, owing to his relations, namely his brother and nephew, having been lawfully condemned by us to be hung for the crime of treachery, and whose evidence ought properly to have been rejected on that account; others, who came from the furthest provinces of Spain, namely the bishops of Tarragona and Compostella, were hostile to our cause, owing to the distance of their native country, Italy, and the poisonous subornation practised on them and their followers; and, moreover, if the plaintiff and judge were legally constituted as regards the witnesses they adduced, a third party was still wanting, who might have been justly condemned if he was present, or if he was absent through contumacy. For though we were summoned at his preaching at Lyons, as we have heard, although quite informally, namely, that we were bound to appear either in our own person or through others competent to answer for us, to do justice to him who summoned us,

160 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

or to others, there being no express mention made of the person or the cause, present we certainly were not, but were absent on good grounds, to prove which our lawful agents were not admitted; nor were we absent out of contumacy, inasmuch as besides that there was no summons to any one, as has been before stated, the citation did not specify any fixed time, as the course of law demands; and the form of citation sent to princes and prelates [1] shows clearly in what our contumacy consists. Besides this, we were fully exculpated by the message of Master Thaddeus de Sessa, our well-beloved subject and faithful judge of our high court, whose authority is by no means weakened by the proceedings against us being, not of a civil, but a criminal character, in which latter a proctor cannot act, since the tenor of the summons which cites us or our proctor would plainly prove the contrary; namely, that we ought to have been proceeded against, not in a criminal way, but only as in a civil cause, limited by all the particulars aforesaid, without prejudice to our just right. And supposing we were openly contumacious, it is no legal punishment for contumacy, for the person informed against, or accused of contumacy, to be condemned by a definitive sentence before duly undergoing a trial, without his cause being inquired into by public or private judgment. For in such cases there are other punishments for contumacious persons, which have been introduced in civil and canonical rules. Finally, supposing that all the aforesaid safeguards of justice, irrefragable although they were, were withheld from our cause, the tenor of that declaration shows that that is no sentence by which, not our proctor, who was present, but ourselves, although absent, were condemned,- a sentence wliich certain laws and rights declare to be, ipso jure, null and void. The evident iniquity of the whole course of the proceedings is also shown by the causes which he includes in the sentence, and against which we are defended by uncorruptible truth and by public documents, as the true narration of the bearer of these presents, as well as the contents of those documents, most plainly show, although each and all of the aforesaid matters would not have sufficed to draw upon us a sentence to such

[1] The origiual here is ungrammatical and obscure.


a dire punishment (if it can be called a sentence) as is known to have been hurled against us, the Roman emperor. Manifest was his precipitation, and from a preconceived rancour of mind does he show that he has acted in the foregoing matters, since he would not wait, even for three days, the arrival of our well-beloved the venerable bishop of Frisingue, H. the master of the Teutonic house of the Hospital, and Master P. de Vinea, a judge of the high court, well beloved subjects of ours, whom we had lately sent to the council to complete terms of peace. Not even did he wait for Master Walter de Ocra, our chaplain, notary, and a faithful subject of ours, who, having been sent by us with the knowledge of the supreme pontiff and some of the brethren, ought to have been duly waited for, twenty days; whereas it was only two days before the aforesaid proceedings took place at Lyons, though the nobles and prelates were anxious to wait for him. Nevertheless, great animosity is apparent in the severity of the sentence inflicted on our fault, by which the Roman emperor, the imperial ruler and declared lord, is condemned of the crime of treason, by which he is ridiculously made amenable to the law, who is, by his imperial rank, freed from all law, on whom temporal punishments ought to be inflicted, not by man, but by God, as he has no superior amongst men. But the spiritual punishments to be adjudged on us by way of penances assigned to us by the priests, as well for contempt of the keys as for other human transgressions, we receive with reverence and devoutly observe, when imposed, not only by the supreme pontiff (whom in spiritual matters we acknowledge to be our father and lord, as long as he regards us in a proper view as his son), but even by a priest. From all these things it is plainly clear that it was rather from a wish for our disgrace than on just grounds that he said we ought to be suspected of wandering from the Catholic faith, which, as He on high is our judge, we believe and single-mindedly observe in each and all the articles of the same, according to the universal discipline and the approved customs of the Roman church. We leave it, then, to your wisdom to decide whether the aforesaid sentence, which is null in itself, and whether the proceedings, which are in point of law null, ought to be observed, not more to the injury of us

162 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

than to that of all kings and princes, and of all temporal dignities, and which sentence none of our princes of Germany, on whom our assumption of our dignity, our rank itself, and our deposition depend, have confirmed by their presence or opinion. Consider also another thing; namely, what result is to be expected from such beginnings. It commences, indeed, with us; but rest assured it will end with some other kings and princes, from whom they openly boast that they do not fear any resistance, if (which God forbid) our power can be trodden under-foot in the first place. Kings, therefore, defend the justice of your own cause in ours; provide for your own people and their heirs, and we will not hesitate with confidence, on the strength of our bond of relationship, to ask the support of your royal integrity, begging of you not to listen to anything which may be favourable to our adversary, which may be stated by his messengers or legates either publicly or privately, but rather boldly and powerfully, by all means at your command, to assist us, and not to admit any messenger or legate who may try to disseminate anything to our prejudice amongst the people committed to his jurisdiction. And rest assured that, whereas in commencing such an act of temerity against us, the pontifical authority seeks, in depriving us, to extend its own sphere of action, yet if the right hand of the King of kings, which always assists justice, should aid us, we will meet these beginnings, provided that the kings and princes who are interested in this our cause, shall not oppose us; for you and other great ones of the earth may justly feel alarm at such attempts against us. We do this unwillingly, God is our witness; but we are of necessity impelled to it when we see Christianity trodden on as it is in these our days. We had hoped, as we have lately written to the king's majesty, to co-operate with you in maintaining its cause; may God require this at the hand of him who supplies fuel for the destruction of the Christian commonwealth. Moreover, whatever Hugh Cabuche, our well-beloved knight and faithful messenger, shall say to you on our behalf concerning the aforesaid matters, you will consider as authentic. Given at Turin, the day before the ... [1] of August, third Indiction".

[1] Either the word calends, nones, or ides, must here be supplied.


How the affections of divers princes were estranged from the pope.

This letter, on being brought to the notice of many princes, entirely estranged their affections from the pope, as they feared the pride of the Roman court, if Frelerick should succumb to it.

The pope effects the election to the imperial dignity of the landgrave of Thuringia.

The pope, then, in his watchful endeavours to promote his cause, justify his side of the question, and irreparably to crush the said Frederick, procured the election to the imperial dignity of the landgrave of Thuringia, and the acknowledgment of his election from all churches; and for this purpose promised the said landgrave abundant assistance, both in money and troops. He accordingly wrote word to the archbishop of Cologne, and to other prelates and nobles of Germany, to bring this business to a speedy conclusion; and to this many, especially the archbishops, consented: he also sent to his emperor, the landgrave, a no small sum of money, to enable him to carry on the war with vigour against Frederick. The latter, however, laid an ambuscade for the persons who were bringing that money, as also some other kingly gifts, for the purpose of converting it to his own uses, and injuring the landgrave, his rival, as well as the pope.

How the emperor sent his son C. against the newly-elected emperor.

The emperor Frederick, then, finding that his rival, the said landgrave, was, by the pope's means, to his disgrace and ruin, proclaimed in Germany, that he was well fattened on the pope's money, and also that many nobles of Germany indissolubly adhered to him, was struck with astonishment and grief. He therefore sent his son Conrad with a large force to give him battle; but on the day of attack, those who were more bound to assist the said Conrad, being corrupted, as the report goes, by the pope's money, basely abandoned their lord in the field, and took to flight, or rather flew over to the side of their enemies; owing to which the said Conrad returned to his father an inglorious fugitive.

164 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

Of the marriage of Charles, the French king's brother, with the younger daughter of the count of Provence.

In this year, also, the youngest daughter of Raymond, the deceased count of Provence, was, by the interference of her mother Beatrice, released from the guardianship of the French king, and, by the will and disposal of the said monarch, the county of Provence was given to his younger brother Charles, and the said daughter of the count was united to him in marriage. But as on their marriage so much worldly rejoicing was not shown amongst the nobility, the said Charles became enraged, and is reported to have said in discontent to his mother,- "How is it that at this general rejoicing there is not so much festivity amongst the nobility, as at the marriage of the king my brother, when I am the son of the king and queen, and he is by no means so"? This he said, because he, the said Charles, was born after the death of Philip, the late French king, and the coronation of Louis, and he was king of the French while Philip lived, before Louis was crowned. This speech agreed with that spoken by Henry the younger, king of England, who, when his father, Henry the Second, waited on him, the young prince, at his coronation, said to him, "You are not disgraced by waiting on me, since you are the son of an earl, whilst I am the son of a king and queen". But we will turn from this digression, and continue our story. The French king, in order that Frederick might not have the power of doing him any injury whilst he was absent on his pilgrimage, nor of preventing him from free access to a harbour, at great expense constructed a very suitable one in Provence, on the Mediterranean Sea, and prudently built round it some strong castles.

How the pope ordered some gold fringe, such as some of the English wore, to be sent to him.

About this time, the pope, happening to see some handsome gold fringe amongst the ecclesiastic ornaments worn by some English persons in their choral copes and head dresses, asked where they were made. On his being answered, "In England", he exclaimed, "Of a truth is England our garden of delights; truly is it an inexhaustible well, in which many things abound: from many things many may be


extorted". And thereupon he at once sent his sacred letters under his bull to all the abbats of the Cistercian order resident in England, to whose prayers he had lately commended himself at the Cistercian chapter, ordering them, without delay, as though they could get them for nothing, to send him some choice gold fringe, to ornament his chasubles and choral copies; an order which did not displease the mercenary Londoners, because they had them on sale, and sold them at their own prices; but it struck many with detestation of the evident avarice of the Roman church.

Of the attacks made by the Tartars on the Christians.

In this same year, the Tartars, of most hateful memory, made a formidable incursion into the Christian countries, and after having subdued many of the Saracen princes, God being hostile to mankind, they made the king of Armenia, the prince of Antioch, and many other Christian nobles tributary to them. Afterwards, hoping for further good fortune, they again daringly invaded the provinces of Hungary, as it seemed to them that they were not previously subdued, although they were disgracefully abandoned by the inhabitants. The king of that country, greatly alarmed at their approach, withdrew with the inhabitants from the weaker portions of his territories, and fleeing to the most fortified places (and even they seemed to him to be scarcely safe), there awaited a bloody battle. He also sent word to the pope to use his anxious endeavours to protect him and all Christendom from such a fearful pest; but not even by this was the pope's sottish eagerness prevented from using all his exertions to collect money, as will be shown in the following pages.

Earl R. Bigod is appointed marshal.

In this same year, after reiterated intercessions, the dignity of marshal, with the office and honours pertaining to it, was granted to Earl Roger Bigod, by reason of the countess his wife, who was the eldest daughter of William the great earl marshal.

How divers wars broke out throughout all Germany.

In this same year, also, war broke out in many places in Germany and its neighbouring provinces, because many of the nobles, especially the laity, espoused the cause of

166 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

Frederick, whilst the archbishop of Cologne and many prelates, as well as some laymen, who were lavishly, or rather prodigiously fattened by gifts of the Church, took the part of the pope. Besides this, a quarrel, which led to a destructive war, had sprung up amongst the sons of the countess of Flanders, because the eldest son of Buchard, who was illegitimate, but had been legitimized by the pope, claimed possession of the inheritances; but the second son, who was legitimate, justly proclaimed himself the heir, and, declaring that everything belonged to him by hereditary right, indulged in pillage and rapine. A new custom had gained ground at the Roman court, by which, when war broke out amongst any nobles, it espoused the cause of the party which had recourse to it for aid, absolving that party and excommunicating the other; so that the party who prevailed by its means was at all future times considered bound to it; which had been clearly proved in the case of David, prince of North Wales. Another detestable custom also had been introduced, which was, that if any clerk who abounded in many and rich revenues was elected a bishop, he was freely allowed, by a papal indulgence obtained by intercessors and gifts, in his cupidity to retain the revenues he formerly held, as well as the bishopric; which was clearly demonstrated in the case of William, bishop elect of Valencia. Some other new customs also made their way into the said court, by mention of which the hearts of holy men are deeply grieved.

Of certain androgynous beings found in the diocese of Lincoln.

In the course of the same year, etc. [1]

The count of Savoy does homage to the king of England. About this same time, Amadeus, count of Savoy, who justly felt great regard for the king of England, in the presence of Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, Peter, bishop of Hereford, and other nobles, the friends and relations of the said

[1] The contents of this chapter being untranslatable, we give the Latin text, which is as follows: "Sub ejusdem anni curriculo, quaedam naturae degenerantis novitas, prodigialis et inaudita, in episcopatu Lincolniensi, in omnium avidientium stuporem cordibus generavit. Quaedam enim mulier stirpe nobilis, forma decens, conditione libera, cuidam diviti matrimonio copulata et puerpera, quandam aliam mulierem similibus dotibus insignitam impregnavit, modo novo ac mirabili patrissando. Et ex ea duos filios cum progenerasset, et extertio infantulo eandem gravidam reddidisset, ipsa mater talis peccati novam detestans deformitatem, reatum utriusque palam protestata, aliam compulit ad plenam rei gestae eminus confessionem. Quae culpam propriam turpiter palliando, et se impudenter accusando, suam accusavit genitricem, affirmans ipsam eodem vicio laborasse. Talium vero mentionem facit glossa super hunc locum in Genesi scripta: 'Masculum et foeminam creavit eos', dicens quod sunt homines 'Androgeni', vel 'Androgamei'; videlicet, quoddam genus 'Hermaphroditorum', dicti ab 'Andros', quod est vir, et 'Gyne', quod est foemina; eo quod patiantur et agant coeundo, pariant generentque vicissira. Quorum memoria detestabilis et immunda, ubique locorum merito judicatur".


count as well as of the king, did homage to the said king at the hands of the archbishop, who supplied the place of the king in his absence, and, of his own free and spontaneous will, confirmed the homage he had made as regarded the heirs of both parties, by pledging his faith and oath inviolably to observe the same. He then received certain fees from the king; namely, those of Suza, with its palace, Veillana, St. Maurice de Chablis, and the castle of Bardo. This homage he could safely make without violating his faith, or injuring the emperor or the empire, since he held nothing from the empire but water, and the right to cross it.

How some of the usual extortions were relaxed in severity.

About this time, by the industry of the proctors of the king of England at the Roman court, it was arranged that, although the pope at his own pleasure indiscriminately and everywhere disposed of the church benefices to the benefit of the Italians, and the intolerable injury of the kingdom of England, yet now, by God's favour, the storm in that part was so abated that, whenever the pope wished to give a benefice there to any one, or to any of his relatives, or to the relatives of his cardinals, he, the pope, as well as the cardinals, should ask the king's permission, so that whatever pleased him would be carried into efiect.

How the Preachers and Minorites became the papers messengers.

Frederick at this time, finding that the pope abounded in English money, stationed guards and ambuscades on the roads and bridges and in the ports, to prevent any one bringing assistance to his rival the landgrave, from him. The latter, therefore, sent consolatory letters and other assistance, to him by the Preachers and Minorites in disguise.

168 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

Frederick, on the other hand, caused provisions to be transported to the Holy Land.

The king of Man receives the honour of knighthood.

In this year, the king celebrated the festival of Easter with great magnificence, at London, and on Easter-day conferred the honour of knighthood on Harold, king of Man.

About that time, too, some of the chief nobles of the Welsh, wishing to make their peace with the king, sent an embassy to him, begging him, with the most humble entreaties, to grant them terms of peace.

The departure for Rome of messengers from the community of England.

On the morrow of Easter-day, the nobles to whom had been intrusted the duty of carrying the before-mentioned important message to the pope, namely, Master William de Poweric, a man skilled in the law, and Henry de la Mare, a knight, set out on their journey to Rome, carrying the before-mentioned letters. The burden of the business, however, was laid on the shoulders of the prior of Wenlock, who had gone to the Roman court against the bishop of Rochester, owing to some injmies done him by that bishop.

Of the injury done by the frost and snow.

On the day and during the night of the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the frost and snow covered and bound the earth with such intensity of cold, and so weakened the shooting branches of the trees, together with their foliage, that the leaves as well as the grass irreparably faded away.

The restoration of his barony to the bishop of Chester.

About the same time, the king, softened down by the entreaties of friends, kindly restored peaceable possession of his barony to Roger, bishop of Chester, because he was a most kindly-disposed man, and had the favour of all parties.

A new and extraordinary decree of the pope's.

About this time, the pope heard that certain clerks in England had died rich and intestate; amongst whom were Master Robert Hales, archdeacon of Lincoln, who had died a few years before, intestate, and had left several thousand


marks and some silver cups to fall into the possession of seculars; Almaric, also, archdeacon of Bedford, who had died, leaving a large sum of money behind him in an unbecoming way; and lastly, Master John de Hotofp, archdeacon of Northampton, who was seized with a sudden illness, and imprudently and unbecomingly died intestate, leaving about five thousand marks, and thirty gold and silver cups, and jewels to an immense amount. His holiness therefore promulgated a new and unheard-of decree in England, and not without incurring the charge of cupidity; which was, that if any clerk should, from that time forward, die intestate, his property should be converted to the use of the pope; and he gave orders to the Preachers and Minorites to carry this decree into efiect. But when the king heard of this, in his abhorrence of the increasing manifold cupidity of the Roman court, he forbade the decree being fulfilled, seeing that it redounded to the injury of the kingdom, and to his own prejudice.

About this time, Master Robert of Arundel, a man well skilled in the Hebrew language, and who had truly translated many writings from Hebrew into Latin, was released from all human troubles, and took leave of the world.

The preceptor of the king's sons seized with apoplexy.

In Rogation-week, the king, in order the more strongly to secure the affections of the people of the provinces on the sea-coast, went to Dover, and thence to Canterbury: on his return therefrom, a nobleman of his household, named Hugh Giffard, the preceptor of his majesty's sons, was seized with a sudden fit of apoplexy, fell to the ground, and expired in great pain. Many said that this event was brought about by the vengeance of St. Edmund the Confessor and archbishop of Canterbury, that by the sudden death of one at his side, the king might be alarmed and aroused to make satisfaction for the many injuries he had inflicted on the church of Canterbury, chiefly, however, on account of his having rashly elevated Boniface to the archiepiscopal dignity, not permitting the monks of Canterbury, as was their just right, to have free power of electing whom they chose. For the said Boniface, by mixing himself up in a very unbecoming and inexpedient way in wars on the continent, and

170 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

never visiting, but only impoverishing his church, had shamelessly wandered from the tracks of his predecessors.

How the king of England forbade the payment of the talliage to the pope.

About this time, also, the king issued his royal letters prohibiting the prelates from paying a talliage to the pope.

To the lord abbat of St. Alban's, and to others as well, he wrote in the following words:- "H., by the grace of God king of England, to his well-beloved in Christ the abbat of St. Albans, greeting.- We have heard that the venerable father Fulk, bishop of London, is compelling you to pay a talliage for the use of the pope; at which we are much astonished and disturbed, since it had been generally determined at the aforesaid convocation by the said prelates and nobles, that nothing should be done concerning that talliage before the return of the messengers from the Roman court, to which they had been sent, as you know, on special business concerning our whole kingdom. Wherefore we command you and strictly prohibit you from attempting anything contrary to the aforesaid provision at the command of the said bishop, or of any other, as you regard the peaceable possession of your barony, which you hold of us; since we will not nor can we endure any attempt of this kind. Witness myself at Westminster, this first day of April, in the thirtieth year of our reign".

Papal letters of execution sent to the bishops of England.

And about the same time, that the pitiable tribulation of the English might not cease, the pope made a most urgent demand for money in a no slight sum, placing his confidence in gold and silver; treating with contempt the mournful complaints of the king of England and the whole community of that kingdom, who were continually writing and complaining; and paying no heed to that wholesome and wise saying, "Blessed is the man who has not gone out of his way after gold, nor placed his hopes in stores of money". He appointed as agents to extort and collect this talliage, Walter, bishop of Norwich, and some others, whom he deputed as special messengers for this purpose. The bishop of Norwich, therefore, wrote to the abbat of St. Alban's, as he


did also to some others, in the following words, which comprised the contents of the papal letter:-

"Walter, by the grace of God bishop of Norwich, to the venerable the abbat and the conventual assembly of St. Albans, lasting health.- We have received a mandate from our lord the pope to the following effect: 'Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brethren the bishops of Winchester and Norwich, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Formerly, as we well remember, we wrote to our venerable brethren, the bishops of Lincoln, Worcester, London, and Coventry, to the following effect: Whereas, lately, before you returned to England from our presence, we, together with you, arranged that the supply of six thousand marks, which had been demanded from the English churches, on behalf of the Apostolic See, should be collected, at your discretion, amongst the bishoprics of England, we, by these apostolic writings command your brotherhood, as soon as possible, to inform us by your letters, to be intrusted to the bearer of these presents, whatever you may do, or what perhaps you have already done, in this matter; and to mention also to us the time and place of payment. And if you cannot all be present at the fulfilling of these matters, at least three, or two of you shall, nevertheless, see to the carrying them into effect. Inasmuch as nothing has since been intimated to us in this matter, we earnestly warn, and by these apostolic writings command your brotherhood, on receipt of these letters, to give warning to the said bishops who shall be present in England, and, by our authority, to order them to meet you on the twentieth day after the receipt of these presents, at any fixed place which you shall think proper to determine on, to arrange the aforesaid distribution, and that on that day, before you depart therefrom, you arrange the plan of division with such bishops as shall happen to be present there. If, however, they, or no one of them, should be present, and on that account no proceedings are taken in the aforesaid matter, you shall within the space of a month from that time cause to be paid to yourselves or to your messengers, at any place you may think proper to select for the purpose, the before-mentioned amount of money for the use of the Apostolic See, according to the arrangements formerly made in that country on our

172 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

authority by our well-beloved son Master Martin, clerk of our chamber, and which order we have now sent to you under our bull; checking all opposers by the Church's censure; and putting off all appeal, any indulgence, or privilege, or decree concerning two days' journey, issued at the general council, notwithstanding. And you will send a rescript to us without delay, informing us of what has yet been done, or what may be done in this matter, by our well-beloved son Linasius, our writer, the bearer of these presents; and see that in the foregoing matters you show yourselves so diligent that you cannot be accused of negligence therein, but may rather be commended for diligence. And if you shall not both be able to be present at this business, one of you, nevertheless, shall fulfil it'. By authority, then, of this mandate, we warn and exhort you in the name of the Lord, and strictly enjoin on you, by virtue of the obedience by which you are bound to the Apostolic See, that, concerning the portion of the pope's subsidy assigned over to you, our messengers, bringing letters patent concerning the payment of the same, shall receive satisfaction from you for three weeks, reckoning after Easter, and that you show such diligence in this present matter, that we may have reason to commend your devotion to the supreme pontiff. Your portion is eighty marks sterling. Farewell in the Lord. Given at London, the twenty-fourth of March, A.D. 1245. We alone write to yoii, because our venerable brother and colleague, the bishop of Winchester, has excused himself for a time".

The king forbids the talliage to be paid to the pope.

This mandate, on coming to the ears of the prelates and nobles, caused great excitement in the hearts of all who heard it, especially because the messengers of the English community had complained of such oppression at the council of Lyons. And afterwards, at a parliament held by the king of England, at which the whole community of the clergy as well as the body of knighthood had been assembled, it was determined, out of reverence for the pope, that another messenger still should be sent from the community to him, to induce him to apply the hand of correction to such injuries, not the weight of oppression; they were, therefore, overcome with astonishment, because when they expected an alleviation of their


troubles, their hopes were frustrated, and they only gained this additional oppression. When, therefore, the above letter came to the king's knowledge, he broke out in violent anger and surprise, and wrote to the bishops of England as follows:- "H., by the grace of God, etc., to the venerable father in Christ, such and such a bishop, greeting.- Although we have written to you at previous times, once, twice, and a third time, both by private letter as well as by letters patent, ordering you not to exact, for the use of the pope or any other person, any talliage or pecuniary aid from the religious men, clerks, or laymen; since no talliage or levy of this kind has ever been a custom, nor can it be exacted without great prejudice to our royal dignity, which we cannot and will not on any account endure; yet you, despising our order in this matter, and contrary to the decree made at our council at London, by our nobles, prelates, as well as earls and barons, are now making such an exaction as aforesaid. At which circumstance we are much astonished and annoyed, especially as you are not ashamed to oppose your own act, since you, in common with the other prelates, agreed at the aforesaid council, that you would do nothing in the matter of this exaction until our messengers, who were also yours, and those of our other nobles, and of the whole community of our kingdom, should return from the Roman court, whither they had been specially sent, as you know, to relieve us from our oppressions. We therefore again impress on you our commands, and strictly forbid you to proceed in any way to make exaction of the said talliage or levy, as you desire to enjoy possession of your barony, and the other possessions which you hold in our kingdom. And if you have received anything therein, you will not on any account allow it to be carried out of our kingdom, but will have it placed in safe custody till the return of the aforesaid messengers: and we would have you to know for certain, that if you act otherwise, we will lay our heavy hand on your possessions to a greater extent than you may fancy. And we enjoin on you to publish this prohibition to your archdeacons and other officials, which said prohibition, as God knows, we make to secure the liberty of the clergy, as well as the people, etc".

174 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246

The difficulties and troubles owing to the controversy which arose between the king and the pope.

The English church was therefore placed in a critical position, and was dreadfully crushed, as if it were between two millstones revolving in contrary directions; on one side Scylla was feared, on the other Charybdis. The king in this matter, supported and strengthened by the general opinion, strove for the preservation and renovation of the kingdom, whilst the pope eagerly aimed at impoverishing it, each of the two opposing the other at a distance. Many of the prelates fearing the king's instability in this his conceived design, and the pusillanimity of the royal advisers, espoused the cause of the pope, although they might have seen that the Church would never receive increase of prosperity by such expenditure of money, but would be more likely to incur injury and adversity.

Of the mournful news brought from the Holy Land.

In the mean time mournful news from the Holy Land flew through the Christian countries, filling them with fear and sorrow; which was, that the said Holy Land was now almost entirely in the occupation of the Chorosmins and Babylonians. The citizens of Acre too, now either fearing, or not choosing, or being unable to leave their city, were in expectation of being besieged or compelled to surrender their city, for they endured such a scarcity of provisions that they pined away amongst themselves, nor were they held up by any hopes of release. Frederick, too, who was now become a formidable hammer of the Church, would not allow any provisions or assistance in the way of troops to be transported to them, declaring that the Roman church had never had such effectual grounds for extorting money from the Christians, on which it had fattened and grown proud, as on the plea of the Holy Land, and the sophistical preaching of the crusade for its liberation. Ascalon also, about the fortifying of which such expensive, laborious, and long protracted time and labours were devoted by Earl Richard and many other nobles, now endured the most fierce attacks from the enemy, and could scarcely be defended against them. Other castles, too, which appeared to be impregnable, for instance, Crac and the Pilgrims' Castle, at once cities and


fortresses, to the sorrow and fear of those inhabiting them, seemed to them, as they had no hopes of succour, to be prisons rather than places of protection, a source of fear rather than confidence. On all sides the Christians were hemmed in by their enemies, who roved about at will, indulging in pillage and enjoying their triumph at pleasure, so that they thought it would be better to die honourably than to drag on a wretched existence any longer. Many in consequence wavered in their faith, or rather failed entirely in it, and, abandoning the sacrament of Christianity, became apostates: thus our friends became enemies and more injurious to us than all others.

Of the parliament held at Winchester.

On the day of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, a grand conference was held between the king and the nobles of the kingdom, at Winchester, concerning the desolate condition of the whole kingdom, and epecially of the Church. For the messengers who had been sent to the Roman court had arrived,- Masters William de Poweric and Henry de la Mare, who brought a message from the pope, which contained nothing of alleviation, but rather the words of anger, and declared that they could not see, either in the pope's behaviour or words, any signs of humiliation or moderation in the matter of the oppressions with which the kingdom as well as the church of England was weighed down, and of which a complaint had been made. For the pope had said to them, whilst looking for some agreeable reply, "The king of England, who is now kicking against me, and following the example of Frederick, has his own plans, and I have mine, which I will also follow". And from that time it was with great difficulty that any Englishman could arrange any business at that court, but they were all repelled as schismatics and provoked by insults. This news with good cause provoked the anger of the king and his nobles, and the former at once ordered public proclamation to be made by herald, in all the counties and throughout all the villages, at all markets and assemblages of people, that no one was to consent to any contribution for the pope or to transmit any money for his assistance; and this was carried into effect. The pope, on hearing of this, was provoked to

176 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

violent anger, and he again wrote in more severe terms to the English prelates, ordering them, under the penalty of excommunication and suspension, to satisfy his messenger, who was staying at the New Temple at London, in the matter of the aforesaid pecuniary aid before the feast of the Assumption. Although the king was previously prepared to stand up for the freedom of the kingdom and the Church, yet he now yielded, his resolution being broken, and himself becoming alarmed by the threats of his brother Earl Richard, and certain bishops, the chief of whom was the bishop of Worcester, to whom it was reported that the pope had granted the power of laying an interdict on the land. Hence all the endeavours of the nobles as well as the bishops were of no avail, and all hope of the release of the kingdom and the English church died away, to the bitter and heartfelt grief of many; and the gaspings of Roman avarice were satisfied with impunity in the matter of the said contribution.

How the French king and the pope extorted a tenth and a twentieth portion of all property from the French kingdom.

In order that this infliction might not appear singular amongst Christians, and the hand of the Lord might not appear sparing or slow in punishing the sins of his people, the French kingdom was now wonderfully and pitiably impoverished by the craftily-devised extortions of the pope. For the French king, whom, as before mentioned, God had really recalled to life, or at least had miraculously recalled from the gates of death, by permission and at the instance of the pope, oppressed that kingdom in manifold ways, by extorting large sums of money on the plea of fulfilling his pilgrimage in a manner suited to his rank; taking a tenth portion of the revenues of all the churches of his kingdom; and besides this, as if by mutual contrivance between them, the pope took a twentieth portion for the assistance of the Holy Land, and each of them for a period of three years. Also the pope demanded another subsidy for the new emperor, formerly called the landgrave, but whom the pope had created to subdue Frederick. The latter, however, seemed to many to be invincible, and it was said that it was in vain for the pope to attempt to hurl the said Frederick from his imperial dignity; for he had gained


astonishing way, and promised every kind of satisfaction, whilst the pope, because he did not condescend to accept of his humiliation, had exasperated the feehngs of many against him. The said Frederick in the mean time laid ambuscades to seize on the money, which the pope had vigilantly collected from all quarters, and to add it to his own treasures.

Of the dedication of the abbey called Beaulieu.

About the same time, that is on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, a church of the Cistercian order, called "Beaulieu", in the abbey which King John had founded, was dedicated with all due solemnities; at which ceremony were present the king and queen. Earl Richard the king's brother, and the prelates and nobles of the kingdom. After the solemnities of the dedication were completed, Earl Richard took from the bosom of that church about thirteen monks, to inhabit a religious house of the Cistercian order, which he, the said earl, had founded and built at his own expense, for the redemption of his soul, in a suitable situation near the abbey of Wychecombe, and which he had abundantly endowed and enriched, in accordance with a vow which he had made when in danger by sea.

The death of Isabella, mother of the king of England.

The above-mentioned event is believed not to have taken place without the interposition of Divine Providence; for the countess of La Marche, the mother of the king of England, and of the earl already before mentioned, Isabella by name, about this time yielded to fate, much in need of the spiritual benefit to be derived from the alms of the pious.

Death of the countess of Albemarle.

About the same time also; the countess of Albemarle, daughter of Alan of Galway, and sister of the countess of Winchester, was released from all worldly troubles; by which a great part of Galway, which belonged to her, now, because she died childless, fell to the lot of Roger de Quincy, earl of Winchester, who had married her eldest sister.

Death of John de Neville.

In the same year, too, and about the same time, John de Neville went the well-trodden path of all flesh. This noble had formerly been a man of considerable importance amongst

178 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

the nobles of England, and, following the track of his father step by step, had attained the summit of earthly honour but now left a plain example to the inhabitants of this world not to trust to the favour of kings, and to avoid the fluctuations of a court. For in the prime of his manhood, when he was high forester of all England, many heavy accusations were made aoainst him by Robert Passlow, of unlawful occupations of the forest and other transgressions, and as he failed in his replies in clearing himself, he was condemned on the testimony of his fellow-countrymen, his jurors, and fell into such creat disgrace, that from that time his life was a species of death. For he was judicially condemned to pay two thousand marks, besides the immense debts of hrs father which fell on his shoulders; besides this, he was ignominiously and irrevocably deprived of his barony. He therefore anguished and pined away through grief, and about the middle of summer, breathed forth his wretched spirit at his manor of Welperfield, and was reverently buried, near the tomb of his father in the conventual church of Waltham.

How the bishop of Carlisle assumed the habit of the Preachers.

On the day of the apostles Peter and Paul, Walter, bishop of Carlisle, renounced the worid, which he had so long clung to, and all worldly affairs, and, at Oxford, took on himselt the habit and order of the Preachers, because he feared that his admission to that bishopric was not lawful, and fled, leaving his cloak in the hands of the Egyptian woman.

Papal letters sent to the Minorite brethren.

In the same year, after the pope had made the decree above mentioned namely, that the property of those dying intestate should fall to his use, and had appointed the Preacher brethren to carry it into effect, he became anxious about the empire of Constantinople, and troubled by the insolence of the Greek schismatics; he therefore sent letters, containing a papal mandate with other articles, to the provincial minister of the Minorites in England, constituting the Minorite as well as the Preacher brethren his proctors; thus estranging them from the path of humility and voluntary poverty, of which they had professed themselves followed. The tenor of one of these letters was, that "he or


his brethren should inquire into the concerns of usurers who were living, and into their gains by the sin of usury, and to collect them for the benefit of the empire of Constantinople, checking gainsayers by the Church's censure". Of another the purport was, that "those who should be willing to assume the cross for the liberation of that empire, or to send a sufficient quantity of their property there, should be absolved from their sins". Of another, "that they should collect for the assistance of the said empire property left by the testaments of dying persons, which had been acquired by usury, checking all gainsayers and opposers". The tenor of another was, that "they should collect for the aid of the aforesaid empire, the property left by the wills of dying persons, or what should be left for three years for the restoration of their property, which the deceased persons had acquired by malpractices, checking all gainsayers and opposers". Another was to the effect, that "the property left to be distributed on pious purposes, according to the will of the executors of the deceased, and that has not been appointed by the testators themselves for certain persons or places, or such things as are rightly due to others, or have been turned by the said executors to such uses, shall be collected for the aid of the aforesaid empire, and notice be given to him of the amount of the same, checking", etc., etc. Another was to the effect, that "they should inquire into the property of the living, which had been evilly acquired, and should collect it for the assistance of the said empire, provided that the persons could not be found to whom satisfaction ought to be given for such evilly-acquired property, and should send a rescript to the pope, and check", etc., etc. The contents of another stated, that "the said minister had the power of absolving persons excommunicated for having knowingly practised deceit in the matter of property to be collected for the aid of the aforesaid empire, provided that they should make proper satisfaction to the minister, or to his brethren who should be deputed for this purpose".

How the pope asked peace between the Christians and Saracens.

About the same time, the pope usked the sultan of Babylon to grant peace (or at least truce) between the Christians and Saracens, until the hoped-for prosperity again smiled on

180 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

the former by the assistance of the French kingdom; to which request the said sultan wrote in reply as follows:-

The letter sent by the sultan of Babylon to the pope, and translated by a cardinal from Arabic into Latin.

"To the presence of the pope". - Superscription.- "The noble, the great, the spiritual, the benevolent, the holy one, the thirteenth of the apostles, the universal mouthpiece of the Christians, the maintainer of the worshippers of the cross, the judge of the Christian people, the leader of the sons of baptism, the supreme pontiff of the Christians - may God strengthen him and give him happiness. From the most potent sultan, who reigneth over the necks of nations, possessing two virtues, namely, those of the sword and the pen, two excellencies, learning and judgment the king of two seas, lord of the north and the south, king of the regions of Egypt and Syria, Mesopotamia, Media, Idumaea, and Ophir, king of Saloph, Behelpeth, Ayob - son of the sultan of Camyle, Hemevaphar, and Mehameth, the son of the sultan and king of Hadel and Robethre, the son of Ayob - whose kingdom may God love.- In the name of God the merciful and compassionate- there have been presented to us letters from the pope, the noble, the great, the spiritual, the benevolent, the thirteenth of the apostles, the universal mouthpiece of Christians, the maintainer of the worshippers of the cross, the judge of the Christian people, the leader of the sons of baptism, the supreme pontiff of the Christians. May God make him one of those who aim at good, and who do it, and of those who wish for peace and persevere in its courses, and may God assist him in those matters which are becoming to those who are of his worship and religion, and to others. We have seen the said letters, and understand the said articles which are inserted therein and their contents. We were pleased, and our ears were delighted at the hearing of them. A messenger also came to us, sent by the holy pope, whom we met with honour, regard, and reverence; and we summoned him into our presence, and inclined our ear unto his words, and we put faith in his words when he told us of Christ, to whom be health and praise; concerning which said Christ we know more than you, and we glorify him more than you do. With respect to what you say, that you desire to have tranquillity and peace and quiet,


to have means of calling the people to peace, we likewise desire the same, nor do we wish to oppose your wish, for it is always our wish and desire. But the pope, whom may God strengthen, knows that a friendship and mutual regard and good-will have been long established between us and the emperor, since the time of the sultan my father, whom may God place in the brightness of his presence; and between you and the emperor you know how matters stand. Wherefore we are not at liberty to make any agreements with the Christians without first having his opinion and consent in the matter. And we wrote to our messenger, who is at the court of the emperor, for reasons which he has stated to the pope's messengers, telling him the terms of the proposals made by your messenger. This messenger of ours will come to you, will speak with you, and bring a reply back to us, and when he has done so, we will act upon the tenor of that reply. And we will not disagree to what shall appear to be to the advantage of all in general, that we may receive our deserts from God. This is our message to you, and, by God's permission, good will be multiplied. This is written on the seventh day of the month Maharan, which was the seventh lunation of August. Praise be to God alone, and his blessing on our lord Mahomet, and on his race, and may he be our portion".

Doubts are entertained as to the authenticity of the foregoing letter.

When this letter reached the pope, he declared that that many-shaped deviser of deceits, Frederick, had cunningly caused this to be done, in order the more easily to incline him, the pope, to a re-establishment of peace; but this did not seem to be true, since the pope had sent his own messenger, a trustworthy man, and one well known to him, to carry his message, and to bring back a reply, and he had faithfully returned to him safe and sound.

Extraordinary thunder-storms.

In order that the elements might be conformable with the affairs of the world, about this time, namely on the day preceding the feast of St. Margaret, there arose a dreadful storm, attended by thunder and lightning, and also by hail, the stones of which were angular and most hard, and larger than almonds, which destroyed birds, and even some animals,

132 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

disturbed the whole country throughout, tearng up oaks, throwing down buildings, burning men, destroying flocks and herds, breaking down bridges with the rush of water; and all this continued for sixteen hours, which was a whole night and part of a day.

A son born to Earl Richard, which dies soon after; also the introduction of an assembly of monks to the house of the Cisteraan order at Wychecombe.

In this year, Cynthia, countess of Cornwall, the wife of Earl Richard, gave birth to a son, and after her confinement, the king and queen and many nobles of England assembled at Wallingford, on the day of her purification, and held a solemn festival, at which Earl Richard gave thanks to God for the favour conferred on him.

About the same time, too, the king having caused the church of the Cistercian order, which we called "Beaulieu", which was founded by King John, to be solemnly dedicated, the said earl took therefrom about thirteen monks, and having restored a house of the same order, which he, the said earl, had founded, enriched, and endowed with suitable possessions, he, with the authority of the Cistercian chapter, installed them therein, to serve God with praise for ever, and properly and laudably to observe the rules of St. Benedict; and thus he fulfilled the vow which he had made to God when exposed to the perils of the sea. However, that worldly joy might not be free from sudden and frequent griefs, the son, which the countess of Cornwall had presented to the earl, her husband, died after living only one month. All these things happened about the Assumption of St. Mary, at harvest time.

About the feast of St. Giles, Master Sylvester, a clerk of the king, and holding the office of chancellor, a man of pure fame and conversation, and one skilled in the customs of a court, especially in the duties of the chancellorship, was duly elected bishop of Carlisle; but, because he possessed richer revenues, and also because he feared to undertake the burden of the office, he absolutely refused the offered honour.

How the Emperor Frederick discovered treachery against himself, and escaped the snares of the conspirators.

Whilst the revolutions of the world were thus varying


the proceedings of mortals, Frederick, whom the Roman court had hurled from his imperial dignity, transmitted the following letter to the king of England, and his brother Earl Richard, whom he considered amongst his familiar friends.

"Frederick, etc., to the king of England, etc., greeting.- Lest fame, which, varied by the statements of many, and influenced by their various inclinations, sometimes departs greatly from the truth, should offend your ears, disturb the hearts of friends, and soothe the ears and feelings of our enemies, we by these presents briefly inform you of the pure and naked truth of events which have lately happened. A conspiracy against our life having been planned by some of the subjects of our majesty, or rather some of our household and dependants, namely, Theobald Francis, James de Morra, Pandulph de Fasanella, William de St. Severino, and some accomplices of theirs, the wicked conspiracy was revealed to us by some of the conspirators of that faction, and God thus rescued us from their hands, and preserved our life harmless in a wonderful way. But although we considered such a great crime as incredible as it was undeserved, we proceeded to a further examination of the truth of the matter; whereupon Pandulph de Fasanella and James de Morra, the aforesaid chiefs in this deeply-plotted crime, urged on by a guilty conscience, together with some other associates and accomplices in their crime, who were present at our court, suddenly took to flight. Theobald, however, and William de St. Severino, remained in the kingdom, and there waited our death as a certain event; but, unexpectedly hearing to the contrary, they were seized with a terrible fear, as though struck by lightning from heaven, and, in the dress of faithful servants of ours, surreptitiously obtained, they traitorously fled to two castles of ours, namely those of Capaccio and Scala, where, before they could obtain the necessary provisions and men to fortify the said castles, they were attacked, through the ready fealty of the loyal inhabitants of the kingdom, and surrounded by the forces which assembled from all quarters. We, too, at that time, were at Grossetto, in our hereditary kingdom of Sicily, before that we had taken any precautions against the peril to which our person was exposed; but as we do not on any account allow ourselves to

184 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

be offended, as it were, in the very pupils of our eyes, we made arrangements to proceed with all speed, and by forced marches, to our kingdom. After our happy entrance into it, several of the faithful subjects of our kingdom, who, at the instance of the false suggestions of those traitors against us, had adhered to the conspirators, through a falsely-spread report of our death, as soon as the light of truth shone forth, and they saw that the matter was contrary to what they expected, refused to have any share in their crafty designs, and abandoned them, when thus deprived of even the shadow of a hope. And as they had only found refuge in two castles, as we have before mentioned, namely those of Scala and Capaccio, the prompt devotion of our faithful subjects, by a vigorous and immediate attack, restored one of those castles, that of Scala, to our authority, and Thomas de St. Severino and his son, traitors against us, were there consigned to prison. And thus, as only one of the aforesaid castles, namely Capaccio, was left to take vengeance upon, we caused this fortress to be besieged by our faithful subjects, and thus the aforesaid traitors, who evidently had no resource, now that one of their castles was taken and they could not fortify any others, could not escape us in any way. And thus by a judgment, speedy as it was just, vengeance was taken on the aforesaid traitors and their associates, and we now felt confidence in disclosing matters in a short time, to insure the lasting security of our kingdom, so that for the future no uncertainty might remain in the minds of us or our successors, or of our agents out of the kingdom. You must not, however, think that our purpose of following up the punishment of the rebellious Lombards was given up, or even left off for a time, but, by our well-beloved sons, Henry, the illustrious king of Sardinia, and general legate of the sacred empire of Italy, and Frederick of Antioch, who presided over the province of Etruria, until we could return to Italy after making a salutary arrangement of the affairs of our kingdom, we so crushed the relics of the aforesaid rebels with the unceasing hammer of our power, that they did not find the least advantage accrue to them from our absence, which, as we found out for certain, they had procured by secret and long-planned treachery; but they now grieve at our present power rather than boast of our absence; for


none of the events which have lately happened have caused any diminution to our magnificence, nor is our treasury decreased thereby, but our power is so much the more increased, and our wealth is become much greater, because, on account of the enormity of this deeply-devised crime, which threatened the perils of war amongst the nations after tasting the sweets of peace, the devotion of our faithful subjects, especially of the lower orders, is become warmer towards us, and their confidence is more strengthened. From the addition, too, of the revenues, of which the iniquity of these traitors has, by their voluntary offence deprived them, and with which our liberality had enriched them far and wide, the bulk of our wealth is increased, although this increase came to us against our wish. From this it is plainly to be deduced, that the large promises made by our open enemy to the aforesaid traitors had the effect, although to no purpose, of inciting them to the deed, the name of which enemy and his title we would most willingly pass over in silence, did not the public voice disclose it, and the evidence of facts accuse him, although we would wish to conceal him by our silence, or excuse him by obscurity of language. For the perpetrators of the aforesaid crime, both those who fled and those who were besieged, were accompanied by some of the Minorite brethren, from whom having received the cross, they pretended that they had the authority of the supreme pontiff under apostolic letters for acting against us, and openly declared that they were acting in the matter on behalf of the holy Roman church their mother, and thus they declared that the supreme pontiff was the promoter of the aforesaid attempt on our life, as well as of our disinheritance. This fact also the captives, whom, at the taking of the castle of Scala, the prompt devotion of our faithful subjects had made prisoners, acknowledged by a spontaneous and free confession, when, as they were dying in our presence, they thought it would be wicked to lie. The bishop of Bamberg also, when, after his purchased consecration, or rather execration, he was returning mitred from the Roman court, before he was taken by our subjects in Germany, openly declared that it would infallibly come to pass that we should, within a short time, die a most disgraceful death by the hands of our familiar friends and domestics. We speak these things with shame.

186 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

as the supreme Judge for our witness; for we believe that we have never seen or heard of such a crime during our days, namely, that our people and our supreme pontiffs should basely wish to consign any one to such a cruel death. For, as the Most High knows, the abominable idea has always been far from our thoughts that, even after the spontaneous and unjust proceedings taken by the pope against us at the council of Lyons, we should consent to any attempt on his life or on that of any of his brethren, although we were often asked on the matter by some warm and zealous persons in our confidence; but we always continued contented with the mere sounding forth of our injuries, and considered it sufficient to defend ourselves justly, without taking vengeance. For it is most clear that God fights for us; for not only does he save our life from the hands of our enemies, but also delivers their strength and persons into our hands. For lately, when Cardinal Regnier, the enemy of our name and honour, at the instigation of the aforesaid traitor, James de Morra, and to the injury of our faithful subjects, joined the Perusines and Assisenates, our rebellious subjects, on the last day of March last past, near the castle of Ascoli, Marinus de Eboli, a subject of the sacred empire, and our chief in command, with the aid of the stipendiary troops and other faithful subjects of ours, who could be collected on the moment, and supported by the virtue of our name and our usual good fortune, vigorously attacked those enemies of ours, and, more by confidence than by the numbers of his troops, entirely defeated them; and with such loss, too, that besides those who fell by the swords of our faithful people, more than five thousand of the rebels were taken by our men and consigned to our prison. All these things we inform you, to give you joy, as we believe, nay, we know, that you sympathize with us in adversity, and rejoice with us in the prosperity of success. Neither has the abundance of good fortune, and of the justice due to us, allowed our and your joy to be closed with these events; for on the 18th day of the present month of April, the city of Capaccio, on the side towards the land, where it was besieged, was speedily breached by our faithful subjects, who were kindled with a kind of madness to slaughter the traitors, to avenge their own, not less than our injuries; whereby it came to pass, that as the besieged felt


our power both far and near, they could only escape the infliction of our just vengeance by killing themselves with their own swords, or by throwing themselves from a high rock on the sea side of the place. Given at Salerno this fifteenth [1] day of April, fourth indiction".

Walter de Ocra writes to the king of England on the same sentence.

Master Walter de Ocra, a clerk of Frederick's, believing, as did also his lord, that the king of England would remain fixed in his purpose of boldly resisting the importunity of the Roman court, transmitted the following letter to him to console him, and to remove all grounds of fear:-

"To the illustrious king of England, Master Walter, greeting. - Because I know that you rejoice in the prosperity of my lord, I beg to inform your majesty that our said lord, about eight days before the end of last July, laid siege to the castle of Capaccio, in which were Theobald Francis, William de Mann, William de St. Severino, Geoffrey de Morra, Robert and Richard de Fasanella, traitors to him, and who had attempted his life, with a hundred and fifty others, including knights, crossbowmen, and other friends of theirs, forty of whom were Lombard hostages, released by the said Theobald at the time of the conspiracy, all of whom our said lord, by uninterrupted discharges of missiles, day and night, from seven well-ordered trebuchets, and by vigorous and unceasing assaults also made day and night, reduced to such a helpless and powerless state, that they could not assist one another, either in the matter of their person or their limbs. Finally, by the aforesaid assaults, the castle was taken, together with the above-mentioned persons, all of whom, before they were taken to our lord, were, saving the mandate of the pope, deprived of their eyes, and each and all of them also of a hand, nose, and leg. Our lord then determined to send the aforesaid Theobald and the five others who attempted his life to all the kings and princes throughout the various countries of the world, with the impression of the papal bull, which was found there, stamped on their foreheads, to give public notice of their treachery. There were taken at this castle twenty-two noble ladies,- married, widowed, and girls,-

[1] This must probably be the 25th, as the 18th is mentioned as the day on which the siege look place.

188 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

who were, by command of our lord, consigned to safe custody, and the castle itself was destroyed to the very foundation-stone, and whatever was found within it, except living beings, was reduced to ashes on the spot. Our said lord, then, having arranged all matters, and established a peace with the Romans and Venetians, swore that, about Easter, he would, without fail, proceed with a large body of knights into Germany, and made preparations for so doing; in which country the king, his son, having incautiously given battle to his enemies on the feast of St. James last past, was betrayed through the treachery of two Swabian counts, namely those of Wirtemberg and Gruninghen, who had received from the supreme pontiff seven thousand marks of silver, besides a promise, made and confirmed by apostolic letters, of a portion of a duchy of Savoy to each, on condition that they should draw the king into the field, and, leaving him there at the hour of battle, they should suddenly leave the army without fighting. Accordingly, as they had agreed, on the first onslaught they lowered their standards, and, fording a river, took to flight and abandoned the army, with about two thousand knights and crossbowmen. The king himself was in great danger, remaining in the midst of the enemy with only about a thousand knights; but he and his followers who remained with him continued to fight bravely; but at length, after losing two hundred of his followers, he took refuge in the city of Frankfort. After a few days, however, all the aforesaid captives having been released on security, or by hostages, or ransomed, he resumed courage, and vigorously followed up and attacked his enemies. And there are about to go to him from the kingdom of France, the province of Burgundy, on this side the Saone, five hundred knights from amongst the relations and friends of our lord the emperor, with whom also march the dukes of Burgundy and Lorrain, and the counts of Chalons and Barremia".

The king again allows the Romans to collect money in England at will.

About this time, the firm determination which the king had boldly conceived of checking by force the frowardness of the Roman court, which it was hoped and believed he would persevere in, became weakened, and this, as was truly stated, was effected by the counsels of those who were greatly afraid

A.D. 1246.] THE POPE REBUKED. 189

that they would lose their revenues through the pope's anger; for the things they loved in their heart they feared would slip from them, according to the words of the poet;-

Res est soliciti plena timoris amor.
[Love with alarm is ever full.]

With averted eyes and closed ears, then, the king, to the great impoverishment of the whole of our country, allowed the English church to be robbed of six thousand marks, at the will and pleasure of the Romans, the enemies of his kingdom and of the common weal; which sum the papal messengers and traders carried off to the assistance of the landgrave; but they did not entirely escape Frederick's snares. The latter severely rebuked the effeminate English for allowing every kind of people to be fattened by their impoverishment; he also laid a heavy complaint before his companions in arms of the effeminate connivance of Earl Richard in giving his consent to this, for he appeared to be coalescing with the pope's party to the ruin of the English kingdom and the detriment of the empire, because, out of the small substances of the crusaders, he had, by the pope's permission, increased his own large stock of wealth. The bold presumption of the Romans, therefore, increased the more as they met with no one to oppose them in their robberies. Fugitives put to flight, and those who had put them to flight, flee in their turn; and the hopes of the English, who had their enemies for their judges, were trodden under-foot.

How the king of Arragon cut out the tongue of a certain bishop.

Whilst fortune was thus sporting with the world, the king of Arragon cruelly cut out the tongue of a certain bishop, because he, perhaps justly, reproached him; for which, unless, when there is a number concerned in the murder, severity ought to be somewhat relaxed, he, the said king, deserved to be severely punished, and his kingdom laid under interdict. But by sending special messengers who were deserving of favour, he effected a reconciliation with the Church, because he had fought faithfully for God against the Spaniards and Saracens, and had gloriously triumphed over them.

The pope is rebuked by John, a cardinal of English race.

Whilst the storms of the sea of this world were thus

190 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

raging, the pope heard that the king of England was prepared boldly to oppose his exactions (for the messengers had not yet arrived to tell him of that monarch's effeminate fear and flexibility); whereat he burst into a violent passion, and purposed, in revenge, to lay the kingdom of England under an interdict. But whilst he was in his foolish spirit making this resolution, Master John, an Englishman by birth, a monk of the Cistercian order, and a cardinal, opposed it, saying: "My lord, for God's sake spare your anger, which is, if I may say so, indiscreet, and check these voluntary impulses by the curb of moderation, considering how evil the times are. The Holy Land is exposed to danger; the Greek church has seceded from us; Frederick is opposed to us, who has no superior, indeed no equal, amongst Christian princes. You and we, who are the head of the Church, have been expelled from the papal see - indeed from the city, and are living in exile. Hungary, with its conterminous lands, expects nothing short of ruin from the Tartars. Germany is shaken by its internal wars. Spain has shown madness, even to the cutting out of the tongues of bishops. France, which also has conspired against us, is now impoverished through us. England, too, so many times hurt by our injuries, like Balaam's ass, wounded by the spurs and blows of the stick, at length speaks and rebukes us, and complains that she is intolerably wearied and irremediably injured; being, therefore, like the Ismaelites, hateful to all, we provoke all to hate us". The pope's mind, however, was not moved to compassion or humiliation by these words, but he still burnt for punishment and vengeance, and whilst he was in this state, messengers arrived from England, who softened the grasping mind of the pope by expectations of gain, and affirmed that, through his most particular friends in England (whose names I who write this work am not allowed to mention), the resolution of the king was bent, so that his wishes might speedily be brought to effect; at hearing which, joy wonderfully calmed his mind and his countenance.

The king forbids inquisitions to be instituted by the bishop of Winchester.

About this time, the bishop of Winchester, at the suggestion of the Preachers and Minorites, as is stated, practised


oppressions on those subject to him, more than was either becoming or expedient, so much so, that he caused strict inquisitions to be made in his bishopric by his archdeacons and deans, concerning the continence and morals of the noble as well as ignoble, to the enormous injury of the good name, and to the scandal of many; for such had never been a custom before. The king, therefore, hearing the heavy complaints of the people, by the advice of his court, wrote to the sheriff of Hereford as follows: "Henry, by the grace of God king of England, etc.- We order you, as you regard yourself and all your property, not to allow any laymen of your bailiwick, at the wish of the bishop of Lincoln, the archdeacons, other officials, or rural deans, henceforth to assemble at any place to make recognizances in oath or any attestations, unless in matrimonial or testamentary causes". The bishop, on hearing this, declared that the king was about to follow in the steps of certain conspirators, who had already broken out into similar audacity in France (of whom a fuller account is given in a further page of this work).

Of the pope's tyrannical exaction of money.

Assuming boldness, therefore, from past successes in trampling on and impoverishing the wretched English, the pope now imperiously, and more imperiously than usual, demanded that all beneficed persons in England who resided in their benefices should give a third portion of their property to him the pope; and those non-resident, a half; with the addition of many most severe conditions, binding the aforesaid mandate by the agency of that detestable word, "notwithstanding"; the addition of which extinguished all the justice which had gone before. To carry this decree into effect, he at once appointed the bishop of London.

The king prohibits the aforesaid exaction.

The bishop above mentioned, then, after having publicly made this matter known in St. Paul's church at London, in company with some others whom he had called together for the purpose, determined on St. Andrew's day to discuss this dreadful contribution; and whilst they were grieving that he was ordered to do what seemed to be, and really was impossible, there came amongst them John of Lexington, a knight, and Master Lawrence de St. Martin, one of the king's

192 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

clerks, who were sent to them on the part of the king, strictly forbidding them on any account to consent to the above-mentioned contribution which was demanded, to the undoing of the whole kingdom. They therefore, after a murmur and appeals from all assembled, joyfully broke up the conference. But that we may not pass over in silence the very efficacious words of those who opposed this decree, we have thought proper to insert them in this work. However, although they did answer boldly, they might have answered still more boldly and effectually if they had had any confidence in the wavering words and acts of the king.

The reply of the clergy concerning the unreasonable exaction of the pope.

"If the state and condition of the kingdom of England had been known to the pope and his brethren, at the time of the council, he would never, on any account, have proceeded to promulgate that statute; and if the perils and disadvantages which were likely to impend over the English church by reason of such a statute had been explained to him, he would by no means have been induced to make the decree. For in cathedral churches a custom has prevailed and been observed, namely, that by the canons residing in them, of whom there is but a small number in some churches, minor clerks and other ministers of the church are paid out of the revenues of the ecclesiastical benefices which the said canons hold in divers places; and if their portion should happen to be deficient in half the amount, the services of the church would be abandoned, through the canons not being able to pay them, since the canons themselves, owing to such a great deficiency, would not be able to reside in the churches. And if they should think proper to reside in them, they could not support others, or even themselves, out of a portion of their out-benefices; and especially as the pope purposes applying a share of the portions of absentees to the use of the territory of Romania, the portion of the non-resident being reckoned as though he did reside himself, not even deducting the burdens or expenses which are attendant on the collection of profits, and many other matters: and if they are not deducted, scarcely a fourth part would remain in possession of the canons".


Another cause and reason.

"Again, since the religious places established throughout the kingdom of England are founded on the proceeds of the parochial churches, and in the present case the benefices thus conferred, together with other possessions, are scarcely sufficient for them, if a part of their benefices were taken away, one part would be obliged to live on charity, or hospitality would perhaps be done away with, or both might happen in some places; which could not occur without great scandal and peril to souls, inasmuch as some of them would perhaps be wandering through the world; and on the plea of this vagabond state, would fall into manifold sin, not observing the rules of the holy fathers, to which they are bound".

Another cause and reason.

"Again, since a custom has heretofore prevailed and been observed in England, that the rectors of parochial churches have always been remarkable for hospitality, and have made a practice of supplying food to their parishioners who were in want, and by those means have endeavoured to please not only the Supreme Creator, but also laymen of all kinds, by whom the clerks in the town were troubled; and if a portion of their benefices be taken away from them, they will be under the necessity of refusing their hospitality, and abandoning their accustomed offices of piety. And if these be withdrawn, they will incur the hatred of those subject to them, and will lose the favour of passers-by and their neighbours; the rectors of churches will be deprived of their rights, and not being able to defend them, owing to their poverty, they will be oppressed by those very laymen, to the disgrace and loss of the Church universal. Some of them whose benefices do not suffice for a residence of six months, and who can scarcely find food in other quarters, if a portion of their benefices be cut away from them they will be compelled to beg, and divine service will cease in their churches; and if they cease, their parishioners will fail in the payment of tithes, and revenues, and there will be no one to prosecute the claims of that church, for want; the dignity of the Church will become debased; the community of clerks will fall into contempt; preaching will cease, and the cure of

194 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 124:6.

souls will he left unattended to; hence the faith will be endangered by the people's treating the doctrines and corrections of the prelates with contempt".

Another cause and reason.

"Again, since the poor, of whom there is an endless number, are sustained during the year out of the property of ecclesiastical persons, and many gentlemen, kinsmen of theirs, and others who stay in their service, receive food and pay out of their property, if a portion of their profits be taken from them, alms will cease to be given; families will grow licentious; and if matters come to that pass, the poor will die of hunger; and some, as they cannot dig, and to beg are ashamed, will find it necessary, rather than perish of hunger, to indulge in theft, rapine, and pillage; from which will ensue the murder of many; a tumult will arise amongst the people; and a disturbance of the whole kingdom of England will necessarily follow".

Another cause and reason.

"Again, as there are many clerks in England heavily burdened by debt, if, without deducting the debt and the expenses, the amount of which exceeds a sixth part of their revenues, which deduction is scarcely ever opposed in any case; if, without deducting the burdens on the church, consisting of pensions, proclations of prelates, and the repairs of churches and ornaments, a portion of their profits be withdrawn from them, as they cannot live on what is left, they will be reduced to want; but in the case of such persons, care ought to be taken that they shall not be in want, especially where a scandal on the universal Church would be likely to ensue".

Another cause and reason.

"Again, inasmuch as, under the name of a twentieth part, six thousand marks were lately paid to the pope, and on comparison of the amount of the twentieth part with that of the moiety demanded, the sum total of money demanded will exceed sixty thousand marks, including the sixth part of the revenues, which is refunded at the collection of the profits, since he does not deduct that portion; and since, besides these, he endeavours to obtain from the persons excepted in the first mandate, from those who receive revenues of a


hundred marks, the twentieth part; and from those who have larger revenues, a third part; it would be necessary annually to collect from the revenues of the clerks, the sum of eighty thousand marks, which sum the whole kingdom of England would scarcely be able to pay; how much less, then, can the clerks, whose property consists only in the profits, which, although they are generally exposed for sale annually, lead to many purchases being made from the said money, since the money passes from hand to hand, and remains in the kingdom? And if money should be deducted from each of the sales and carried out of the kingdom, the purchasers would be deficient; and it might happen that such a large amount of money could not be found in the kingdom, which has been proved by experience in a pressing emergency at a former time, namely, when Richard, king of England, of illustrious memory, was formerly made prisoner and detained in a foreign country, sixty thousand marks were demanded for his release; and although the whole kingdom had contributed, it could not have been paid in full, had not the crosses and chalices of the churches been given in part payment; how much less chance was there now of such a large sum of money being collected from the goods of clerks only, when too it would be three times as much within three years? Since, therefore, the English church, by its proctors, opposes this exaction, be pleased to intimate to the pope this general opposition on behalf of the whole church, appealing to the presence of Jesus Christ, and of the general council when summoned at any time by God's grace".

How two murderers were sent to Rome.

About this time, two daring murderers were sent by the emperor Frederick to the Roman court, for the purpose of killing the pope by secret treachery, after the manner of the Assassins. By an unforeseen event, however, they were seized and imprisoned, to await sentence for the crime of treason. There were some who said that this report was cunningly invented and fraudulently arranged, in order that Frederick, who declared that it was by the pope's contrivance that a similar occurrence had lately happened to him, might be defamed by a similar crime.

196 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1246.

Death of the bishop of Salisbury.

About the same time of the year, namely on the morrow of All Souls' day, died Master Robert de Ringham, of pious memory, bishop of Salisbury; a man surrounded by virtues, full of years, and fully accomplished in literature; he however left his house in debt to the amount of seventeen hundred marks.

Death of the abbat of Westminster.

And about the same time, too, that is to say on the first of December, died Richard de Berking, abbat of Westminster, a prudent, learned, and religious man, who, during his life, increased the revenues of his house by about three hundred marks.

The canonization of Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury.

About the same time, namely on the Sunday next before Christmas, when is chanted the psalm, "Rejoice in the Lord", the pope solemnly canonized Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, and enrolled him in the catalogue of saints, for he feared lest the said saint should punish him for neglecting his canonization, which he had put off day after day, owing to the whispers of slanderers. When the king heard this, he was greatly pleased; and, immediately on being informed of it, gave orders that all the clerks of the royal chapel should put on their festive robes, and, with great numbers of tapers lighted, should solemnly perform mass, commencing it with the psalm, "Let us rejoice", etc., etc. The authentic document of his canonization will be found at the end of the book.

How the sea ceased to ebb and flow for three months [days?].

It is related by credible persons, that during this year the sea did not rise upon the sea-coast, as usual, for the space of four or five days; a circumstance which those dwelling on the coast, and the sailors who trafiic on the great waters, testified they had never seen before.

William of York elected bishop of Salisbury.

About the same time, too, the canons of Salisbury, finding that no one hardly would be acceptable to the king, unless a person belonging to his court, in order to guard against peril to their church and to gain the king's good-will,


unanimously elected William of York, a most familiar clerk of the king's, and provost of Beverley, a man well skilled in the laws, to be their bishop and pastor of their souls; and as it was believed that this election pleased God, and was agreeable to the king, it was confirmed without delay. Master Sylvester, too, was elected to the see of Carlisle; for although he formerly thought himself unworthy of the office, and consequently would not accept of it, yet since God called him from the receipt of custom to the ministry, he was struck with a holy fear, and with all humility acquiesced in the said election; lest, by kicking against God, he should be estemed reprobate.

The death of certain nobles of England.

In this year certain nobles died in England, the death of whom was considered to be a great loss to the kingdom. Amongst these were Richard d'Argentan, a brave knight, who had long fought faithfully for God in the Holy Land; in the northern parts, Henry de Baliol, and Lambert de Muleton in Holland; also Alexander de Sewerford, treasurer of St. Paul's at London, who was honourably buried in St. Paul's church; and he did not leave his equal in England, for handsomeness of person, beauty of face, and endowments of learning in many branches. The above-named Lambert de Muleton was a knight who had lately, by large presents, obtained a remarkable privilege from the pope; namely, that no one should be allowed to excommunicate him for any fault soever, unless by a special mandate from the pope, as though he might be allowed to sin with impunity; but he, after injuring many, and oppressing more, was at length deservedly struck by a visitation of the Lord. For as he was returning, after attending one of his pleas, proudly dressed and mounted, on dismounting from his horse, he complained that he was oppressed by dangerous illness, and hurriedly taking to his couch, before he could have his spurs taken off, he grew suddenly pale in death. Ralph Briton also, formerly a most intimate friend of the king and queen, in preference to many nobles, and the king's chancellor, fell to the ground, livid with an unexpected stroke of deadly apoplexy, as he was watching some dice-players at their game, after he had partaken of a repast; and thus, one who

198 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

had impoverished many persons, especially the canons of Messedia, in order to amass a great store of treasure and appropriate it to himself, suddenly lost his life and his gains together. Nicholas Danne (may he not be "damned") also, the clerk, treasurer, and confidential adviser of Earl Richard, who, together with his associate John Bretasche, a knight (who was struck by a similar vengeance), had made a practice of seizing on money in all directions, and heaping it up for the use of the earl, one dark night as, surfeited with wine, and puffed up with feasting, he was carelessly riding a restive horse, fell to the ground drunk, and, striking against the trunk of a tree in the road, he broke his neck, and lying on his back vomited forth his life, with the wine of which he had drunk too much. I have written these things, that every one to whom the Lord may have intrusted the reins of any secular power, may, by placing his feet in a wide place, and reflecting on the saying of the prophet, "It is dreadful to fall into the hands of the living God", so learn to fear punishment in the end, if he shall betray his cause.

Richard de Crokesle elected abbat of Westminster.

About the same time, Master Richard de Crokesle, archdeacon of Westminster, a man of eloquence, learned in the law, and a great friend of the king's, was unanimously elected abbat by the whole of the brethren of that church; for the monks feared, if they acted otherwise, that the king, who was their especial patron, would leave their half-finished church, which he had begun to rebuild in a handsome manner, in an incomplete state. The aforesaid Richard was therefore elected; he had been always an admirer of St. Edmund the Confessor and archbishop, for, on the day of that saint's canonization, namely on the Sunday before Christmas-day, as above mentioned, he was summoned to the dignity of this high prelacy, and he at once ordered a chapel to be built in honour of the said saint, where noble services, such as became them, should be paid at future times to God and the said confessor. At the instance of the king, also, an addition to the dignity of the said abbat was made, by which he was allowed to perform mass in pontifical robes, and to give a solemn blessing to the people when "the Lamb of God" is chanted.


Conclusion of the events of the whole year.

This year, throughout, was productive of suspicion to the Holy Land, injury to the Church in general, hostility to the empire, depredation to the kingdoms of France and England, disgrace and turbulence to the Roman court.

The king keeps Christmas at Winchester.

Anno Domini 1247, the thirty-first year of the reign of King Henry the Third, he held his court at Winchester, in the presence of many of the picked nobles of the kingdom. On his arrival there he was met with rejoicing by the bishop of Winchester, who earnestly begged of him to breakfast with him, the said bishop, on the morrow of Christmas-day, in order that, by his so doing, it might be evident to all that his lord the king had entirely forgotten all his former offences, and it might be shown before all the guests that he had restored him, the bishop, to his former friendship; and, to the joy of the bishop, his request was acceded to, and his wishes fulfilled.

A council convoked at London.

At this time, on a renewed urgent mandate from the pope concerning the before-mentioned intolerable contribution, to which the bishops at the general council had unfortunately bound the clergy, the king, by his royal warrant, summoned his nobles, and also the archdeacons of England, to London. On their arriving there on the day pre-arranged on, all the bishops intentionally absented themselves, that they might appear to be opposing their own acts; for they knew that the hearts of all were wounded to bitterness, and not without just cause.

Of the conspiracy of some of the nobles of France against the pope.

Whilst the stream of time was thus flowing onward, the devotion of the Christians grew lukewarm, and the feelings of filial affection, which each Christian is bound to entertain towards our spiritual father the pope were, not without peril to our souls, wounded, and died away; yea, indeed, were converted into execrable hatred and secret maledictions. For each and all saw, and, seeing, felt that the said pope, to the injury and impoverishment of many, was insatiably intent on the plunder of money; and many did not now believe that

200 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

he held that power which was granted from heaven to St. Peter, namely, of binding and loosing, since he proved himself to be entirely dissimilar to St. Peter. The mouth of evil speakers and rebukers was unloosed everywhere, and especially in France, in which country many nobles conspired against the pope and the Church, a circumstance we never remember the occurrence of before; the particulars of which conspiracy will be seen by the following writing, which is in the French language, as it so came to our notice:- "A tous ceux qui ces lettres verront, nous tous desquelz les seaux pendent en cest present escript, faisons scavoir, que nous par la foy de nos corps avons fiance et sommes aliance, tant nous comme nos oirs a tousiours, a ayder les uns aux autres, et a tous ceux de nos terres et dautres terres, qui vouldront estre de ceste compagnie, a pourchasser et a requirir et a defendre nos droitz et les leurs en bonne foy enuers la clergie. Et pour ce que seroit grieve chose nous tous assembler pour ceste besoigne, nous avons essu par le commun assent et octroy de nous tous, le due de Bourgoigne, le conte Perrun de Bretaigne, le conte d'Angulesme, et le conte de S. Pol, a ce que si aucuns de ceste communite avoit a faire en vers la clergie tel ayde comme ces quatre devant dits esgarderoient quum homme luy deust faire, nous luy ferions. Et cest a scavoir, quae a ce defendre, pourchasser, et requerir chascun de cest communite mettra la centiesme pait par son serment de la vaillance dun an de la terre qu'il tiendra. Et chascun riche homme de ceste compaignie fera lever ces deniers chascun an a son povoir a la Purification de nostre Dame, et les deliura ou il sera mestier pour ceste besoigne, par les lettres pendantes de ces quatre avant nommez, ou des deux de eux. Et si aucun avoit toit, et il ne vouloit laisser par ces quatre avant nommez, il ne seroit pas ayde de la communite. Et si aucun de ceste compaignie estoit excommunie par tort, cognu par ces quatre, que la clergie luy feist, il ne laisseroit aller son droit ne sa querele pour lexcommuniment, ne pour autre chose quon luy face, si ce nest par laccort de ces quatre, ou des deux de eux, ains poursuiveroit sa droiture. Et si les deux des quatre moureroyent ou alloyent hors de la terre, les autres deux qui demeuroyent, mettroyent autres deux en lieu de ces deux, qui auroyent tel povoir que est a devant divise. Et s'il avenoit que les trois et les quatre allassent


hors de la terre, ou mourrissent, les douze on les dix des riches de ceste communite esliront autres quatre, qui auront ce mesme povoir que les quatre devant dits. Et si ces quatre, ou aucun de la communite par le commandement de ces quatre, faisent aucune besoigne qui appertensist a ceste communite, la communite len deliureroit".

Literal translation. [1]

[To all those who shall see these letters, we whose seals are attached to this present writing, make known that we, by the faith of our bodies, have pledged and bound together, as well ourselves as our heirs for ever, to aid one another, and all those of our lands and of other lands, who shall wish to be of this company, to purchase, and to require, and to defend our rights and theirs in good faith against the clergy. And seeing that it would be a burdensome thing to us all to meet on this behalf, we have chosen by common assent and right of all of us, the duke of Burgundy, Count Perrum of Brittany, the count of Angouleme, and the count of St. Pol, to the effect that, if any one of his community had to do toward the clergy, such aid as these four above-mentioned should consider that a man ought to render to him, we should do it to him. And this is to know, that for defending, purchasing, and requiring the above, each of this community will place the hundredth part, by his oath, of the value for a year, of the land that he shall hold. And every rich man of this company shall cause to levy the money every year to the best of his power, at the Purification of our Lady, and shall deliver it wherever the place shall be on this behalf, by the letters attached of these four above named, or of two of them. And if any were in the wrong, and could not be made to give it up by these four above named, he should not be aided by the community. And if any of this company were excommunicated by wrong, known to these four, which the clergy did to him, he shall not let go his right and his quarrel for the excommunication, nor for any other thing that they may do to him, unless by the agreement of these four, or of two of them; but shall pursue his right. And if two of the four shall die, or go out of the country, the other two who remain shall put other two in place of those two, who

[1] Matthew Paris gives the original French text, but not the translation.

202 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

shall have such power as is above devised. And if it happen that three or four go out of the land or die, twelve or ten of the rich of this community shall elect other four, who shall have the same power as the four above named. And if these four, or any of the community, by the commandment of these four, do any business which may concern this community, the community shall relieve them of it.]

Another writing against the clergy.

"Whereas the superstition of clerks, not heeding that, by wars and the bloodshed of some in the time of Charlemagne and others, the kingdom of France was converted from the errors of the gentiles to the Catholic faith, by a kind of humility first led us away, and the said clerks opposing us like foxes, out of the remains of those very castles which owe their foundations to us, have so engrossed the jurisdiction of secular princes, that the sons of slaves judge freemen and the sons of freemen according to their own laws, although they ought rather to be judged by us according to the laws of their former conquerors, and no detraction ought to be made, by new decrees, from the customs of our ancestors, inasmuch as they would place us in a worse condition than God wished even the gentiles to be, when he said, 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's'. We all, the chief men of the kingdom, attentively considering that the kingdom was not acquired by written law, nor by the arrogance of clerks, but by the sweat of war, by this present decree, on the oath of all, do constitute and ordain, that no clerk or layman shall henceforth drag another person before an ordinary judge or a deputed one, unless in a case of heresy, matrimony, or usury; the loss of all their honours, and deprivation of one of their limbs, awaiting all transgressors; certain men being appointed by us agents to carry out this matter, that our jurisdiction may be restored, and we may draw breath freely, and that those who have hitherto grown rich by our impoverishment, and whose profane contentions the Lord has chosen to disclose on account of their pride, may be brought back to their condition in the primitive Church, and by living in contemplation, may, as becomes them, show to us, who are leading an active life, the miracles which have long since departed from the world".


When the pope heard of this, he groaned in perturbation of spirit, and being desirous of softening their hearts and weakening their firmness of purpose, he, after having first warned them, endeavoured to alarm them by threats; but he found that he did not prevail by this. He therefore bestowed a number of ecclesiastical benefices on a number of their relations, granted them permission to hold several, with many other indulgences, and also made many presents to the nobles themselves, many of whom he, by these means, recalled from their above-mentioned presumptuous proceedings. Many, however, were frightened by the contents of a letter, which was believed to have emanated from some one with the consent of Frederick, especially as the final clause of this letter agreed with the letter which he sent to many of the princes, at the end of which he says, "It has always been our intention and wish to induce the clerks of every order, and chiefly those of the highest rank, to continue such to the end, as they were in the primitive state of the Church, leading an apostolic life, and imitating our Lord's humility; for such clerks used to make it a practice to look upon the angels, to shine forth in miracles", etc., etc. See the letter sent by the emperor Frederick to the king of England and to all the other princes in the year 1245 [page 106].

Of the parliament held at London, at which complaints were heaped on complaints, of the pope' s exactions.

On the morrow of the Purification of St. Mary the king held a careful deliberation with his nobles, and prolonged the council, as it was on urgent matters, for several days; for it was greatly feared, and was reported as a fact to the king, that the French king was preparing to reduce Gascony to subjection to him: to lose which province appeared evidently disgraceful as well as a great loss of the English king, since he usually received a thousand marks annually from Bordeaux alone. There had also assembled there, as above stated, the archdeacons of England, besides a large portion of the clergy and the nobles, who all in common complained of the frequent and intolerable exactions of the pope; in which the king also sympathized with them and joined in their grief: for the whole state was in peril, and the matter concerned the whole kingdom, and great and hitherto unheard-of

204 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

desolation was manifest amongst the clergy. A lamentable complaint was therefore laid before the king, whose business it was to protect the commonwealth, and to avert such injuries and dangers. At length it was by the general opinion arranged that discreet messengers should be sent to the Roman court to point out this series of oppressions to the pope, and to deliver the underwritten on behalf of the community of the clergy and people to the pope and cardinals.

The letter sent to the pope in the name of the community of England at large.

"To the most holy father in Christ and lord, I, by God's providence supreme Pontiff, the community of the clergy and people of the province of Canterbury, Devoted kisses to his holy feet.- Whereas the English church, from the time when the Catholic faith was first given to it, has endeavoured to please, and has always adhered to and devoutly served God and the holy Roman church our mother, without attempting to depart from the duties they had undertaken, and always profiting by an increase of morals, she now casts herself at the feet of your holiness, and earnestly supplicates that, with regard to the demand for money which is required of it in divers ways and with great coercion, by command of your holiness, for the assistance of divers nations, you in your affection will deign to show mercy to her. For the burden of what is demanded is insupportable, and, owing to a deficiency of property, impossible; for although our country sometimes produces crops which are devoted to the support of the people of it, yet it does not produce abundance of money, nor would it for a long time produce as much as is demanded at this present time. But it has also been oppressed by a similar burden, although not so heavy a one, in past times, and can no longer endure these exactions. Besides this, by your holiness's command, assistance is at this present moment required from the clergy for our lord and temporal king (whom we ought not and cannot with honour fail in his adversities), in order to enable him to ward off the incursions of enemies (which God avert from us), to defend the rights of his patrimony, and promptly to recover what has been seized upon. We therefore send the bearers of these presents, together with our entreaties, to your holiness's presence, to set forth to you the perils and disadvantages


which would ensue from such exactions as above mentioned, and which we can on no account endure, although we are bound to you by every tie of affection, devotion, and obedience. And because our community has no seal, we send these presents to your holiness, signed with the mark of the community of the city of London".

The letter sent in the name of the same community to the cardinals.

"To the most reverend fathers in Christ and lords, the cardinals of the holy Roman church, their devoted servants, etc., Health and due respect all honour.- To your brotherhood as the bases supporting the church of God, we fly with humble entreaties, and earnestly beg of you to give heed to the oppressions under which we are labouring, and to give us aid, in order that the English church may be enabled to recover breath after the repeated troubles which she has met with in times past, and that we may be bound to return you due thanks. Since the last Lateran council, the English church, by command of the Apostolic See, has been harassed by the payment of, first, the twentieth part in aid of the Holy Land; next, a tenth part for the aid of the pope; and afterwards various other gifts in divers ways and for divers uses, and yet she has promptly poured forth all she could collect to her hand. To our king and temporal patron also she has, at the command of the Apostolic See, repeatedly given succour as far as lay in her power; and at this present moment, at your entreaties, assistance is again demanded for the said king (whom we cannot and ought not to fail in his necessities), to enable him to repel the incursions of his enemies, to protect the rights of his kingdom, and to recover those it has been deprived of. Finally, a demand is now made on the same church, which she cannot endure, as the scantiness of her property docs not allow her to comply with the demand. From some is demanded a half, from others a third, and from the rest a twentieth part of all the property they possess, a part of which is to be devoted to the use of the French, who are always persecuting us and our nation, for the conquest of the empire of the Greeks; a portion to the assistance of the Holy Land, which might, as the world loudly declares, be regained from the enemy with less risk; and a part to such other uses as the Apostolic See may order.

206 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

It seems hard, indeed, and absurd, that, whilst others possess abundance from our goods and labours, we, and our countrymen, and the poor of our kingdom, to whom the gift more nearly belongs, should be fasting and without goods. Our king and his soldiers, too, would not be able to repel the incursions and guard against the treachery of our enemies, which God avert; nor could any assistance be afforded to those perishing and in want, if all the money of the kingdom is exhausted. Indeed, if everything which the clergy possess were to be exposed for sale, the sum of money now demanded could not be found amongst us. Many misfortunes would ensue from such a course as the foregoing, if, which God forbid, it should be persisted in. For the purpose of setting forth these matters to you, we send the bearers of these presents, as our common messengers, to your presence, and earnestly beg of you, for the sake of the Lord and the Apostolic See, to recall the mind of the pope, and to restrain your hands and counsels from such oppression, and to condescend, if it please you, to recall those wandering and scattered abroad, to the bosom of, and obedience to, the mother Church, in such a way that you may not scatter abroad and estrange from her those who were formerly gathered together in affection and devotion. And whereas our community has not a seal, we send these presents to your holy brotherhood signed with the mark of the community of the city of London".

The king obtains an obscure privilege from the pope.

About the same time, the king, unaware that he was by the cunning of the Romans underhandedly ensnared in the meshes of their deceitful words, obtained, by the agency of some of his courtiers who wished to please him, a kind of privilege for himself from the Roman court, the purport of which was as follows:- "Although the pope has, at his own will and pleasure, to the intolerable oppression of the English church, made decrees, everywhere and indiscriminately disposing of the ecclesiastical benefices in England to the use of Italians, now, by God's favour, the storm is lulled so much, that when he, the pope, makes provision for any one or more of his relatives or those of his cardinals, he or his cardinals shall ask the king's permission and pleasure as to such provision being made". By this obscure and deceptive


privilege the parasitical friends of the king soothed his feelings, and bound him more closely in their toils. For the notaries and accountants of the Roman court yield like wax to bribery and hire; and if they by the pope's orders transmit pressing letters full of rhetorical arguments to our lord the king, to enrich themselves and pauperize him, how is it the worse for them? I therefore look upon the above-named privilege as nothing but a hook with a bait upon it.

How foreign ladies were brought over to be married to the nobles of England.

Before the said council was broken up, Peter of Savoy, earl of Richmond, came to the king's court at London, bringing with him from his distant province some unknown ladies, for the purpose of giving them in marriage to the nobles of England whom the king had brought up in his guardianship; which circumstance was evidently annoying and unpleasant to many of the native nobles of England, who considered that they were despised.

Two English Minorite brethren sent by the pope to England to extort money.

Whilst ever-changing fortune was deceiving the world with such fallacies, two brothers of the Minorite order, named John and Alexander, Englishmen by birth, obtained from the pope the power of extorting money for the use of his holiness, and were sent into England by the pope himself. These men, then, armed with a great number of letters under the papal bull, and concealing the rapacity of the wolf under the wool of the sheep, came before the king with simple looks, downcast eyes, and bland speech, and begged his permission to wander through the kingdom to ask charity for the benefit of the pope, declaring that they would not make use of any coercion. Having obtained this permission from the king, who saw nothing sinister in this proceeding, the said brethren now become sophistical legates, and, elated with the gifts of the king's clerks, set out from the royal court, mounted on noble palfreys ornamented with saddles set in gold, and themselves dressed in most handsome robes, and wearing knightly boots and spurs, commonly called heuses [hose?], to the injury and disgrace of their order and professions; and, discharging the duties and practising the tyranny of legates,

208 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

demanded and extorted procurations, and thought little of exacting twenty shillings for each one of these. In the first place they went to the higher orders of the English prelates, and imperiously demanded money for the pope's use, under a fearful penalty, allowing but a very short time for a reply or for payment, and showing the fulminating letters of the pope, which they held forth as if they were threatening horns. On their coming to the bishop of Lincoln, who had always been a particular lover and follower of their order, so much so, that he had once conceived a design of retiring into it, he was overcome with astonishment at seeing such a transformation of the Minorite brethren, both as to habit, behaviour, and office, for it was not easy to find of what order or condition they now were; and when they swore to the contents of the papal mandate especially for the credit of many, and urgently demanded a small sum, namely six thousand marks, from his bishopric, he replied with great astonishment and grief, "Brother, this exaction, saving the papal authority, is dishonourable, and not to be listened to; for it is impossible to fulfil your request; nor does it concern me alone, but the whole community of the clergy and people, and the kingdom in general. I consider it would be rash and absurd for me precipitately, by giving you a positive answer on this matter, to give you a definite consent to such a dangerous proceeding, without consulting the community of the kingdom in general". With this answer they then went away, and proceeded, accoutred and transformed (as above stated), to the church of St. Alban's; but not caring to descend so far in dignity as to go to the usual place of lodging, which, with its appurtenances, was built inside the gate of the court, for the special use of the Preachers and Minorites, they turned out of their way to a more noble place of abode, where bishops and men of high rank resorted, and were reverently received there. Then, in the same way as they had demanded six thousand marks from the abovementioned bishop, they now demanded four hundred from the abbat, for the pope's use, and imperiously demanded that they should be paid in a short time, and under a heavy penalty: [1] but on the abbats replying to them in the same way as the aforesaid bishop had done, although with all humility, these

[1] "Nisi ipsi ordinando providerent", the original obscurely adds.


brethren put on the secular habit and gesture, and mounting their noble horses, went away with murmurings and threats.

The pope asks the prelates of France to lend him money.

At this time the pope, by his special messengers the Preachers and Minorites, sent his authentic letters to all the prelates of France, one by one, begging each of them to lend him a sum of money according to his means, promising that, when he could recover breath, he would without fail pay to each his due. On this becoming known to the French king, who had suspicions of the avarice of the Roman court, he forbade any prelate of his kingdom, under penalty of losing all his property, to impoverish his territory in such a way; and thus the sophistical papal legates, on whose shoulders the burden of this duty was imposed, left the kingdom empty-handed, amidst the sneers and derision of all parties.

Of the promotion and exaltation of John Mansel.

Whilst time was thus gliding on amidst these unlooked-for events, John Mansel, chancellor of St. Paul's church at London, by the wish and at the request of the king (whose petition is imperious and compulsory), undertook the charge of the king's seal, to discharge the duties and fill the office of chancellor. Besides this, the provostship of Beverley was conferred on him by the archbishop of York; and the king, although he was sorry that this office was not given to his uterine brother, yet, because he found the said John faithful and necessary in supporting his cares and solicitudes, he did not wish him to be grieved or robbed of any honour conferred on him.

Marin, a chaplain, sent to England.

Whilst the wheel of fortune was thus continually converting the lowest into the highest, our lord the pope, thinking that the different money collectors already sent were not sufficient to gather money, sent into England one Master Marin (another Martin), his chaplain, who, from the signification of his name, had wisely chosen to be a fisher, not of men, but of their possessions, in this sea of the world, and came with the intention that, whilst others were hunting, he might hook the English at a distance, or, by deceiving them, might more cautiously take them in his net. He, although he was not

210 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

invested with the insignia of a legate, yet was strongly armed with the power of one, that the privilege of the king might be eluded.

Godfrey, bishop elect of Bethlehem, sent as legate into Scotland.

About this time too, Godfrey, son of the prefect of Rome, and bishop elect of Bethlehem, was sent by the pope as legate in to Scotland; but it is not known for what purpose, since the Catholic faith flourished uncontaminated in that kingdom, and peace was firmly established both amongst the clergy and the people. It was therefore believed that, according to the Roman custom, the aforesaid Godfrey, as adamant attracts iron, would draw to him the abundant and much-coveted revenues of the Scotch.

Master John sent to Ireland.

And at the same time Master John the Red was sent to Ireland to collect money, with full powers as though he were a legate, but not invested with the insignia of that office, lest the pope might appear to be giving cause of offence to the king of England, who, delighted that he was protected, as he vainly fancied, by the privilege that no legate should come into his territory, unless asked for by him. This said John then so diligently carried the pope's orders into effect, and employed himself for his own advantage and gain, that he extorted six thousand marks from Ireland, which he sent to London at Michaelmas, in charge of some religious men, to be added to the pope's treasure; but all these proceedings did not escape Frederick's notice.

Of an earthquake in England.

On the 13th of February in this year, that is on St. Valentine's day, at various places in England, especially at London, and there mostly on the banks of the Thames, an earthquake was felt, which shook buildings, and was very injurious and terrible in its effects; for, as was believed, such an occurrence was significative, inasmuch as it was unusual and unnatural in these western countries, since the solid mass of England is free from those under-ground caverns and deep cavities (in which, according to philosophers, an earthquake is generally produced), nor could any reason for it be discovered. It was therefore expected, according to


the threats of the Gospel, that the end of the world was at hand, and that this movement of the earth indicated corresponding movements in the world, so that the elements might be agitated and disturbed by frequent motions. In this year also, the sea, as has been before stated, for a few days previous, ebbed and flowed but little, if at all, for a great distance along the coast, during the course of three months, a circumstance which no one remembered to have ever seen before; nor had there been an earthquake in England since the year 1133, which was the third year before the death of King Henry the Second. This earthquake was followed by a protracted inclemency of the atmosphere, and by an unseasonable and winterly roughness, disturbed, cold, and rainy, so that the husbandmen and gardeners complained that the spring by a backward movement was changed to winter, and entertained great fears that they would be deceived in their hopes of their crops, plants, fruit-trees, and corn. This disturbed state of the weather lasted uninterruptedly with scarcely the intervention of a single calm day, till the feast of the Translation of St. Benedict.

Death of the knight Fulk.

On the morrow of the Purification of St. Mary, there died at London, Fulk, of Newcastle, a distinguished knight, a cousin of the king's, and on account of his nobility of birth, his body was solemnly and honourably buried in the church at Westminster with full burial services, by order of the king, who happened to be present in consequence of the above-mentioned parliament.

The revoking of the decree concerning persons dying intestate.

About this time, on account of the unbecoming scandal which was wafted abroad throughout various countries, on the compulsion of the cardinals, the decree was revoked, which had been a little while before made by the pope at the manifest instigation of avarice, and to carry which into effect he had constituted the Minorite brethren his agents, to the loss and scandal of them and the injury of their order, and by which he, the pope, claimed for his own uses the property of persons dying intestate. This decree redounded to the harm and loss of many of the nobles, on account of that iniquitous additional clause, which, contrary

212 MATTHEW PATHS. [A.D. 1247.

to all laws and all piety, had been added to it, and which ran as follows:- "But if a sick man, when about to make his will, should be prevented by sudden weakness from being able plainly to express the words of his will, and should appoint one of his friends to express it for him, and to act as his agent, such a will should not stand, but should be considered null, and such a testator should be considered as an intestate person, and the papal Charybdis should swallow down all his goods".

The discovery of a treacherous conspiracy against the pope's life.

Whilst the revolutions of time were thus proceeding onwards, a certain knight in the service of Frederick, named Ralph, being enraged at not receiving his pay from the emperor in due time, left his lord's service with threats. This man was of astute mind, of great bodily strength, and skilful in war, and, being desirous of injuring his late lord Freclerick, went to Lyons to seek another, under whom he could fight as a stipendiary to greater advantage, as he had no fixed place of abode. On his arrival, he took up his abode with a certain host, named Reginald, and after a few days Master Walter de Ocra, the special clerk and counsellor of Frederick, happened to pass that way, and took up his lodgings in the same house. On seeing the said knight Ralph there, he greeted him familiarly by name as an acquaintance, inquiring what he was doing there, and why he had thus left his lord, whom he had served so long. On learning the full particulars, Master Walter asked him if he had yet met with another lord, to which he replied, "No, because I am not known". Master Walter then said, "Return, my friend, to your allegiance and to the service of my lord, who is now much in want of such men, and I will restore to you all that is due, and will even add more". To this Ralph joyfully agreed, and Master Walter then said, "My lord would consider himself lucky if he was not disturbed, indeed attacked, by his deadly enemy and unwearied persecutor the pope, and if you will and can take away his guilty life, I will multiply rewards upon you; what I have promised I will fulfil without fail, and will add three hundred talents to the many revenues I have promised to restore to you, together with the favour of my lord, which is a source


of much gain to you; for by this the trouble of my lord, indeed the tempests of the whole world, would be set at rest. Do not think either that there is any sin in this deed, since the pope, who ought to be a pattern and example of all religion, is become a manifest usurer, a furnace of simony, a thirster after and plunderer of money, and his court is a marketplace for hucksters, or rather a brothel for harlots". To this Ralph answered, "If you will prove your words by your deeds, and will recompense me, I will do what you ask"; and on Master Walter's promising and binding himself by oath, he consented to perpetrate the crime, being overcome by the presents now made him, and the promise of more. To this secret plan they, by a similar obligation, at length induced their host Reginald, who was known to the supreme pontiff and his servants, to give his consent and assistance; they bound him to find out, by lying concealed somewhere, the time when and where the pope might be slain, and to introduce the murderer; and on this Master Walter departed. Within a few days after, the said Reginald was suddenly seized with a severe illness, and brought to the point of death, and seeing that he was about to die, he at his confession disclosed all these things to his priest; and after thus repent, ingresigned himself to his fate. The priest at once gave intimation to the pope of this imminent peril, and speedy messengers were sent, and the aforesaid Ralph was seized. He at first positively denied everything concerning it, but, being at length put to the most exquisite tortures, he vomited forth the poison of the treachery above mentioned, and revealed the truth of the matter to the whole papal court. All these things were committed to wiiting under the bull, to the injury of Frederick, that he might be the more severely scandalized and condemned.

How two others were taken prisoners for the same crime.

About the same time, too, two Italian knights were seized at Lyons for the same offence, who, after their capture, declared that about forty daring knights had conspired together on oath to take the pope's life, who, even though Frederick were dead, would not for any penalty, even that of death, fail to cut the pope to pieces, the disturber of the world, and defiler of the Church, and they believed most unhesitatingly

214 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

that, if they could happily have cut the throat of such a one, they would have consummated a deed pleasing both to God and to man. From this time the pope kept close in his chamber, carefully guarded by fifty armed men day and night, and did not dare to go out of his room or castle, or palace, so much even as to go to perform mass: for it is a case of necessity, that he should fear many who is feared by many, and that the disturber of many should be disturbed in manifold ways.

Of a grand parliament held in France.

In the same year, about Mid-Lent, the French king, by royal warrant, summoned the nobles of his kingdom in general, clergy as well as laity, to assemble at a parliament to discuss carefully certain arduous matters concerning the state of the kingdom; for he was anxious about the assumption of the cross by himself and his nobles, and the inviolable obligation of such an important vow. He had also, it was stated, received an order from the king of the Tartars to become subject to him, which said king, with daring and profane mouth, called himself in his letter "immortal", and declared that he and his followers were those of whom it is written that "the Lord gave the earth to the sons of men". The French king, however, left all this matter to the Divine disposition, and after, in the first place, wisely and prudently arranging all matters which are due and ought to be paid, by which all the adversities which the wiles of the devil or man can devise, will be brought to nought, immutably determined and arranged, that at the expiration of a year from the feast of St. John the Baptist then next ensuing, he would, if living, set out on his pilgrimage, in company with his fellow-crusaders, faithfully to fulfil his vow that he would worship in the Holy Land the footsteps of the Crucified One, who had restored him to life; and this he in public swore he would do, and made his nobles take the same oath, unless, which God forbid, some unforeseen event, which mortal weakness cannot avoid, should delay him; and he declared that whoever opposed this wholesome decree, should be both excommunicated and considered as a public enemy. When this reached the knowledge of the Chorosmins and other Saracen nations conterminous with the


Christians in the Holy Land, and which were lately reduced to subjection to the infidels, they strongly fortified their castles and cities. The said king, moreover, because he had seen that the English money, which was very advantageous to traders in several ways of business, by reason of the metal, was very much diminished in value and impaired by false dealers, called "money-clippers", gave orders that whatever coin should thereafter be found in his kingdom not of legal weight, should at once be melted down, that neither commerce nor the merchants themselves should be any longer troubled by such spurious money. This was also a matter of fear in England, owing to the immoderate diminution of the money in value. It was also said, and found to be a fact, that the coins were cut round by the circumcised and infidel Jews, who, on account of the heavy talliages imposed by the king, were now reduced to beggary; and other crimes also were said to have emanated from them.

Peace effected between the churches of Durham and St. Albans.

In this year, also, a peaceable arrangement was made between the churches of Durham and St. Alban's, concerning the visitation of the parochial church in the monastery of Tynemouth, about which a disturbance arose in the time of Nicholas, bishop of Durham, and the second John, abbat of St. Alban's, which matter is more fully given and explained in the book of Additaments, an example of which also you will find in the second page after this towards the end. [1]

About this same time of the year, also, Frederick, finding that the world was murmuring and rising against him, by wise counsel kindly granted a peace to the Milanese, who asked it of him with due submission and reverence. The citizens were most urgently compelled to beg it humbly, because in the last battle fought between them and Conrad, Frederick's son, they got the worst of the battle, and a great number of them fell, besides many who were taken prisoners by an attack on their rear by a body of men lying in ambush. When, however, they were taken, and about to be imprisoned, Frederick, in his innate nobility, showed mercy to them, in order to recall them to submission by forbearance, as he could not tame them by force. He had given orders,

[1] See page 220.

216 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

when they had entered their city, that all the roads should be stopped against them. The citizens, therefore, whose means of subsistence was derived from trade, were shut up as if they were besieged or imprisoned; for they could not pass at liberty to the markets, the ports, or the neighbouring cities, without danger to their persons, their cattle, or their property. As many of them now returned to their allegiance to their old and proper lord, Frederick opened the bosom of mercy to them, and thus, after a long and injurious struggle, he by prudence recalled them, even against their will, to the unity of the empire, and to a peace advantageous to them as well as himself. Nor did the Milanese from that time forth trouble themselves to adhere to the pope, who had deceived them by false promises.

The death of the landgrave who had been elected king of Rome.

During this same Lent, that the above-mentioned earthquake might not fail in its threatening signification, the pope, who, vainly trusting to the immense sums of money he had plundered from all directions, had purposed and wished to promote his friend the landgrave to the imperial dignity, now thought of raising him to the dignity of king of Germany, and of solemnly crowning him without opposition from any one; but Frederick's son Conrad, being informed of this by his spies, and having learned all particulars, suddenly came with an immense army collected from all quarters, to the place where, by the pope's arrangements, the landgrave was about to be crowned, and where all the necessary preparations had been made for such a great solemnity. Fearing, however, to enter on a doubtful contest, the said Conrad placed fifteen thousand of his soldiers in ambuscade, at an out-of-the-way place not far off, who might, if necessary, come to his assistance at a proper time, on the sound of a trumpet. The festive joy, then, was unexpectedly interrupted, and a most fierce and bloody battle ensued, at the commencement of which, Conrad lost many of the most noble of his followers, as the weight of the battle was turned on him. But when the peril was imminent of his being put to confusion, a signal was quickly given, and the eager soldiers, who had been waiting for it in their place of ambuscade, came up "swift as the rapid air", and manfully made


up for the ill-brooked delay, and attacking the enemy, who were on the point of gaining a victory, slew all who opposed them at the sword's point. On their coming up, Conrad again breathed freely,

Ut solet infuso vena redire mero.

[As energy restrings the soul
Of him who freely quaffs the bowl.]

The struggle of war was now renewed, and the very air seemed to be disturbed by the ringing of armour, the shivering of spears, the crash of blows, the neighing of horses, the shouts of the combatants exhorting one another, the cries of the wounded, and the groans of the dying, together with the clouds of dust raised, the steam from panting bodies, and the streams of blood. Such a vigorous onset, however, the Germans, and those who were with the landgrave, could not withstand, and gave up the contest, either disgracefully taking to flight, or being mortally wounded; great numbers of them were made captives and committed to prison at the will of their enemies; a pitiable slaughter ensued, and, after an irreparable loss of Christian blood, the landgrave took to flight, and betaking himself to a place of safety, there pined away in grief. Now, indeed was verified, in a great measure, the speech of Thaddeus, Frederick's proxy at the Council of Lyons, when the pope fulminated the sentence of excommunication against his lord:- "Alas! alas"! said he, "truly is this day a day of anger, misery, and calamity"! The landgrave, then, who, according to his own reckoning, was to have been crowned king of Germany on the following day, now seeing his glory thus changed into confusion and disgrace, his relations and friends with their followers defeated and slain, and that all the money sent him by the pope was taken from him by his enemies, was touched to the heart with grief, lost his courage, and, wounded by no strange stroke, but only by that of his own grief, breathed forth his womanly spirit, lamented by no one. The victorious Conrad, then, desiring to take fall vengeance for the injury and loss he had suffered in his late flight, after being conquered in Germany, either ignominiously hanged all the captives who had escaped the sword, especially the relatives,

218 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

kinsmen, and friends of the landgrave, or ordered them to be imprisoned in fetters, to be ransomed for a heavy sum.

The pope sends four cardinal legates throughout the whole of Europe.

The pope, on hearing of these events, was overcome with grief, and sent four cardinals, as special legates, through the four quarters of Christendom, for the purpose of defaming the said Frederick and his son Conrad, for having dared to attempt such proceedings, and to encourage all Christians, in remission of their sins, to attack and harass the said Frederick, and, if possible, to crush him; and also to endeavour, by all the modes in which the Roman court was usually well skilled, by cunning avarice, and avaricious cunning, to extort money, for the purpose of subduing the hateful Frederick. One, therefore, he sent into Germany, another into Italy, a third into Spain, and the fourth into Norway, besides certain other sophistical legates, invested with great power, whom he underhandedly sent into England, without their insignia, that he might not seem to infringe the king's privilege. Amongst others, the Preacher and Minorite brethren, whom, not without injury and scandal to their order, he made tax-collectors and bedels. The legate who was sent into Norway, was the bishop of Sabina, who was also sent to anoint and to crown Haco, king of Norway, and perform the functions of legate in that country and in Sweden, to the injury of the aforesaid Frederick, and not without great expectations of gain.

How Frederick made the Apulians, Sicilians, and Calabrians do homage to Henry, his son by Isabella.

In the mean time, Frederick, of suspected memory, whom we are forbidden to call emperor, made all the Apulians, Sicilians, and Calabrians, to liege homage to Henry, his son by his beloved wife the empress Isabella, sister to the king of England; at hearing, which the latter, the boy's uncle, was highly pleased, and not without good reason.

Frederick, on hearing that the said legates were sent throughout the various quarters of the world to injure his fame and dignity, sent word to his son Hensius, king of Sardinia, to lay snares for, and even to put to death, the Genoese, especially the relatives, kinsmen, and friends of the pope; which order the latter effectually fulfilled, that he


might not show himself disobedient to his father. In consequence of this he seized and hanged a near relation of the pope, one whom his holiness, although he loved all beyond measure, regarded with more affection than all the rest. When the pope heard of this proceeding, his anger was overpowering, and on the day of the Preparation, he excommunicated Frederick and his son Henry, with such dreadful denunciations, that he struck horror into all who saw and heard him. When Frederick heard of it, however, he groaned and said, "Thus did the Jews, who crucified Christ, and after he was crucified, pierced him with a lance".

New statutes made by the king of England.

In this year the English king, following the example of those barons who had enacted statutes in France, to which the king of that country had both given his consent and affixed his seal, made the following statutes, to be inviolably observed throughout England, in order to restrain in some measure for the present the insatiable cupidity of the Roman court.

All suits in cases of breach of faith and perjury are prohibited by the king, when laymen are convened in such cases before an ecclesiastical judge. Ecclesiastical judges are forbidden to try any causes against laymen, unless in cases of marriage or of wills. Item, the king prescribes anew to the bishop a certain form concerning bastardy, whether the children be born before marriage or after. Clerks are forbidden by the king's brief to institute their actions concerning tithes before an ecclesiastical judge, and that brief is intituled "Indicavit". Concerning the oaths which are exacted from clerks, to be taken before the king's justices, because they are understood to have proceeded in their suits contrary to the king's prohibition, inasmuch as clerks are not bound to make oath unless before an ecclesiastical judge, especially in spiritual causes. Item, in the case of clerks whom the king's officers make prisoners on account of a report brought against them by laymen.

How peace was made between the bishop of Durham and the abbat of St. Alban's.

In this year, too, the discord which had existed between

220 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

the bishop of Durham and the abbat of St. Alban's was set at rest in the following terms:-

"To the sons of the universal and holy mother Church, to whom these presents shall come, Michael, archdeacon of Stow, a judge deputed by our lord the pope, and Nicholas, chancellor of Lincoln, a sub-delegate of the archdeacon of Northampton, judge and colleague of the said archdeacon of Stow, Health in the Lord.- Be it known to the whole community, that whereas a suit has been instituted by the apostolic authority before us,- the treasurer of Lincoln, one of us three judges, having been wholly excused - between the venerable father Nicholas, by the grace of God bishop of Durham, in the name of his church of Durham, of the one part, and John, by the same grace abbat of St. Alban's, and the brethren of the same place, and the prior and conventual assembly of Tynemouth, in the name of the monastery of Tynemouth, on the other part, concerning the visitation of the parochial church of Tynemouth, and the obedience exacted by the said bishop from the prior of Tynemouth and other parochial chuches in his diocese, held by the said monks of Tynemouth, at length by the consent of the chapter of Durham, the strife has been brought to an amicable termination for ever, as follows:- That is to say, that the aforesaid bishop of Durham and his successors, either shall themselves or by their officials exercise that office in that portion of the church of Tynemouth in which divine services are perfoimed, to the parishioners without the imposition of a procuration: on condition that they shall on no account intrude themselves amongst the monks, or in any other part of the church, or even in the cell itself, saving, in all points, other privileges and indulgences granted to the aforesaid monks. But the priors of the cell of Tynemouth shall be appointed or removed by the aforesaid abbat, or, if the abbat's chair is vacant, by the prior of St. Alban's, with the consent of his chapter, according to the tenor of their privileges; and those who are appointed shall go to the bishop and be presented to him, at the same time promising canonical obedience to him, with respect to the parochial churches, as far as the privileges granted to the monastery of St. Alban's allow, on condition, however, that the priors of Tynemouth shall not, on the plea of that obedience, be summoned to any synod, chapters, or


any ecclesiastical assembly, contrary to the tenor of their privileges. The vicars in the church of Tynemouth shall be appointed in succession by the prior and conventual assembly of Tynemouth, with the consent of their abbat, and shall be presented to the aforesaid bishop and his successors; those who are admitted shall answer to the said bishop in spiritual matters, and to the said monks in temporal ones. In witness of the foregoing, to this writing, drawn up in due legal form, that is to say, to the portion which is left with the aforesaid abbat and brethren of St. Alban's, and prior and brethren of Tynemouth, and to that portion left in possession of the church of Durham, the aforesaid bishop and chapter of Durham, and the aforesaid abbat and brethren of St. Alban's and the prior and brethren of Tynemouth, have respectively set their seals in conjunction with ours. Done in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and forty-seven, in the month of May, in the presence of the above-named bishop and abbat; there being also present the abbats of New Minster, the archdeacons of Nottingham, St. Alban's, and Shrewsbury, Masters Hugh de Stanbridge, William de Bourg, Odo of Kilkenny, John, a Frenchman, and many others".

The pope's exaction enforced by an English Minorite named John.

In the same year, at the beginning of Lent, that is to say after the feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist, there came to London one of the order of Minorites, named John, of whom mention has been made in preceding pages, who extorted four hundred marks from the abbat of St. Alban's by the apostolic authority; and because the said abbat had appealed to the Apostolic See and to the cardinals concerning such an intolerable oppression, he was now the bearer of mandates from that see newly obtained according to his wishes. He, therefore, by authority of this new mandate, cited the said abbat to come to London on the third day from that time, namely on the morrow of the feast of St. Giles, or to send thither some competent agent fully instructed in the matter, to satisfy him, the said John, in the matter of the subsidy long ago demanded by the pope. On the day appointed, therefore, the abbat sent his archdeacon thither as his proxy, who at once asked for a copy of the

222 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

new mandate, which he obtained after some difficulty, and transcribed it: it is as follows:-

"Innocent, bishop, etc., to his beloved son John, abbat of St. Albans, in the diocese of Lincoln, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Daily instances of secular persecution compel us, by their severity, in our resistance to them, to have recourse to the aid of those subject to us for the succour of the Apostolic See. Wherefore, by the advice of our brethren, we ask, warn, and exhort, and by these apostolic writings command you, to give full credence to what our well-beloved son John the Englishman, provincial minister of the Minorite brethren of Provence, the bearer of these presents, and our messenger, shall set forth to you in our name concerning the subsidy for the see, and to take notice that the Church by this resistance, defends the common interest of all churches and churchmen; to do all that he shall point out to you, so that it may give satisfaction to us and to our brethren, and that your devotion may be displayed in action, which is the best possible evidence of the faith. Given at Lyons, this twelfth of October, in the fourth year of our pontificate". By authority of this, brother John enjoined on these agents to appear on the eighth day thence, ensuing at the place where they formerly appeared, to pay him the sum of three hundred marks; otherwise he should carry into effect the pope's order by excommunicating them, and by interdicting their church. The agents replied that the abbat was on the point of sending his special messengers to the pope to explain to him his oppressions, and to satisfy him according to the means of his church and those subject to him, without, however, receding from his appeals previously made. These events occurred when the year was far advanced. Our order of events has been somewhat preposterous, but we could not help it; for where there is pain, the finger is sure to tell it. [1]

How the power of Brother John increased, owing to the pope's warrant.

To the greater depression and injury of the English, the power of the said brother John was increased, and he was urged on by the pope to make greater exactions by the following letter:-

[1] Ubi enim est dolor, ibi et digitus - la ou est la douleur, la est le doigt. Perhaps it means that the finger is sure to scratch the part that itches.


"Innocent, etc.- On considering the matters which you have intimated to me by your letters, we, by authority of these presents, command you, if, in the matter of furnishing the subsidy to the Roman church, which has been demanded by you on our authority, the majority of the ecclesiastic prelates of England reply that they are exempt and free from it, to make them pay to whomsoever you choose, and within a proper period, a greater sum of money for the aforesaid subsidy than you asked of them previously, checking all gainsayers by the Church's censure, and putting off all appeal, notwithstanding any privilege or indulgence, although these presents may not make express mention of them. Given at Lyons, the seventeenth day of July, in the fourth year of our pontificate".

Whoever wishes to see what the former powers of the said brother John were, may find them set down in the book of Letters. [1]

The fear of the ecclesiastics lest they should lose their property.

When it came to the knowledge of the many, that this frequent compulsory extortion was practised by the pope and his sophistical and transformed legates, and that the privileges and indulgences of the holy fathers were of no avail to defend them, they were in great fear lest the laymen and secular princes and nobles, who, or whose ancestors, had founded, endowed, and enriched the churches, for which purpose they had, in a great measure, dilapidated their own possessions, and had given their charters thereof, being taught by the example of the pope, would retake possession of the property of the churches, "notwithstanding" the tenor of such and such a privilege; especially as, contrary to the intention of the founders, the pope and his followers, whomsoever he chose, Italians and other foreigners, were fattened on them, whilst the natives themselves went hungry.

An unheard-of oppression.

When the conventual assembly of the said church, namely of St. Alban's, saw that they were opposed on all sides, they, by advice of the abbat, appealed to the Apostolic

[1] Among the Additamenta which Matthew Paris published in a separate work.

224 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

See, whose duty it was to relieve the oppressed from their burdens, and sent one of their monks, John Bulum, and Master Adam de Bern, to the Apostolic See, namely to Lyons; but, before they returned, the said brother John transmitted a mandate to the abbat of St. Albans to the following effect:-

"To the venerable John, by the grace of God abbat of St. Albans, brother John, messenger of our lord the pope in England, Health in the Lord.- Although we have ere now often written to you, yet, as we have received a cogent command to do so, we have determined to write to you once again; we therefore ask and advise, and, by authority of our lord the pope, command you, by virtue of your obedience, laying aside all excuses, to come, on the Tuesday next before the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, to Bedford, to the house of the Minorites there, to give satisfaction in full for the subsidy to the Roman church; and see that you act in such a way that we may not find it necessaiy to proceed, however unwillingly, according to the contents of the aforesaid mandate; nor must you omit to do so on account of the appeal which has been made by you, as we have received a special order as regards that. Farewell. What you intend to do in this matter send a rescript to inform us by the bearer of these presents".

The appeal to the pope.

An appeal was therefore made to the pope; for the abbat, as well as the conventual assembly, preferred to undergo the trial of that most excellent of men the pope, than of one who, under the garb of humility and poverty, concealed such harsh severity; but whilst the messengers were sent to the Roman court in the fortnight of Michaelmas, Master John threatened and oppressed them more severely. The archdeacon of St. Alban's and some of the brethren were therefore sent to him, to mitigate his severity; but he replied that he would fully exercise what severity justice and his power would permit, because, when he had been at St. Alban's, the monks had not paid due respect to him as a legate, or even as a papal messenger; indeed, by some he was rebuked for transgressing the rules of his order, because he had changed his habit, although he was received respectfully and


courteously enough as regarded eating and drinking, and mild and discreet words. With some difficulty then, on bended knees, and with deprecatory speeches, they at length obtained a respite, until something certain should be heard from the messengers sent to Rome; but as to the consummation of their business there, brother John assured them that they would obtain nothing good or favourable. For he had written to the pope exciting his anger, and declaring that the abbat of St. Alban's was the only one amongst all the abbats of England who kicked against and would not obey the papal mandate, which was plainly apparent by his sending his messenger to the pope. Owing to this, the messengers sent to the court of Rome, being hindered by some obstacle or other thrown in their way, were delayed longer at the court, and found more difficulty in settling their business. At length, by the intervention of mercenary friends and pleaders at that court, they compromised the matter, and paid a fine of two hundred marks to the pope; and thus, reckoning all presents and expenses, the insatiable Charybdis of that court swallowed up three hundred marks. Thus the church of St. Alban's, which ought to have breathed more freely and safely under the especial protection of the papal wings than other churches, was incessantly harassed more severely by these continued oppressions. For the bishops in whose dioceses our convents were, did not consider that the papal letters were valid, and they harassed the priors of convents, not considering, or else concealing their knowledge of, the contents of the letters, which expressly stated that they were exempted from the tribute of the aforesaid eleven marks, and reserved, as well as three clerks, for the pope alone to impoverish. The whole contents of these letters are given in the book of Additaments. At length, checked by the contents of these letters, and by those of the said brother John, the bishops desisted, although unwillingly, from any longer oppressing the convents, but did not, however, restore what had been previously plundered from them.

Of the convocation of the nobles of England to a parliament.

About this time, as the king found his kingdom was exposed to great peril, he ordered all the nobility of the kingdom to be convoked at Oxford, on the day on which is

226 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

chanted, "Quasi modo geniti", to discuss the state of matters in their now critical position. To this parliament he especially and strictly summoned the bishops, because he saw that they were so frequently impoverished by the pope's extortions, and because the money of England was so frequently carried away from it, whilst no advantage accrued to the Church therefrom, but it rather was a source of loss and disadvantage. Hence it was truly considered that such extortion caused the greatest possible displeasure to the Supreme Creator, and it was now most confidently hoped that at this parliament some resolution would be come to, beneficial to the Church as well as the kingdom; in which, however, the hopes of all were deceived: for although some of the prelates had previously determined to oppose the aforesaid contribution, yet they all, except the exempt abbats and the three clerks, at this council agreed to a contribution of eleven thousand marks; and by this privilege these clerks rendered themselves objects of suspicion to the whole kingdom. The said money then was paid and received by the bishops of Winchester and Norwich, who were armed with the papal authority, and the clergy were compelled to pay the same in full. The exempt abbats were exposed to the pope's will, and he showed little mercy to them, but wearied them out with frequent losses and injuries by the agency of brother John, as before stated; nor did he act any more leniently towards the abbat of St. Alban's in consequence of his having sent eighty marks to him in the year last past. Fears also were entertained that the king would, from the mutual permission and connivance between him and the pope, compel the Church and the kingdom to comply with this exaction, as the pope had lately written to the nobles of England on the king's behalf to promote his cause in the collecting of money.

Ambassadors sent into Brabant.

About this time, the abbat of Westminster and Master John Maunsell were sent a latere by the king into Germany, to arrange preliminaries with the duke of Brabant for contracting a marriage between the king's son Edward and the daughter of the said duke. Owing to some secret impediments, they returned in sorrow, with empty saddle-bags, and


each of them grieved that he had uselessly wasted his trouble and his expenses.

The pope causes William, count of Holland, to be elected king of Germany.

About this time, the pope, by the promise of a large sum of money, extorted from all quarters, and collected to effect the ruin of Frederick, procured the election of William, count of Holland, a man in the prime of life and strength, and of illustrious descent, to the dignity of king of Germany. The said count and the bishop of Liege were cousins; the duke of Brabant was his uncle, and the archbishop of Cologne was his inseparable friend, and allied to him by some degree of affinity. For the pope considered that, in the creation of the landgrave of Thuringia, who had suddenly died as before stated, he had lost a no small sum of money, indeed a sum that would cause astonishment in the minds of all who heard it (no less indeed than fifty thousand pounds of Viennese pence, of which each one is worth three farthings sterling, and all which had fallen into the power of his enemies); he therefore now endeavoured to manage matters more cautiously, and therefore secretly sent the money he had promised to the new king elect, Count William, by the hands of prudent messengers, of whom he entertained no suspicions; and he appointed Octavianus, a cardinal, to carry out this business. He also sent consolatory messengers to the Milanese and Parmese, and others whose hearts he thought were wavering, exhorting them to dismiss all feelings of diffidence and desolation. But that the joys of this world might not come unmixed with griefs, the count of Savoy, who was an open enemy of the Church, under a deceitful appearance of peace was waiting till the pope's messengers, who were also attended by soldiers, should pass through the valleys and abrupt difficult passes of the mountains, which he allowed them to do without injury, and when their retreat and all means of escape were thus treacherously cut off, the pope's money was lost, and the soldiers, who, besides their arrears of pay, had received a large sum in payment for two months in advance, were dispersed and put to flight; and thus again disgracefully enough was all this supply converted to the use of the enemy.

228 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

In the same year the Preacher brethren obtained a privilege from the pope, that none of their brethren should be allowed to pass from their order to any other, and that no abbat or prior should be allowed to receive any such, although they themselves received deserters from the monks: and this is evidently dissonant with reason, and contrary to the rule of St. Benedict, as well as to the natural precept, "Do not to another what thou wouldst not should be done to thee". Many persons, too, distinguished for their morals and learning, and of good descent, who had retired from the world to their order, on finding it not to be such a form of religion as they hoped, but the whole wide world instead of a cloister (especially as at the beginning of his rule St. Benedict reprobates that kind of monks who go about the country), began to repent and grieve that they had entered into such, an order, and to seek subterfuges for turning in a contrary direction; owing to which those persons are considered the greatest in their order who observe the moderate middle course.

How certain nobles came to England to ask presents from the king.

At this time, too, there arrived in England some empty and hungering foreign nobles, gaping with open mouths for the king's money; amongst whom were Baldwin, the so-called emperor of Constantinople, with some of his supporters, he having been forcibly expelled from the Greek territories. A few years back, this said Baldwin, after having sold all the sacred relics he could lay his hands upon, and borrowed money wherever he could get it from, ingloriously fled from that country, a poor man and an exile, and despoiled of all his property, although the pope had begun to espouse his cause, and had rendered him effective assistance when making war against Vastagius (?), a son-in-law of Frederick. Now, indeed, he began to be in need, and he asked pecuniary assistance of the king of England, whose magnificence he had had previous experience of; and that he might meet with more favour from him, he declared that he, the king, was his relation.

The arrival in England of the bishop of Sabina as cardinal legate.

There also arrived in England the bishop of Sabina, a cardinal of the Roman church, who was on his way to the


northern countries, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, as a legate, and for the purpose of anointing and crowning Haco, king of Norway. When about to come to England, he at first met with some difficulty in obtaining leave from the king, because the legates, of whatever rank they were, and all the pope's messengers, always made a practice of impoverishing the kingdom they made their way into, or to disturb them in some way or other, until at length he swore on his soul that he was coming to England for no harm to the king, the kingdom, or the Church, but only to pass peaceably through the country, from the port of Dover to Lynn; and that he would take his departure to the distant kingdoms to which he was bound, as soon as he met with a seasonable opportunity and a favourable wind. After he had obtained permission in this way, he entered the kingdom without fear, and having paid his respects to the king, and received some presents from him, he hastened his journey to Lynn, where he stayed for three months. During his stay there, however, he could not restrain the innate Roman cupidity, but clandestinely sent messengers to the bishops, abbats, and priors, demanding large procurations and costly presents,- amongst the houses of a manor belonging to the bishop of Norwich, called Gaywood, to such an extent that his gains were said to amount to four thousand marks; nevertheless, in order to cloak all his proceedings with an appearance of sanctity, he frequently preached to the people. When about to embark, in a ship which he had richly stocked with a large quantity of corn, a great many casks full of choice wine and other provisions, he ordered a brother of the order of Preachers to perform mass in it, which was done, causing great wonder amongst many who had never before seen that service. On board that ship, as we read was the case in Noah's ark, there were passages and decks one above another, chambers and dining-rooms, which had been constructed on purpose for him. In this manner, therefore, after having become rich, he committed himself to the North Sea, with a fair wind blowing, after bestowing his blessing on England, and the prodigal English.

The arrival in England of three uterine brothers and a sister of the king.

At the same time, and in company with the said legate,

230 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

three uterine brothers of the king arrived in England, on his invitation, in order to be enriched from the pleasures and wealth of England. These were Guy de Lusignan, the eldest, a knight; William de Valence, a younger one, not as yet made a knight, and Ethelmar, a clerk. Besides these, came a sister of theirs and of the king, named Eliza, who was the daughter of Isabella, formerly queen of England and countess of Provence, by Hugh Brun, earl of March. For they were tired and ashamed of staying in Poitou, which the French now began to trample on in a wretched way, and to despise the inhabitants, who used formerly, under the protection of the king of England, to be free, and to enjoy all kinds of prosperity; calling them traitors, and pointing at them with the finger amidst laughter and derision. On the arrival of his brothers and sister, the king went to meet them with every sign of joy, and rushed to give them the paternal embrace and kiss, promising them handsome presents and ample possessions; and this promise he faithfully fulfilled, more abundantly even than he had promised, as the following narrative will more fully show.

How some Provencal ladies were married to some nobles of England.

At the beginning of the month of May, the king having stayed at Woodstock from the feast of St. Vitalis till the morrow of that of the apostles Philip and James, two ladies of Provence were, by the forethought and arrangement of Peter of Savoy, married to two noble youths, namely, Edmund earl of Lincoln, and Richard de Bourg, whom the king had for some years brought up in his palace. At this marriage the sounds of great discontent and anger were wafted through the kingdom, because, as they said, these females, although unknown, were united to the nobles against their will.

Marriage of Johanna, daughter of Warin, to the king's uterine brother William.

In the same year, on the 13th of August, by the wish and proposal of the king, Johanna, the daughter of Warin de Muntchesnil, was married to William de Valence, the king's uterine brother; for, the eldest son and heir of the said Warin being dead, a very rich inheritance awaited this daughter Johanna, who was his only daughter left; and thus in a great measure the English nobility fell to the lot of foreigners and


unknown persons. Eliza, the uterine sister of the king, was also married to the young John, Earl Warrenne.

The death of Odo, archbishop of Rouen.

In the same year Odo, archbishop of Rouen, formerly abbat of St. Denis, died suddenly, being struck, it was said, by the divine judgment, having scarcely presided over the archiepiscopal see for one year, having usurped to himself only the name and office, and distributed all the proceeds of the archbishopric to Peter, his predecessor. He was an Englishman by birth, and had formerly been abbat of St. Denis; but he was so hurried away in his desire to obtain the archiepiscopal dignity, that he left his house irremediably in debt, and, to his own ruin, obtained the aforesaid dignity through simony.

The assumption of the cross by William Longuespee and some other nobles.

About Rogation-week in this year, the bishop of Worcester, with William Longuespee, and Geoffrey de Lucy, of the bishopric of Worcester, and many other nobles of the kingdom of England, took the cross, being encouraged to this by the example of the French king and nobles. William Longuespee, in order to collect money from those who had assumed the cross, like Earl Richard, wisely went to the Roman court, and, addressing the pope on the matter of the crusade, said to him, "My lord, you see that I have taken the sign of the cross, and am in readiness for the journey, to join the king of France in his pilgrimage, and to fight for God. I bear a great name, and one well known, namely, William Longuespee; but my property is small. The king of England, a kinsman of mine and my liege lord, has taken from me my title of earl, together with all my substance: this, however, he did judicially, not in his anger, or by any violence of self-will; therefore I do not blame him. I am obliged to fly to the paternal bosom of your compassion, to ask aid from you in this state of necessity; for we look at the case of the noble Earl Richard, who, although he did not assume the cross, protected by your favour, which was abundantly productive in his case, collected a large sum of money in England from the people who had taken the cross; and I, who have taken the cross, and am in need, take

232 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

hopes from his case, and ask the same favour to be granted to me". The pope, therefore, on considering the eloquence of the speaker, the efficacy of his reasoning, and the handsomeness of his person, showed himself favourable to the petitioner, and in part granted what he demanded, that is to say, a thong out of another man's skin.

William de Bueles appointed governor of Gascony.

In this year the charge of Gascony was intrusted to William de Bueles, a knight who had formerly been marshal of the king's household. He, according to the custom of his country, being a Neustrian, was great in talk, but slow in deeds, and pusillanimous. Hence, under his care, that province began to be exposed to danger, and to be much disturbed by wars; and of all others the most active enemy of the king of England was Guasto, the son of the Countess Biard, the most ungrateful of all those whom the king's lavish bounty had enriched.

Of the translation of St. Edmund the Confessor.

During this year, St. Edmund the Confessor, formerly archbishop of Canterbury, was translated at Pontignac, with great honours, in the conventual church of the monks of the Cistercian order, in presence of Louis, the most Christian king of France, and a great number of nobles and prelates, as well as others. Amongst all of both sexes there present the Lady Blanche, mother of the king of France, was the most conspicuous in her devotions to God and that saint: she kept watchings, with fastings, prayers, and an abundance of wax-lights; and often in her devotions she repeated these words:- "Most holy father confessor, who, when thou wast alive and in exile, didst, at my entreaty, bless me and my sons, and at my request didst cross over into France, complete in us what thou hast begun,- establish the kingdom of France in the firmness of peace and triumph". On the following day, which was the seventh of June, on which same day the translation of the body of the most blessed bishop and confessor Wulstan of Worcester took place (and I think this was brought about by the Divine will), the body of the glorious Edmund was translated at Pontignac, though numbers of years had passed between the two events. It should also be known, and


indeed published to the whole world, that his body was found entire, uncorrupted, and bearing a sweet smell; and, what is more wonderful in a dead body, flexible in all the limbs, as is the case with a person sleeping; and his hair and clothing were untainted in colour and substance. From that time forth it was determined, the king of France first making the proposal, that leave should be given to the English, more freely than to the people of other nations, to come to visit his body, and to offer up their prayers there; it was also determined that his tomb should be honoured by offerings of lighted tapers, and with elaborately-worked effigies; but of the proceedings in this case a description is given in the book of Additaments.

How Earl Richard vowed to build a fourth part of St. Edmund's shrine.

These occurrences having become known to Earl Richard, from the report of credible and trustworthy persons, he said with a sigh:- "Alas! that it was not ordained on high for us, that is, the king my brother and myself, to have been present at this glorious and solemn translation. For he was our saint by birth, education, and promotion, although, owing to our sins, he withdrew from England. However, what I was not present to do there, I will do absent,- I will pay due reverence and honour to him". And from that time he began to love the saint more sincerely, and to honour him more devoutly. Happening to be oppressed by a severe and secret illness, which endangered his life, he invoked his assistance with confidence, and was happily freed from his disease; whereupon, in his gratitude to God and the saint, he took upon himself to build a fourth part, that is, the front of the shrine.

How the English money was corrupted.

In the same year, the sterling coin, owing to the good metal of which it consisted, was by a detestable mode of cutting it round the edges, diminished in value and falsified by those falsifiers of money whom we call clippers; so much so that the inner circle was barely left remaining, and the lettered border wholly cut off. The authors of this fraud were the merchants of the countries adjacent to England, especially the Flemings, and were clearly discovered to be guilty of it more on the continent than on this side the

234 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

Channel; therefore, the French king punished these parties more severely in his territories than the king of England in our country. But as the money was now adulterated and falsified beyond measure, the king began to deliberate on some remedy for this; namely, whether the coin could not be advantageously altered in form or metal; but it seemed to many wise persons that it would be more advantageous to change the metal than to alter the shape, since it was for the sake of the metal, not the shape, that the money was subjected to such corruption and injury. Of the truth of which the French money and that of many foreign princes affords evident testimony and proof.

Of a tournament between the earl of Gloucester and Guy, the king's brother.

About the same time a tournament, although a very bloody sport, was arranged to take place at a spot between Dunstable and Luton, between Richard, earl of Gloucester, and Guy de Lusignan, son of the Count de la Marche. The king, however, who showed more favour to his brother Guy and his other Poitevin followers than to his natural English subjects, began to be in great alarm lest, if the tournament took place, his brother and followers would be cut to pieces: he therefore forbade the tournament, under penalty of disinheritance; which prohibition the English bore with patience, for many sincerely loved the said Guy. He it was who forewarned the king of England, when at Santonge, to take at once to flight, at the time that his, Guy's, father, the Count de la Marche, had sold the said king to the king of the French. Thus this disturbance, so dangerous in its beginning, was, by the Lord's will, set at rest.

The destruction of the Chorosmins.

In this same year, too, the whole race of the detestable Chorosmins, after spreading fire and slaughter and bringing manifold destruction on the Holy Land, after besieging and reducing Acre to a state of poverty,- the whole race, I say, was, by the vengeance of God, so enervated and weakened that they failed themselves. For they had begun to kick against the sultan of Babylon; and, being thus deprived of his aid, they failed from want, and were overcome and


defeated by their enemies, who multiplied in all directions; so that at length their name was utterly destroyed from the face of the earth, and no traces of them were visible, except that they had irremediably defiled the Holy Land with the foul stench of their footsteps.

Of the flight of Conrad from Germany.

About this time, too, Frederick's son Conrad,- wicked son of a wicked sire,- fled from Germany to his father in Italy, being unable to withstand the attacks of his enemies and the daily increasing power of the Church. For a legate, relying on the assistance of the archbishop of Cologne, after extorting an immense sum of money from the church in Germany, brought with him an army of about ten thousand soldiers, and unceasingly attacking the adherents of the said Frederick, indulged in fire and slaughter. By fulminating sentences of excommunication, now against some, now against others, this legate amassed money to supply the numerous army of the archbishop's, by extorting it, wherever he could, from bishops, abbats, priors, and other prelates of the churches, to such a degree that they were obliged to redeem even their bells. When Frederick heard of this, he was disturbed, even to bitterness of heart, and diligently sought for the means of vengeance; and fears were entertained by prudent persons, who weighed future perils in the scale of reason, lest he, Frederick, should be so carried away by anger and indignation as to apostatize, or would call in the Tartars, from Russia, to his aid, or would treacherously allow the sultan of Babylon, with whom he was on the most friendly terms, to come into the empire with a host of his pagan followers, to the confusion of all Christendom. It was plain to see the misery in store for them, that scandal was heaped on scandal, and evil crowded upon evil, inasmuch as some adhered to Frederick as though to the commonwealth, i.e., the empire, and others to the pope, as if to the Church; and hence they stirred up contentions and bloody wars. Even now in Germany, as well as in Sicily, Calabria, and all Italy, the bishops and other holy men, whom the Church had cherished in the bosom of her maternal affection, were compelled ignominiously to beg and to demand the necessaries of life by preaching in foreign and distant

236 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

countries. Even then the people insulted them, and refused to comply with their requests, saying:- "Go to your pope; go to him who possesses abundance in the immense sums he has plundered". Indeed, the pope did not cease amassing money, as well at his own court as in distant countries, making the Preachers and Minorites, although unwillingly, fishers, not of men, but of money. How they prevaricated in fulfilling this business, will be found in the book of Additaments.

How Earl Richard collected money from those who had taken the cross.

About this time, Earl Richard, by authority of the pope, whose demands he had secretly and wisely satisfied, collected an immense sum of money from those who had assumed the cross; indeed, from one archdeaconry he is said to have carried off six hundred pounds, relying on the authority of the pope's letters. And under a similar protection, as before mentioned, William Longuespee collected a thousand marks and more from the crusaders.

Of the extortion of money by Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury.

About this same time, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, by authority of the Apostolic See, suspended some of the bishops of the province of Canterbury because they would not submit to a new and unheard-of contribution, for which he had obtained a privilege from the pope. This was, that the profit of the revenues of vacant churches should, during the first year of their being vacant, be given to the said archbishopric, to release it from its debts, with which, as he stated, as well as with a heavy amount of interest, his predecessors had burdened the church of Canterbury; which statement was evidently false, and to the injury of his immediate predecessor Edmund and other holy men. The bishops, therefore, being unwilling as well as unable to kick against the pope's mandate and authority, at length consented, although unwillingly and with bitterness of heart, in order that they might be released from their suspension. Afterwards again they received a mandate through the dean of Beauvais, the agent in this matter, which was, that all rebukers, all detractors, and any who practised deceit in the matter of the aforesaid privilege granted by the pope's favour, would be excommunicated by him, the pope, and denounced

A.D. 1247.] SIEGE OF PARMA. 237

as excommunicated throughout the province of Canterbury, except the king, his wife and children, and the noble Richard earl of Cornwall.

Siege of Parma by the emperor.

When the sun was verging towards the autumnal equinox, Frederick crossed the Alps, and hastened with a large army towards Lyons, where the pope was residing; from which circumstance it was greatly feared that he would make a hostile attack on the persons of the pope and cardinals and other ecclesiastics. But owing to the wise management of the pope, who had encouraged the Parmese, and promised them a large sum of money and effective assistance, the whole of that state, which had formerly adhered firmly to Frederick, now on a sudden entered into a confederacy with the Milanese and others who hated the emperor, and boldly made preparations to resist him. On hearing of this, Frederick could scarcely contain himself, but was entirely overcome with anger at being recalled from his purpose by these rebels; he therefore returned with his army, for the purpose of besieging the Parmese, and of visiting them with his heaviest vengeance; and the pope was then somewhat relieved from the great fear with which he had been seized. The city of Parma then was laid siege to, and the emperor commenced building a large and as it were populous city outside it, so that it seemed to equal the city of Parma itself, and he gave it the name of "Vittoria"; he also swore that he would not depart therefrom till he had subdued the besieged and taken possession of their city. Within a short time he deprived them of all benefit from the river; nor could the Milanese, or any others in whom they placed their confidence, give any assistance to the besieged. Under these circumstances, they, within three months, desired to give the right hand of reconciliation to Frederick, and asked for terms of peace; but, as he had suspicions of the citizens, he refused to accept their humiliation. They then began to feel their critical position, and said amongst themselves, "These sufferings are justly brought upon us for traitorously attacking our lord, who confided in us. We are punished, and not without good reason, and our city is in imminent danger - that city in which the holy Roger, bishop of London, whom it is now said the Lord honours by working miracles for him, was cruelly robbed

238 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

of his necessaries for his journey and other property held in estimation by him, whilst he was on a pilgrimage to the Roman court, and no restoration of the property was made to him; wherefore, at his departure on the morrow, he uttered a malediction on the city and its inhabitants".

How the French king gave satisfaction to all who had suffered injuries.

During this same autumn, the pious Louis, king of the French, sent the Preacher and Minorite brethren throughout the whole of his kingdom to make diligent inquiries, and he also ordered an examination to be instituted by his bailiffs, in order that if any trader or other person had suffered injury by any forced loan, or extortion of money or provisions, which is often put in practice by royal agents, he might give in a written statement or list of his grievances, or give evidence thereof; and if he would swear to the truth or give any other legal proof of the same, he the king was ready to make him a full restitution of everything; and this was done.

The illness of Edward, the king's eldest son.

On the eve of St. Matthew, the king's eldest son and heir Edward being sick, the king wrote to all the religious men residing in and near London to pray for the preservation of his son: amongst others, he wrote in particular to the abbat and brethren of St. Albans, begging them to put up prayers for him, and that all the monks would solemnly chant the psalm, "Almighty and everlasting God, eternal hope of those who believe", etc., the first portion of which would be of St. Alban, and the second on behalf of the sick youth. By God's favour, the youth was restored to health. I have said this much on account of a murmur which arose amongst the people, who exclaimed, "See, laymen pray to the Lord, and their prayer is granted; why, therefore, does not the pope pray, and act on his own behalf; nay, on behalf of us and the universal Church? but instead of this, he is indefatigable in his eager pursuit after money". It was also said and affirmed, which I write not without tears, that he put his trust more in stores of money than in the prayers and almsgivings of Christians.


How William, count of Holland, was elected king of the Romans.

On the morrow of Michaelmas-day, the majority of the German nobles to whom the right of election belonged, elected as king of Germany, William count of Holland, a young man about thirty years old, handsome in appearance, and of noble birth, and afterwards did homage to him. The duke of Saxony, however, and some other nobles, did not agree to this election; whereby a great schism broke in amongst the people, who gave vent to their feelings in these words: "See, knighthood is opposed to priesthood through pride, and for the same reason the priesthood is adverse to knighthood".

Some of Christ's blood brought to London.

About the same time the king wrote to all the nobles of his kingdom, ordering them all to assemble [at London] on the feast of St. Edward, namely that of his Translation, which is celebrated in the fortnight of Michaelmas, to hear the most agreeable news of a holy benefit lately conferred by heaven on the English; secondly, to do honour to the translation of that glorious king and martyr; and thirdly, that they might be present at the initiation of his uterine brother, William de Valence, on whom he was, on that day, about to confer the honour of knighthood, as well as on some other noble youths; that thus this manifold festival might be more agreeably enlivened by the presence of the nobles, prelates as well as others, to the honour of the king and kingdom. On the day previously fixed on, therefore, the nobles assembled at Westminster, and after having been informed that it was St. Edward's day, and also of the initiation of the said William, they inquired what the agreeable news was that they came there to hear, and which was stated to be true and worthy of all acceptation: for the master of the Templars and Hospitallers, with the testimony of a great many seals, namely, those of the patriarch of Jerusalem, the archbishops, bishops, abbats, and other prelates and nobles of the Holy Land, had sent a portion of the blood of our Lord, which he shed on the cross for the salvation of the world, inclosed in a handsome crystalline vessel, intrusted to the care of a certain well-known brother of the Temple.

240 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

And the king, as a most Christian prince, had obtained it from the august Heraclius, the most victorious and potent emperor, following the example of the then living French king, who was showing all honour, at Paris, to the cross of the same, as is before mentioned; and with a devout and contrite spirit, he, on the eve of St. Edmund, [1] kept watch, fasting on bread and water, with a number of tapers lighted, and, in devout prayer, prepared himself for the solemnities of the morrow.

How the king carried the blood of Christ to St. Peter's at Westminster.

The king then gave orders that all the priests of London should assemble with due order and reverence at St. Paul's, early in the morning of the following, which was St. Edward's day, dressed as for a festival, in their surplices and hoods, attended by their clerks, becomingly clad, and wiih their symbols, crosses, and tapers lighted. Thither the king also went, and, receiving the vessel containing the aforesaid treasures with the greatest honour, reverence, and awe, he carried it above his head publicly, going on foot, and wearing an humble dress, consisting of a poor cloak without a hood, and preceded by the priests clad as aforesaid, proceeded without stopping to the church of Westminster, which is about a mile distant from St. Paul's church. Nor should it be omitted to be mentioned, that he carried it with both hands when he came to any rugged or uneven part of the road, but always kept his eyes fixed on heaven or on the vessel itself. The pall was borne on four spears; and two assistants supported the king's arms, lest his strength should fail in such a great effort. On his arriving at the gate of the bishop of Durham's court, he was met by the conventual assembly of Westminster, accompanied by all the bishops, abbats, and monks who had assembled (who were reckoned to amount to more than a hundred), singing and exulting in a holy spirit, and with tears. They then returned in procession, as they had come, to the church of Westminster, which could scarcely hold them all, on account of the multitude assembled. The king, however, did not stop, but, unweariedly carrying the vessel as before, made the circuit

[1] Evidently a mistake for "Edward".


of the church, the palace, and his own chambers. Finally, he presented and made an offer of it, as a priceless gift, and one which had made England illustrious, to God, the church of St. Peter at Westminster, to his beloved Edward, and the holy brethren who at that place minister to God and his saints.

The bishop of Norwich preaches a sermon to the people on the virtues of the blood of Christ.

The bishop of Norwich, who performed mass on that day, also delivered a sermon to the people, in which he stated that, of all things held sacred amongst men, the most sacred is the blood of Christ; for it was the price of the world, and the shedding of it was the salvation of the world; and in order to magnify the circumstances the more, he added that saying of the philosopher:-

Omne propter quod dignius quam illud quod.
[Every end is higher than its means.]

In truth, the cross is a most holy thing, on account of the more holy shedding of Christ's blood made upon it, not the blood-shedding holy on account of the cross. These things we believe, he said, that England might have as much joy and glory in the possession of this great treasure, as France had felt in obtaining possession of the holy cross, which the king of France reverenced and, not without good cause, loved more than gold and jewels. He also added, that it was on account of the great reverence and holiness of the king of England, who was known to be the most Christian of all Christian princes, that this invaluable treasure had been sent by the patriarch of Jerusalem (the certainty of which fact was sufficiently proved), in order that it might be reverenced more in England than in Syria, which was now left nearly desolate; for in England, as the world knew, faith and holiness flourished more than in any other country throughout the world. On an examination being entered into, as some were still slow of belief, Theodoric, prior of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem, addressed the bishops and others sitting round in these words: "Why do you still hesitate, my dear lords? Does any one of us, Templars, Hospitallers, or even the brother who brought it, demand any benefit for the

242 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

same? does he ask any remuneration in gold or silver from the king or any one else, or even the smallest reward"? To this the king replied, "By no means"; and then added the brother, "Why should so many men of such high rank, to the damnation of their own souls, bear testimony to such an assertion, and affix their seals to it, which are manifest pledges of their good faith"? These words, although spoken by a layman, were approved by all the hearers, bishops as well as others. But now let us return to our narrative. When the aforesaid bishop had finished an eloquent sermon, he announced to the exulting people, that whoever should come to worship the most holy blood there kept, would, by the gratuitous permission of all the prelates who had come there, obtain free remission from the penances imposed on them for six years and a hundred and forty days. After some discourse amongst them, some of those sitting round still persisted obstinately in their doubts, and mooted this question, "How could the Lord, when he rose again full and entire in body on the third day after his suffering, have left his blood on the earth"? which question was at once determined to a nicety by the bishop of Lincoln; which argument is written in the book of Additaments, as the writer of this work himself heard and put down carefully word for word.

How William de Valence was made a belted knight.

Whilst this great solemnity was proceeding in the church of Westminster, the king, clothed in a garment made out of the most costly baudkin cloth, and worked in gold, and wearing a small golden crown, commonly called a garland, took his seat on his royal throne, and ordered his uterine brother to be summoned before him, who at once appeared, accompanied by a great number of his associates, who had come with him to receive his arms with becoming pomp and solemnity; and the king then conferred the honour of knighthood on him and some of his companions.

The king orders all these proceedings to be committed to writing.

The king, whilst sitting on his royal throne, as before mentioned, saw the writer of this work, whom he called to him, and, ordering him to take his seat on the intermediate step between his throne and the hall of the building, said to him, "You have seen all these things, and is what you have


seen firmly impressed on your mind"? To which he replied, "Yes, my lord; for they are worthy of being retained; the proceedings of this day are indeed glorious". And he added, "I certify as a fact that the Lord, as an earnest of more abundant kindness, and of future good works, has, in his favour, deigned to work a miracle this day. This happened early in the morning, and I wish you joy in this matter. I therefore beseech and order you to write a plain and full account of all these proceedings, and insert them in indelible characters in a book, that the recollection of them may not in any way be lost to posterity at any future ages". The king then invited the person with whom he spoke to breakfast, together with three of his companions. And on the same day also, he ordered all the monks who had come thither to be richly entertained in the refectory, at his own expense, with the brethren of the convent of Westminster and some others.

Consecration of Silvester, bishop of Carlisle.

In this year Sylvester, bishop elect of Carlisle, was consecrated as bishop on St. Agatha's day.

On St. Edward's day the earl of Leicester arrived from the continent, whither he had gone on secret business of the king's.

Ambassadors sent by the king of England to Brabant.

About this time, the abbat of Westminster and John Maunsell, provost of Beverley, were sent to the continent on the same or other secret business of the king's; but, as there was reason to conjecture, on matters connected with the marriage talked of between his son and heir Edward, and the daughter of the duke of Brabant, which was not yet brought to a final arrangement.

The return of Earl Richard from the continent.

On the day of the apostles Simon and Jude, Earl Richard returned from the continent, accompanied by his son Henry, whom he had taken there with him. It was stated that he had had a friendly and lengthened conference with the French king. The latter had made a firm resolve to set out on his pilgrimage at the ensuing Easter, and had prudently made all arrangements, both in spiritual and temporal matters, and also had restored his rights to every one who had any just

244 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

claim; the earl, therefore, demanded the restoration of the king of England's rights, as he was ready and willing to do whatever he ought. The French king would easily have acceded to his entreaties, had it not been for the obstacles thrown in the way by the envy and cupidity of certain French nobles, his advisers, in whom pride is innate. The messengers of the king of England were therefore told to their face, especially in the case of Normandy, that the king of France had continued in peaceable possession for a length of time, namely about forty years, and it had not been effectually reclaimed on behalf of the king of England, nor had any appeal been made to the Roman court, where arduous and intricate matters were usually determined; wherefore it appeared to the French that the English king ought to be deprived of his claim. However, as the pure conscience of the French king was not satisfied with these reasons, he referred it to the bishops of Normandy, that the truth might be arrived at by an inquiry into this doubtful matter. These prelates, on being interrogated on this matter, declared it to be their firm belief that the French king had a greater claim on Normandy than the king of England, especially as the latter was abjudicated by his peers. This, however, was evidently absurd and dissonant to all justice and reason; namely, that the king of England should be judged and condemned by his enemies, especially as the Lord says, "that the son, if he do not take after his father, ought not to suffer for the iniquity of the father". The aforesaid earl, on finding matters so, put on the guise of a pilgrim, and went to Pontignac to pray to St. Edmund, and to honour his shrine with offerings and presents, as also to return him thanks for the improvement in his bodily health. On his arrival there, besides the presents he made at the time, and what he promised and vowed he would do at some future period, he offered a most handsome collar, exceeding a man's hand in width, and ornamented with costly jewels, the like of which could not be found amongst the king's treasures.

Of the wretchedly oppressed condition of the Welsh.

Wales at this time was in a most straitened condition, and, owing to the cessation of agriculture, commerce, and the tending of flocks, the inhabitants began to waste away


through want; unwillingly, too, did they bend to the yoke of the English laws; their ancient pride of nobility faded, and even the harp of the ecclesiastics was turned to grief and lamentation. The bishop of Menai, or St. David's, died, as though he pined away for grief, and William, bishop of Llandaff, was struck with blindness. The bishops of St. Asaph and Bangor, owing to their bishoprics being ruined by fire and slaughter, were compelled to beg and live upon the property of others.

Election of Thomas, a Welshman, to the bishopric of St. David's.

The see of Menai having thus become vacant, after innumerable sufferings endured by the Welsh, owing to the war and the death of their chiefs, Master Thomas, surnamed Welsh, archdeacon of the church of Lincoln, was elected to that see, because he was a native of Wales; to which election, although the see was in a very poor condition, he consented, for one reason, because the bishop of Lincoln had got the upper hand of his canons; for another, because he was called to the cure of souls in his native country, as every one is naturally attracted to the sweet recollections of his birth; and also, because, by his presence, advice, and assistance, he might console his wretched countrymen. The king also willingly gave his consent to this election, and accepted of the bishop elect, not making much difficulty in the matter, seeing that it was a very slender bishopric.

The sufferings of the Parmese.

During all this time, the city of Parma, besieged on all sides, was suffering dreadfully from famine and want in manifold ways, for they could not leave the city on the side where the besiegers had built a large city instead of pitching a camp, to which city Frederick had given the name of Vittoria; nor could they by the river, as Frederick guarded it most strictly: nor could any assistance or counsel reach them from the pope, who had encouraged them to rebellion, because the roads were closely watched; and as Frederick had prepared to winter there, and to prolong his stay till he should triumph over his enemies, the hopes of the besieged died away. One day, therefore, compelled by want, they determined to make a sudden attack on the emperor's army, in order that they might not be thought idle; accordingly,

246 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

about a hundred and forty of the higher ranks of the citizens armed themselves and suddenly sallied forth; but, making the attack incautiously, they were received at the sword's point by the army, who were forewarned of the attack; and on their endeavouring to return into their city, their retreat was cut off by the enemy, and some of them were made prisoners and the rest were slain. It was then unanimously decreed at the court of Frederick, at the wish and by the advice of Thaddeus, the judge, that in future none of the enemy who might be made prisoners should be imprisoned for the purpose of being ransomed; but should at once be beheaded; Frederick's anger being now more fiercely kindled, because a fresh king was lately created in Germany. The dismayed citizens, therefore, seeing themselves abandoned on all sides, and entirely disappointed in their hopes of the succour promised them by the pope, sent an embassy begging for terms of peace, and asking mercy, not judgment. The merciless Frederick, however, inflamed with anger and elated to arrogance, closed his bowels of compassion against their supplications, and deigned not to lend the ear of kindness to these wretched people, thus exciting God's displeasure; but acting on secret and severe advice, he sent word back to them ironically, that they must use their corn sparingly and prudently, for that they would not get any more to eat whilst he, Frederick, lived; and this severe message is believed to have emanated from Thaddeus.

The preparations for a tournament, which was forbidden by the king.

About Martinmas of this year, R., earl of Gloucester, relying on the concession obtained from the king, and proclaimed in his name on the day on which he knighted his brother William, namely, the full and free permission of holding a general tournament, challenged the said William to meet him in the lists at Northampton, in the week preceding Advent, in order that the said William and his fellow novices might gain experience in the deeds of chivalry. For the Poitevins, assuming boldness from their familiarity with the king, and relying on his protection, began to put themselves on a par with the English, and even to despise some of them. However, as fears were


entertained that the proud boasting of these men and some others from the continent might arouse strife and battle, and that, after the spears were shivered, bloody swords might flash forth, the king, by the advice of prudent counsellors, strictly forbade the tournament, with the intimation that the heirs of any transgressors of his prohibition might be deprived of the enjoyment of their fathers' inheritance. When, therefore, they came to the place fixed on for the tournament, and found themselves deceived in their expectations, and that they had been at such expense to no purpose, they went away in anger and detestation of the king's fickleness of speech; nor was this prohibition unnecessary, for the pride and insults of these foreigners had provoked the determined hatred of the English.

The marriage of Thomas of Savoy with the daughter of Frederick.

About this time, Frederick gave his daughter in marriage to Thomas of Savoy, brother of the archbishop of Canterbury; he also gave him Vercelli and Turin, with the adjacent provinces, and the charge of the barriers prepared to oppose the pope and his adherents who might pass through those provinces.

How the king enriched all his brothers.

When Guy de Lusignan, the king's brother, took his departure from England, the king filled his saddle-bags with such a weight of money that he was obliged to increase the number of his horses. To his other brother, William de Valence, he gave the castle of Hertford, with the honours pertaining thereto, and a large sum of money; so that he, the king himself, appeared to be in need, and to plunder or beg his own food; wherefore, those who loved the king truly and without pretence, were in no slight fear lest his almsgivings would be of no effect, as the poor heaped curses on his head, and his prayers in the church would be attributed to him, which God forbid, as a sin. For Ethelmar, the third of his brothers, he made provision out of the rich and abundant revenues which he had, by imperious entreaties, extorted from each bishop and abbat, one after another; so that he seemed now to exceed the Romans in audacity, and the said Ethelmar to surpass the bishops in wealth.

248 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

Of the coronation of Haco, king of Norway.

In this year, on the 29th of July, which is the festival of the most holy king and martyr Olavus, a most distinguished saint amongst the Norweqian regions and islands, Haco was solemnly crowned and anointed king, at Bergen, by the bishop of Sabina, the then legate of the Apostolic See in those parts; and for this honour and kindness the king paid fifteen thousand marks of sterling money. The legate, too, besides receiving many invaluable presents, extorted five hundred marks from the churches of that kingdom. However, the said king assumed the cross, and obtained a dispensation from the pope to take the third part of their revenues from the ecclesiastics of his kingdom, to provide the necessaries for his pilgrimage. When this circumstance was brought by report to the knowledge of the French king, he wrote in friendly terms to the king Haco, begging him, out of affection, and for the advancement of the Church's welfare, and the honour of the holy cross, the symbol of which he bore, to proceed without delay to the Holy Land, in company with him, the French king; for that the management and command of the whole of the French fleet would be intrusted to him, as he was a prince skilled in nautical affairs, and that the French army, too, would thenceforth be in a great measure inclined to obey his will. When the letter containing this message, of which the writer of this book was the bearer, reached the king of Norway, he, after reading the contents, replied to the person who delivered it, for his soul trusted in him, in these words: "I return abundant thanks to the most pious king of the French for desiring my company in his pilgiimage, but I am in a measure aware of the nature of the French, as the poet says,-

Omnisque potestas
Impatiens consortis erit.
[Each one in power is jealous of his fellow.]

But I say,

Omnisque superbus
Impatiens consortis erit.
[All pride is jealous of its fellow.]

My people are impetuous and imprudent, impatient under any kind of injury, and also impatient of restraint; if,


therefore, any strife should arise, being such people as his and mine, both of us would incur irreparable injury; let therefore each of us go by himself, and act as the Lord disposes. However, I have written to the said king, begging him in his kindness to grant me a privilege, by his letters patent, which is, to give me permission, when sailing along the coast of his kingdom on my pilgrimage, if I or any of my people should be seized with illness, or if I should be in want of provisions or other necessaries, to land peaceably in his territory to provide myself with what is required". On this, the person who was holding the interview with him, namely the writer of this present work, gave him the following letters patent.

The French king's letter to the king of Norway.

"Louis, by the grace of God khig of the French, to all his friends and faithful subjects, the bailiff's, mayors, and provosts, to whom these letters present shall come, greeting.- Whereas our illustrious friend Haco, king of Norway, purposes, as he has intimated to us by letter, to sail to the assistance of the Holy Land, we command you, if the said king or his fleet should happen to take their course over the sea contiguous to the coasts of our territories, or should happen to touch at any place in our dominions, to receive him and his people kindly and honourably, and allow them to purchase provisions in our territory, and to provide themselves with necessaries by legal traffic".

"Done at St. Germains, in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and forty-eight".

When the king of Norway, who was a discreet, modest, and learned man, read this letter, he was greatly delighted, and returned thanks to the bearer of it, besides rewarding him with rich and royal presents.

Of the danger to which the earl of Winchester was exposed.

About this time, Roger, earl of Winchester, who was residing in his territory of Galway, which belonged to him in right of his wife, the daughter of Alan of Galway, and was exercising more than usual tyranny against the noblemen of that country, was besieged on a sudden in one of his castles, when unprepared, and without supplies or the means of defence. Seeing, then, that he was exposed to an

250 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1247.

ignominious death, and preferring to be killed in battle rather than to pine away with hunger, he mounted a valuable horse armed to the teeth, and, suddenly opening the gates of the castle, with a few daring followers, he rushed into the midst of the enemy, opening a way with his sword; numbers fell around by his hand, and he finally succeeded in cutting his way through and dispersing the enemy, and narrowly escaped with his life. He continued his course without drawing rein till he reached the king of Scotland, to whom he made his complaints, and the latter thereupon punished the rebels, and peaceably reinstated the earl in his possessions.

How William, the king elect, was denied admission to Aix-la-Chapelle.

About this time, William, count of Holland, the lately-elected king of Germany, was prevented from entering the city of Aix-la-Chapelle, where he was about to be crowned, and where he expected to be received and honoured with the regal diadem, according to the custom of the Germans; for Frederick's son Conrad, the deposed king of Germany, vigorously opposed him. However, a friendly message was sent to him by Octavian, the legate there, the archbishop of Cologne, and some other nobles of Germany, advising him not to take after his father, and follow the track of an excommunicated and deposed man, lest he should be involved in a similar punishment. To which message Conrad replied: "Never will I desert my father for you, traitors that you are". The city, therefore, was laid siege to, and a most bloody battle commenced between the adherents of both parties. However, the strength of the Church increased, by the agency of the Preachers and Minorites, and of the money collected and sent by the pope and from the German provinces and those adjacent to them, and the army of Conrad daily decreased in strength: for the above-named king-elect was allied by affinity and relationship to many nobles of the highest rank in Germany; he and the bishop of Liege were cousins, the duke of Brabant was his uncle, and many other nobles were bound to him by various ties, as well as by gifts.

Of a pestilence which raged at this time.

In the dog-days, and when the sun was declining in the zodiac, especially in the month of September, a pestilence


and mortality began to rage amongst men, which lasted for three months; and so virulent was it, that nine or ten corpses were buried in one day in the cemetery of one church, namely that of St. Peter, in the town of St. Alban's.

The death of Earl Ferrers and some other nobles.

In this year certain nobles died in England, amongst whom was William Earl Ferrers, a peaceable and good man, who died at a great age, about St. Catherine's day, after having suffered for a long time from gout. His marriage with his wife the countess was solemnized by St. Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury. In the same month also died his wife M., countess of Ferrers, of the same age and of equal fame and goodness. The said earl therefore was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son and heir William, a good and discreet man, but who was miserably afficted with the same disease as his father. The bishop of St. David's also died; a holy and pious man, and had formerly been a brother of the Minorite order; he was most generous amongst all the nobles of Wales, where he was born, and of handsome person; he was worn away by trouble and grief at witnessing the ravaging and destruction of his native country. Besides them, other nobles died, and amongst them the knights Richard de Bourg and William Fitz Ham.

A brief description of the whole year.

This year throughout was very abundant in corn, but barren of fruit; was productive of injury to England, of tyranny to Wales; was hostile to the Holy Land, a turbulent despoiler of the Church; a source of bloodshed to Italy, and warlike and hostile to the empire and the Roman court, and especially so to the kingdom of Germany; generated hatred in the hearts of prelates and several others against the pope, because he forcibly despoiled their patrons, and suspended them from the collation of benefices, a circumstance hitherto unheard of, and adverse to the king, because he tolerated such proceedings.

How the king kept Christmas at Winchester.

Anno Domini 1248, the thirty-second year of the reign of King Henry the Third, the said king was at Winchester at Christmas, at which place he observed the festivities of that season in the company of a great many of his nobles.

252 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

On the morrow of Christmas-day he breakfasted with William, bishop of that city.

How the earl of Leicester and many other nobles assumed the cross.

About this same time, the earl of Leicester took the sign of the holy cross, in order that he might be absolved from his sins and gain admission to heaven; from reflecting within himself, he was in great alarm concerning the marriage he had contracted with his wife, who had formerly, in the presence of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbmy, made a vow of chastity. The countess too, influenced, it is believed, by the same spirit, as soon as she saw her husband bearing the sign of the cross, flew with all speed to assume it also. Many knights and others of their household too received the same holy symbol, to obtain the reward of eternal salvation. Besides these, many of the nobles did the same, purposing to set out on their journey in company with the most Christian king of the French, whom the Lord had deigned miraculously to recall from the gates of death, or rather from death itself; which seemed to have been done not without purpose, for it was stated as though prognostically or in a prophetic spirit, and was everywhere asserted as a fact that the Lord had restored the said king to life that he might forcibly rescue his inheritance from the hands of the enemies of the cross.

The bishop of Bangor flees to the abbat of St. Alban's.

About this same time, Richard, bishop of Bangor, came to the abbat of St. Alban's, begging that abbat to open the bosom of compassion to him in his poverty, and that he might dwell with him until his bishopric, which was ruined by war, should be restored in some slight degree, in order that he and his clerks might recover breath after their troubles and oppressions which had surrounded them, in the same way as the bishop of Hereford, who remained there and was honourably supported for about twenty years.

The dangerous illness of Richard Seward.

About the same time, Eichard Seward, a distinguished knight, of whom much mention has been previously made in this book, was seized by an incurable palsy, and took to his bed in a hopeless state, trusting that, by God's favour, he


might, during his protracted illness, be cleansed from his former sins and fly to the life eternal.

The arrival in England of Beatrice, countess of Provence.

In this year too, Beatrice, the widow of Raymond, late count of Provence, came into England, accompanied by Thomas of Savoy, formerly count of Flanders, as if to visit her friends and relatives; but that the true reason of their coming may be explained to those who wish to know it, in order that she and the said Thomas, being thirsty, might resort to the same spring, and might, from the king's abundant riches and from his prodigality, fill their empty and gaping saddle-bags at their departure.

The death of Robert, bishop of Bath.

About the same time, that is about the feast of St. Hilary, Robert, bishop of Bath, went the way of all flesh; whereupon the king, according to custom, laid his greedy hands upon the property of his bishopric, to carry off whatever he could scrape together from it.

The French king re-assumes the cross.

At this time, the king of the French, who it was well known had assumed the cross, was severely blamed and reproached by his nobles because he would not, in accordance with their advice, redeem or alter his vow in any way whatever. Amongst others, the Lady Blanche, his mother, and the bishop of Paris, who were aware of his imbecility, became more urgent, and persevered diligently with their arguments; the bishop saying to him, "My lord, recollect, when you assumed the cross, you made the vow suddenly and unadvisedly,- you were ill, and, to speak the truth, were deprived of your senses; your blood was carried to your brain, and you were not of sound mind, wherefore the words you then uttered were devoid of the weight of truth and influence. His holiness the pope will benignly grant us a dispensation, when he knows the necessitous condition of the kingdom and the weak state of your bodily health. In one quarter we have to fear the power of the schismatical Frederick; in another the wiles of the wealthy king of England; here the treacherous deceit of the Poitevins, although only lately conquered; there the cavillings of the Albigenses are a matter of suspicion. Germany is in a disturbed state,

254 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

Italy is restless, the means of access to the Holy Land are difficult, and scarcely is there any place therein to receive you, and behind you, you leave the inexorable hatred and implacable enmity of the pope and the emperor Frederick. For whom do you leave us desolate"? His mother also more effectually pressed him with her solicitations, for, said she, "My dearest son, hear and give heed to the counsels of your discreet friends, and do not strive against your own prudence; remember what a virtue it is, and how pleasing it is to God, to obey and to comply with the wishes of your mother. Remain in your kingdom, and the Holy Land will suffer no detriment therefrom. A much larger army will be sent there than if you went there in person. God is not calumnious or cavilling. You, my son, are sufficiently excused by the loss of your reason, the dulling of all your senses which came on you in your illness, or even by death itself or estrangement of mind". To these arguments the king, in no shght degree disturbed, replied: "You plead that the loss of my senses was the cause of my assuming the cross, therefore, according to your desire and advice, I lay aside the cross,- I resign it to you"; then, raising his hand to his shoulder, he tore away the cross therefrom, saying, "My lord bishop, here is the cross which I have assumed; I voluntarily resign it to you". On this, all who sat around were seized with unspeakable joy, when on a sudden the king, with an altered countenance and tone, said: "My friends, now I am not devoid of reason or sense; I am not powerless or infirm; therefore I now require my cross to be restored to me. For He who is ignorant of nothing knows that nothing eatable shall enter my mouth till I again bear the sign of the cross". Those seated round, on seeing this, declared that the finger of the Lord was in this proceeding, and that the Divine power had effected this from heaven, and no one dared to raise any further dispute on the aforesaid matters. We have fully and expressly stated all things, that every one may be made aware of the constancy of the most Christian king of the French in continuing in the service of Christ.

Of the general parliament held at London.

About the beginning of the year, in the octaves of the Purification, the nobles of all England were convoked at


London, to confer with the king on the affairs of the kingdom, which was now greatly disturbed, impoverished, and injured. In accordance with this summons, therefore, there came thither nine bishops and nine earls, besides a great number of barons, knights, and other nobles, and also of abbats, priors, and clerks. Amongst them were the archbishop of York, and the bishops of Winchester, Lincoln, Norwich, Worcester, Chichester, Ely, Rochester, and Carlisle; Earl Richard, the earls of Gloucester, Leicester, Winchester, and Hereford; Roger Bigod earl marshal, the earl of Oxford, and besides them the earl of Lincoln, Earl Ferrers, Earl Warrenne, and P. of Savoy, earl of Kichmond. The prelates who were not present at this great assembly were Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, who was fighting for the pope on the continent, the bishop of Durham, who was ill at a distance, and the bishop of Bath, who had lately died. The king then explained to them his purpose, which indeed was not a secret to the community in general, and asked pecuniary aid from them; whereupon he was severely rebuked and reproached, in that he was not ashamed to demand such assistance at that time, especially because on the last exaction of a similar kind, to which the nobles of England were with difficulty induced to give their consent, he gave his charter that he would not again make such an exaction. He was also most severely blamed (and no wonder) for the indiscreet way in which he summoned foreigners into the kingdom, and for lavishly and indiscreetly scattering the property of the kingdom amongst them, and also for marrying the nobles of the kingdom to ignoble foreigners; thus despising and putting aside his native and natural subjects, and without asking the consent of both parties, which is necessary to the completion of a marriage. He was also blamed, and not without reason, because he seized by force on whatever he used in the way of meat and drink - especially wine, and even clothes - against the will of those who sold those things, and were the true owners; wherefore the native dealers withdrew and hid themselves, as also did foreigners, who would otherwise bring their goods for sale to that country; thus a stop was put to trade, by which different nations are mutually enriched and strengthened, and thus we are defamed

256 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

and impoverislied, because they obtain nothing but lawsuits and anger from the king; and by this, he the said king incurs awful maledictions from numberless people, to the peril and disgrace of himself and the whole kingdom. From these traders, moreover, he, in order that he may bestow alms indiscreetly, and may make immoderate illuminations, forcibly seizes wax, silk, stuffs, and other things, without making any terms of pacification; thus bringing scandal on himself, his kingdom, and all who inhabit it, and not without giving serious offence to God, who holds rapine in abhorrence when connected with an offering. In all these proceedings he tyrannizes and oppresses to such a degree that even on the sea-coast he does not allow the herrings and other fish to be disposed of at the will of the poor fishermen, nor do they dare to appear in the places adjoining the sea-coast, or in the cities, for fear of being robbed; so that they consider it safer to trust themselves to the stormy billows, and to seek the further shore. The miserable traders also are so cruelly oppressed and annoyed by the royal agents, that punishment is added to loss; and injury is heaped upon injury, both as regards their own persons, and as regards their carriages and their horses already jaded. The king was, moreover, reprehended, in that he, contrary to the first and chief oath which he made at his coronation, impoverished even to their ruin the bishoprics and abbacies, as well as the vacant wardships founded by the noble and holy fathers, which he for a long time detains in his own hands, of which he ought to be the protector and defender; and therefore they are said to be in his hands, that is, under his protection. Another complaint also was made against him by each and every one, and which was no slight one; and this was, that, unlike his noble predecessors, he never appointed either a justiciary, a chancellor, or treasurer, in consonance with the advice of the kingdom in general, as he ought and was expedient, but only such persons as obeyed his pleasure in everything, provided that it was advantageous to himself, and who did not seek the advancement of the common weal, but only their own especial benefit, by collecting money and obtaining wardships and revenues for themselves.


The king endeavours to appease the community of England by promises.

The king, at hearing these complaints, was confused and ashamed of himself, as he knew that all the charges were true. He therefore promised most faithfully that he would willingly amend these matters, hoping by this humiliation, although only feigned, more easily to bend the hearts of all to accede to his demand. To this, however, the community, who had been often ensnared by such promises, replied, "This will be seen plainly enough, and within a sliort time; we will still wait patiently, and as the king shall conduct and bear himself towards us, so we will obey him in all matters". Everything then was put off, and referred to consideration until the fortnight of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The king, in the mean time, either of his own accord, or at the instigation of his courtiers, who did not wish their power to be weakened, became obdurate and more exasperated against his subjects, and took but very little trouble to make any amends to them for the above-mentioned excesses, as he had promised to do.

How the bishop of Durham oppressed the church of Tynemouth.

At this time, Nicholas, bishop of Durham, in a very improper and inexpedient manner, as consistent with his own honour and the fraternity established between him and the house of St. Alban's, after the arrangement of peace between them in the matter of the visitation of the church of Tynemouth, began to harass that church in temporal matters to the utmost of his power, and, to the injury and expense of both parties, to infringe its liberties, granted and confirmed to it by the charters of noble kings, and enjoyed by it for many years. One of the brethren of the church of St. Alban's was therefore sent to entreat him to desist from such annoyances; but he, despising alike the warnings and entreaties of this said brother, and the letters which he brought from the abbat and conventual assembly of St. Alban's, declared that he had just reason in mooting such a question, which was, however, clearly false, although he declared that it had been determined by twelve knights, chosen by unanimous consent of both parties; and as this can be plainly seen by any one who carefully examines the liberties of the church

258 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

of St. Alban's, which liberties he had in a measure infringed in spiritual matters, and which he was now infringing in temporal ones, we think it worth while briefly to mention them in this work.

The liberties and privileges of the church of St. Alban's.

"The church of St. Alban's, and its convents, and everything pertaining to them, shall be free from all tribute to either king, bishop, earl, duke, judge, or agent, and from all services which are usually imposed. It is our will that they be not obliged to answer in any matter to any one except to the Roman pontiff. Item, we forbid any archbishop or bishop to presume to make any exactions, or any claim, or to exercise episcopal functions in your convents. Item, that those in which you have not pontifical rights, whether chapels or cemeteries, be free from all exactions, in which, whether churches or chapels, you and your brethren shall have the liberty of choosing priests, on condition that they shall receive the cure of souls from the bishops themselves, or their vicars, without any purchase; and after you have assigned to these priests sufficient to provide themselves with the necessaries of food and clothing in a proper way, you shall be at liberty to convert what remains to your own uses. Whereas we have, by our apostolic writings, sent orders to you and to other prelates to afford assistance for the relief of the Holy Land, and you, as we have heard, influenced by our admonitions, devoted a tenth part of the revenues of your church and convents, as well as of those subject to you, to that pious purpose, wherefore we, commending your charity in the Lord, hold your laudable purpose as ratified and pleasing, and by authority of these presents, and on account of this pious and necessary action, strictly forbid, under penalty of anathema, any ecclesiastic or secular person henceforth to compel you or your church, to that or any other similar matter, or to harass you or your church, or your convents, in any way whatever, lest (which God forbid) you be some day or other forced, in spite of yourself, to repeat an action which you have already done out of sincere liberality and pure benevolence". (However the said bishop compelled the church of Tynemouth to contribute to the building of the


church of Durham, in the same way as he did all ecclesiastics throughout his bishopric.)

"To all the prelates throughout England, etc.- Because the church of St. Alban's pertains to the right and ownership of St. Peter, etc., etc. If any persons or priests belonging to the churches shall refuse to answer to the aforesaid abbat or brethren as to temporal matters, or pay them their due pension, we grant to the said abbat and brethren full power to take from them, without any opposition or license of appeal, whatever they have in their churches or chapels, and which they detain from them, until they be compelled, even against their will, to answer to them concerning temporal matters, and to pay them their due pension". (The said bishop, however, prohibited certain vicars from paying the proper pension to the church of Tynemouth.) "We, willingly acquiescing in your just demands, by the apostolic authority and the protection of this present document, confirm and ratify to you, and through you to your church, as it is a portion of the said monastery, the possessions bestowed on you by the pious liberality of those of the faith, and also the liberties and other benefits granted to your church by King Richard, of illustrious memory, and by our well-beloved son in Christ, the illustrious John, king of England, as you justly and peaceably possess them, and as is fully contained in their warrants; as also the churches and their pensions confirmed by letter by the metropolian and diocesan bishop, as well as the liberties and immunities granted to the monastery of St. Alban's on behalf of its convents. Let no one, therefore, etc.; and whoever, etc., etc". But after peace was re-established, on the terms before mentioned, between the aforesaid bishop, who rashly infringed the above-mentioned privileges, and the prior and conventual brethren of Tynemouth, who had been harassed by him in manifold ways, the said bishop applied himself to annoying and injuring the said prior and his convent in temporal matters, and infringing the especial privileges granted to them by those pious kings. And how injurious this rash presumption was, will plainly appear by the following letter of the king's, whom the complaining cry of that church had reached.

260 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

Letter of the king of England to the bishop of Durham.

"Henry, by the grace of God, etc., etc., to the bishop of Durham.- We cannot but wonder that, although we have in full affection begged of you once, and a second time, to desist from harassing our well-beloved in Christ, the prior of Tynemouth, who, as you know, fights under our special defence and protection, you have not troubled yourself to accede to our entreaties on his behalf; and we are unwilling to recall to your mind that out of respect to you we have deferred to you in this matter, as we firmly believe and hope that your prudence and kindness would induce you to do voluntarily that which you will be obliged to do by the law of the kingdom and the royal authority. But in order that it may be plainly evident to you that we have hitherto deferred to you in this matter, we have determined for the third time earnestly to entreat you, out of your regard to our entreaties, and the respect which is due from you to your prince, to give up, freely and without delay, the property of the said prior, which you have seized contrary to the law of the land, and which you are unjustly detaining, which will be clearly proved by his liberties, which he holds by the charters of the kings of England our predecessors, and especially by that of our uncle King Richard, and which they freely enjoyed in the times of our predecessors. And rest assured that, unless you carry the object of our entreaties into full effect before the octaves of St. Hilary next ensuing, however much we have deferred to you, and by right still wish to defer to you, we will forthwith (notwithstanding your liberty, under pretext of which even we ought not to and cannot allow the injuries inflicted on you by others to pass without correction from the royal authority) cause the aforesaid property to be given up, and the losses which the said prior has sustained by reason of the injury done him by you, to be made good to him, and will compel you to do him full justice. Witness myself, etc., etc".

By the aforesaid letter then is clearly manifest the injury done to the said prior and his convent, who enjoyed the same privileges and liberties as the church of St. Alban's, on which church was conferred as much privilege as can lawfully be conferred on any abbat by the supreme pontiff in


spiritual matters; and in temporal ones, whatever the royal authority could grant to it, was bestowed by its pious founder Offa, and other kings of England.

Of a sally made, and victory gained, by the Parmese.

Whilst fortune was thus sporting with worldly affairs, the Parmese, having called an assembly in the common cause, humbled themselves before God and the blessed Roger, bishop of London, whom the Lord so gloriously distinguished by miracles. This bishop formerly, when sojourning in their city whilst on his way to the Roman court, was robbed by the Parmese by night of all his money; wherefore he left the city, and, on his return from Rome, cursed it in the bitterness of his heart; and the citizens now, on an inquiry being made as to the sums of money of which he stated that he had been robbed, found it to have amounted to the sum of so many marks. They therefore made a vow that they would with all humility give satisfaction in that amount to God and his saint, that is to say, by building a church at London, in almsgiving, or in any other way that would please the said saint. I have said thus much, because they had heard that Frederick, who had perseveringly besieged their city, had gone away for a time on some business, leaving, however, nearly the whole of his army there; whereupon, as the army was diminished and its chief was absent, it seemed advisable to them to make a sudden attack on their enemies. One day, therefore, after invoking assistance from above, and having made the aforesaid vow in all sincerity of heart, they all prepared for battle, and, the troops having been drawn up in order, they suddenly opened the gates and rushed unexpectedly and like lightning on the enemy, preferring to die fighting rather than to pine away by prolonged hunger. When this was seen by Thaddeus, the familiar adviser of Frederick, to whom the latter had confidently intrusted the charge of his army and money, he exclaimed haughtily and insultingly, "These rats, then, have dared to come forth from their holes". The citizens, however, made a most vigorous assault, and in a very short time put the whole of Frederick's army to the route, and gained a glorious victory, slaying and putting to shameful flight thousands of the enemy. After this they pulled down and burnt all the

262 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

castles which Frederick had built round the city for the continuance of the siege; they also made prisoner of Thaddeus, the judge of the imperial palace, that most eloquent man in pleading arduous causes, and prudent in deciding them, and also seized the immense sum of money of which he had been left in charge; and refusing to listen to his honied and oily speeches, lest they should be imposed upon by any falsehoods, they cut him to pieces. They also put the Cremonese to flight, who had taken the side of Frederick at the siege, and to the disgrace and opprobrium of their city, took their Carrochium. After having thus dispersed and put to confusion the whole of Frederick's army, the victors returned exultingly to their city, bringing with them their prisoners, and a quantity of arms, money, provisions, tents, and other useful articles. To say nothing of the immense quantity of other spoil, the victorious citizens in this battle carried off with them about fifteen thousand head of cattle, including valuable horses, palfreys, pack-horses, mules, and oxen; so that, contrary to their expectations, their city abounded with all kinds of wealth. When this news reached the Roman court, the pope was seized with great joy and exultation, and save utterance to the following words:-

Ad laudem Christi, Victoria victa fuisti.
[Victory, in Christ's name thou art vanquished!]

For Frederick had given that name to his castles round the city. When this circumstance became known to Frederick, he groaned in spirit, and with reiterated sighs, as though deeply wounded; for the death of Thaddeus and the insult of the pope wounded the heart of Frederick even to bitterness, more than all his other losses; for we, who read and examine into the annals of history, never found such an instance of intense and inexorable hatred as that which existed between the pope and Frederick. The latter, then, having recruited his forces, began with increased threats to harass the citizens more severely than usual. This occurrence is described more fully in the book of Additaments.

The reformation of the English money which had been corrupted by false coiners.

About this time, the English coin was so intolerably


debased by money-clippers and forgers, that neither natives nor foreigners could look upon it with other than angry eyes and disturbed feelings. For it was clipped round almost to the inner part of the ring, and the border which bore the letters was either entirely destroyed or enormously defaced. Proclamation was therefore made by herald in the king's name in all cities, boroughs, and markets, that no penny should be taken which was not of legitimate weight and circumference, nor be received in any way, either in buying, selling, or exchange, and that all transgressors of this order would be punished. Great diligence was used to discover the aforesaid false dealers, that, if found guilty of the crime, they might meet with condign punishment, according to the decision of a court. A careful inquisition, therefore, was made, and there were found to be guilty of this crime certain Jews and notorious Caursins, and also some Flemish wool-merchants. The French king also ordered all persons guilty of this crime who were found in his kingdom to be suspended on gibbets and exposed to the winds.

The death of Walter Mauclerc and two other of the Preacher brethren.

In the same year, about the feast of the apostles Simon and Jude, Walter Mauclerc, formerly bishop of Carlisle, commendably terminated his mortal career, and, throwing off the burden of worldly cares and riches, went the way of all flesh. In the same year also there departed from this world to the Lord two brothers of the same order, who were, as it is believed, unsurpassed, indeed unequalled, whilst living, in theology and other sciences: these were the brothers Robert Bacon and Richard de Fishakele, who had for many years lectured in that same faculty, and were distinguished in preaching the word of the Lord to the people.

Of the marriages of Frederick and his son Conrad.

In this year, Frederick, in order to strengthen his cause in the contest he had engaged in against the pope, entered into a confederacy with certain chiefs, and married a lady rich in money, of pleasing appearance, and illustrious birth: his son, also influenced by a similar intention, espoused the daughter of the duke of Bavaria. On learning this, the archbishop of Cologne and those who held by the party of the newly-elected king of Germany, more than usually urged

264 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

the necessity of William, the said elect, being fully and solemnly crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle; but, owing to the opposition of the said Frederick and his son Conrad, he was precluded from all access to that city. The archbishop of Cologne, therefore, and the legate, in conjunction with innumerable prelates and nobles who favoured the cause of the Church (the greatest part of whom had received the sign of the cross at the hands of the Preachers and Minorites), most vigorously besieged the said city of Aix-la-Chapelle, where frequent conflicts, attended with various success, ensued between the two parties, and many fell on both sides. The siege continued, attended with great bloodshed and loss on both sides, and the number of the besiegers daily increased, as a river which is increased by the torrents; yet the confidence of the besieged was kept up by letters which were frequently sent by Frederick and his son Conrad, exhorting them not to lose courage, for that their release, as they declared, was at hand.

Of a tournament held at Newbury.

On Ash-Wednesday, a grand tournament was held at Newbury amongst the knights of England, to try their knightly prowess and strength; and as the king was favourable to it, it began and ended well. At this tournament, William de Valence, the king's uterine brother, a novice, conducted himself with great daring, in order to acquire a famous name in chivalry; but being of tender age, and not able to sustain the force of the hardy and marshalled knights, he was thrown to the ground, whereby he suffered considerable losses, and was well batoned, in order that he might receive his apprentisage in knighthood.

Of the trouble and vexation of the people, owing to the changing of the money.

In the course of this year the people were so troubled by divers precepts of the king concerning the receiving of money, proclaimed by the voice of a herald throughout the cities of England, that they would rather a measure of corn had cost more than twenty shillings; for exchange was carried on but in few cities; and when they got there, they received a certain weight of new money for a certain weight of old, and were obliged to pay thirteen pence on every


pound for the smith's work, or moneying, which was commonly called whitening. The form of this money differed from the old, insomuch that a double cross traversed the border where the letters were marked; but in other respects, namely, as to weight, chief impression, and the lettered characters, it remained as before. The people were therefore reduced to great straits, and suffered no slight injury, inasmuch as twenty shillings could scarcely be obtained from the money-changer's table for thirty, without a trouble and expense of several days' duration and tedious expectation. As a great increase of profit accrued to the king by these matters, his brother, Earl Richard, to whom he was deeply indebted, came to him, like another Jacob and a subtle supplanter, and said to him, "My king and brother, pay me the debts you owe me". And as he perseveringly continued to press his demand, the king replied: "My only brother by the same parents, you see my necessities on all sides. The very small portion of territory which remains to me on the continent is exposed to peril and injury. Gascony is protected by the shield of Bordeaux alone; to liberate which province I find it necessary to expend a no small sum of money". The earl, however, with an insolently loud voice, demanded satisfaction for his debt out of the profits arising from the money coinage; and as he unceasingly reiterated his demands with importunity, he obtained a promise that he should receive the profits arising from the coinage, which, according to the exchangers, would continue for seven years, and the profits themselves would amount to twenty thousand pounds, a third portion of the proceeds only being reserved to the king; and thus he was freed from his debt to the earl. The earl, having obtained this, procured preceptory letters from the king, that no coin which had been clipped should be passed in England,- indeed, that all clipped money should be bored through; and if any exchanger should be anywhere discovered giving two pence for one, or three for two, that he should be taken and severely punished, both in his property and person, as being an offender against the king, and a transgressor of the royal precept. The form of this brief, which was sent to the sheriffs, may be found fully given in the book of Additaments.

266 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

An eclipse of the moon.

On the feast of June in this year, just after sunset, the moon underwent an almost total eclipse.

Of the proceedings of the grand parliament held at London.

In the month of June, as the fortnight of the feast of St. John the Baptist drew near, all the nobility of England assembled in London, firmly believing, from the positive promises of the king, that he would amend his faults, and, by the grace conferred on him from above, would incline his ear to wiser counsels. On the assembling, therefore, of all the chief men of England, the following graceless reply to their former complaints flowed from the king's mouth: "All you, the chief men of England, have endeavoured to bend your lord and king to your will, little courteous as it is, and to impose on him a very servile condition; whilst whatever any one chooses is insolently denied him, but every one is allowed to adopt what and whose plans he chooses. Again, every father of a family is allowed to appoint any one soever to this or that office in his house, or to suspend or even to depose them; but this liberty, forsooth, you rashly presume to deny to your king, especially as servants ought not to judge and bind their master to their conditions, nor ought vassals their prince, but those who are considered as inferiors ought rather to be ruled and governed at the will and pleasure of their lord. For the servant is not above his lord, nor is the pupil above his master; and your king, therefore, would be no longer so, but would be, as it were, a slave, if he were thus to incline to your will. Wherefore he will not dismiss either the chancellor, justiciary, or treasurer, as you propose arranging it, nor will we appoint others in their stead". In the same manner, also, a cavilling reply was given to other matters beneficial to the king himself. "But he asks pecuniary aid from you, to recover his rights on the continent, which also concerns you". The nobles, on hearing these words, thought it as clear as the light that they had emanated from his present advisers, whose power would be weakened and extinguished if the advice of the community of barons were listened to. However, seeing that they were answered and opposed by craft and cunning, they all, influenced, as it were, by one spirit, plainly replied that they would on no account


again uselessly impoverish themselves, that foreigners might revel in their pride on their property, and the enemies of the king as well as the kingdom be strengthened, as was lately the case in Poitou; and also in Gascony, whither he had precipitately and indiscreetly hurried, contrary to their advice and wish, whereby he had met with adversity. And we truly believe, for it so appears from the king's greediness and state of need, that he was secretly made and detained a prisoner, but, on quietly paying a fine, pledging his faith, and giving his oath and charters, he was cautiously set at liberty and dismissed when thus deprived of his honour, and money, and territory, and was allowed to depart ingloriously amidst all kinds of insult. The council therefore broke up in anger, and all of them were thus deceived in the hopes which they had long conceived from this parliament, and after all their trouble and expenses to no purpose, gained nothing but derision and frivolous answers to their complaints.

How the king of England sold his treasure.

When the king saw this result to his proceedings, he burst out into violent anger, and said to his counsellors: "It is by you that the affections of my nobles are estranged from me; here I am about to lose Gaseony; I have been deprived of Poitou; and, being destitute of money, what am I to do"? After holding a pusillanimous council, therefore, it was determined, without any prudence, that all the vessels, utensils, and jewels of the royal treasury should be sold by weight, without regard to the gold or silver, or to the laborious artificial work, although the work excelled the material, in order that money might be obtained by these means. The royal councillors, moreover, added the following consolatory speech, and to sooth the king, insinuated to him, "That, as all rivers flow back to the sea, so everything which was now sold will at some time return to you in remunerative gifts; therefore, let not our lord the king be disturbed". After the sale of the above-mentioned treasure, the king inquired where and to whom they were sold, and on the reply being given, "At London", he said, "I know, I know that if the treasure of Octavian were for sale, the city of London would purchase and suck it all up; for these ill-bred Londoners, who call themselves barons, possess abundance even to a

268 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

surfeit: that city is an inexhaustible well". He then immediately conceived a design, on the slightest opportunity arising, to despoil them of their property; of which subsequent events have fully proved his fulfilment, and the following narrative will fully relate.

How the French king set out on his expedition to Jerusalem.

As the equinoctial season proved favourable, with pleasant weather, and autumn furnished an abundance of corn and wine, the French king, having obtained special license at St. Denis and other holy places in his kingdom, and having made a vow, set out on his journey to Jerusalem. Passing through Lyons, where the pope was residing, he humbly and devoutly paid his respects to him, and earnestly begged of him, saving the honour of the Church in all matters, to condescend to accept the humiliation of Frederick, who demanded his pardon, and to grant him the favour of a reconciliation, and to open the bosom of his paternal affection to him, a penitent; "At least", said he, "that the passage may be safer to me on my pilgrimage". As, however, he saw the pope assuming a look of refusal, he went away in sorrow, saying: "I am afraid that, when I am gone, hostile treachery will be planned against the French kingdom, owing to your inexorable severity. It will lie at your door, if the progress of the affairs of the Holy Land is impeded. However, I will guard France as the pupil of my eye, because on the condition of that kingdom depends your prosperity, as well as that of all Christendom". To this the pope replied: "I, as long as I live, will stand by France against this schismatic Frederick, whom the Church has condemned and hurled by a general council from the imperial dignity; and indeed I will act the same against the king of England, our vassal, if he presumes to kick against the kingdom of France, or the rights pertaining to it; as I also will against all the enemies of the said kingdom". The king, somewhat soothed by these words, then replied: "As you make such promises, I intrust the reins of government of my kingdom of France to you"; and it was forthwith arranged that a special messenger should be sent to the king of England to forbid him from attacking or in any way harassing any of the dependencies of the French kingdom; and for this purpose, Masters Albert and


Paul were sent especially, who came to the king at Windsor, on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, to deliver their message to him; but this circumstance was kept a secret, in order that the king might more easily exact money for the purpose of reclaiming and recovering his rights by force of arms. The French king, then, having made a long and deliberate confession to the pope, and obtained from him a remission of his sins, took leave of his holiness, and departed, with his blessing, from Lyons, directing his course with his army towards Marseilles. When he was drawing near the city of Avignon, the inhabitants of that city, not choosing to endure the insults of the haughty French, who called them Albigenses, traitors, and poisoners, made an attack on them in the narrow passes well known to themselves; and, their hatred and anger being roused by their long-standing enmities, pillaged some of the French army, and put to death those who opposed them. On this, some of the French nobles suggested to the king that he should lay siege to the city, if for no other purpose, at least to take just and vigorous vengeance for the murder of his father, who was poisoned there, or if he proceeded on his journey, that he should allow them to do it under his favour. The king with difficulty restrained their fury, and said to them: "I go from France, not to avenge my own injuries, or those of my father, or mother, but those of my Lord Jesus Christ". This most Christian monarch then proceeded immediately on his journey, and suffered much greater losses at Marseilles; so much so, that the French nobles were much provoked, and, had they not been restrained by the discreet and holy moderation of the king, would, in their anger, have vigorously besieged Marseilles. The king, however, said: "The time for our passage is close at hand; God forbid that Satan should prevail; for he is grieving on that account, and is seeking to interpose some obstacles to impede it". Having with difficulty appeased their disturbed feelings, the king, on the morrow of St. Bartholomew, took with him some picked soldiers, leaving more than a thousand crossbowmen behind him, and a great many more knights and retainers. These returned in great shame and anger, and with difficulty restrained themselves from joining the king of England, and from voluntarily stirring up war against the king of France; but, on weighing

270 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

future perils in the scale of reason and prudence, they returned peaceably to the pope, and offered to enter his service, to fight for him, at his command, against any one soever. Being, however, circumvented by the pope's arguments, and those of his court, who knew that they had abundance of money, they laid aside the symbols of the cross, resigned their travelling supplies to the pope to obtain remission from their pilgrimage, and, with their pockets emptied, that they might travel more lightly, they returned to their homes with only a very small portion of their property remaining, wherewith to support themselves on their journey. The French king in the mean time put to sea, and with spreading sails directed his course with a fair wind towards Cyprus, which abounded in all luxuries, in order to pass the winter there in peace, and recover breath.

In the summer of this year, as was reported, Seville, a noble city of Spain, was taken by the victorious king of Castile. This city was worth nine thousand talents to its lord each day in the week, but on the sixth day, eleven thousand.

Of the capture of Aix-la-Chapelle, and coronation of William, count of Holland, as king of Rome.

Whilst the asperity of winter was hanging over the frozen world, the besieged inhabitants of the city of Aix-la-Chapelle were suffering severely: for they were denied all means of exit and ingress, all kinds of aid and counsel, and all supplies of provisions; their wheat failing them, their bread was coarse, and their meat was putrid; their weapons were broken and consumed by rust, and their clothes worn out; the nature of the women was changed; children asked for meat, and there were none to break and give it to them. The besiegers, therefore, consisting of the nobles of Germany, together with the legate, the archbishop of Cologne, and the bishop of Liege, who brought with them an immense host, diligently prosecuted their purpose, whilst others who had assumed the cross on the preaching of the Preacher brethren daily flocked to them from different parts of the world, so that the numerous army of the prelates covered the whole country like locusts. They therefore, night and day, by turns, incessantly battered the walls and fortresses of the city with mangonelles, petrarias, and other


projective engines, which were erected on all sides of it; crushed the people, who were exposed and defenceless; pierced them with their arrows, and annoyed them by all the means in their power; and thus the city was therefore compelled by necessity to surrender to the enemy, to be dealt with at their pleasure. After the city was thus taken by force, Count William of Holland, the king elect of Germany, was solemnly crowned there on the day of All Saints, by the hand of Conrad, archbishop of Cologne, according to the ancient custom of the kings of Germany. In the mean time, many of the native inhabitants, as well as the mercenaries whom Frederick had placed there for its protection, fled from the captured city, which was reduced to ruin and poverty, themselves worn away and half-dead from want. This coronation, however, was considered by many to be invalid, because all the electors were not present there, and did not even consent to it; amongst others, the duke of Saxony, who had entered into a confederacy with Frederick, in consideration of his, the duke's, daughter, whom he was about to marry, if he could effect a reconciliation with the Church; nor did the duke of Bavaria, whose daughter was married to Conrad, Frederick's son, give his consent to it; and many others also refused their consent.

How Conrad, Frederick's son, fled to his father.

When the archbishops, bishops, prelates, and other nobles, had thus effected their purpose, Conrad, Frederick's son, who was hastening to the rescue of the city, was met on his approach by the other army of the Germans raised by the legate, numerous and strong, which attacked him at the sword's point. This army was commanded by the archbishops of Mayence, Metz, Lorrain, and Strasburg, and consisted of innumerable bands from their provinces and from Friesland, Gothland, Russia, Dacia, and from the provinces of Germany, and those conterminous who had assumed the cross, and who all, influenced by one spirit, and as it were one man, impetuously attacked the said Conrad, and triumphantly put him to flight with his whole army. The son then retreated in confusion, and not sparing his horse's sides, flew with all speed to his father, without the consolation of the Holy Ghost.

272 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248

How the warren of St. Alban's was invaded, but was at length freed.

In this year the church of St. Alban's suffered much persecution, loss, and injury from the knights whom it confidently believed to be its faithful friends. For although hunting was judicially forbidden to some of them in particular, under penalty of ten pounds, it appeared to others, who were not named, that they were allowed full license to hunt hares in the said warren; for they said that that which was to the detriment or advantage of others ought not to redound to their prejudice. In consequence of this, twenty belted knights were chosen by consent of the parties to give a true verdict in this matter, and put an end to the controversy. Five of these, however, who were foolish men, ignorant of the truth, and of hesitating minds, on being sworn, said that they did not know the truth of the matter for certain; however, they believed that the abbat's opponents had a right to what they laid claim, unless the abbat had obtained another charter in the case, which they did not yet know anything at all of; and when they were informed of the charter which the abbat held from the present king, besides the old ones, his adversaries were confused and silent. And had not Henry Bath, the justiciary, out of pity protected them, they would have been condemned to a sentence of being disinherited; but the justiciary, with the abbats consent, put off the sentence. This was the last relic of an old persecution which the said church suffered in the year 1240, in which year a fuller account of it is given to those wishing to read the same.

A new market established at Westminster.

On the 13th of October in this year, in the fortnight of Michaelmas, the king proceeded to London, to keep the feast of St. Edward, that is, of the translation of that saint, and sent word to a great number of the prelates and nobles, begging them, out of their friendship and devotion to him, to make their appearance at Westminster, to join with him in solemnly and devoutly celebrating the feast of St. Edward. At this summons, therefore, there came thither Earl Richard, Roger Bigod, earl marshal, the earl of Hereford, some select barons, and


certain knights; the bishops of Winchester, London, Ely, Worcester, and Carlisle, and a great number of abbats and priors. The king then declared it as his pleasure, and ordered it to be proclaimed by herald throughout the whole city of London, and elsewhere, that he instituted a new fair to be held at Westminster, to continue for a fortnight entire. He also strictly interdicted, under penalty of heavy forfeiture and loss, all fairs which usually lasted for such a length of time in England; for instance, that of Ely and other places, and all traffic usually carried on at London, both in and out of doors, in order that by these means the Westminster fair might be more attended by people, and better supplied with merchandise. In consequence of this, innumerable people flocked thither from all quarters, as to the most famous fair, and the translation of St. Edward was celebrated, and the blood of Christ worshipped to an unexampled degree by the people there assembled. But all the merchants, in exposing their goods for sale there, were exposed to great inconveniences, as they had no shelter except canvas tents; for, owing to the changeable gusts of wind assailing them, as is usual at that time of the year, they were cold and wet, and also suffered from hunger and thirst; their feet were soiled by the mud, and their goods rotted by the showers of rain; and when they sat down to take their meals there, those who were accustomed to sit down to their meals in the midst of their family by the fireside, knew not how to endure this state of want and discomfort. The bishop of Ely, in consequence of the loss of his fair at Ely, which was suspended by the king's warrant, made a heavy complaint to him in the matter, for introducing such novelties; but he gained nothing but words of soothing promises of future consolation.

Of an unusual inundation of the sea.

On the 24th of November in this year, the sea overflowed its bounds to a great distance, and caused irreparable injury to those dwelling near the coast; for when the moon, according to the computation of the calendar, was in its fourth quarter, the tide flowed with swollen waters without any visible ebb or decrease. This is believed to have occurred in consequence of the strong wind which blew from the sea;

274 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

but as it had often happened that the wind blew in strong from the sea, and yet the sea itself did not rise in such a way, even old persons were astonished at this new and unusual occurrence.

Of a dreadful earthquake in Savoy.

In this year an awfid earthquake occurred in Savoy, in the valleys of Maurienne, by which five villages were overwhelmed, with their cowsheds, sheepcots, and mills; and the mountains and rocks in the neighbourhood were torn away from the places where they had stood since the creation, and were swallowed up in some of their own caverns. It is not known whether this destruction of mountains occurred, and the earthquake vented its fury on the said villages, by a miracle or naturally; but, inasmuch as it destroyed about nine thousand men, and animals without number, it seems to have been caused by a miracle rather than the common course of events. It was said that the severity of divine punishment justly vented its fury on the abodes of the inhabitants of those parts, because they so shamelessly and indiscriminately practised the disgraceful trade of usury, and were so contaminated with the stain of avarice, that, in order to cover their wickedness with an appearance of virtue, they did not hesitate to call themselves money-merchants. They had no horror of simony, and fearlessly and without mercy engaged in theft and pillage. Traders or scholars compelled to go to the Roman court, who passed their way or dwelt with them when on their journey, they never failed to cut the throats of or to poison; not being aware that the more tardy the Divine vengeance is, the more severely it is said to exercise its fury, as witness the blessed Gregory, who says, "Divine rigour proceeds to punishment with a slow step, but it afterwards makes up for its tardiness by its severity".

How the prior of Thetford was stabbed by one of his monks.

In order that what is written in the Gospel may be fulfilled, it is necessary, that is to say inevitable, "that scandal should, woe to the world, proceed from scandal": in the month of December in this year, the prior of Thetford, a Savoyard by birth, and a monk of Clugny, who declared himself to be a relation or kinsman of the queen, and had assumed airs of pride from that circumstance, invited his brothers, Bernard,


a knight, and Guiscard, a beastly clerk, to come to his house at Thetford. There he remained, according to custom, the whole night till cock-crow, indulging in immoderate eating and drinking with them, and forgetting his matin devotions: seldom did he trouble himself to be present at mass, even at the little masses; seldom did he appear at canonical hours; but in the morning, being surfeited with food, he vomited forth his nightly potations. If the cry of the hungering poor sounded in his ears, this was a minor care in his breast, and whenever Bernard, one of his said brothers, went away, Guiscard, the other, whose belly was like a bladder in frosty weather, and whose body would load a waggon, stayed longer with him, and swallowed up all the food of the monks in the Charybdis of his belly, and afterwards, when well gorged, despised and loaded them with insults. Whilst the said prior then was thus entertaining his brothers, who had borne the toil and heat of the day, in a manner unbecoming to him, and was disgracefully wasting the substance of his little church, transgressing, as was stated, the bounds of all moderation in his gluttony, a dispute and strife arose between him and one of his monks, a Welshman by birth. This monk, whom he, the prior, had some little time before summoned from Clugny, he was now endeavouring to send back thither against his will, not out of charity, but from hatred, although the said monk opposed the proceeding and excused himself on reasonable grounds. But when the prior with a loud voice swore horribly that the said monk should proceed on a pilgrimage with the scrip and wallet, this demoniac monk, inflamed with violent anger, or rather with madness, drew a knife and plunged it into the prior's belly, without the least hesitation at perpetrating such a crime within the precincts of the church. The wounded prior, with the very death-rattle in his throat, endeavoured to call the monks to his aid by his cries, or, at any rate, to arouse them; but he was unable to do so, owing to the stoppage of the arteries; whereon the said monk again rushed upon him, and with heavy blows, three or four times repeated, buried the knife up to the handle in his lifeless body; and thus this wretch, to the enormous injury and disgrace of the monastic order, sent the wretched prior to hell, beneath the anger of an offended God. These circumstances I have related fully, that those who read

276 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

may be warned and chastened, and prevented from perpetrating such crimes, lest they be hurled by an angry God into a similar ruin. The author of this crime was seized by persons who came to the spot, and, being well secured, was committed to prison. When the circumstance came to the knowledge of the king, worried by the continual complaints of the queen, he ordered the murderer to be chained, and, after being deprived of his eyes, to be thrown into the lowest dungeon in the castle of Norwich, notwithstanding the principle for which St. Thomas the Martyr combated in defence of a certain priest who had committed homicide, shedding even his blood and his brains, that a clerk, and especially a priest, could not be condemned before a lay tribunal, or hanged after his orders had been taken from him; a principle for which he suffered martyrdom; that God does not punish twice for the same offence; that He puts a limit upon the punishment of the wicked, and rewards far beyond a man's deserts; and that a single fault is sufficiently and reasonably atoned for by a single punishment. These occurrences having been mentioned by an enemy of the monks, as an opprobrium to religious men, a certain person, a friend to them and a lover and special advocate of religion, said in reply, "Amongst the angels the Lord found a rebel; amongst the seven deacons, a deviator from the right path; and amongst the apostles, a traitor: God forbid that the sin of one or of a few should redound to the disgrace of such a numerous community". This moderation is taught by the heathen poet, who says:-

Parcite paucorum diffundere crimen in omnes.
[Let not the crime of some redound on all.]

Of a quarrel and battle between the monks of Selby and John Francis.

In the same year, a quarrel having arisen between the monks of Selby and John Francis, a clerk of the king's, as to the collection of hay and corn, one monk was slain, and several others were wounded and beaten. And in order that scandal might not come singly, in this same year, in the priory at Canterbury, one monk mortally wounded another.


Of the miserable death of the prior of Benethly.

In the same unfortunate month a prior of the canons of a small church near the monastery of St. Alban's happened to be inspecting a heap of wheat, which we commonly call a rick, [1] and reckoning the value of it, when the rick, being improperly built, suddenly tottered and fell upon him; and before the sheafs which were heaped upon him could be dispersed, this prior, a simple-minded man of small substance, died of suffocation. Others who were by, the servants and companions of the prior, escaped; as only smaller masses had fallen upon them, but did not overwhelm them.

Of the severe punishment of an adulterer.

The following circumstance I think ought not to be passed over, although it may appear ridiculous. In this same unlucky month, in order that it might not be said that scandal rose against religious men only, disgrace and irreparable loss was brought on certain members of the order of knighthood. For a certain knight of Norfolk, named Godfrey de Millers, of noble birth and distinguished in knightly deeds, being shamefully led astray, secretly entered the lodgings of John the Briton, a knight, for the purpose of lying with his daughter, but was seized by some persons concealed, with the connivance of the harlot herself, who was afraid of being thought a married man's mistress, violently thrown to the ground, and severely beaten and wounded. After this he was suspended to a beam, with his legs stretched apart, and, when thus exposed to the will of his enemies, he was disgracefully mutilated to such a degree that he would have preferred decapitation, and, thus wounded and mutilated, was ejected, half-dead, from the house. A complaint of this proceeding having reached the king, the authors of this great cruelty were seized, and John the Briton being found guilty of it, he was disinherited and banished for ever. The adulteress, however, could not be found, as she secreted herself in inaccessible places, and thus, with some trouble, escaped the plots which were laid against her life. All who were present at the perpetration of this deed of enormous cruelty, were

[1] Tassum, in the Latin; tas, in French or Anglo-Norman, a language much spoken at this time in England.

278 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

dispersed in exile, homeless fugitives; and thus this inhuman and merciless crime involved many nobles in a lamentable calamity. About the same time, too, a certain handsome clerk, the rector of a rich church, who surpassed all the knights living round him in giving repeated entertainments and acts of hospitality, was involved in a similar misfortune. However, the king, touched with compassion and deeply grieved, ordered it to be proclaimed as a law by herald, that no one should presume to mutilate another for adultery except in the case of his wife.

Of the occurrence of several accidental fires.

In this year also an occurrence took place worthy of note, because it was wonderful, and which we have thought worth while to insert an account of in this work, as we do not remember ever to have seen the like before. In many countries, owing to God's anger, destructive fires raged, reducing cities and towns to ashes, although not caused by heat or the aridity of the ground. For in Germany, besides other losses caused by the fury of the ravaging flames, the cathedral church of St. Peter at Cologne (which is the mother, as it were, of all the churches in Germany) was reduced to bare walls by the flames. In France, too, cities and towns were destroyed by it, and in Normandy irreparable injury was done by its untamable fury. In England, not to mention other cases, the greatest part of the borough of Newcastle-on-Tyne, together with its bridge, was consumed by a raging fire. In Norway it raged to such a degree in the three principal cities as to cause wonder and amazement in the minds of all; one of these, called Bergen, was entirely reduced to ashes, with the exception of four religious houses and the palace, chapel, and lodgings of the king; eleven parishes of the said city were burnt, besides some houses belonging to its bishop. The sin-avenging flame flew, like a fire-vomiting dragon dragging its tail after it, to the king's castle, which is about five arrow-flights distant from the city; wherefore nothing appeared more certain and evident to the inhabitants than that the severity of the divine vengeance caused this misfortune. The castle, which was built of the best and hardest stones, was reduced to ashes. On the following day,


the Lord thundered fearfully over the site of the city, and with a sudden flash of lightning struck a large ship which had arrived from England during the night, killing one man in it, wounding or severely bruising all the others, and, shivering the mast into small pieces, hurled it into the sea; all the ships, too, which were in the harbour, amounting to two hundred in number or more, were injured. The writer of this work had come in the ship whose mast was broken, but at the time of the occurrence he was performing mass in a church near the sea-coast, singing a nautical hymn to return thanks to God after escaping the perils of the sea. When the above-mentioned circumstances were made known to the king, he, out of his regard for the person who had been on board that ship, ordered a larger and better mast to be supplied to it.

After Michaelmas the bishop of Norwich crossed the sea for certain secret reasons.

Of the unjust order of the archbishop of Canterbury.

About this same time, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, who was fighting for the pope in the district of Lyons, showing little anxiety for the Church, although appointed to the cure of souls, and relying on the apostolic authority, extorted much money from the vacant churches in his diocese, which he was empowered to hold in his own hands for one year; and thus unhappy England was like a vineyard given up as a prey to the wild boars, and every passer-by gathered of its grapes. In order the more deeply to wound the hearts of those whom he robbed, he caused it to be announced by the dean of Beauvais, his agent in this matter, that all persons, excepting the king and queen, and their children and the illustrious Earl Richard, would be excommunicated, who should secretly or openly blame, or speak disrespectfully of the favour which the pope had granted and given to him, the said archbishop, or should in any way oppose it, or who should make any subtraction therefrom, or practise any deceit in the matter of the aforesaid profits. This mandatory precept was published in each and all of the churches throughout England, and produced indignation in the hearts of many, both on account of the injurious,

280 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

unheard of, and greedy extortion of money, and also of the flattery added to it, and they uttered heartfelt curses against the king for tolerating and consenting to such proceedings.

How messengers come to the pope from the Tartars.

In the summer of this year, two Tartar messengers came from their prince to the pope; but the particulars of their message were kept such a secret to all in that court, that they were not clearly known to clerks, notaries, or others, however familiar they were with his holiness. Their charter which they brought to the pope was translated from an unknown language to one more suited to the people, as they drew near the western countries. It was, however, suspected, from certain indications, that the letters contained an offer and design of the said Tartars to make immediate war upon Battacius, Frederick's Greek son-in-law, a schismatic, and one disobedient to the Roman church. This offer it was believed did not displease the pope, for he gave them some costly garments, which we commonly call robes, made of choice scarlet cloth, with cloaks and furs of ermine skin; and frequently conversed freely and in a friendly way with them by means of interpreters, and privately made them presents of gold and silver.

Of the oppressions daily practised on the English by the Roman court.

In the same year, the oppressions devised in manifold ways, which flowed forth from the Roman court on wretched England, were daily increased and multiplied. Besides the oppression and unusual slavery, owing to the suspension of prelates from the collation of benefices until the Roman avarice was satisfied, and against which their petty king in his pusillanimity did not cry out, detestable swarms of new oppressions daily shot forth; and although we cannot mention all the injuries (for it is difficult, indeed impossible, to do so), we have thought proper to insert some of them in this work, that those who read of them may grieve, and grieving, may complain to God, and at some future time may be released from them by his favour, and that all may clearly see the pitiable misery of England, which was deprived of its rulers and defenders. The abbat of Abingdon had received a mandate from the pope to make immediate provision for a certain Roman; but this Roman, not choosing to accept any


church except a rich one, quietly waited, concealing his intentions, till some noble and rich church should be vacant. The first which became so was the church of St. Helen, in the town of Abingdon, which was reckoned to be worth a hundred marks, and supplied with every advantage, as being in a borough which was subject to the said monastery. The said Roman, who had been so long quiet, at once demanded this church, and urgently pressed his demand that it should be given to him on the authority of the Apostolic See. On the day on which the church became vacant, the abbat received a most urgent order from the king, intermingled with threats, entreaties, and promises, that he should give that church to his, the king's, uterine brother Ethelmar, although the latter now held such an abundance of churches and revenues that we should not wonder if he himself did not know their number and value. The abbat, therefore, being in a state of perplexity, and as if crushed between two revolving millstones, consulted the brethren of his convent, and some discreet and faithful friends in the matter, who replied, "It is clearly a case of hardship both ways; but if the king is willing to protect you from the pope's violence, we think it will be more endurable to give the church to this brother of his, as he is our prince and patron, than to this Roman, who would always be sedulously plotting against you, an indefatigable persecutor, and, as it were, a thorn in your eye". This determination was therefore signified to the king in due time, who at once promised the said abbat his certain protection, together with indemnity from loss, and the abbat accordingly, relying on these deceitful words, gave the church to the said Ethelmar at the king's entreaty. The aforesaid Roman, then, in great anger, immediately went to the pope with a heavy complaint, and related to him the particulars of the affair, with additions of his own to provoke the pope's anger. His Holiness then cited the said abbat to appear before him, to answer to the charge of disobedience, and the latter being destitute of all consolation and assistance from the king, although it was often asked for, although an old and infirm man, went, in great sorrow, fear, and bitterness of heart, to the Roman court, where, after much suffering and no slight expense, he was made to give satisfaction to the said Roman, according to the decision of the pope, by paying

282 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

him fifty marks annually from his chamber, to the great injury of his church.

Of another enormous oppression of the pope.

In this same year, too, the abbat of St. Edmund's having been taken from amongst us, the king, laying aside all fear of God and respect for the martyr, whom he was especially bound, for manifold reasons, to worship, took such a large sum of money from that house, on its becoming vacant, that he seemed entirely to have lost the bowels of mercy; for, besides the pay of the royal bailiffs, he cruelly extorted one thousand two hundred marks from it; and when the brethren, having elected another to take the place of the abbat lately deceased, sent some of their community to the Roman court to obtain a confirmation of the same election, a cavilling examination was instituted, and both the election and the elected abbat were rejected, to the end that he who had been so rejected, should be placed in a pitiable condition; which looked like anything rather than pity. And when the monks had gone away in sorrow and shame, the pope recalled them, and said, "Inasmuch as the wretched are in need of compassion, we, merely out of favour, and in order that you may not be disturbed, allow you this elected abbat for the present, and freely and willingly give him the monastery of St. Edmund's; but he must pay the sum of eight hundred marks, and must answer for it to the merchant whom we will send to him for the purpose, to whom we are so deeply indebted". Thus entrapped, the monks went away; but being worn out by so many injuries and oppressions, they grieved inconsolably, and one of them died at Lyons before they left the Roman court, and the other, with bitterness of heart, went the way of all flesh at Dover, on his return from that uncourteous court.

Death of the abbat of Waltham.

About this time, also died the abbat of Waltham, of most pious memory, one of the order of canons of St. Augustine, a man of distinguished sanctity.

Death of Simon Langton.

In this year died Master Simon Langton, brother of Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, of illustrious memory,


and archdeacon of the church of that city, who was a persecutor and disturber of his church of Canterbury; but it is not to be wondered at: indeed, he excited and disturbed the French kingdom as well as that of England, when it was much harassed by war, as has been fully stated before in its proper place.

Death of John Blund.

In the same year, also died Master John Blund, chancellor of the church of York, a distinguished theologian, who was once elected archbishop of Canterbury; but his election was annulled by the above-mentioned Simon. The disturber, therefore, and the disturbed went together to join the crowds of the dead. Earl Patrick also died, who was held to be the most powerful amongst the nobles of Scotland. This noble died bearing the symbol of the cross, whilst on a pilgrimage in company with the French king; and he is believed to have assumed the cross that he might become reconciled to God and St. Oswin; for he had unjustly harassed and injured the church of Tynemouth, a convent devoted to St. Alban, and the especial domicile of the blessed king and martyr Oswin, and where the body of that saint lies buried.

How Brother Matthew was sent into Norway.

In this year great peril was impending over a certain noble monastery in Norway, which was called the monastery of St. Benedict of Holm, founded by the most noble king Cnut, who had also founded one of the same name and order in England; for it was much impoverished, the brethren were dispersed, and the whole monastery itself was almost destroyed, with its appurtenances; the abbat abandoned the order, and went away clandestinely, taking with him the seal of the chapter, and, under an appearance of fidelity, either sold almost all the possessions of the monastery, or fraudulently pledged them; he also took with him one of the brethren, the sacristan, who had charge of the seal, and who was privy to and an accomplice in his crime, and he was now in company with the abbat, an apostate and a fugitive. In consequence of this, the archbishop of Drontheim, in whose diocese the said monastery was, took it into his own hands, together with all its appurtenances, accusing the monks of being monks only in garb, of being entirely

284 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

ignorant of the rules of the monastic order and St. Benedict, manifest transgressors of the monastic statutes, and some of them thieves and fugitives. But the monks, who, although they were without an abbat, still fought for God in some kind of way under the government of their prior, resorted to an appeal, and flew to the supreme pontiff to protect themselves; for it was unjust and dissonant from reason that the fault of one or two, or even a few, should redound on the whole community. Pending the appeal, the archbishop did not dare to annoy them any further, or to make any innovation. The prior, therefore, having wisely recovered some of their possessions, and raised some money, went to the Roman court; but lo, the apostate abbat and his accomplice had been there some short time before, and by giving charters sealed with the stolen seal, had laid the said house under a debt of about five hundred marks. The prior therefore returned home confused and sad; but, before he reached there, he heard that this wretch of an abbat had died at the monastery of St. Alban, in Zell, in Norway; and on gaining this intelligence, he and the brethren elected another abbat. The prior was then sent back with one of the brothers accompanying him, and with a sum of three hundred marks, and also bearing letters directed to brother Matthew of Paris, begging him to use his diligent endeavours to free them from their debt, and in the end it was happily arranged that the said house should be released on payment of the debt only. After having obtained all writings and instruments by which the convent of Holm was held indebted to the Caursins, who were then at London, he returned safely within a year, entirely free. But although they breathed freely in temporal matters, they were still languishing in a confused state in spiritual concerns, and, lying concealed, they with difficulty, by repeated presents, obtained a brief respite, lest the archbishop should take into his own hands the whole island, which was the property of the said monastery, and the monastery itself, which was situated in the island, with its appurtenances, and should put the monks to flight, who, he said, were monks only in name. It was about this time that the bishop of Sabina, cardinal of the Roman see, came, as before stated, as legate into Norway, and to him these monks, who were severely

A.D. 1248.] THE POPE'S WARRANT. 285

oppressed by their archbishop, at once flew, to receive consolation in their trouble. In reply to their complaints, he said: "My sons, I am entirely ignorant of the statutes, observances, and rule of St. Benedict; but I advise you in good faith to go to the Roman court, and entreat his holiness the pope to provide you with a fit person to reform your order, and a suitable instructor, and I will write to him earnestly in your behalf, and entreat him kindly to listen to your request in this matter. And this matter admits of no delay, for your archbishop is more strenuous in his endeavours to expel you on account of your ignorance". The abbat therefore went to the court, accompanied by the prior, on the matter; and, after fully intimating to him their wishes, they produced the letters of entreaty from their king and the legate. In reply to their request, the pope said: "My sons, if you are ignorant of the things which you ought to know, use deliberation, and choose some person to inform you of them, from whatever country or house, and whomever you prefer, and your request shall be granted; and study to gain information, that your enemy may not prevail against you". On the following day, after a deliberate consultation with other discreet men, they gave their answer to the pope as follows: "Your holiness, we have learnt by experience that the monks of our order are not so well ordered anywhere throughout the whole world, as we believe, as in England; nor is there, as we hear from report, any house so well arranged in the kingdom of England as that of St. Alban, the protomartyr of the English. We therefore ask for a certain monk of that house, named Matthew, whose wisdom and fidelity we have had experience of, to inform and instruct us; besides, he is a most particular friend to our king, who will be able by his means, if he thinks necessary, to subdue any rebels against him". As this reply pleased the pope, these monks obtained the following warrant, to be delivered to the abbat of St. Alban's.

The pope's warrant to the abbat of St. Alban's.

"Innocent, etc., etc., to his well-beloved son the abbat of St. Alban' s, of the Benedictine order in England.- Whereas, as has been stated to us on behalf of our well-beloved son

286 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1248.

the abbat of the monastery of Holm, of the Benedictine order, in the diocese of Drontheim, the said monastery has, owing to the neglect of his predecessors, fallen into disorder, as regards the matters which pertain to the monastic order, and no one can be found in those parts who is well versed in the statutes and observances of the said order, we, at the entreaty of the said abbat, earnestly beg and exhort, and by these apostolic letters order you to send to the said monastery our well-beloved son Brother Matthew, a monk of your community, who is said to be of an approved mode of life, and of tried religious habits, that he may inform and instruct the said abbat in the regular statutes and disciplines which pertain to that order; and this you will delay not to do out of your reverence to God and the Apostolic See".

The abbat of St. Alban's therefore obeyed the pope, as he justly ought; and the said monk obeying his abbat, the business went on, and was arranged prosperously, so that the abbat of Holm in Norway continued in peace and prosperity, and the monastic order, which was exposed to such peril in that country, now, by the grace of God, recovered breath, as did also some other monasteries there.

In this year, Seville, a noble city of Spain, was taken by the most Christian king of Castile, and, to the honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, was distinguished by the title of a Christian.

Of an earthquake in England.

In the same year, on the day of our Lord's Advent, which was the fourth day before Christmas, an earthquake occurred in England, by which (as was told to the writer of this work by the bishop of Bath, in whose diocese it occurred) the walls of buildings were burst asunder, the stones were torn from their places, and gaps appeared in the ruined walls. The vaulted roof which had been placed on the top of the church of Wells by the great efforts of the builder, a mass of great size and weight, was hurled from its place, doing much damage, and fell on the church, making a dreadful noise in its fall from such a height, so as to strike great terror into all who heard it. During this earthquake a remarkable occurrence happened: the tops of chimneys, parapets, and pillars were thrown from their places, but the bases and foundations of them were not at all disturbed,


although the reverse ought naturally to have happened. This earthquake was the third which had occurred within three years on this side the Alps: one in Savoy, and two in England; a circumstance unheard of since the beginning of the world, and therefore the more terrible.

The conclusion of the year.

This year passed, temperate and calm, filling the barns with abundance of corn, and making the presses flow with wine; so much so, that a measure of corn fell in price to two shillings, and a cask of choice wine was freely sold for two marks; the orchard fruit was very abundant in some places, but scanty in others; but the gourd-worms entirely destroyed everything green where the disease made its way into the shrubs. The events of the year proved hostile to the Holy Land, inimical to Italy, deadly to Germany, adverse to England, and destructive to France; and, to sum up much in a few words, consumptive of money in almost every country of Christendom: by many indications it gave tokens of the end of the world approaching, as we read, "Nation shall rise against nation, and there shall be earthquakes in places", and other similar prophecies. To the Roman court it was a source of disgrace, pestiferous, and injurious, and evidently threatening the divine anger. The temperature of winter was entirely changed to that of spring, so that neither snow or frost covered the face of the earth for two days together; trees might be seen shooting in February, and the birds singing and sporting as if it were April.

How the king asked for presents from the London citizens.

Anno Domini 1249, the thirty-third year of the reign of King Henry, he spent Christmas at London. His brother Earl Richard was at Wallingford at this solemn season, celebrating the days of the Nativity in company with a great number of nobles, his guests. The earl of Gloucester at the same time held his court with no less worldly magnificence near Gloucester, on the confines of Wales. But the king, shamelessly transgressing the bounds of royal dignity, on the day of the Circumcision exacted from each of the citizens of London, one by one, the first gifts, which the people are accustomed superstitiously to call New Year's gifts.

288 MATTHFW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

Of the magnificent celebration of St. Edward's day.

As the feast of St. Edward, which fell on the eve of the Epiphany, drew nigh, the king, by his letters, summoned a large number of nobles to celebrate that feast together with him in St. Peter's church, at Westminster; and he himself, on the eve of that feast, which was Monday, fasted on bread and water, according to his usual custom, and clad in woollen garments. Great numbers of them, therefore, assembled there, as well out of the devotion and love they felt towards the saint, as for the sake of worshipping the lately-obtained blood of Christ, and the pardon for sins to be obtained there: and also out of respect to the king, who invited them. There were now assembled there with the king and queen, Earl Richard, Roger, earl marshal, and four others, and the same number of bishops.

The return of the earl of Leicester.

Whilst the king was staying at Westminster, during Christmas, Simon, earl of Leicester, returned from Gascony, with some other nobles, knights, and retainers, who had been faithfully fighting there for the king; and their arrival delighted the king and his whole court in no slight degree: for the said earl had compelled Gaston, son of the Countess Biard, a traitor to the king of England, to come to terms of truce, even against his will. This Gaston had done much injury in that province, by plotting harm against the king; had ruined and corrupted nearly the whole country, and had fraudulently and traitorously seduced the people from their allegiance to their monarch; for he, the said Gaston, abounded in money, which he had, by deceitful promises, obtained from the king when in Gascony. His deceitful mother had connived at and agreed to the proceedings of her deceitful son, although she also had, at the same time, basely obtained an immense sum of money from the bewitched king, which was drained from England, to the subversion and impoverishment of the kingdom, as well as its nobles and prelates. The aforesaid earl, moreover, strengthened by the assistance of those faithful to the king, had taken prisoner a public robber, a traitor and most bloody enemy of the king, named William Bertram of Aigremont, who


had perpetrated many crimes in Gascony and the neighbouring countries; but he, the earl, had now consigned him to close imprisonment in the tower of Reole, until he, the earl, should, if the king's pleasure were such, return to Gascony to crush him and the other enemies of the king.

Of the heavy oppressions of the citizens of London by the king.

The king, however, did not, as he ought, give glory to God the Lord of Hosts for the victory granted to him; but began now sedulously to think how he could entirely dry up the inexhaustible well of England. For, on meeting with a just repulse from the community of nobles, as above mentioned, who stated that they would no longer lavish their property to the ruin of the kingdom, he studied, by other cunning devices, to quench the thirst of his cupidity. Immediately after the festivities of the said season, he entered upon the following plan of harassing the citizens of London: he suspended the carrying on of traffic in that city, as has been before mentioned, for a fortnight, by establishing a new fair at Westminster, to the loss and injury of many; and immediately afterwards he sent letters by his agents, containing subtle and imperious entreaties, asking them for pecuniary aid. On receipt of this message, the citizens were grieved to the heart, and said:- "Woe to us, woe to us; where is the liberty of London, which is so often bought; so often granted; so often guaranteed by writing; so often sworn to be respected? For each year almost, like slaves of the lowest condition, we are impoverished by new talliages, and injuriously harassed by fox-like arguments; nor can we discover into what whirlpool the property of which we are robbed is absorbed". At length, however, although immense sums were demanded, the citizens, although unwillingly and not without bitterness of heart, yielded their consent to a contribution of two thousand pounds, to be paid to the king at a brief period. His usual oppression, moreover, raged without any moderation; for all vendible articles, if they were not concealed, as if they were stolen goods, especially meats and drinks, were seized for the use of the king; and yet his house did not acquire any increase of hospitality therefrom; but, banishing all shame, he stinted himself more every day, with a reprehensible sparingness; the ancient

290 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

kingly hospitality was expelled from his door, and the custom of the Roman table made its way in, obscuring in no slight degree his fame and honour as a king.

How the king begged money from his nobles, one by one.

At this time, the king, as he could not bend the nobles of the kingdom to consent to his demand when united, resorted to the usual cavillings of the Romans, and either sent for, or wrote to, each of them, addressing them with shameless entreaties, saying,- "I am a poor man, and entirely destitute of money; I find it necessary that each one of you should give me effectual assistance, for I am indebted by my charters in a sum of thirty thousand marks; but I do not exact anything, except as a favour; and whoever will do me this favour, to him will I return it, when an opportunity occurs; and whoever denies me the favour, to him will I also deny any". But although he pleaded a false reason for this, which was, that he was about to make war against the king of France, as the truce was expiring, to reclaim his rights by force, he only excited the derision and sneers of the prudent. For he had been lately forbidden by Master Albert, in the name of the pope, to attack in any way whatever any territory, held under any title, by the king of France, who had assumed the cross, and was fighting in the Holy Land, for God and the Church universal. And even if he had not been forbidden to do so, it was believed that his military skill, or strength, or money, whencesoever extorted, would not have been sufficient to deprive the French king of even his smallest possessions; for it was not thought that France was entirely destitute of soldiers or money; but, in order that the message of the aforesaid master might be concealed from all, the king did not allow it to be made public in any way. It was also stated that the said Master A. had received the power of laying an interdict on England by the papal mandate, if the king should prove rebellious; but all these things were covered by the veil of mystery, that the king might cunningly impose upon the ignorant.

How the king begged money from the prelates and abbots.

Whilst the king, with open mouth, was thus eagerly gaping after pecuniary gain, he happened to go to Huntingdon, about the feast of St. Hilary; and when on his way

A.D. 1249.] THE KING'S LETTER. 291

there, he sent for the abbat of Ramsey, and secretly addressed him as follows:- "My friend, I earnestly entreat of you to assist me by giving, or at least lending me, a hundred pounds; for I am in need, and must have that sum without delay". The abbat, as he could not honourably reply otherwise, answered,- "I have sometimes given, but never lent; nor will I now"! and he immediately borrowed that sum from the Caursins, at heavy interest, that he might satisfy the wants of this beggar-king. About the same time, too, the king worried the abbat of Peterborough with similar entreaties for money, declaring that it would be greater charity to bestow pecuniary assistance on him than on any beggar at his door; but as the abbat excused himself, and did not yield to his entreaties, he was loaded with reproaches; whereupon he secretly left the king's house. At the same time, by similar arguments, he extorted sixty marks from the abbat of St. Alban's, although he had, by his cunning arguments, cheated him out of a no small sum of money, both in this year and the last. The king, therefore, seeing that no one could or would oppose him, conceived certain hopes that none of the abbats or priors would show him any resistance. And although the nobles threw obstacles in his way, he wrote to the prelates who were bent to his will, although unwillingly, as follows:-

The king's letter to the prelates of England.

"Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to all the brotherhoods of abbats and priors in the counties of Essex and Hertford, greeting.- If we, in our royal condescension, wish to try the friendship of our devoted and faithful subjects for the defence of the rights of the kingdom, or if they at fitting times frequently show their respect for their prince, under the protection of whose wings they breathe freely, by bodily service, or by the offer of gifts, it is no wonderful circumstance. Whereas, therefore, the truce between the French king and us has expired, and we, for the recovery and protection of our rights on this side of the Channel, as well as in the provinces on the continent, to which we lately sent a body of soldiers, are under the necessity of incurring great expense, and of opening the hand of liberality to many, for divers causes, we send our faithful and well-beloved subject Simon

292 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

Passlow, together with the sheriffs of the different counties, each in his own, earnestly begging you to give a favourable ear to them, and through them to us, and to listen to what they shall state to you in this matter; and in order to alleviate the burden of the aforesaid expenses, freely to assist us out of your money; thereby imposing on us a debt for which we will hereafter make due recompense".

When this reached the knowledge of prudent persons, they considered it as clear as the light, that when he was in Poitou and Germany, those people, to whom he had ill-advisedly intrusted himself, loaded with money only, and without the protection of his faithful English subjects, had caught him in their toils, seized him, and reduced him to poverty, basely extorting all that he possessed, and what he should obtain at a future time; namely, that he was irremediably bound by oath and by charter signed by him, to send to them whatever he could scrape up from England; and thus the grief and sorrow of the English day by day increased.

How the bishop of Durham resigned his see.

As the Purification of St. Mary drew near, Nicholas, bishop of Durham, finding himself old, weak, and in ill health, and choosing rather to abandon his wealth than to be abandoned by it, resigned his bishopric of Durham, having obtained license to do so from the pope. Trustees [1] were therefore appointed in the matter, namely, the archbishop of York and the bishops of London and Worcester, and three manors were assigned to him,- those of Hovedey, with its appurtenances, Stockton, and Esington. He therefore, after taking leave of his brethren at Durham, left that city and went to live at one of the said manors, in order that he might put off all worldly cares, and, being at peace, and free from the bustle of complaints and litigations, might be more at leisure to employ himself in prayer and contemplation until the change which he was awaiting should come upon him. The king, on being informed of this, was not slow to take into his own charge and possession all the remaining property of that see, that he might, hungry and greedy as he ever was, swallow down the rich pecuniary profits; and to collect this property he sent thither one of his clerks, Thomas of Newark.

[1] "Provisoribus " is the Latin term.


How a tournament was prevented by a heavy fall of snow.

About the same time, a general tournament was appointed to be held at Northampton on Ash-Wednesday; but it was prevented by the king's prohibition and his threats, and by the inclemency of the season. The knights grieved much at this, and especially the novices, as they eagerly desired to enter upon the initiatory contest in knightly discipline; and William de Valence, the king's uterine brother, who was a novice, sent word to them, that, notwithstanding the king's prohibition and frivolous suspicions, they should not fail, if a fine season smiled on them, to hold the tournament; for that he would interpose himself as a security between the king his brother and them, to prevent his venting his rage on them; and this message gave to the said William a no slight claim to knighthood, and added much to his honour. However, on that day, Ash-Wednesday, a heavy fall of snow took place, and continued for two days, to such a degree that it covered the face of the earth to the depth of a foot, broke down the heavily-loaded branches of the trees, and then melting, caused the furrows in the fields, now dilated like caverns, to fill with the rivulets which ran down them; and thus the said tournament was ruined by a double disadvantage.

How the king wished his brother Ailmar to be elected bishop of Durham.

In the mean time, that vigilant and indefatigable searcher after money, the king, laying aside all fear of God, in a manner little befitting him, although the right of election belonged to the conventual assembly of Durham, sent entreaties heaped upon entreaties to that community, by prudent and circumspect messengers, well skilled in imposition, advising, imploring, and threateningly giving orders that his uterine brother Ailmar should be unanimously elected by their community as bishop of Durham and pastor of their souls; and in order to succeed in his purpose, according to the words of the poet:-

Imperium, promissa, preces, confudit in unum.

[He mingles orders, promises, and prayers;
And thus by turns a lord and beggar he appears.]

294 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

To this request the brethren humbly replied, "Remember, your majesty, most Christian of kings, remember, if it please you, the first oath which you took when you were about to be crowned, which was, above all things, to permit the holy Church to enjoy its liberty, at least sometimes, of electing, with the Lord's favour, a fit and proper father and pastor of our souls. You know, and the world knows, that your said brother is incompetent, both as regards knowledge and age, to undertake the burden of such an arduous spiritual office". To this the king is said to have replied, "I am able, and quite willing, to hold this bishopric in my own hands for eight or nine years or more, that he may then, being of mature age, be accepted of by you".

A complaint of the robberies committed in England.

As Lent drew near, the king having come to Winchester, there came to him there two merchants of Brabant to make a complaint, who addressed him in the following words, mingled with lamentations and tears: "Most peaceful and just king, we, being merchants from Brabant, were passing through your territories, which we believed to be peaceful, to prosecute our trade, when we were attacked on our journey, undefended as we were, by some freebooters and robbers, whom we know by their faces, and whom we found at your court, who basely and robberlike took from us two hundred marks by force; and if these men presume to deny the charge, we are prepared, with God for our judge, to discover the truth by the ordeal of single combat against them". The suspected parties were therefore taken, and, after it was determined that their case should be decided by the report of the people of the country, the oath of the country released them. And what wonder is it? the country was suited to them, for the whole of it was infected with robbery. But as the aforesaid merchants still pressed their charge, and importunately demanded their money at the hands of the king, he began to be disturbed, and, summoning his advisers, said to them, "What is to be done? my bowels are disturbed at these men's tribulation". To this his counsellors replied, "Your majesty, we have heard, and we know, that a similar suspicion is entertained of all the provinces of England. For very frequently are travellers here robbed, wounded, made


prisoners, and murdered; and we wonder that your justices in eyre, whose especial duty this is, have not cleansed this country of such a disgrace. We believe, therefore, that the robbers of this country, who abound here beyond measure, have craftily entered into a conspiracy amongst themselves, that no one of them shall, on any account, accuse another; and thus their conspiracy and cunning has escaped the knowledge of you, as well as of your justiciaries and other bailiffs of yours. Henry de Mara, your justiciary, was here, with his colleagues, and did no good. Those persons, too, whom he had appointed as inquisitors, were confederates and abettors of robbers. We must, therefore, deal cautiously against such many-shaped traitors, that cunning may be deceived by cunning. For great numbers of traders, especially those from the continent, pass to and fro here, on account of the adjacent port, as also on account of its being the royal city, and for the sake of the market. These men, who have been robbed, also declare, that if the money, for which they are prepared to prove the truth by single combat, is not restored to them, they will forcibly reclaim it by seizing all property belonging to the merchants of your kingdom in their country, to the loss of your said merchants, and to your own disgrace; and the duke of Brabant, whose friendship we desire, will, and not without good cause, treat you with disdain". The king, therefore, summoned the bailiffs and free-men of that country, that is to say of the district of Southampton, and with a scowling look said to them: "What is this I hear of you? the complaint of despoiled persons has reached me; it is necessary for me to listen to them. There is no county or district throughout the whole extent of England so infamous as this, or polluted by so many crimes; even when I am present in the city or the suburbs of it, or in neighbouring places, robberies and murders are committed. Nor are these crimes sufficient; but even my own wines are exposed to robbery and pillage, and are carried off in stolen carts by these malefactors, who laugh and get drunk on them. How can such proceedings be any longer tolerated? To eradicate these and similar crimes, I have appointed wise persons to join me in ruling and guarding the kingdom. I am only one man, and do not wish, nor am I able, to support the burden of managing the whole kingdom without the aid of

296 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249,

coadjutors. I am ashamed and wearied of the foul stench of this city and the adjacent districts; I was born in this city, and never was so much disgrace brought on me anywhere as here. It is probable, and I must believe,- nay, it is now quite clear,- that you, the citizens and inhabitants of the province, are infamous accomplices and confederates. I shall convoke all the counties of England, that they may try you as traitors to me, and may detect your crimes; nor will the arguments of cunning profit you any longer". This took place in the hall of the castle of Winchester, in the presence of W., bishop of that city. The king then suddenly exclaimed in a loud voice, "Shut the gates of the castle, shut them immediately". The bishop then rose and said: "Stay, my lord, stay a little, hear me patiently, if it please you: there are in this castle some strangers, good men and of pure fame, and friends to you, whom it does not become you to shut in; you accuse the citizens of Winchester only and their abettors". Then, continuing his speech, the bishop turned his face to the multitude, and said: "I am your pastor and spiritual father, having power over your souls in spiritual matters, and, in a great measure, in temporal ones. I excommunicate all conspirators in this infamous crime, and also those who, out of favour, through fear, or for the sake of reward, shall, when asked, in any way conceal the truth concerning this matter". There were therefore elected twelve persons from amongst the citizens of Winchester, and from the county of Southampton, who were sworn to give the names of any thieves whom they knew; and these men, being removed to a private place, held a long discussion, but were closely guarded. After a long deliberation, they were again summoned, but would not mention any of the names of the thieves, which greatly displeased the king, for he was well aware that they knew something of the plans of the robbers; and, as it were infuriated with anger, he said: "Seize these deceitful traitors, chain them, and throw them into the lowest dungeon, for they refuse to speak, and conceal what they ought to make known; they are doubtless excommunicated by their bishop; see how they give these men their favour and countenance; select me twelve others of the citizens of Winchester, and from the county of


Southampton, who will not be opposed to truth, to discover to me the truth in the matters on which I shall question them". Twelve others were accordingly sent for, who, when they found that the former twelve were imprisoned and condemned to be hung because they suppressed the truth, began to feel great alarm, and said to one another: "We also shall suffer a similar punishment if we suppress anything of the truth when asked". After a long and secret consultation held amongst them, they came forth into the middle of the assembly, and, giving loose to their tongues, they disclosed the thefts and other crimes of many persons, of whom a great many belonged to the neighbouring districts, especially to Alton and the liberty of the bishop at Tanton. On this, some of the citizens and many of the inhabitants of the district, who were formerly considered good and liege men, who abounded in rich possessions, and some whom the king had deputed, as guardians and bailiffs, to protect that part of the country, and to apprehend or drive away robbers; others who possessed horses and rich clothes, who had houses and families, and rejoiced in the possession of fifty or eighty librates of land, and some even who were superintendents of the king's household, and crossbow-men in his service, were made prisoners, and, being proved guilty, were hung. Some, however, took refuge in the churches, and others suddenly and secretly took to flight, and never again made their appearance. Some persons belonging to the city itself, who were then present, attending as king's yeomen to keep back the people, who were assembled on account of the novelty of this proceeding, and were much crowded together, cunningly mixed with the people, and, suddenly leaving the castle, either kept themselves out of sight, or flew to the nearest churches. When those who were taken were more closely questioned, they confessed that they had committed unheardof crimes, both robberies and murders, with the connivance and assistance, and by the advice of others. Of those accused and clearly proved guilty, about thirty were taken and hung, and the same number, or more, were imprisoned, awaiting a like punishment. Those who had belonged to the king's household, when about to be hung, said to the officers who had charged them: "Tell our lord the king that he is our death and the chief cause of it, by having so long.

298 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

withheld the pay which was due to us when we were in need; we were therefore obliged to turn thieves and freebooters, or to sell our horses, arms, or clothes, which we could not possibly do without". At receipt of which message, the king was touched with shame and grief, and gave vent to his sorrow in protracted sighs. Amongst the other detestable thieves who were taken, was one who made an appeal,- this was one William, surnamed Pope, a man abounding in household goods, so much so, that, on examining his house after he was taken, there were found about fifteen casks full of wine in his cellar: this man made an appeal, but, being found guilty, was immediately hung. One man had done the king good service in battle, and had freed the country from six thieves. Thus, therefore, were these malefactors, who had disgracefully polluted that part of the country, driven away from it, by the merciful dispensation of God, the Lord of Vengeance. However, Winchester, Southampton, and the whole of that county, incurred an indelible stain of infamy and opprobrium from these occurrences. I have described these events fully and diffusely, that it may be clear to all how weak is any confederacy, and how easily dissolved is any conspiracy amongst evil-doers, for they travel in a circle, and in time of necessity cause confusion amongst themselves, that the punishment in the end may be the more severe.

Of the serious defamation of the emperor.

About the same time, the name of Frederick became so notorious in different parts of the world, that he was worse than Herod, Judas, or Nero. For the deadly stench exhaling from his deeds, as mentioned in the following letter, provoked the ears and hearts of Christians, and filled them with astonishment and grief.

An invective letter of Cardinal Reimer against the emperor Frederick.

"Great crime, nefarious presumption, bestial cruelty, unheard-of wickedness, and execrable baseness, have been practised in these days, showing a dreadful spectacle to God, his angels, and to men; at which the sun ought to grow pale, and its rays to be concealed by the clouds, the stars be shrouded in darkness, and, as it were, closed with a seal, the earth to tremble, the sea to swell with anger, the ears of


those who hear of it to ring, the hearts of the faithful to be disturbed, the intestines of Christians to quake, and the hearts of all kings, princes, knights, and all faithful ones who profess Christianity to be aroused to vengeance. Behold how the preacher of the devil, the vicar of Satan, the forerunner of Antichrist, the deviser and agent of all cruelties, has raved, and assailed the anointed of the Lord, and the high pontiffs who are anointed with the holy chrism. When the holy Marcellinus, bishop of Arezzo, perceived that the caldron of persecution, violently heated by the blasts of the north wind, was fiercely boiling up against him in his own city, he yielded to the current of its fury, and lived in exile and poverty for many years, at Ancona, a most devout daughter of the Apostolic See. At length, on receipt of an apostolic precept, he laboured diligently to rescue the marshpeople from the jaws of the poisonous dragon, from the toils of the demons who were pursuing them, and from the yoke of tyranny; in which labour he, by God's grace, seemed to have made some little progress. It happened, however, God so permitting, that he fell into the hands of his enemies, and was sorely oppressed in prison and chains for three months, or more, by the satellites of Pharaoh. At length, that man of blood, Frederick, who goes about as a raging dragon, and 'like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour', wet with the blood of the innocent, and intoxicated with the gore of holy men, exulted much at hearing of this, and, with the feelings of a wild beast, aspired at the destruction of this priest of God. This impious, profane chief, doubtless feeling, like his father the devil, great anger against God's Church, as he knew that he had but a short time, immediately broke out into fury, and with rapid speech thundered forth the sentence of hanging and throat-cutting against this anointed one of the Lord, at the city of Victoria, founded by him; which title ought to be enrolled amongst those of the faithful. This, by an astonishing miracle, took place on the third day before the triumphant destruction of him and of that city. For this Victoria, contrary to the designs of this raging chief, who gave it that name, gave previous indication by its name that it would yield from itself the exultation of victory to the cause of the Church. Again, the hellish Cyclops and satellites of Vulcan, having received

300 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

from their chief an order to do so, urged the bishop publicly to excommunicate the pope, the cardinals, and other prelates of the Church, before all the people, and to swear fealty to the perfidious Frederick, promising him impunity and much wealth for so doing. But he, strengthened by the spirit of the Lord, boldly asserted that he had often excommunicated the said Frederick, the son and pupil of Satan, and his followers, and then also repeated the same sentence of anathema against him. When this priest was being led to martyrdom, he, for the first time, strengthened himself by the tears of repentance, and all the sacraments. And when, thinking that he was about to be plunged into the abyss, he learned from the bystanders that he was to be dragged through the town to die on the gibbet, he commenced chanting, in a loud voice, 'We praise thee, O Lord', and the Hymn of the Angels. Then he wished to be dragged to the gibbet, like Christ to the cross; but owing to the women and children weeping round him, he was not allowed to be stripped entirely. The Saracens, moreover, bound his holy hands and feet and covered his eyes, and his head was placed near the tail of the animal which dragged him, that any dung proceeding from the animal might defile his holy head. But again, that brute animal, though goaded with spurs, could not be made to move, until this champion of the Lord had finished the psalm and prayer he had begun, and leave was given him to proceed by the bishop himself. And thus these Saracens dragged him to the gallows, through the castle of St. Plamiano, as though he were an ignoble plebeian, the refuse of the vile, or a perfidious parricide, an assassin, a manstealer, or a nocturnal ravager of the fields. Amongst other things, he did indeed confess to Christ, and to the Minorite brethren who stood around, that the promptings of human frailty urged him, if he could do so, to escape the martyrdom which he had desired when he was at liberty; and he himself continued openly to confess this and some other trifles which occurred to his memory; and dismissing from his heart all feelings of offence against those who injured him, he patiently endured all the harm they were doing to him. He was hung on a gibbet on the first Sunday of this present Lent, and near about the same hour as our Redeemer ascended the cross. Guards having been stationed


near, he remained for three days suspended on the gallows, till the Minorites at length stole his body; the executioners, however, extracted it from the tomb, and, after dragging it through the mud, again suspended it, not to be again removed without the special permission of the new Pilate, to the greater opprobrium of Christianity, the contumely of the clergy, the lasting disgrace of the order of the priesthood, and the ruin of pontifical honour. The body of the martyr, although previously rotten from the insulting punishments it was exposed to previous to burial, is now distinguished by miracles, as the religious brothers testify who come from the place, and they positively assert that, although ten years have now elapsed, it does not emit any foul smell. The same statement is made by wise men with respect to Master Hugelin Remoccio, a worthy man, who, by a false step of his horse, was thrown to the ground, taken prisoner in battle, stripped by his impious enemies, and cruelly slain. Listen, ye Christian people, and see if there is any grief like that of the Church your mother, or, indeed, your own. For who has ever heard or seen any such proceeding, or any like it? What faithful servant of Christ, on reflecting on these things, can contain his tears, or check his groans and sighs? Can there be any hearts so hard as not to grieve and be sorrowful, when struck with the hammer of such great cruelty? Will not the stony hearts of some Christians be crushed, and their adamantine breasts not be cloven, and moved to compassion? Where is the zeal of Christian faith? where is the fire of the love of Christ, who is now suspended in the person of his minister and high priest? As he said to Peter, 'Go to Rome, to be again crucified'; and to Saul, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me'? and again, in the Gospel, concerning his disciples, he says, 'Whoever rejects you, rejects me; and whoever touches you, touches the pupil of my eye'. This wicked wretch, therefore, to add to his mass of wickedness, and to rebuke the hardness of our heart, which was scarcely excited at such horrid crimes, did not hesitate frequently to repeat similar offences, affirming, because his iniquities were so frequently committed without retaliation, that charity had grown entirely cold amongst Christians, that the bowels of affection had become dry in all of them, and that all zeal

302 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

for the faith had died away. For in about two years he caused the bishop of Girace, in Calabria, to be drowned in a bath that was made too hot; and in this year, too, in the city, at the Lateran, he caused the bishop of Cephaledi, in Sicily, of cherished memory, who had been expelled from his see by this said impious man for fifteen years, to be put to death by the sword, at the hands of a Sicilian bravo; which prelate's venerable hoary locks, after a long sojourn in the cabin of poverty, under the chilling air of exile, were already sinking of themselves into the grave. The aforesaid bravo had not only been sent for this purpose, but also, if he could, to lay his bloody hands on any one of the great pillars of the Church. Nor is it to be wondered at, if he put to death the less distinguished prelates, when he formerly brought over hired murderers and assassins to slay the supreme vicar of Christ, and some brothers of his, and as he has already made similar attempts on some princes. Alas! how has the fear of God gone to sleep in Christian princes, and how entirely lukewarm has the love of the Saviour become. Some time ago, in the time of the Gentiles, if any demon who gave replies in idolatrous countries was denied worship by any one, that person was torn to pieces and killed by many tortures; and now faith is despised, heretics begin to prevail, and are protected by this impious man. Heresies are preached in the dominions of this wicked wretch, apostates increase there, the enemies of the Lord are protected, the sacraments and keys of the Church are despised, ecclesiastical liberty is trampled upon, and no care is taken of souls. Some time since, when the Christian army, which was intent on the capture of Babylon, was cut off from retreat by the overflowing waters, was it not, by the kindness of the sultan, supplied with provisions, preserved in safety, and sent back home without injury? and with that army were the bishops of Albano and Acre, of illustrious memory, some other bishops and prelates, and John de Brienne, king of Jerusalem, of illustrious memory. Was not John de Colonna, of illustrious memory, the cardinal priest who had gone to Greece with the emperor of Constantinople to recover possession of that country, and was made prisoner by Theodore Comnenus, was not he, I say, respectfully treated, and set at liberty? See how the madness of this most cruel


enemy, not content with these evil deeds, has caused the churches to be profaned by Saracens, the altars to be overthrown, the sacred relics to be dispersed, and Christian virgins, widows, and married women to be violated in the holy places. Moreover, by his order, the Minorite brethren, and other religions men, who were travelling about amongst the Christian troops, to assign penances, and to bury the bodies of the slain, were slain by the swords of his impious followers. Besides this, that the anger of the Lord might kindle more fiercely against this wicked man, the Saracens lately, at Harnia, in the sight of the multitude, dragged about at the ass's tail, the images of the Crucified One, the blessed Mary, and other saints. They afterwards cut off the legs and arms of the image of Christ, and fitted it and other images to their shields, that the Christians might be obliged in battle to pierce them with their spears and arrows. Why, then, did the crusaders, paying no heed to these insane acts, plough the rivers with their arms, or cross the sea to attack the Saracens or Tartars, who vent their fury at a distance, when their cruelty is considered much less than these proceedings of his? This villany of the Saracens should be first exterminated, together with their leaders and abettors; and afterwards let them proceed to others; as the cause is at home, which is sought for abroad; and now the pagan persecution is carried on in the very bowels of the Church, in the cloisters of the Christians, and within the bounds of Christianity. It seems expedient that the perpetrators of such great crimes should be first expelled from Italy, lest the serpent should be cherished in the bosom, the mouse in the sack, and fire in the womb, and they should then proceed to farther extremities. For the Lord has not chosen his people with regard to place, but rather the reverse, as appears from St. Peter and the other apostles leaving Jerusalem and passing to the nations. Consider, therefore, if there is any one of understanding, if there is any one who grieves for his death, if there is any one who looks into the injuries done to his ministers, that the Lord looks down from heaven and sees the sons of men. Let each Christian consider, too, that at the last judgment he will have to answer to the Lord, if he passes by such crimes. Prosecute, therefore, the cause of the Son of the Most High God, that you may

304 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

bring your own to a good result. Protect his spouse by the right hand of your power, that at the judgment-day the just Judge may place you at his right hand, to be introduced to eternal glory".

How the vices of the Roman court induced many to adhere to the cause of the emperor Frederick.

This dreadful letter, on coming to the knowledge of the public, pierced the hearts of many, and would have encouraged them to take part against Frederick, had it not been that the papal enemies of his were polluted by the stains of avarice, simony, usury, and other vices. Amongst other acts of madness, they shamelessly harassed the crusaders, urging them under penalty of excommunication at one time to send assistance to the Holy Land, at another, to the empire of Romania, and at another, hinting to them that they should rise against the emperor Frederick. And, what was considered more detestable, making the Preachers and Minorites their tax-collectors, they, on some pretext or other, extorted the necessary supplies for the journey from those who had assumed the cross. Wherefore, although the tyrant Frederick committed disgraceful crimes, yet, to the disgrace of the Romans, he found a great many open as well as secret abettors and companions in crime.

Of the disagreement between the citizens and clerks of Cambridge.

About the same time, too, namely in Lent, from a slight cause, a disagreement broke out between the burgesses and scholars of Cambridge, from which ensued lawsuits and battles, despoilings and destruction of houses, wounds and murders. The cry of heavy complaints reached the ear of the king, scandal was spread abroad, and the losses suffered on both sides caused no slight suffering. I think it also worth mentioning, that by the instigation of the enemy of the human race, according to the custom in Lent, a bloody discord was excited between the scholars and laymen, as well on the continent as on this side of the water, as is frequently mentioned before in this book, in order that persons might be injured at this holy time.

How the emperor escaped death from poison.

In this same year, Frederick, harassed on all sides by


various causes, came over to this side the mountains to attack the pope, but returned into Apulia again, having, as report stated, been poisoned; and being seriously ill, by the advice of his physicians, he had recourse to medicine, to purge himself from the poison, and took a bath especially prepared for the purpose. Master Peter de Vinea, who was the most familiar counsellor of the said Frederick, and had the especial care of his soul, had a certain physician with him, who, by order of Frederick as well as the said Peter, went to make the necessary preparations for his cure with treacherous intentions; for, at the instigation of the said Peter, he mixed a strong and deadly poison with his medicinal draught and in the bath, in order to kill their confiding lord by these means. The enemies of the Church said that the pope had, by presents and large promises, corrupted the heart of Peter, and induced him to perpetrate this crime. At the very time, however, that the draught was about to be taken, Frederick was secretly forewarned of the intended crime, and fully informed of all particulars by one of his friends; wherefore, when the physician and Peter showed him the medicine, he said to them,- "My friends, my soul confides in you; take care, I entreat you, not to give me, who thus trust to you, poison, instead of medicine". Peter replied,- "My lord, this my physician has often given you wholesome and beneficial medicine; why, therefore, do you now fear"? Frederick, having placed a guard behind the traitors, that they might not escape, then, with a scowling look, said to the physician, who was offering him the cup, "Drink half this medicine with me". The physician was astounded at this, and being conscious of his wickedness, and, pretending that something had made his feet stumble, he fell flat on the ground, and spilt the greater part of the poison; the little which remained Frederick ordered to be given to some condemned persons taken from the prison, and they immediately breathed forth their wretched spirits. Being thus convinced of the deadly treachery planned against him, Frederick ordered the physician to be hung, and having deprived Peter of his eyes, he caused him to be led through several of the cities of Apulia and Italy, to confess his crime publicly to all, and finally ordered him to be given to the Pisans, who felt an inexorable

306 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

hatred against the said Peter, to be put to death. When Peter heard of this order, he violently struck his head against the pillar to which he was bound, and dashed his brains out, in order that he might not be put to death at the will of his enemies; for, as Seneca says, "To die at the will of an enemy, is to die twice".

Of the grief of Frederick.

Frederick, on reflecting on this circumstance, grieved inconsolably and with abundance of tears, which is a pitiable sight in a person of such authority and such an age, and clasping his hands together, exclaimed, "Woe is me, for my own bowels fight against me; this Peter, whom I believed to be a rock, and who was the half of my life, laid a plot for my death. The pope, whom the empire in the time of my noble predecessors created from nothing and enriched, is endeavouring to destroy it, and aims at the death of me, the ruler of the tottering empire. In whom shall I place confidence? where can I henceforth be safe, where happy"? His friends who sat round him joined in his grief, with sighs and tears. By this occurrence the pope's fame was much deteriorated; but God, that infallible examiner of secrets, alone knows the truth.

How the provisions in Cyprus were privily sent away whilst the French were wintering there.

About the same time, the French king, who was passing the winter in Cyprus, and suffered much from want of provisions, sent the count of Bar, a discreet and eloquent man, and the lord of Beaujeu, a bold knight, to the Venetians, and the inhabitants of the other neighbouring islands and cities, earnestly begging them charitably to assist him by selling provisions to him, as he was fighting for the Church universal. To this request the Venetians gave a favourable answer, and freely sent six large ships laden with corn, wine, and other kinds of provisions, and also a reinforcement of troops, and numbers who had assumed the cross. Some other cities and islands, too, from whom he had asked assistance, sent him various supplies, Frederick not only allowing this, but even kindly persuading them to it. He himself, that he might not show himself inferior to others, sent him a large supply of difierent kinds of food, by which the


French king obtained an abundance, and, after returning thanks to him, wrote to the pope, begging him to receive Frederick into his favour, and no longer to make war on, or defame such a great friend and benefactor of the Church, by whom the whole Christian army was released from imminent peril of famine. When Blanche, the French king's noble mother, heard of this, she returned thanks to Frederick, and loaded him with invaluable presents, declaring that he had preserved the life of her son and the honour of the whole Christian army; she also wrote to the pope, entreating him to mitigate the rancour he had conceived against the said Frederick. His holiness, however, rejected all these entreaties, and harassed Frederick more and more every day, but everywhere got the worst of the matter.

How the French king pacified many who were at variance amongst themselves.

The French king, in the mean time, taking wise and holy counsel, pacified many nobles who were at variance, in Cyprus, as well as in other countries of Christendom, and amongst others the Templars and Hospitallers, in order that he might leave no grounds of offence behind him, and might proceed with greater security on his journey.

Frederick's son Henry writes to the French king on behalf of the king of England.

About this time (at the instigation, it is believed, of the king of England), Henry, the son of Frederick and the empress Isabella, and nephew of the said monarch, with many entreaties, and by the intervention of special messengers loaded with presents, begged the French king, for the salvation of his soul, and on account of his pilgrimage, to act piously and justly towards his uncle, the king of England, and to give up the possessions which belonged to him by right of his grandfather, lest the sin of the French king Louis should, by God's anger, be transferred to his innocent son. Frederick himself, also, is said to have sent messages of entreaty to the French king in the same matter, but not pressingly, lest it might appear that he had sold his gifts. To these entreaties the French king replied: "By the holy cross which I bear, I would willingly do so if my council would permit it; for I sincerely love the king of England, as

308 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

though he were a relation of my own; but it would be a serious matter for me during my pilgrimage, to disturb the whole community of my kingdom by opposing the counsels of my mother and my nobles, however dear to me the intercessors may be".

The arrival of the archbishop of Rouen in England.

In the same year, about Easter, the archbishop of Rouen, who was a brother of the Minorite order, and a Frenchman by birth, came to England, having obtained the king's permission, to regain possession of certain revenues pertaining to the rights of his church; and after having effected his purpose, he did homage to the king for them (for they were in England), and then returned home. About the same time, too, the bishop of Tortosa, whose bishopric was in Syria, an Englishman by birth, and a brother of the Preacher order, came into England for the sake of visiting his native soil, and his parents if they were living. This prelate was born near Reading, of humble parents; but as he could not find any traces of his paternal home, or his parents, who had yielded to age and poverty, he returned home sorrowful and inglorious.

This bishop stated, as a certain fact, to the conventual assembly of Reading (where, on the anniversary of the Finding of the Holy Cross he performed high mass), that the relics of the Chorosmins in the Holy Land, by the interposition of God's vengeance, had slaughtered one another, the sultan of Babylon stirring up the war amongst them. But the more distinguished Saracen princes, who had been wearing themselves away by wars amongst themselves, owing to the pride of the said sultan, had, on being informed of the hostile approach of the French king against them, made peace and united in an alliance. This said sultan, also, who was the chief, or one of the chief, of the eastern Saracen princes, sent word to the said king that they were all eagerly awaiting his arrival, that they might engage in a general pitched battle; that they did not at all fear his attacks, with other ironical and haughty messages.

Of the assembling of the nobles at London.

At the close of Easter, the nobles of England, as had been previously agreed between them, assembled at London,


that the king might then fulfil what he had often promised; namely, to appoint a chancellor, justiciary, and treasurer, on their recommendation. But just as they thought that they were certainly going to obtain all they required, the absence of Earl Richard, who appeared to be chief of them all, entirely prevented all progress in the business; for he had gone to a distant part of Cornwall some time previously, as if on business. Thus deceived again, the nobles returned to their homes.

How the Preacher and Minorite brethren became the toll-gatherers of the pope.

About the same time, by command of the pope, whom they obeyed implicitly, the Preacher and Minorite brethren diligently employed themselves in preaching; and to increase the devotion of the Christians, they went with great solemnity to the places where their preaching was previously indicated, and granted many days of indulgence to those who came to hear them. They were met by priests and clerks, in white robes, bearing crosses and other symbols, and bringing with them large crowds of people, as is usually the case in Rogation-week. Preaching on behalf of the cross, they bestowed that symbol on people of every age, sex, and rank, whatever their property or worth, and even on sick men and women, and those who were deprived of strength by sickness or old age; and on the next day, or even directly afterwards, receiving it back from them, they absolved them from their vow of pilgrimage, for whatever sum they could obtain for the favour. What seemed unsuitable and absurd was, that not many days afterwards, Earl Richard collected all this money in his treasury, by the agency of Master Bernard, an Italian clerk, who gathered in the fruit; whereby no slight scandal arose in the Church of God, and amongst the people in general, and the devotion of the faithful evidently cooled.

Death of the archbishop of Mentz.

About the same time, also, died the archbishop of Mentz, a great enemy to Frederick; but, in order that the latter might not have cause to rejoice in his death, the pope delivered that archbishopric to the charge, rule, and disposal of the archbishop of Cologne, because he had boldly fought for the Church against Frederick and his son Conrad. He

310 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

afterwards also gave into the hands of the same archbishop a most noble abbey, called Wolsa, than which, it is said, there was none richer or more noble in the world. This abbey was obliged, from times of old, to supply a thousand soldiers to each new emperor, after he was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle. The said archbishop of Cologne now so impoverished these noble churches, draining all their property for the pay of his soldiers, that the monks and clerks were dispersed, and the few priests who remained there had scarcely sufficient to support themselves. Whatever was valuable in gold, silver, jewels, and costly garments, and the rich revenues, he scraped away and carried off; but what end came to this system of robbery, the following narrative will show. Moreover, this martial and war-waging archbishop obtained from the pope a privilege to extort immense sums of money throughout the whole archbishopric, to carry on the war, and even from the poor of it, whose complaining cry is believed to have reached heaven.

How Ensius, Frederick's son, laid an ambuscade for the Parmans.

About the same time, too, the Parmans, for whose comfort and support in opposing Frederick the pope had sent a large sum of money and a body of troops, sent two hundred knights to defend a certain castle near their city, for the protection of which they had built it; but Ensius, king of Sardinia, Frederick's son, being privately forewarned of the circumstance, laid an ambuscade, and seized them unawares. When he was about to hang them in sight of the city, the inhabitants sent him word, that if he hung them, they, the citizens, would immediately retaliate by consigning to the gallows all of the army of Frederick whom they then held prisoners; Ensius therefore spared his captives, and kept them for a time for ransom or exchange. When this circumstance reached the pope's ears, he was inconsolably grieved that his money, which he had sent to the citizens, had been of no effect.

Unusual deluges of rain.

At the commencement of the month of June, such a deluge of rain fell in the parts about Abingdon, that willows and other trees, and the adjacent houses, and even


sheep-cots and the sheep in them, saltpits and mills, and a chapel built near that town, were carried away by the swelling of the rivers and torrents. The green corn, with its shooting ears then in blossom, was levelled to the ground; owing to which the bread appeared to be made of bran instead of wheat.

Of the second translation of the body of St. Edmund, the archbishop and confessor.

In this year, too, the venerable body of St. Edmund, late archbishop of Canterbury, was again translated, still uncorrupted, at Pontignac, in a coffin most elegantly made of gold and silver, with jewels let in, and fitted with glass joints. And on the same day on which it was taken from the earth, which was the 9th of June, and the feast of the saints Primus and Felicianus, the body was reverently placed, still entire and uncorrupt, owing to God's preservation of it, in the same tomb, in the presence of a great multitude of the prelates and nobles.

How many of the English nobles assumed the cross, and set out to Jerusalem.

About the same time, a great many of the nobles of England, amongst whom were William Longuespee, Robert de Vere, his standard-bearer, and many other nobles, who were reckoned to amount to the number of two hundred knights altogether, prepared to set out on their journey to Jerusalem. William, therefore, who was the leader of all the crusaders from the kingdom of England, having obtained the permission and blessing of his noble mother, the holy abbess of Lacock, without any further delay, set out in the month of July, and joined the French army safe and sound. The most Christian king of the French received him and his companions with respect, and enrolled him amongst his especial friends, thanking him for having come to his assistance. He also most earnestly entreated his followers not to allow the usual French pride and envy to excite disagreements between them and the English, as he heard had happened in the time of the English king Richard. But by the machinations of the devil, who has been accustomed from times of old to envy the successes of men, when the French afterwards saw that the English were pre-eminent, and acquired much

312 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

property and fame, they became jealous, and insulted them, breaking out in their accustomed irony, intermingled with sneers and blasphemy, fulfilling the words of the prophet,

Omnisque potestas
Impatiens consortis erit.
[No ruler brooks a partner in his power.]

And in the same manner, also, it may be said,

Omnisque superbus
Impatiens consortis erit.
[No proud man brooks a partner.]

What was more, their pride excited mutual hatred and envy amongst themselves; by which their lord was much hindered in his progress, as will hereafter be fully stated.

How the Gascons were subdued by the earl of Leicester.

About the same time, Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, either changing or putting off his design of pilgrimage (for he had assumed the cross), set sail to subdue the king's enemies in Gascony. He arrived in that province in great force, attended by a large body of troops, and supplied with a good sum of the royal money, and at once proceeded to attack the king's enemies, who had traitorously raised the heel against him. He subdued Gaston, Rustein, William de Solaires, and all the more distinguished nobles of Bordeaux, and behaved with such bravery and fidelity that he deservedly obtained the praise and favour of all the king's friends, and was said to take after his father in all respects.

Capture of the before-mentioned Ensius by the Bolognese.

In the month of May in this year, as Frederick's natural son Ensius, king of Sardinia, was on an expedition through the neighbouring provinces of Bologna, for the purpose of doing injury to his enemies, in company with some Cremonese and people from Reggio, the Bolognese, having been forewarned of his approach, laid an ambuscade, and made a sudden attack on him, as he was proceedmg carelessly on his march, at the bridge of St. Ambrose, which is half-way between Bologna and Cremona. A fierce conflict ensued, attended with no slight slaughter, and the party of Ensius was defeated, he himself being taken prisoner, with the


principal persons of his retinue, to the number of about two hundred knights, and a great many of the Cremonese and inhabitants of Reggio, and a host of common soldiers, who were all carried off to Bologna to be imprisoned. Being exposed to the will of their enemies, and cruelly and inhumanly treated, the prisoners, in order to obtain milder treatment, and procure some slight relaxation of the rigour of imprisonment, paid to the Bolognese the sum of eighteen thousand pounds of imperial money, which is worth as much as sterling money.

Another son of Frederick dies, and he himself is taken ill.

About the same time, another natural son of Frederick died in Apulia, and he himself was seized with a disease called the "lupus", or holy fire; and, thus overwhelmed by so many misfortunes, he grieved inconsolably, and, becoming humble, according to the words of David,- "Fill their faces with shame, and they will seek thy name, O Lord", he offered honourable terms of peace to the pope. The latter, however, rejoicing in his infirmities, would not accept his offers; in consequence of which he incurred the anger and ill-will of many nobles, who now began to console Frederick and adhere to his cause, detesting the pride of the servant of the servants of God.

How Peter Caboche was sent as legate into Apulia.

About the same time, too, Peter Caboche, a clerk and influential friend of the pope's, was sent by him as a legate into Apulia, and armed with great power to remit sins, in order that he might crush Frederick and his friends. This man, then, with increased strength, which he had gained in all quarters, by giving money and granting full indulgence from sins, did much injury to Frederick, and recalled many nobles from their allegiance to him.

How the Cistercian monks held schools of the universities.

About the same time, too, the Cistercian monks, that they might no longer be held in contempt by the Preacher and Minorite brethren, and secular learned men, especially lawyers and decretalists, obtained a new privilege. For this purpose, they erected noble buildings for themselves at Paris and elsewhere, where schools flourished, in order to hold schools for the study of theology, decretals, and laws,

314 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

that they might not appear inferior to others; for, the world having now become more elate with pride, despised the religion of the cloisters, and aimed at the despoiling of religious men of their property; and thus, owing to the wickedness of the world, the rigour of the monastic order was in a measure enervated; for we do not read that this emanated from the rule of St. Benedict, who, as witness St. Gregory, is said to have existed in the spirit of all the saints; what is more, we read and sing of him that he abandoned literary studies, and determined to seek the desert.

The enthronization of Boniface, archbishop of Canterhury.

On the day of All Saints, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, was enthroned with great honour and pomp, in the presence of the king and queen, and almost all the prelates of England, who had been convoked for this great solemnity. As the king was hastening thither, with his attendants, John Mansel, his special councillor, was taken seriously ill at Maidstone, being, as was stated, infected with poison, from the effects of which he suffered for two days, and was with difficulty snatched from the gates of death by the diligent care of the physicians.

Of an uncertain report which was spread.

About this time, rumours became frequent, we do not know whether they were true, although eloquent letters were sent to the king on the matter, of the conversion of the king of the Tartars. These letters above mentioned, the careful reader may find in the book of Additamenta.

The return of the bishop of Norwich from the Roman court.

About this time, Walter, bishop of Norwich, returned from the Roman court, having, as was reported, obtained an infamous privilege to extort money from his bishopric.

The reported capture of Damietta.

About Michaelmas, and afterwards, the most joyful reports gained ground throughout the countries of the West, and the first person who brought them to England was Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, who arrived on the feast of St. Matthew: these were, that the most Christian king of the French, having landed on the coast in great strength, had repulsed and conquered the Saracens, and taken Damietta;


and that we might be more firmly convinced of this fact, the king of England received a letter, which may be found in the book of Additamenta.

The assembling of the brethren of the Black order.

About the same time, on the feast of St. Calixtus, the abbats of the Black order, or their proctors, assembled at Bermondsey, where, by God's inspiration, a reformation, the particulars of which will be found in the book of Additamenta, was agreed on by common consent. One thing, however, worthy of note, and which is not contained amongst those statutes, I think ought not to be passed by, which was, that the king, although he made no allowance to them for so doing, obtained from all of them that, at the mass which is daily chanted an their churches in honour of the Blessed Virgin, the collect commencing, "O God, in whose hands are the hearts of kings", should be read on behalf of him and the queen daily.

Of a stone which bore the footmarks of a man.

About this time, too, the Preacher brethren brought to England a stone of white marble, which had been in the Holy Land since the time of Christ, and which bore the impression of our Saviour's foot on it, which, as if it were made of soft wax, plainly showed the form of half a human foot. This impression or shape, the inhabitants of the Holy Land declare to have been the footmark of Christ, when about to ascend to heaven, after taking leave of his disciples, that by this sign might be perpetuated to his disciples the memory of him whom they there looked upon for the last time on earth, and whom they would not see again till he should come to judge the world. In the same way, also, Christ is said to have made the impression of his face, which he is reported to have done for St. Veronica, that his memory might be cherished on earth. The king presented this noble gift to the church of Westminster, as he had lately done the blood of Christ.

Of certain supernatural births.

About the same time, there was found in the Isle of Wight, a small boy, named John, who was not a dwarf, inasmuch as his limbs were of just proportions, but although eight years old, did not increase in size at all, being scarcely

316 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

three feet high; and the queen, to excite the astonishment of beholders, ordered him to be taken about with her as a natural prodigy.

About the same time, too, in the territory of the earl of Hereford, on the confines of Wales, a male child was born, begotten by a demon, as was reported, and, within half a year, was entirely supplied with teeth, and grew to the height of a young man about seventeen years old; his mother, after giving birth to him, was seized with illness, pined away, and died. Both of these children were prodigies of nature, the one exceeding the natural size of a human being, and the other not attaining to it.

Of a jousting match held at Brackley.

About this time, a jousting-match was held at Brackley, at which many of the knightly community of England, who are used to be called Bachelors, were injured. Richard, earl of Gloucester, who had always made it a practice to oppose the foreigners, and to espouse the cause of the natives of England, at this tournament joined these foreigners, to the great injury of his cause and honour; for by his so doing, the party of the English suffered a defeat, and in the conflict, William de Valence, the king's brother, with the assistance of the said earl, overcame and badly injured William de Odingesseles, a bold knight belonging to the Bachelors' community.

The consecration of Walter of Kirkham, as bishop of Durham.

On the first Sunday in Advent, Walter de Kirkham, bishop elect of Durham, was consecrated at York by Walter, archbishop of that city, whose suffragan bishop he was.

Of the dispute between the abbat of Westminster and his convent.

About the same time, a dissension arose between the abbat of Westminster and the brethren of his convent, which brought scandal and disgrace on the whole of the Black order, the cause and particulars of which are fully related in the book of Additamenta. By the intervention, however, of the king, who had a special regard for that convent, a peace and concord of some kind or other was re-established between them.


Of another dispute, which occurred between the dbhat of Peterborough and his convent.

To increase the aforesaid cause of scandal, a dissension broke out at this same time between William, abbat of Peterborough, and his conventual brethren; for although called to account concerning his expenditure of money in the enrichment of his relations, by an immoderate number of whom he was surrounded, which caused enormous loss to his church, he did not amend his fault; and the brethren, grieved at this, applied to the bishop of Lincoln, who was always ready and willing to punish those who strayed from the right path, and laid before him a heavy complaint of their abbat's excesses. The latter being proved guilty of the charge, and seeing that his deposition was imminent, resigned, as if of his own free will, his office and dignity of abbat, into the hands of the bishop; whereupon a portion of that abbacy, comprising one manor, was assigned to him, although he did not deserve it, that he might live honestly and honourably, like a hermit, in repentance; but the king's agents were immediately sent thither by him, who, bent on gain, and gaping after the revenues of the abbacy, set themselves to work to pillage and ruin that house. The king, moreover, was highly enraged, and wished for an opportunity of acting against that house, because he had been told that the monks persecuted their abbat, and blamed him, because he was favourable and liberal to him, the king.

The election of John of Caen as abbat of Peterborough.

The brethren, then, in order to avert the anger of the king, who was confiscating all their property, at his wish and command, elected, willingly or unwillingly, as their abbat, John of Caen, prior of the church of St. Swithin, at Winchester (although he belonged to another order, and was a foreigner by birth, being a Norman).

How Robert Passlow abandoned the court.

On the Thursday before the feast of St. Lucia, Robert Passlow (of whom much mention has been previously made in this volume), in detestation of the fickle changes of the court, flew to reap the fruits of a better life, and was promoted to the rank of the priesthood; in consequence of which, the

318 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

bishop of Ely gave him the rich church of Derham, which, had belonged to Jeremiah, a lately-deceased clerk of the king's. The king, however, pursued with inexorable hatred both the bishop the giver, and Robert the receiver, because the bishop did not voluntarily bestow that church on Ailmar, the king's brother.

Earl Roger Bigod orders the count of Guisne to be taken.

In this same year, the count of Guisne being on his way through England to go to the king, Earl Roger Bigod, hearing of the fact, ordered him to be made prisoner, and the count, on becoming aware of this order, made a severe complaint about it to the king. Earl Roger was therefore summoned, and, in reply to the charge, said publicly to the king: "My lord, when I was sent to the council of Lyons as a messenger from you and the whole kingdom, and was peaceably travelling through the territory of the count de Guisne, having incurred much expense, I felt assured that I should receive from him some honour and consolation, out of his respect for you, and in return for the many kindnesses often done to him by us; far differently, however, did he act; for, to my loss and disgrace, or rather yours, he forcibly stopped the progress of my horses and followers, until he had extorted a toll (I know not for what or on what grounds), as much as his agents chose to demand, nor did he spare me, out of civility or respect to you. When, therefore, the count came to this side of the Channel, and was passing through my territory, I, with justice, retaliated on him; for I hold my territory from you, my lord king, as freely as he does his from the French king, and I am an earl as well as he; and whence does he derive his right to practise this system of robbery, namely, of selling the roads and the air to travellers"? The count de Guisne, on hearing this, was silent for shame, and could not reply with any reason to the charges. When the said count's proceedings came to the knowledge of the pious French king (they happened a little while after the council), he gave a yearly allowance to the said count, that he might not incur any loss, and ordered the aforesaid toll, as disgraceful as it was injurious, to be abandoned.

The dedication of the church of Beaulieu.

In this year, the abbat of Beaulieu, with great solemnity,


dedicated his church in the presence of King Henry (whose father, King John, had founded and built the same), and of Earl Richard, his brother, and many other nobles and prelates. On this solemnity, he expended five hundred marks and more; but the king did not, on that account, spare him, but compelled the said abbat to pay him a very heavy fine, for an offence he was reported to have committed against him, in respect of his occupation of the forest land. The aforesaid abbat, moreover, to the great loss of his church, sent twenty picked monks and thirteen brothers, to inhabit the new house of the Cistercian order, which Earl Richard had lately founded near Wychecombe, to fulfil a vow which he had made when at sea.

Reports of the conversion of the king of the Tartars.

About the same time, the most gratifying reports became frequent; namely, that the most potent king of the Tartars, influenced by the diligent preaching and persuasions of Peter, an Indian monk of the Black order (of whom much mention has been previously made in the letters about the Tartars), was converted to Christianity and baptized, on account of the purity, honesty, and perfect holiness which are preached and taught in it. The said king also sent consolatory messages to the French king, who was staying at Damietta, encouraging and persuading him vigorously to carry on the war against the Saracens, and to purify the whole land of the East from their impurities; and he also promised effectual and speedy assistance, as a faithful Catholic and baptized novice of Christ. The letter concerning all these matters, which, translated from the Arabic into Latin and French, was sent to the French king, is fully given in the book of Additamenta. The French king was delighted at this addition to the Christian faith, and sent him a valuable chaplet of his own, and some cherished relics, and also sent some of the Preachers and Minorites to obtain fuller information on the matter. At the same time, also, some other false reports, invented to comfort the Christians, and perhaps to animate the Crusaders to set sail and join the French king, flew through the kingdoms on this side the sea. The chief disseminator of these reports was the bishop of Marseilles and some illustrious Templars; and as they

320 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

were committed to writing under their seals, they were more credited; but when the truth of the matter was known, people were more deeply wounded by them. However, there appeared to be truth in them, so far that the Saracens and their chiefs, after the capture of Damietta, were stupified, and offered to give up to the Christians whatever territory had ever belonged to them, and more in addition, provided that they would restore to them uninjured the city of Damietta and the territories they had now taken; but the pride of the count of Artois did not allow of this, nor would he agree to any of the terms offered by the humiliated Saracens, unless the Christians were allowed to retain peaceable possession of Damietta, and to take Alexandria besides; and to these heavy conditions the Saracens would by no means consent; wherefore we believe that the Lord was offended; for the Christians crossed the sea for no other purpose than to gain possession of Christ's inheritance. The Saracens, conversing amongst themselves, said: "Wait awhile, wait; this pride and avarice, which are especially hateful to Jesus Christ their God, will destroy them all"; and so it turned out, as the following history will fully show.

Of the lamentable death of the king of Scotland.

On the 3rd of July in this year, died Alexander, king of Scotland, a wise and modest man, who, after reigning justly, happily, and in peace for many years, towards the latter part of his life, instigated by avarice, was reported to have wandered from the path of justice. Seeking some opportunity of venting his fury, he conceived violent anger against one of the higher nobles of his kingdom, named Owen of Argyle, a bold and accomplished knight; and as he designed to disinherit him, he accused him of treachery, in that, during the year last past, he had done homage to the king of Norway, for the tenure of an island belonging to that king, which the father of the said Owen had held from the same king, and had peaceably enjoyed possession of for many years, on condition of doing such homage; which island was situated between the Orkneys and Scotland. Owen, therefore, in alarm at the threats of the Scotch king, his lord, signified to him that he would render the full service which he owed, both to the king of Scots as well as to

A.D. 1249.] OF VARIOUS DEATHS. 321

the king of Norway; and when the Scotch king replied in anger, that "no man could serve two masters", he received for answer from the said Owen, that any one could properly serve two lords, when the lords themselves were not hostile to one another. On this the king of Scotland raised an army for the purpose of attacking him, but Owen, fearing to offend him, entreated that he might be allowed time to resign his homage and the aforesaid island to the king of Norway. This being refused him, the wanton cruelty of the king of Scots became apparent, whereby he incurred the anger of God and St. Columkil, who lies buried and is held in honour in those parts, and of many nobles. The king then defied the said Owen, and pursued him by sea as far as Argyle, stimulated, it is said, by urgent importunities of a certain indiscreet bishop of Strathune, a brother of the order of Preachers; but, on leaving his ship, before he could mount his horse, as if by a visitation of divine vengeance, he was seized with a sudden and mortal disease, and whilst thus wishing to disinherit an innocent man, he breathed forth the breath of life and his ambition together,

Death of Hugh Brun, earl of March.

In the same year, after the French king had landed at Damietta, Hugh Brun, earl of March, was released from all worldly troubles. This noble was deservedly but little lamented, because he plotted treachery in Poitou against his son-in-law, the king of England, who trusted in him, inasmuch as, after sending for him thither, he fraudulently sold him to the French king. However, it is to be charitably hoped that he expiated that and all his other crimes on this his pilgrimage.

Death of the count of St. Giles, or, of Toulouse.

In this year, as the summer was drawing to a close, the cause of the pope declined, and became weakened in no slight degree, and the good fortune it had experienced at the commencement of the contest with Frederick began to change. Moreover, William of Holland, who during the pope's life had been raised to the dignity of king of Germany, having been defeated by Frederick's son Conrad, had taken to flight and concealed himself. Raymond, count of St. Giles or Toulouse, a courageous and circumspect knight, and a great

322 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1249.

friend of the pope, was taken seriously ill, and in great danger, and sent back to the pope the money intrusted to him by his holiness for the purpose of making war on the enemies of the Church, and especially the count of Savoy; for he declared that he was oppressed by a heavy and deadly disease, that he was expecting death, and that there only remained to him the tomb. He therefore nobly made his will, and ordered his body to be buried in the house of the nuns at St. Evraud, at the feet of King Richard, whose relation he was; and, with his body, he bequeathed five thousand pounds of silver to that house.

The death of Peter de Geneure.

In the same year, also, died Peter de Geneure, a Provencal by birth, and, although of humble origin, a great friend of the king's, who proved the same by his deeds, for he had given to the said Peter the noble Lady Matilda, the handsome daughter of William de Lacy, together with all her inheritance, and the honours contingent to her, in Ireland; and by this lady he had a son and daughter.

The death of Master Simon the Norman.

In this year, too, died Master Simon the Norman, formerly the king's chief adviser, and the master and keeper of the royal seal; who, although he had been proud, yet at last he incurred the king's anger for the honourable course he followed. For when the king wished to give a charter to Thomas, count of Flanders, which was contrary to the dignity of his crown, and tended to the enormous injury of the kingdom of England, the said Simon refused to sign it on any account. In this he was faithful, and deserved praise, and by this deed all his other acts of violence were rendered excusable.

The death of William of Durham.

In the same year, also, there died at Rouen, on his return from the Roman court, Master William of Durham, a man much distinguished by his learning, and abounding in many revenues, although he eagerly craved more. He had been rector of the noble church of Wearmouth, situated near the sea; and immediately on his death the king so effectually managed matters that that church was given to his brother Ailmar, without any inquiry being made in the matter.


This Ailmar, on account of the abundance of his revenues, especially in the northern parts of England, appointed Martin De Sainte-Croix to be his seneschal, a clerk and a prudent man.

The death of Roger Fitz-John.

In the same year, about Whitsuntide, died one of the noble barons of the north of England, named Roger Fitz-John, who left a little son as his heir, the charge of whom the king gave to William de Valence, his brother, although the mother wished to purchase the guardianship of the child for twelve hundred marks. The mother's name was Ada de Baliol, and the child had received the name of N.

Of the deaths of several of the French nobles.

Whilst the French king had been passing the winter in Cyprus, there departed to the Lord several illustrious French crusaders, to enumerate whom would be tedious and impertinent to the history of the English: many also died on the journey, both by land and sea. Amongst them there died, on board ship, near Cyprus, the noble bishop of Noyon, the count Palatine, and one of the twelve peers of France. There also died on the journey, at Avignon, Hugh de Chatelion, count of St. Paul and Blois, who was killed by a stone hurled from a mangonelle, at Avignon, in the contest which the king was engaged in with the citizens of that place, before he set sail; a sad presage of the prosecution of the crusade; for there was not in the whole French army a more noble man, or one more powerful in battle. He had in his retinue fifty chosen knights as his standard-bearers in battle, but when he died, all of them were dispersed and left desolate. This Count Hugh had built a handsome ship at Inverness, in the county of Murray, and in the kingdom of Scotland, in which he might be able to cross the sea with the Bolognese and Flemings, and those commonly called men of Avalterre; but all these preparations were cut short before completion, as a weaver cuts his web. There also died at Cyprus, John de Dreux, a young man most brave in war, the flower of all his family, and of most noble extraction, as a fatal and mournful prognostic of the future. Besides these, other nobles, of both sexes, died, who were taken ill owing to the change of food and air, which nature generally dreads,

324 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

and flew like martyrs to the celestial kingdoms. We have thought proper to make mention of them in this book, because they ended their lives happily for the advancement of the cause of the Church universal, and in the service of the cross.

How the king kept Christmas at Winchester.

Anno Domini 1250, the thirty-third year of the reign of King Henry the Third, he spent Christmas at Winchester, where, according to custom, he celebrated the festivities of that season with great solemnity. On the day after, he breakfasted with William, the bishop of that city, whom he now generally became the guest of, wishing to give him pleasure by the honour of his presence. He afterwards hastened to London, where he consummated the feast of St. Edward with due solemnity, having summoned thither Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, who performed mass there; seven bishops, and a great many nobles of the kingdom.

The countess of Cornwall gives birth to a son.

About the same time, in the Christmas week, Cynthia, countess of Cornwall, the wife of Earl Richard, presented him with a son, at Birkhampstead, to baptize whom the earl sent for Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, the child's uncle. The infant received the name of Edmund, in honour of St. Edmund the Confessor, formerly archbishop of Canterbury.

The death of the king's councillor Jeremiah.

Within the same Christmas week, also died Jeremiah Caxton, a clerk, and especial councillor of the king's. His rich church was at once given by the bishop of Ely, to Robert Passlow, in hopes that he would, after a long fruitless life, become a holy priest.

Of the heavy fine imposed on Walter de Clifford.

About the same time, too, Walter de Clifford, who was one not of the least importance amongst the barons of the Welsh borders, either in power, wealth, or liberties, was accused before the king, of having, in contempt of the said king, violently and improperly treated his messenger, who bore his royal letters, and of having forced him to eat the same, with the seal. Walter, being proved guilty of this before the king, did not dare to stand trial, but threw himself on


the king's mercy, whereby he, although with difficulty, escaped death or disinheritance, but lost his liberty and all the money he possessed or could procure, amounting to about a thousand marks, and was then allowed to return home without being imprisoned, on the bail of some especial securities.

The re-establishment of peace between the abbat of Westminster and his convent.

At the same festival, the king diligently employed all the means in his power to effect the re-establishment of peace between the abbat of Westminster and the conventual assembly of the same place; for the scandal caused by this discord was wafted abroad, and had infected the whole religious community, indeed the whole country; and the king had been told that he had exposed himself to trouble and expense to no purpose in the rebuilding of the church of Westminster - that is, in the carving and putting together of the stones - if the persons belonging to the church, namely, the shepherd and his flock, the abbat and his conventual brethren, who are usually the living stones in such a noble building, were so irregularly at variance. Thus, by the intervention of the king, who had a regard for that church, peace was re-established amongst them.

How the bishop of Lincoln cited the religious men of his diocese.

About the same time, too, that indefatigable persecutor of religious men, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, cited all the religious men of his diocese to assemble at Leicester, on St. Hilary's day, there to hear a mandate from the pope; for he, the bishop, with his utmost endeavours, aspired to recall into his own power, which would be injurious to many people, the churches and revenues of the religious men throughout his diocese (to the holding of which the said religious men had not the consent of the chapter, nor had they any documents giving evident proof in the matter); and to obtain this end, he had, at the expense of a large sum of money, sent Master Leonard, his clerk, a frequent messenger to Rome, to the Roman court. This court, as I have said before, was like a gulf, and had the power and made a custom of swallowing up the revenues of all persons, indeed, almost all the property which bishops and abbats possessed. The letters

326 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

containing this privilege of the bishop may be found in the book of Additamenta.

How many of the English nobles crossed the sea.

About the same time, many of the nobles of the kingdom set sail from England; but the reason of their doing so was not made known to any of the people. Amongst them were Earl Richard, the earl of Gloucester, Henry Hastings, a baron, Roger de Thurkby, and many others: of the prelates, the bishops of Lincoln, London, and Worcester, and with them the archdeacons of Oxford and Bedford, and many other clerks, from the diocese of Lincoln. Earl Richard travelled through the kingdom of France, accompanied by the countess his wife, and his eldest son Henry, and a numerous suite, and attended by a large retinue, in great pomp, consisting of forty knights, equipped in new accoutrements, all alike, and mounted on beautiful horses, bearing new harness, glittering with gold, and with five waggons and fifty sumpter-horses; so that he presented a wonderful and honourable show to the sight of the astonished French beholders. He was met on his arrival by the honourable Lady Blanche, with the highest respect, who expressed her joy at seeing him, and offered him handsome presents, as one relative to another, or rather as mother would do to a particularly-beloved son.

The bishop of Lincoln goes to the Roman court.

The cause of the bishop of Lincoln's crossing the sea was clear to all; for, although an old man, he perseveringly endeavoured to bend to a strict obedience to his will the religious men whom he had summoned, as before mentioned, to hear the pope's mandate, and who had appealed to the Apostolic See against his unheard-of oppressions. The exempt abbats, as well as Templars and Hospitallers, had all appealed, and many others, who afterwards, by the agency of money, wisely purchased peace for themselves from the pope, according to the words of the heathen poet,

Judicis auxilium sub iniqua lege rogato.
[The judge's aid is sought when laws are harsh.]

When this became known to the bishop, after his great expenditure of money and useless trouble, he went to the pope


in sorrow and confusion, and thus addressed him; "My lord and holy father, I blush at being defeated in my purpose, for the effecting of which I confidently relied on your letters and promises, and now I am deceived in my expectations, for those whom I believed I had subdued have gone away free, to my disgrace and confusion". To this the pope is said to have replied, with a scowling look, "Brother, what is it to you? you have freed your soul; we have done them a favour. Is thine eye evil because I am good"? The bishop, then, with a sigh to himself, "Oh money, money, how much power you have, especially at the Roman court"; but being overheard by the pope, his holiness was exasperated, and replied, "Oh ye English, most wretched of men are you. Each one of you gnaws his neighbour, and endeavours to impoverish his fellow. How many religious men, who were subject to you, like sheep, your native countrymen, and your domestics, whilst intent on prayer and showing hospitality, have you laboured to depress, in order to satisfy your tyranny and cupidity out of their property, and to enrich others, perhaps foreigners". Thus baffled, the bishop went away amidst the insulting cries of all present, and that he might not appear to have effected nothing, he proceeded with some other business.

How many of the nobles of England sold their farms.

In this year, Roger de Monthaut, one of the higher rank of nobles in the kingdom of England, assumed the cross, and let the share which he held in the woods and other revenues at Coventry to the prior and convent of that place on fee-farm, for a large sum of money, in order to provide himself with travelling necessaries; he also alienated much of his other property, and a great quantity he sold entirely; as also did other nobles, both on the continent and on this side the Channel. Besides this said Roger, a great number of the English nobility, prelates as well as knights, assumed the cross about this same time, for the purpose of promoting the cause of the cross, and following and assisting the French king; amongst these were the bishops of Worcester and Hereford, the earls of Leicester and Hereford, Geoffrey de Luci, Robert de Quincy, and many others, too numerous to mention. Great numbers, too, who, through fear of the

328 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

wiles of the Roman court, refused to receive the sign of the cross publicly, or to wear it on their shoulders, secretly and firmly determined and vowed to assist the Holy Land with all their devotion and strength.

Of the sufferings of the Parmans.

About the same time, the power of Frederick increased so much that, after having expelled William of Holland and Peter Cabouche, his ambassador, many nobles submitted to him, and tendered him their allegiance. The Parmans and Reggians, too, as well as the Bolognese and other rebels, were so closely pressed by him, that they did not dare to show themselves far from their city, through fear of falling into his toils; wherefore the merchants of those citizens, who usually abounded in wealth, owing to the hinderance to their markets, the blockading of the ports, and the stoppage of the roads, were now in a state of want, and began to wish for peace with Frederick, and to detest this papal war; many, too, were urged to this by the constant patience and humiliation of Frederick, and the satisfaction which he was said to have offered with due devotion to the pope; for he desired, and humbly asked permission, to make war on the enemies of Christ, and to fight for the Church in the Holy Land, for the remainder of his life, at least until he could, by force of arms, restore to the Christians whatever possessions had belonged to them at any time, on condition that his son Henry, the nephew of the king of England, whom he loved above all his other children, should be allowed to rule the empire after him. He, moreover, offered to restore much of the Church's property, of which it had been deprived, and to recompense it for its losses. To these offers, however, the pope obstinately persisted in the reply, that he would on no account so easily restore to his former condition him whom the general council of Lyons had deposed and condemned. By some it was positively affirmed, that the pope eagerly desired, above all things, to overthrow Frederick, whom he called the great dragon, in order that, he being trampled under-foot and crushed, he might more easily trample down the French and English kings, and the other kings of Christendom (all of whom he called "petty princes", and "the little serpents"), who would be


frightened by the case of the said Frederick, and might despoil them and their prelates of their property at his pleasure. These speeches, together with the enormous deeds which bore powerful evidence to the meaning of his words, generated offence in the hearts of many, and strengthened the justice of Frederick's, so that his cause began to improve daily.

Calculation of the wealth of B., archbishop of Canterbury.

About this same time, the bishops of the province of Canterbury met at Oxford, to reckon whether the money collected throughout their bishoprics for the use of the archbishop of Canterbury amounted to the sum allowed to him. This they knew from the collectors appointed in each of the dioceses; but the archbishop appointed many more, in order that all expenses might be reckoned to his benefit. The bishops, therefore, although unwillingly, granted what he demanded, as they saw that the pope was favourable to him in everything.

How the king asked pardon of the London citizens for his former proceedings.

On the Sunday next preceding the feast of St. Perpetua and Felicitas, by order of the king, all the citizens of London, with their families, even to the boy of twelve years old, assembled before him at Westminster, in the great palace, which is called the great hall, and such was their number, that the hall, as well as the palace, was filled to crowding by the assembled multitude. When they were all assembled, the king humbly, and as if with rising tears, entreated that each and all of the citizens would with mouth and heart forgive him for his anger, malevolence, and rancour towards them; for he confessed openly, that he often, and his agents oftener, had done them manifold injury, by unjustly taking from them and retaining possession of their property, and by often violating their liberties, for which he now begged them to grant him their pardon. The citizens, therefore, seeing that it was not expedient for them to act otherwise, assented to his request; but no restitution of the property taken from them was made to them.

The king and many of the nobles assume the cross.

On the same day the king received the cross at the hands

330 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

of Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, and the same archbishop afterwards bestowed that holy symbol on some of the nobles; amongst whom were Fitz-Nicholas, the king's seneschal; William de Valence, his uterine brother; Pointz Pepper, a special councillor of his; and many other nobles and courtiers. The abbat of St. Edmund's, whose name was Edmund too, to the derision of all, setting a pernicious example to the monks, and to the injury of the holy order, violated every vow, and also assmned the cross; also John Maunsel and Philip Lovel, the king's clerks and councillors, and many others too numerous to mention. Some evil interpreters of this presumed to assert that the king assumed the cross for no other purpose than that he might on that account forcibly extort money from the nobles who had formerly refused it to him at his request, under the pretext of acquiring possession of the Holy Land and promoting the crusade; but discreet and more reasonable persons reserved their opinion on these matters to be proved by his subsequent proceedings. For it is the proper duty of a good mind to put the best construction on doubtful matters till the contrary is proved; and who, except God, knows the thoughts of mortals? The grounds for this doubt were supplied by the pernicious example of the French king, who had scraped from his kingdom an immense sum of money, little however to his profit at the hands of an avenging God, in order to prosecute his pilgrimage; but what the fruits were which he gathered from that proceeding, the following narrative will show.

Of the unanimous determination of the Crusaders.

On the 27th April in this year, the chief men amongst the Crusaders of England met at Bermondsey, in London, to make arrangements for setting out on their expedition, as they declared that they would not fail to do so on the king's account. Indeed, they considered that it was unworthy of them to neglect the salvation of their souls, and to put off their duty to the heavenly king for the service of any earthly king; and they therefore appointed the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist as the time for setting out. There were reckoned to have been there assembled five hundred knights with their followers, besides a countless multitude of


dependants, and the people connected with them; for all of the kingdom of England, and many of France, who had made their preparations before the king of England took the cross, were expecting this glorious movement. But the king, who like a vigilant spy had gained foreknowledge of these proceedings, by presents of money and promises of more, immediately obtained letters from the Roman court, by authority of which he might delay their departure at his pleasure, till he, as being the chief leader in his own country, could proceed in great force to the countries beyond sea, that he might proceed there more becomingly and safely. To this the Crusaders replied, that it would be proper and safe for those who had assumed the cross before the king did so, who had supplied themselves with horses, arms, and travelling necessaries by pledging their land, sold much of their property, and taken leave of their friends, to set out on their journey first, and proceed in advance of him, and that they would thus meet with a more abundant supply of provisions; and the foreigners, seeing this, would say, "If so many people of such high rank come in advance of the noble king of England, how many are we to fancy will accompany and follow him when he himself comes"? and thus respect for the king would increase amongst his neighbours, and fear of him amongst his enemies. The threatening letters of the pope, however, and the imperious entreaties of the king changed all their purposes, and they remained. Although this proceeding was not praiseworthy at the time, yet on this occasion it afterwards turned out fortunate for them; but because they did not, as they had eagerly desired, go to the assistance of the French king at an opportune time, the cause of the crusade, from one cause and another, languished and was unhappily ruined.

How the Gascons who had rebelled against their lord were subdued by the earl of Leicester.

In the same year, Gascony was so far tamed by Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, that Gaston de Biard, the most powerful of the king's enemies, or one of the most powerful, was taken prisoner and humbled, and, at the orders of the earl, he went to England, to his offended king, who was then staying at Clarendon, humbly to beg pardon for his life,

332 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

limb, and tenement; and there, throwing himself entirely on the king's mercy, not his judgment, he met with clemency from him, although he did not deserve it: for kingly anger is conquered, and he is diverted from his vengeance when he sees that he has conquered his enemies; according to these words of Ovid,-

Corpora magnanimo satis est stravisse leoni;
Pugna suum finem, quum jacet hostis, habet.

[His victim slain, the lion is content;
The battle then is o'er, and all his rage is spent.]

Through the said earl, therefore, the king took into his own possession certain castles belonging to the said Gaston and his accomplices; amongst which were those of Fronsac and Aigremont, and many others. After his humiliation, although only feigned, by the intercession of the queen, whose relation he made himself out to be, Gaston was received into such favour with the king that he was restored to the possession of his territory, although bound by the most strict conditions. The said earl, studying to take after his noble father in all respects, and to follow in his footsteps or to go beyond them, so checked the insolence of the king's rebellious subjects at Bordeaux, and throughout the whole of Gascony, that he put to flight, disinherited, and condemned to banishment William de Solaires, Rustein, and other proud men who were raising the heel against the king; and many too he consigned to the gallows.

How the Gascons had extorted by force a large sum of money from the king of England.

Be it known that, when the king was in Gascony, and thought to depart free, the Gascons, and especially the people of Bordeaux, seeing that he was in a critical position, before they would allow him to depart, extorted from him a grant of forty thousand marks, for the fulfilment of which they also forced from him his pledged word, his oath, and also a charter. Afterwards, immediately on his arrival in England, the king screwed this money out of the prelates; and thus impoverished England even after he had lost Poitou; and therefore, as he hated the Gascons, he sold his treasure that he might be extricated.


Of the sally made by the French against the Saracens.

On the Monday before Ash-Wednesday, the French army suddenly sallied forth in great force from the castles of Damietta, and, rushing on the Saracens who were besieging them, slew great numbers of them, and, after obtaining a victory, returned with their spoil, safe and rejoicing, to the city. On the following day they hoped to gain similar good fortune in battle, but as the numbers of the enemy had increased, they got the worst of the battle and lost ten times as much as the spoil they had rejoiced in on their return to the city the day before; and returned covered with blood, wounded, and maimed, and with their numbers diminished. From that time the Saracens began to exult in their hearts and to carry their heads high before the Christians, blocking up all the roads through the country in all directions; and the sultan being now in better hopes, collected galleys from Alexandria and the other places on the coast, whencesoever he could procure them, and ordered a diligent watch to be kept over the seas, the coasts, and all places from whence relief was open to the French, and used more than ordinary care to prevent provisions being brought to them.

Of the terms of peace offered by the sultan.

At length counsel having been taken, and conference held on both sides, the sultan sent word to the French king that, to settle all disputes, it would be wise for him to resign the city of Damietta with its supplies, which are commonly called "garnitures", and that the whole country of Jerusalem with the Christian slaves should be amicably restored to him, and he said that he, the king, ought not to aspire to anything more than the restoration of the Holy Land to the Christians. To this plan then many of the Christians, namely, those of the middle ranks and the lower classes, who were in need, and even some of the nobles, gave their consent, declaring that, if these terms of peace, humble as they were, were not agreed to, the pride of the nobles would injure the whole army. The king, on learning this, would have been inclined to this advice, had he not been obstinately opposed by the pride of the count of Artois, who still demanded Alexandria besides; but the sultan would not on any

334 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

account give up that city to the Christians (as it was a most noble city, and the resort of all the eastern and southern merchants), nor, as he stated, would the Alexandrians or Egyptians suffer it.

How great numbers of the French died by famine and the sword.

The condition of the French, who were besieged on all sides, now began to deteriorate in no slight degree, for they,- who were usually clean and delicate in their food and drink,- were now obliged to eat impure and hateful food; nor could Frederick, or any Christian prince from the neighbouring countries, assist them. To sum up briefly, they were so much pressed for provisions, that, in Lent, they were obliged to eat even their valuable horses, which were very necessary to them: and this was a pitiable sight. And, what was worse, a schism and hatred sprung up between the nobles and plebeians, because the former had obstinately refused the reasonable terms of peace which had been offered. Moreover, the Saracen princes, detesting the frowardness of the Christians, became more firmly allied, and pressed them more closely than before; hence, many of the Christians in this time of affliction secretly left the castles and the city, and joined the crowds of Saracens on mild conditions, and effectively opposed our people; for the Saracens exultingly received them, and supplied them, as they were failing from hunger, with sufficient daily allowances of food. Nevertheless great numbers of these Christian deserters, out of the tolerance of the Saracens, continued in their own faith and law, but some apostatized and adhered to their filthinesses, confirming it by doing homage to them; and these were abundantly enriched, provided with wives and castles, and were raised to many honours; and these men did mortal injury to the Christians, inasmuch as they revealed their secret designs to their enemies.

How many of the French became apostates.

The manifold want of the Christians having become fully known to the sultan by means of these apostates, he ironically sent word to the French king, asking him why he had brought in his vessels to the countries of the East, spades, pitchforks, carts, ploughs, and other implements of tillage which he did not know how to use, as they would be destroyed by rust?


and stating that, if he, the French king, would become his friend, he would easily find plenty of support for his army whilst it stayed there, in the way of corn, wine, oil, and meat. The king, however, although not without deep grief, withstood all the temptations of his enemies, and prudently concealed the wound of his heart under a calm countenance.

The death of the sultan.

Soon afterwards the said sultan died, poisoned, as was said, by his own chamberlains, because he was become hateful to his own people and all the chiefs, his neighbours; for he was proud, avaricious, and unjust to all. At hearing of this circumstance the Christians rejoiced much, although they ought rather to have grieved; because many of the Saracens only pretended to adhere to him, whilst they annoyed him in their concealed hatred. Soon afterwards, another sultan was appointed in his place who possessed the good-will of almost all the people of the East; this man vigorously, and even more fiercely than his predecessor, carried on the war against the Christians, and absolutely refused to grant the terms of peace which had been previously offered, and which almost all the Christians had desired and asked. From that time, the condition of the Christians began to deteriorate in no slight degree, and their fame to become of small repute in the eyes of all the people of the East.

How the faith of many wavered.

Many, therefore, who were not firmly established in the faith, now began to yield to despair, and give vent to blasphemies, as well as to pine away from hunger, and, sad to say, the faith of many began to waver; for they said to one another, "Why has Christ abandoned us who have hitherto fought for and with him? Often are we now in our time defeated and put to confusion, and our enemies, indeed the enemies of Christ, triumph and glory in our blood, and the spoil taken from us. In the first place, when surrounded by the overflowing of the Nile, at Damietta, we were compelled to give up that city, which had been gained at the cost of so much blood. Again, near Antioch, the renowned knights of the Temple were defeated and dispersed, with the loss of their standard-bearer, who was decapitated. Again, a few years back, we were conquered by the Saracens at

336 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Gazara, after having been once redeemed by the Englishman Earl Richard. Afterwards, almost the whole Christian community in the Holy Land were cut to pieces by the Chorosmins, who polluted and destroyed all the places which are called holy. And now, what is worse than all, our most Christian king, who was miracidously raised from the dead, is exposed to ignominious peril, together with all the nobility of France, and the Lord has become as it were an enemy to us; and he who is usually called the Lord of Hosts is now, alas! despised by his enemies, as having been so many times defeated. What does our devotion profit us? what advantage do we gain from the prayers of religious men, and the almsgiving of our friends? Is the law of Mahomet better than that of Christ? And thus the words of raving resounded from the tottering faith, and Lent seemed a time of punishment more than of repentance.

Of the deteriorated condition of the Church's liberty.

In the same year it happened that the bishop of Lincoln deprived a certain clerk in his diocese, named Ralph, of his benefice, because he was accused of incontinence, and as he refused, although condemned, to give up the same, excommunicated him. As the clerk had now lain under sentence of excommunication for more than forty days, the bishop sent word to the sheriff of Rutland, in whose jurisdiction the said clerk dwelt, to take him prisoner and detain him as being contumacious; but the sheriff, who was a great friend of the said Ralph, either delayed or refused to do so; for he was no friend to the bishop, as Seneca says, "He who delays for a long time, refuses for a long time". The bishop, therefore, seeing the concealed hatred of the sheriff, solemnly excommunicated him also, on which the sheriff, in anger and shame, went to the king and laid a heavy complaint before him in the matter. When he and his courtiers heard this, they were all much excited, and the king replied in anger, and with a great oath, "If any of my people had rendered themselves liable to forfeiture to this bishop, or to any one else, he ought to have made his complaint to us; but, as it seems, he holds me in contempt". He therefore sent special messengers to the Roman court, where, by the agency of money, he quickly obtained the privilege contained in the following letter, to the prejudice of ecclesiastical liberty.


The pope's letter.

"Innocent the Fourth, bishop, etc., to his beloved son the abbat of Westminster at London, greeting.- We have freely assented to the wish of our well-beloved son in Christ, his highness the illustrious king of England, to show ourselves favourable to him in the matter which he with justice requires of us. Whereas, therefore, as has been stated to us on his behalf, some pontiffs and other prelates, to the prejudice and injury of him, the said king, compel the bailiffs of his kingdom to plead their causes before them, at their pleasure, in matters which belong to the royal jurisdiction, and pronounce sentences of excommunication against them unless they do so, we, inclining to his entreaties, by authority of these our letters, have thought proper strictly to forbid any archbishop, bishop, or other prelate of that kingdom, to compel his bailiffs to try their causes before them in matters which belong to the royal jurisdiction, or on that account to pronounce such sentences against them. Wherefore, by these apostolic letters, we order you, in your discretion, not to allow the aforesaid king to be improperly annoyed by any of your community in these matters, in opposition to the purport of our prohibition. Evil doers, etc., etc. Given at Lyons, this ninth of March, in the seventh year of our pontificate".

The king did this, not without incurring the blame of prudent men, because he had complained to the pope in the matter.

The return of Earl Richard.

On the Monday next before Rogation week, Earl Richard arrived from the Roman court, and, on coming to London, was received with all honour and respect, in order that no less honour might be shown to him here than on the continent. For the Lady Blanche had paid him all the respect in her power, and had opened the bosom of all France to him, and it was made known to all by the said earl's account, and that of his followers, how many and what great honours had been conferred on him by the pope on his arrival at Lyons. For on his approach to that city he had been met by almost all the cardinals and clerks of the Roman court, so that only one cardinal and a few clerks remained with the pope. And, what with his own followers and those who

338 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

came to meet him, there was such a press and assemblage of men and horses, and the number of his pompously-equipped retinue and his sumpter-horses was so great, that the citizens, as well as all who had come to the court to transact business, were astonished at the arrival of such a great prince. On his entering the house, the pope rose from his seat, and, going to meet him, saluted him, and, with respectful joy, received him in his embrace; then, assuming a calm countenance, he asked him to breakfast with him on that day. This the earl willingly agreed to, and was placed at table at the pope's side, Richard, earl of Gloucester, being seated at no great distance; they then partook of the banquet agreeably and courteously, and indulged in eating and drinking, intermingled with friendly conversation, after the custom of the French and English. Afterwards they held many secret and lengthened conferences between them; and all who witnessed these proceedings wondered at them, and especially at the great and unusual hospitality of the pope. At the end of April, after having paid his devotions to St. Edmund the Confessor at Pontignac, he joyfully returned, as above mentioned, to England.

Of the various opinions entertained about the pope's conference with Earl Richard.

There now arose divers opinions and conjectures as to what this familiar and lengthened conference tended to, many asserting that the pope wished him, the earl, to assist in checking the insolence of the Greeks, and promoting their recall to the Roman domination, knowing that he was greedy and ambitious, and abounded in wealth, which he, the pope, wished to employ for that purpose. Others unhesitatingly declared that the pope studiously aimed at obtaining the favour of the earl, in order to meet with a favourable reception in England, whither he wished to come.

How Earl Richard purchased a certain priory.

As the earl was returning by the abbey of St. Denis, he paid the abbat of that place a sum of money for the purchase of a certain priory in England, which belonged to the church of St. Denis; this priory was called Hurst, [1] and is situated near Gloucester, at which some monks were then living. To this priory belonged eight rich villages, the church of which

[1] Deerhurst, a Benedictine priory near Gloucester.


was worth about three hundred marks annually, together with a park and appurtenances, according to the return of one mark for every thirty shillings in the Bench. He procured the ratification of this sale and purchase at the Roman court, and, after his arrival in England, he immediately expelled the monks, destroyed all the buildings, and took the priory into his own possession. After this he did not fear any of his neighbours, especially religious men, but, relying on the pope's protection, disposed everything at will; and thus the condition of the church began to grow worse daily. He also determined to build a castle there on the river Severn.

Of the miracle worked by the arm of St. Edmund the Confessor.

In this same year, the monks of Pontignac, either wearied by the frequent arrival of pilgrims, especially English-women (for permission was not granted to any other woman to do so), who flocked in crowds to the tomb of St. Edmund, or stimulated by cupidity, horrible to relate, with rash presumption cut off the right arm of the saint. But by this proceeding they did not prevent numbers of people of both sexes from flocking in crowds to see and worship his body; and thus they were deservedly defeated in their purpose. Moreover, what seemed to be a defect of faith, they had, from want of confidence or from pusillanimity, and also (saving the respect due to their order) from want of faith, presumed to embalm in oil the body of the saint, which the Lord had hitherto preserved entire; and whatever part of the body was so embalmed, was turned to a most foul colour. Reiterated reproaches were therefore heaped on the monks of Pontignac, and indeed on the whole Cistercian brotherhood, and many grieved that such a venerated body was placed in a church belonging to the Cistercians, considering that the bodies of saints were guarded with all reverence in the churches of the monks of the Black order. Oh rash presumption! What the Lord had preserved entire and uncorrupt, man dared to mutilate. As the pious French king, when about to set out on his pilgrimage, replied, when a part of the body was offered to him, "It is not my pleasure that what God has preserved entire should be maimed for me". Oh renewed want of faith! What the Lord had

340 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

preserved uncorrupt and beautiful, these monks embalmed in oil, and thought to protect it better by such anointing; wherefore the colour of flesh was changed into that of earth, and the Lord, justly enraged, began more rarely than usual to work these miracles, which were formerly of such frequent occurrence there. The venerated religion of the Cistercian prelates and clerks therefore became of small repute in the sight of the nobles; and this is believed to have happened as a sad foreboding to all Christianity.

How the king put a restraint on the hospitality of his table.

In this year the king, shamefully deviating from the track of his ancestors, ordered the expenses of his court and the amusements of his usual hospitality, to be lessened; an inexcusable act, and bringing on him even the charge of avarice. He also ordered the quantity of his usual alms and the number of tapers in his church to be diminished. However, what was praiseworthy in him, he wisely freed himself from the debts in which he was involved to many merchants.

Of the fine imposed on the Jews.

About this time the king became dry with avaricious thirst, and, laying aside all mercy, he ordered money to be extorted from the Jews to such a degree that they appeared to be entirely and irreparably impoverished; for he exacted from them whatever they had in their chests. However, wretched though they were, none of them deserved pity, for they were proved to have been frequently guilty of false coinage and forgery of seals. To be silent on the crimes of the rest of that community, we have thought proper to mention a fact concerning one of them, that their wickedness may be more apparent to more people.

Of the crime committed by a certain Jew.

There was a certain moderately rich Jew, Abraham by name, but not Abraham in faith, who had a house and resort at Berkhampstead and Wallingford, for he was, for some improper reason or other, as was said, intimate with Earl Richard. This man had a beautiful wife, and one who was faithful to him, named Floria; and, in order to heap more insults on Jesus Christ, he purchased an image of the Blessed Virgin, handsomely carved and painted, as usual, and nursing her son in her bosom. This image the Jew placed in


his privy, and what it is disgraceful and ignominious to mention, he, as if in blasphemy of the Virgin Mary, perpetrated a most filthy and unmentionable act upon it day and night, and caused his wife to do the same. But when, after some days, his wife saw this, she, by reason of her sex, was touched with sorrow, and, secretly going to the place, washed the dirt from the face of the image, which was enormously defiled; but when the Jew, her husband, found this out, he secretly and impiously smothered his wife. When these crimes were detected, and he was clearly proved guilty of them, although there were not wanting other grounds for putting him to death, he was thrust into the foulest dungeon of the Tower of London. In order to obtain his release, he faithfully promised to prove all the Jews of England to be base traitors; whereupon a heavy accusation was made against him by almost all the other Jews of England, and as they endeavoured to cause him to be put to death, Earl Richard spoke for him. The Jews then accused him of money-clipping, and other heavy crimes, and offered the earl a thousand marks not to protect him, which, however, he refused, as the Jew was said to be a friend of his. The said Jew Abraham then gave the king seven hundred marks to free himself from perpetual imprisonment to which he had been condemned, and by the aid of Earl Richard he effected this.

How justiciaries were sent to examine into the amount of money belonging to the Jews.

The king, about this same time, sent justiciaries to examine into the whole amount of money which belonged to the Jews, both in debts due to them and the money they actually possessed; with them also was sent a base and merciless Jew, in order that he might accuse all the others, even at the price of transgressing the truth. This man rebuked all Christians who lamented and grieved at the affliction of his fellow-Jews, and called the king's bailiffs lukewarm and effeminate; and, gnashing his teeth with fury at each one of them, he declared, with great oaths, that they could give twice as much to the king as they had done, although he lied in his teeth, and in order to injure them more effectually, he daily revealed secrets of theirs to the Christian agents of the king.

342 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Of the death of a certain Armenian in England.

About the same time some Armenian brethren, who had been driven from their country by the devastations of the Tartars, came to England on a pilgrimage. On their reaching St. Ives, one of them was seized with illness in that town and died, and was honourably buried near the fountain of St. Ivo, the water of which was said to possess great virtues. The said brethren were men of most honest life and of remarkable abstinence, passing all their time in prayer, having simple and sober-looking countenances, and wearing beards. The brother who died was their chief and master, and, as is believed, had been a most holy man and a bishop, and he now began to be distinguished by miracles.

Of the large sum of money sent to the French king.

About the same time a large sum of money was sent to the assistance of the French king, who was in great straits, and was dwelling in his camp, pitched round Damietta, surrounded by trenches, in a state of need and destitute of provisions: for he was disturbed night and day, and had to endure the attacks made by the ambuscades of the numberless Saracens infesting the mountainous districts around, although there was no want of a vigilant guard during the night. To guard the city, he had placed in it five hundred knights, with a large body of foot-soldiers, who remained there with the legate, some bishops, and the queen, and some other noble ladies. There was now sent to him as much money in talents, sterling coin, and approved money of Cologne (not the base money of the Parisians, or of Tours), as eleven waggons, to each of which were four strong horses, could be loaded with, together with some beasts of burden, by which it was carried to the sea-coast, where it was received on board some Genoese ships, to be transported to the needy king, with also a no small quantity of provisions. Each waggon carried two large iron-hooped casks, prepared for the purpose, filled with the aforesaid money, all of which had been extorted from the property of the Church during a period of three years; and what end was gained by it the following narrative will fully show.


The return of the nobles of England.

In Rogation week, there returned from the continent Earl Richard, the earls of Gloucester and Leicester, and other nobles. Besides them, the bishop of London and some other prelates, who had crossed the sea, as before mentioned, returned safely to England; two bishops remaining abroad, namely, those of Winchester and Lincoln. The bishop of Winchester remained in France, living with a small household, in order to save expense; and the bishop of Lincoln continued at the Roman court, in order to obtain the accomplishment of his preconceived design from the pope. As to the cause of Earl Richard's journey, the opinion of some was, and not without reason, that the pope had sent for him to advance his cause in obtaining the empire of Romania, which he knew abounded in money; others thought, and this became probable from subsequent facts, that he went for the purpose of hindering the crusaders from setting sail. Others again declared it to be more likely, and which was soon afterwards clearly proved to be the case, that he went for the purpose of purchasing Deerhurst from the abbat of St. Denis, and to procure the necessary travelling supplies for the crusaders. The reason of the pope's showing so much favour to him, it was believed and stated, was that he, the pope, who knew that he was coming into England, might obtain a kind and respectful reception from him, and that he, the earl, might incline the king, his brother, and the nobles of the country (especially those who were of the king's council), to send for him thither. But these matters have been touched on in the foregoing pages.

Of the unfounded reports which were spread.

About the same time, either for the purpose of affording false consolation to the Christians, or of encouraging the crusaders, who were putting off their departure on their pilgrimage, private letters were sent from the Holy Land, written by influential and credible persons, namely, the bishop of Marseilles and some of the Templars, containing the most pleasing reports, which inspirited the credulous hearers by unfounded good news. This was, that Cairo and Babylon were taken, that the Saracens were put to flight, and

344 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Alexandria was left helpless; and these reports, I say, wounded the credulous hearers the more deeply in the end, the more that they had soothed them by their agreeableness at the beginning; and from that time we held the letters which arrived, even though they were true, in greater suspicion and detestation.

Of the advowson of the church of Wengrave.

In Rogation week of this same year, a dispute, which had arisen between the abbat of St. Alban's and John de Wedone, concerning the advowson of the church of Wengrave, then vacant, was set at rest, and peace was established between the two parties. The said John, in the presence of the king's justiciaries, Roger de Thurkesby, Robert Bruce, and others of their colleagues, acknowledged that the right of the said church belonged to the gift of the aforesaid abbat; but the said John had obtained the following brief of summons against the abbat: "The king to the sheriff of Buckingham, greeting.- Issue an injunction to the abbat of St. Alban's, that he duly and without delay allow John de Wedone to present a fit and proper person to the church of Wengrave, which is vacant, and which, as is stated, belongs to his gift, and of which a complaint is made by him that the said abbat unjustly opposes him. And unless he gives you security that he will prosecute his claim, then summon, by good and lawful summoners, the said abbat to appear before our justiciaries on the morrow of our Lord's Ascension", etc., etc. But what benefit or disadvantage did the church of St. Alban's meet with in this case? for the Romans and king's agents forcibly took possession of all the vacant churches, especially those of religious men, each party vying with the other.

How Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, determined to make a visitation.

About the same time, too, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, stimulated by the example of the bishop of Lincoln, who had obtained the power of visiting his canons, attempted to make a visitation of the bishops, abbats, clergy, and people in his province. He, therefore, in the first place, made a visitation in the chapter of his monks at Canterbury, with great strictness and without mercy, so that the monks said


amongst themselves, "We suffer this from our own deserts, because we sinned against his predecessor St. Edmund, whom we considered austere and froward; we endure what we have justly deserved for electing a foreigner, an illiterate, unknown, and inexperienced man, and one adapted to and versed in warlike rather than spiritual matters. Oh what excellent men were his predecessors, martyrs, authorized teachers, and holy confessors of God. Alas! why did we in this election obey our earthly, rather than our heavenly king"? From thence the archbishop went to the abbey of Feversham, the pusillanimous monks of which place, through fear of his tyranny, did not dare to oppose his visitation. Thence he went in great anger to the priory of Rochester, and extorted more than thirty marks from that poor house. Hence it appears that he exercised this office of visitation more from a greedy desire for money, than for the reformation of the order or its customs, for he was ignorant of the rules and customs of the order, and also devoid of learning.

Of the tyranny practised by Archbishop B. upon the London clergy.

On the 12th of May, which was the day of St. Pancratius and his fellow-saints, the said archbishop came to London, to visit the bishop and his chapter and the religious men of that city. Without leave from any person, he took up his abode in the noble house of the bishop of Chichester, near the houses of the Converts, and did not go to his own house at Lambeth; he also ordered his marshals to procure him provisions by force at the king's market, which they did, at the same time heaping threats, reproaches, and insults on the traders; he did not, however, invite any guests. On the following day he visited Bishop Fulk, the shameless extortions practised on whom by the said archbishop, in his demands of food, drink, and harness, that is to say, harnessed horses, would, if any one could relate them, offend the ears and minds, and wound the hearts of all who heard them. When about to visit the chapter of St. Paul's, at London, the canons opposed him, and appealed to the supreme pontiff; wherefore he excommunicated the dean and some others.

346 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Of the opposition made by the church of St. Bartholomew to the visitation of the archbishop.

On the following day, still swelling with anger, and clad in armour under his robes, as those who saw him asserted, the archbishop went to the priory of St. Bartholomew's, to visit the canons there. But on his arrival, as he was entering the church, he was met by the sub-prior (the prior not being then in the house), attended by the brethren of the convent in solemn procession, bearing numbers of lighted tapers, and amidst the ringing of bells; the brethren themselves dressed in their rich choral cloaks, the most handsome one of which was worn by the sub-prior. The archbishop did not pay much attention to this honour being paid to him, but said that he came thither to visit the canons. All of the latter were now assembled in the middle of the church, that is, in the choir, as well as the archbishop with the greater portion of his retinue, who were squeezed together in a disorderly way. One of the canons, then, on behalf of all, replied, that they had an experienced and careful bishop, who held the office of visiting them when it was necessary, and they would not, and ought not, to be visited by any other, lest he should appear to be held in contempt. On hearing this, the archbishop burst into an unbecoming fit of anger, and, rushing on the sub-prior, forgetful of his station and the holiness of his predecessors, impiously inflicted a blow with his fist on this holy priest and religious man, whilst standing in the middle of the church, and cruelly repeated his blows many times on his aged breast, his venerable face, and his hoary head, exclaiming with a loud voice, "Thus it becomes me to deal with you English traitors"; and then, raving more horribly, with unmentionable oaths, he demanded a sword to be brought him immediately. As the tumult increased, and the canons were endeavouring to rescue their sub-prior from the hands of his violent aggressor, the archbishop tore the valuable cloak which the sub-prior wore, and broke away the fastening, commonly called a clasp, which was rich with gold, silver, and jewels, and it was trodden under-foot in the crowd and lost; the noble cloak itself was also trampled on, torn, and irreparably injured. Nor was the fury of the archbishop yet appeased; for, like a madman


rushing on this holy man, with great violence, and forcing him backwards, he pushed his aged body with such force against a spondam, which divided two of the stalls, and was made for a podium, that he crushed his bones to the very marrow, and injured his lungs and the parts about his heart. The rest of the assembled persons, when they saw the immoderate violence of the archbishop, rescued the sub-prior, with much difficulty, from the jaws of death, and thrust back his aggressor, and, as he fell back, his robes were thrown aside and his armour was plainly visible to the multitude, who were horror-struck at seeing an archbishop in armour, and many declared that he had come thither, not to visit or to correct errors, but to excite a battle. His impetuous followers, fellow-countrymen of his, in the mean time, had cruelly attacked the rest of the unarmed and unprepared canons, and by the orders and following the example of the archbishop, cruelly treated them, striking and wounding them, and throwing them down and trampling on them. With bruised and bloody feet, and disordered, maimed, and otherwise badly injured, the canons then went to the bishop of the city, and, amidst tears, made a heavy complaint to him of this detestable proceeding, in reply to which the bishop said, "The king is at Westminster; go to him and see if this public and violent disturbance of his peace in his chief city will arouse his anger".

The king refuses to listen to the complaints of the archbishop's tyranny.

Four of the canons, therefore (the rest being unable to go, from the pain of their wounds), went to the king at Westminster, and showed him their torn garments, and the traces of the blows, which were visible from the blood, and the lividness and swelling of their flesh, in the presence of many people, who compassionated their sufferings and detested such an enormous deed. A fifth of them,- the said sub-prior, was unable to go to the court either on foot or on horseback, but was carried, groaning, to the infirmary, and, taking to his bed, passed the rest of his life in a state of feebleness. The king, however, refused to see the aforesaid canons, although they waited for a long time at the door of his chamber; nor would he listen to their complaints, and they therefore returned in greater trouble of mind to their church, which the

348 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

archbishop had polluted and profaned with the blood of priests and religious men. The city in the mean time was greatly excited, and, as if a sedition had arisen, the citizens proposed to ring the common bell, and to cut the archbishop to pieces, whatever afterwards might happen. Insults and reproaches resounded, and the people, who were rushing in crowds in search of him, cried after him, as he was hastening to his house at Lambeth, "Where is this robber? this impious and bloody aggressor of our priests, not a gainer of souls, but an extorter of money, whom not God nor a free election promoted to his dignity, but who was illegally thrust into it, illiterate and married as he is, by the king, and whose foul infamy has already infected the whole city"? Soon afterwards he embarked secretly on the Thames, and going to the king, laid a heavy complaint on the matter before the king, justifying himself and accusing the others, and then hurried to the queen and made a more serious complaint to her. The king then, being in great fear of a sedition arising in the city, ordered proclamation to be made by herald, forbidding any one, on his life and limbs, to interfere in the controversy. Thus rejected by the canons of St. Bartholomew's as well as those of the Holy Trinity, who boldly appealed against his proceedings, the archbishop, taking courage from the king's favour, proceeded to Lambeth, and in the chapel there solemnly renewed the sentence he had pronounced against the canons of St. Paul's, involving also in it the bishop of London, as being an abettor of the said canons. They therefore, as they suffered harm and injury on all sides, with pitiable complaints intrusted their cause to St. Bartholomew, whom they served continually day and night, and prayed that God, the Lord of vengeance, as man either could not or would not, would deign to punish such great offences.

The archbishop prepares to go to the Roman court.

The archbishop, still full of the gall of anger, proceeded on the following day to a manor of his called Harrow, about seven miles from the convent of St. Alban's, in order to hold a visitation there, and at that place he renewed the aforesaid sentence. And although he had been told by his friends and clerks, learned and eloquent men, of the noble privileges granted to that church by the Apostolic See, he concealed


his knowledge of them and superseded them. He then returned and made preparations to cross the sea, that he might lay snares for the innocent at the Roman court, where he had great influence, and where he made a practice of taking up his abode more than presiding over his flock, as a good shepherd ought to do. The dean of St. Paul's at London, however, a good and old man, and one of experience, Master Robert Barton, and Master W. of Lichfield, eloquent and learned men, and canons of the said church, in company with the proctors of their bishop and of the aforesaid canons, also went to the Roman court to make a heavy complaint to the supreme pontiff of all the abovementioned proceedings, being properly instructed in the matter and strengthened by the testimony of many, to prove the truth of their complaint.

The bishop of London's letter to the abbat of St. Alban's.

The bishop of London was in no slight degree troubled by these disturbances, and much dreaded, and no wonder, the pope's avarice on the one hand, on the other the dubious friendship of the king towards his natural subjects, and in another quarter he dreaded the Savoyard nobility, whom he did not dare to offend. In this case of emergency, wishing to have the advice and assistance of the abbat and brethren of St. Alban's, he wrote to that abbat in the following terms:-

"To his venerable and well-beloved friends in Christ, J., by the grace of God abbat of St. Alban's, and the brethren of that convent, as also to all others subject to the same house, Fulk, by Divine permission bishop of London,- Health and continued increase of sincere affection.- Fame with its farwandering step is gliding through the earth, and threatening us with the voice of the public opinion, whilst it spreads in numberless parts the news of the recent danger. The long tranquillity of our diocese has been assailed by our venerable father and archbishop; and, as we believe, we are only taking just measures of defence, as your warriors, who have to bear the first brunt of the battle on behalf of all and each in the province; and we foretell that the war imposed upon us will, unless we have the aid of God and you, fall still more heavily upon yourselves. For the said

350 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

archbishop, as has perhaps been made known to you, held a visitation of all the clergy and people in our diocese, and as he demanded procurations, in the first place, from them and from our chapter, and again from the two priories of the city, he met with opposition and a repulse, although in a courteous manner; on which he excommunicated them, in the first place, for not admitting him to make the aforesaid visitation; in the next place, because we ordered some persons under our jurisdiction not to admit him to the same, to the prejudice of our church, he fulminated sentences against our person, although he was opposed by legal appeals, and the statement of just, true, and reasonable causes. Nor is it by this alone that he invades our rest, for he causes the sentences thus originated to be published in his diocese and elsewhere, as we learn from report. We, therefore, after sending proctors to the court, have addressed ourselves to some of our fellow-bishops on the foregoing matters, who have assumed boldness, and put themselves forward to defend their rights and liberties. Wherefore, also, we have thought proper to beg of you, in your affection, that, considering the grounds for this request, and your own honour and indemnity, your goodness may not grow lukewarm, nor your courage become cold; but that, placing your confidence in him who protects the oppressed from the injuries of unjust men, you will stretch forth the hand of salutary assistance and counsel to us. May your brotherhood ever fare well in the Lord".

The decretals from which the archbishop assumed a pretext for this design of his are fully given in the book of Additaments, together with the objections of the parties.

Of the general chapter of the Preacher brethren.

About the same time, namely, about the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the brethren of the Preacher order, at a general summons, assembled from all the countries of Christendom, and even from the country of Jerusalem, and met at their house at Holborn, in London, to hold a general discussion on their condition and office. As they had no means of their own, the nobles and prelates, in their liberality, found them in provisions, and especially the inhabitants of the city of London and the


neighbouring places, the abbats of Waltham and St. Alban's, and suchlike people. This chapter was held in the Whitsun week, and the Holy Spirit was called upon, which was sent at that time to the disciples; and there were about four hundred brethren present. On the first day, the king came to their chapter to ask the assistance of their prayers; he also supplied them with food, and, out of respect to them, took his meals in their company on that day. They were afterwards supplied with food by the queen; then by the bishop of London; then by John Maunsell; and afterwards by the other prelates, namely, the abbat of Westminster and others, whom they entreated by letter to alleviate the wants of the needy out of the abundance of their riches.

Of the disturbance amongst the citizens of London.

About the same time, the city of London was excited in no slight degree, because the king exacted some liberties from the citizens for the benefit of the abbat of Westminster, to their enormous loss, and the injury of their liberties. The mayor of the city and the whole of the community in general, as far as lay in their power, opposed the wish (or rather violence and raving) of the king; but he proved harsh and inexorable to them. The citizens, therefore, in a state of great excitement, went with sorrowful complaints to Earl Richard, the earl of Leicester, and other nobles of the kingdom, telling them how the king, perhaps bent into a bow of wickedness, by the pope's example, shamelessly violated their charters, granted to them by his predecessors. The said nobles were much disturbed at this, fearing that the king would attempt a similar proceeding with them; they therefore severely reproached him, adding threats to their reproaches, and strongly blamed the abbat, who, they believed, was the originator and promoter of this wrong, heaping insult upon insult on him; which, however, it does not become us to relate, out of respect to the order. Thus the prudence of the nobles happily recalled the king from his conceived design.

How the king granted new charters to the abbat of Westminster.

About this time, also, the king, influenced by a similar spirit, contrary to the charters of his predecessors, and also

352 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

of those who had reigned in England before the Conquest, and in violation of his faith and his first oath, granted a new charter to the abbat of Westminster, to the loss and manifest injury of the church of St. Alban's, in the ancient village of Aldenham, from which the village also derived its name; for "Ald", being interpreted, means "old"; and hence, it seems probable, if all charters should be silent on the matter, that the said village was given in times of old to Alban, the English protomartyr. Besides this, the king granted and gave a charter of the liberty of warren in the land of St. Alban's, and near that town, to a certain knight, named Geoffrey (although not descended from noble or knightly ancestors), who held in chief of the church of St. Alban's, contrary to the ancient liberties of that church and the charters obtained from the pious kings of old, and uninterruptedly enjoyed, and also contrary to the charter of the present King Henry, merely because the said knight had married the sister of his clerk, John Maunsell. Nor did the said Geoffrey Rufus hesitate to kick against the Church, his mistress, which had educated and raised him to rank; so that he was branded with the mark of paternal, not maternal, treachery; for he unjustly and shamelessly injured the mother who bore him, as he did the Church which had enriched him, and his fathers before him. He was inspired with boldness to act thus by the aforesaid special clerk of the king, whose wealth equalled that of a bishop, and whose sister he, the said Rufus, had married, as above stated. This lady's name was Clarissa; she was the daughter of a country priest, and was still childless, but exalted herself in her pride above her station, to the derision of all; and her husband was believed to have been infatuated by her suggestions. However, I do not think that he is excused by this, but ought rather to be accused, according to the words of the Lord, when he fulminated his curse on our first father, Adam,- "Because thou hast obeyed the voice of thy wife more than mine, cursed be the earth for ever". When the writer of this book, namely brother Matthew Paris, reproached the king for these proceedings, undismayed, the latter said,- "Does not the pope act in the same way, subjoining in his letters, 'Notwithstanding any privilege or indulgence'"? However, at length speaking more modestly, he added,


"Wait awhile, wait; we will think on the matter". But all recollection of his words and promises passed away with the sound of his voice.

How the king's seal was intrusted to the charge of W. of Kilkenny.

In the course of this year, the king, taking wise counsel, gave the charge of his seal (which is proved to be, as it were, the key of the kingdom) to Master Walter, of Kilkenny, a modest, faithful, and learned man, and one well skilled and prudent in canonical as well as civil law.

How the French king proceeded further to the East.

About this time, the French king made a sally from Damietta, after having placed a careful garrison in that city, consisting of the duke of Burgundy and a great many other nobles and knights, and a large body of foot-soldiers, together with the legate and some bishops and clerks, the queen, and other noble ladies and their families; for,

Non minor est virtus quam quaerere, parta tueri.

['Tis no less merit to retain
What you have got, than make fresh gain.]

He himself then proceeded with his army towards the more eastern districts, and was followed by William Longuespee, with his associates who adhered to him, namely, Robert de Vere and others too numerous to mention, and some knights and followers whom he retained on pay.

How the French became envious of the English.

The French, however, from their innate pride, despised and hated the said William and his foUowers, and treated them with derision, although the pious French king had especially forbidden this, and he thus addressed them: "What madness excites you, Frenchmen? Why do you persecute this man, who came hither from a distant country to the assistance of myself and you, and who is a pilgrim, and fights faithfully for God, as well as yourselves"? The king, however, could not pacify the hearts of the French by these arguments, or by entreaties; but they continued to despise and persecute the English, as the poet says:-

Omnisque superbus
Impatiens consortis erit.

[All pride is jealous of a sharer.]

354 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

The origin of all this envy and hatred was as follows. The said William had taken, not by force, but by a fortuitous and fortunate chance, a strong tower near Alexandria, which was filled with ladies, the wives of certain noble Saracens, entirely without the knowledge of the French; owing to which his fame became distinguished, and fear of him flew abroad even to the distant parts of the East; and because he had obtained much money here, as he had done everywhere else, by favour of the fortune of war, and had enriched his household, and increased his honours (which the French, although numerous and powerful, had not done), they envied and slandered him, and persecuted him with their hatred; nor could they hold any friendly intercourse with him.

Of the stratagem practised by William Longuespee.

It happened, also, again, that the said William secretly learnt from some cunning spies he had sent out, that certain very rich merchants of the East were going, imprudently enough, under a small escort, to some markets held near Alexandria, at which they most confidently hoped to increase their wealth. He, therefore, taking a body of his soldiers with him, hastened thither secretly by night, and suddenly rushed like lightning on them unawares, slew the merchants on the spot, dispersed the escort, and made prisoners of all that company, which is commonly called a caravan. He found amongst them camels, mules, and asses, laden with silks, paintings, images, gold, and silver; besides some waggons with their buffaloes and oxen, and also the necessary food both for horses and men, of which they were much in need; and although in the conflict the said William slew and made prisoners of a great many of his adversaries, yet he only lost one knight and eight retainers, who were slain; some, however, were wounded, whom he brought back to be restored to health by medical aid; and thus victorious, he returned, rejoicing in his riches, to the army. The French, who had remained inactive, and were in great want, stimulated by feelings of envy and avarice, met him, on his arrival, in a hostile way, and, like daring robbers, forcibly took from him all that he had gained, imputing it to him as a sufficient fault, that, in his rash presumption, contrary to the king's order, and the ordinances of the chiefs of the


army, and also to military discipline, he had proudly and foolishly separated from the whole body of the army. When William heard this, he promised to give them satisfaction in every way, by allowing all the food that he had obtained to be distributed amongst the needy army; but the French cried out against this, claimed it all for themselves, and seized on all of it immediately; thus adding insult to injury. William, therefore, grieved in bitterness of spirit at suffering such an injury, made a heavy complaint to the king in the matter, adding that his brother, the count of Artois, was the head and chief of this violent transgression and robbery. The king, then, with a most pious spirit and look, replied in a low voice, "William, William, the Lord, who is ignorant of nothing, is aware of the injury and harm done to you, and I greatly fear that our pride, together with our other sins, will confound us. You are aware how serious a thing it would be for me in any way to offend and excite my nobles, in the perilous position in which I now am placed". Whilst he was thus speaking, the count of Artois arrived, excited and furious, like a madman, and, without saluting the king, or those sitting round, he raised his voice, and exclaimed in great anger: "What does this mean, my lord king? Do you presume to defend this Englishman, and to oppose your own Frenchmen? This man, in contempt of you and the whole army, urged by his own impetuosity, has of his own accord clandestinely carried off booty by night, contrary to our decrees; and owing to this, the fame of him alone, and not of the French king or his people, has spread through all the provinces of the East; he has obscured all our names and titles". On hearing these words, this most Christian king averted his face, and throwing a look on William, said in a mild tone: "You may now hear, my friend. Thus easily can a quarrel be originated, which God forbid should occur in this army. It is necessary at such a critical time to endure such things with equanimity, and even worse things than these". To this William replied: "Therefore, you are not a king, as you cannot justify your people or punish offenders; although I promise, that if I have offended, I will give every satisfaction for my fault"; and he added, being wounded to the heart by the injury done him: "Henceforth I serve not such a king,- to such a lord I will not adhere";

356 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

and, to the great sorrow of the king, he went away in anger. He then went to Acre, and stayed there several days with his companions in arms, publishing to all who dwelt there the injury he had suffered; whereby he excited the compassion of all, especially the prelates, for himself, and provoked their anger against the French. Those of experience and understanding, and who were well approved in warlike matters, unhesitatingly foretold that this was a sad presage of future events, and that the heavy anger of the Most High would be provoked by such offences. The count of Artois is reported even to have said concerning these matters: "Now the army of the noble French is well purged of these tailed [1] English"; which speech gave offence to the ears of many. William then determined to remain with the citizens and the Templars and Hospitallers, at Acre, and to await the arrival of the crusading nobles of England, in order to make known to them the pride of the French and the injuries he had suffered at their hands; and also to urge them to attack the enemies of the cross, with the counsel of discreet and humble-minded men, and, without trusting to the aid of the French, to try to defeat them with their own forces.

Of the journey of the English nobles towards Jerusalem.

About this same time, the nobles of England (whose names are before mentioned), who had determined to set out for Jerusalem on the feast of St. John, as before stated, and who had sold or pledged their lands, or involved them in the nets of the Jews and Caursins, having taken leave of their friends, were ready prepared, on the famous morn of St. Augustine, to set out on the journey together with their followers. But the king, like a hurt or offended child, who usually runs to his mother with his complaints, had sent in all haste to the pope, begging of him to prevent their departure, signifying to him that certain illustrious nobles of his kingdom of England, who had assumed the cross, had determined, contrary to his wish and prohibition, to set out to Jerusalem, without condescending to wait for him, their lord and king, who also bore the cross himself, and purposed to proceed on the same expedition; and that these nobles

[1] There was a report current in those days that the English had tails fixed to them, as a punishment for the murder of Thomas a Becket.


also chose to follow his chief enemy, the French king, who, they said, had gone in advance and prepared the way and an entrance for them into the land of the East, rather than to accompany him. The pope, therefore, by his letters, as the king had done by imperious orders, strictly forbade any one, under penalty of excommunication, from setting sail contrary to the king's wish, whatever was the danger or risk impending over the French king.

How the king placed guards over the English ports.

The king, moreover, immediately sent orders to the chastelains of Dover, and to the governors of the other ports, not to allow any noble, bearing the sign of the cross, to put to sea. It was alleged by those who were opposed to this, that the king had acted unwisely; for if so many of such high rank (there were about five hundred martial knights, besides their followers, who were almost innumerable) were to proceed in advance of him, the whole of the Christian community would say, in astonishment, "How great and how formidable must this king be, who sends such men in advance of him. How many must we believe will accompany him, and in consequence all paganism will tremble". But what is the use of this discussion? For, besides the obstacle of those who forbade them, this also was the good result of what happened to the pilgrims. Even if they had then set sail, they would not (sad to say) have arrived at an opportune and seasonable time to succour the French king, which they most eagerly desired to do, as will be fully intimated in the ensuing narrative. But all that happened at the same time cannot be related at once.

The king of England extorts money from all quarters.

The king, in the mean time, did not cease to scrape up money from all quarters, principally from the Jews, and, in a secondary degree, from his own natural Christian subjects: to such a degree did he carry his exactions amongst the former, that from one of them, named Aaron, who was born at York and kept a house in that city, he extorted fourteen thousand marks, and ten thousand in gold, for the use of the queen (because, as was reported, he was proved guilty of forging a certain charter), to be paid at a short period, to prevent his being put in prison. Besides paying all

358 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

this, it was found out that this said Aaron had paid to the king, on his return from the continent, the sum of thirty-thousand marks of silver, and two hundred in gold, for the use of the queen, as he, the said Jew Aaron, declared by legal attestation and on his faith to Brother Matthew, the writer of this book. However, miserable though they were, they were none of them deserving of pity, because they were clearly proved to have been corrupters of the king's money, and forgers of seals and charters, and for which they had been frequently reproved and condemned.

Of the tyranny of Geoffrey Langley.

About the same time, a certain knight, named Geoffrey Langley, a bailiff of the king's, and an inquisitor of offences committed in the royal forests, made the circuit of several provinces of England, and cunningly, wantonly, and forcibly extorted such an immense sum of money, especially from the nobles of the northern parts of England, that the amount collected exceeded the belief of all who heard of it, and created astonishment in their minds; and this immoderate oppression which the king practised on the northern nobles appeared to have proceeded from old hatred. The aforesaid Geoffrey was attended by a large and well-armed retinue, and if any one of the aforesaid nobles made excuses, or dared to give vent to murmurs, as the judges were their enemies, he ordered him to be at once taken and consigned to the king's prison; nor could any one reply to the demand by any reasonable arguments, for fear of giving offence. For a single small beast, a fawn, or hare, although straying in an out-of-the-way place, he impoverished some men of noble birth, even to ruin, sparing neither blood nor fortune. In comparison with this man, Robert Passlow was considered most gentle, and, indeed, all his predecessors were considered just, and were well spoken of, when compared with him. This Geoffrey had been some time since promoted to the office of mareschal of the king's household, to carry the wand for the grand marshal, and as far as lay in his power had lessened the hospitality and courtliness of the royal table; by which and by his flattery he pleased the king, and, although undeservedly, obtained his favour. Afterwards, the said Robert, considering him a faithful person, and one fit to be associated with himself, summoned him as his colleague


in the office of justiciaryship of the king's forests; but Geoffrey laid a trap for the feet of his patron Robert, and afterwards basely supplanted him, ignominiously deposing the bailiffs whom Robert had appointed to their office; by which he brought much shame and harm on him. But who will pity the charmer who is stung by the snake? The aforesaid Robert, therefore, avoided the snares of the court and courtiers, and, obtaining ordination as a priest, flew to reap the fruits of a better life, as is before stated.

How the archbishop of Canterbury went to the Roman court.

About the same time, B., archbishop of Canterbury, learnt that the dean of St. Paul's, accompanied by some of the canons of that church, and by the proctors of those whom he had injured, had gone to the Roman court; he, therefore, being encouraged by the advice of lawyers, set sail in great pomp and splendour to proceed to the same court, armed with the protection and letters of the king and trusting to the influence of his family, in order that by the pope's authority he might become more powerful in his tyranny.

The death of R. of Lexington.

On the 29th of May in this year, died Robert of Lexington, who had long continued in the office of justiciary, and had acquired a distinguished name and ample possessions. A few years before his death, however, he was struck with palsy, and gave up the aforesaid office; so that, like the apostle St. Matthew, he was summoned from the receipt of custom to a better life, and employing himself in bountiful almsgivings and devout prayer, he laudably terminated his languid life.

The various reports of the capture of Cairo.

About the same time, too, the most gratifying reports, although unfounded, became frequent, of the capture of Cairo and Babylon, and also of the destruction of Alexandria, which rumours soothed the hearts of all the people of the West with their false consolation; and it was at length found out that they arose from the following cause and source, which require a lengthened narration, however fruitless it may be, for,

Tota trahit series ex turpi fine pudorem.
[Foul issue stamps the whole proceeding foul.]

360 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Of the capture of Damietta by the Christians.

When the sultan of Babylon was informed of the approach of the renowned king of France and his army in the past year, he gave charge of Damietta to one of his chiefs, in whom he had great confidence, and intrusted Cairo and Babylon to the care of the same chief's brother. But after the unexpected capture of Damietta, the said sultan, having convoked all his nobles, in the hearing of all of them, made a heavy accusation against the chief to whom he had intrusted the charge of Damietta, and under whose guardianship it had been lost, charging him not only with having traitorously lost his principal city, through negligence and cowardice, but also with having delivered it into the hands of the public enemy, so that the Christians, the enemies of all Saracens, had now free ingress into Egypt and all the country of the East, with hopes of more easily and surely acquiring possession of all other places, and had obtained a well-defended place of refuge, to the confusion of all the pagans. To this the accused chief thus replied:- "Most potent lord, I, your faithful and devoted servant, sent my spies into the island of Cyprus, when the French king was passing the winter there, and from them I learnt that, when he left that island, he would sail to Alexandria to besiege that place; wherefore, I at once sent all the troops from Damietta to that place, to give effectual assistance to the Alexandrians, our friends and your subjects, and to take the said king with his whole fleet, and send him to you. But fortune, inimical to us, by a change of wind favourable for them, brought our enemies on us when unprepared, and thus he gained possession of the coast, although we resisted to the utmost of our power, as you yourself know. On the following day, the fortune of war smiling upon him, he laid siege to Damietta, which he found destitute of all means of resistance; and with him came such a numerous fleet, that the sea appeared, as it were, covered with them. We, therefore, considering that, as we were without chiefs, and the arms of the city, we consulted our own and your safety, brained and cut the throats of the Christian captives, whom we had in our power, and secretly took flight by night, until we could recall the forces which we had sent to Alexandiia,


and attack the Christians in greater force. But some of the Christian captives, when they saw their fellow-Christians approaching, and beheld us putting their companions to death, raising the heel against us, rose upon us in a hostile and furious way, and slew some of our people. These men also, after our departure, brought the approaching French by unknown passes, and introduced them into the secret and innermost parts of the city. Before our departure, we set fire to the city, that our enemies might not glory in our property; but the prisoners extinguished it as soon as they could; and when we were compelled to retreat, we, in our grief, cursed the law of Mahomet, and even the prophet himself, and wished for death rather than life". The sultan, on hearing this, burst into a violent fit of anger (for he was proud and merciless); and although the said chief could have properly cleared himself of the charge, in the opinion of some present, yet the sultan rose against him more fiercely, and ordered him to be hung on a gibbet, as a traitor and blasphemer. When this reached the knowledge of his brother, the governor of Cairo (whose heart had for a long time before inclined to the Christian faith, although only secretly, for fear of the pagans), he secretly summoned some of those whom he held prisoners, and among them some Templars and Hospitallers, and some Frenchmen lately taken in battle at Gazara, and thus addressed them:- "I have a secret concealed in my bosom, which ought to be confidently revealed to you; and if you promise, on the strict oath of your faith and law, to conceal it, and help me, I will disclose it to you". In answer to this proposal, the captives, on their word and oath, promised to observe inviolable faith with him in everything; and thereupon he commenced his narration:- "The sultan of Babylon, hitherto, but now no longer, my lord, whom I have long served faithfully in many perils, has lately caused me intolerable annoyance, and disgraced and injured me much, for he has lately hung on a gibbet my brother, whom I loved more than a brother - indeed, more than my whole family besides - accusing him of having delivered up Damietta to the French voluntarily, or through fear, although he had no reason or evidence to support him in his charge. But to you it is well known that this criminal accusation was most false; for you know

362 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

how bravely, how faithfully, he fought and opposed the French when taking possession of the coast; so much so, indeed, that, besides the many of our friends and relations who perished there, we lost also our Rokum, who is the greatest man amongst us, and second only to the sultan, who had slain many Christians in times past, and had gained a victory over your people at Gaza. Hence it is that I devote myself to vengeance for such great tyranny, and give up to the pious French king this impregnable castle, on which rests the confidence of all the pagans, as also the sultan's money which is stored in it. I also surrender myself and all my property to Jesus Christ and the French king, and demand the sacrament of baptism: for what the said sultan has already done to my brother, he would undoubtedly do to me, if I should happen to fall into his hands, however innocent I might be. You are released from your prisons; go, therefore, cautiously and with the greatest speed, to the French king, and give him a faithful account of all matters; and, that he may be the more assured of my good faith, let him bring his whole army, which we consider invincible, hither with him in order of battle. When this reaches the ears of the sultan, he will pour forth all his forces to oppose him on his approach; but this you will have no occasion to fear; for you will have the aforesaid castle at hand as well as Babylon, which will be open to you as a place of refuge, and, to the sudden confusion of all the pagans, you will have my guidance, counsel, and assistance, in all your proceedings". As the first proof of the truth of his words, the prisoners, to their great joy, were released, and at once went secretly to the king; and as those who brought this message were credible and well-known persons, they obtained entire belief. The king, on heaiing the message, forbade it to be disclosed to any one, until his plans were more definitely arranged. Grieved that, by the absence of William Longuespee and his followers, who had suffered such an enormous injury, his army was in a great degree lessened and scandalized, he at once sent for him to come and receive every satisfaction for the injury done to him; he also added, at the end of the message, "And to hear some gratifying reports, which will be followed by the long-wished-for event and much-wished-for joy, in which it is our wish and desire that


you should be a participator". And this message was spread abroad amongst the citizens of Acre, and by them published to the inhabitants of that part of the country. William then went with all his followers to the king, in obedience to the commands of such a great prince, but chiefly on account of the final addition; and after he had heard from the king the message of the aforesaid officer, he, in the joy which he felt, abandoned all feelings of offence and rancour against his debtors. Owing to these circumstances, certain priers into secrets and joyful messengers of good news, as if they were already in possession of what was promised, sent word in false letters to their friends, whom they wished to exhilarate, that Cairo and Babylon were taken, and that Alexandria was left exposed to the Christians: and hence these reports and the aforesaid letters took their rise.

How the sultan offered many presents to the Christians to obtain peace.

The king, therefore, elated with good hopes, placed a trusty garrison in the city of Damietta, consisting of the duke of Burgundy and many others of his faithful followers, and directed his course, with his whole army arranged according to military discipline, towards Cairo; and on his way there slew some Saracens, who were placed in ambush to prevent provisions from being brought to Damietta. The sultan in the mean time was told that the French, undismayed and rejoicing, had raised their standards and sallied from Damietta, and had conceived certain hopes of conquering all the country; he therefore, fearing the attacks of the French, sent some noble men from his court as messengers, offering to give up to the Christians all the Holy Land, that is to say, the whole of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and more, as well as an immense sum of money, in gold and silver, and other desirable gifts; on condition, however, that the French king should restore Damietta, with all the prisoners he had in his power, and that he should receive all the Christian prisoners free, and that peaceful intercourse and traffic should be allowed in general in the territories of both of them, in order to enjoy the benefits of peace and mutual kindliness. It was said, and affirmed as a fact, that it was the design of the sultan and many Saracen nobles to abandon the faith of Mahomet (which plainly appeared to them to be most

364 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

foul), and faithfully to adhere to that of Christ, which it was evident was most pure and honourable, provided that they were allowed peacefully to retain their lands and possessions. But these terms of peace were opposed and obstinately refused by the legate, in obedience to a command of the pope, which had encouraged him to do so, if the Saracens should happen to offer such terms.

How the treachery of the chief was made known to the sultan.

During this useless and protracted delay about these matters, some of the aforesaid Saracens of the mountainous districts, who were placed in ambush amongst the shepherds that were feeding their flocks in the valleys, to prevent provisions from reaching the city, by means of their spies found out the treachery of the aforesaid governor of Cairo. They therefore mounted their swiftest horses, made all speed to the sultan, and plainly told him the cause of the approach of the Christians, and of their activity and feelings of security. He at once sent some experienced soldiers in all haste to Cairo, who seized the governor and detained him prisoner till they could find proofs of the truth of the report; and the first proof was, that they found the prison empty of captives. The governor's treachery was therefore proved, and the sultan at once strengthened Cairo and Babylon with strong garrisons of his soldiers, saying, "Now, at length, I hope that the God of the Christians, the Lord Jesus Christ, who loves moderation and humility, will confound them for their pride". From that time the sultan became calm and confident, and refused to grant the Christians the terms he had previously offered, although they humbly begged him to do so; and being encouraged to the contest, he confidently longed to oppose, or rather to triumph over them. He accordingly summoned immense numbers of troops from all the provinces of the East, from amongst those who were anxious for the common weal, and who thirsted for the acquisition of great wealth; and caused public proclamation to be made by herald, that whoever should present to him the head of a Christian should receive ten talents, besides his usual and promised pay; and that any one bringing the right hand of one should obtain five; and any one who brought a foot, two talents, as a reward.


How the affairs of the emperor Frederick assumed a more favourable aspect.

In the same year, the emperor Frederick being seriously annoyed at the hardened insolence of the Italians, especially of the Parmans and Bolognese - the Parmans for the murder of Thaddeus and other faithful adherents of his, and the destruction of his fortress, which he had named Victoria; and the Bolognese for their capture and detention of his son Ensius - began sedulously to devise plans against them, to avenge his own injuries and those of the Cremonese. The Parmans, in consequence of the long peace which Frederick had permitted them to enjoy, were wandering about safe and uninjured, at first only in the districts adjoining their city, but afterwards they carried their goods to market at a greater distance, transacted their business undisturbed, and returned peaceably. One day, however, when some of the higher classes of the citizens, considering this as a proof of security and peace, had gone with feelings of security, and unarmed, to examine their gardens and the castles built in the suburbs of the city for its protection, a body of Frederick's followers, who were lying in ambuscade, and who had allowed them to do so uninterrupted, suddenly rushed from their hiding-place upon them, armed to the teeth, and cut off all access to the city from the unprotected citizens. Thus, therefore, they made prisoners of all those citizens unawares, and like birds caught in a net, many of whom were of noble birth, and then entered the city, and having forced their way through the first guard at the gates, thought to take possession of the whole city at will; but the people left in the city raised a cry of alarm, and immediately opposed their progress by placing chains, trunks of trees, and beams, across the streets; they also rolled empty casks along the pavements, which, emitting a frightful sound, terrified the horses and put them to flight. But when they were informed of the capture of their fellow-citizens, they humbly begged terms of peace, and many of them, sallying forth from the city, by the present of a large sum of money, prevailed on the emperor Frederick to accept a pledge from them that they would submit to his will. Some, however, were inspired with confidence to oppose him, by the great strength of the

366 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

towers of the city, and betook themselves to them, hurling forth javelins and heavy stones on their invaders, and preferring to undergo any danger there rather than to submit to the will of Frederick. The Bolognese, when they heard of these occurrences, sent messengers to Frederick, and with humble entreaties begged for peace; but Frederick refused to listen to their request. About this same time, too, he sent some trusty messengers of his to the noble cities of Avignon and Arles, situated near Lyons, and received the oaths of allegiance from their inhabitants. When all these events became known to the pope, he was sorely grieved at having uselessly expended so much money on the before-mentioned cities; and to add to the grief of the Roman court, Reiner of Viterbo, a cardinal and chamberlain of the pope, went the way of all flesh, a man of illustrious family and rich possessions, and who had been an indefatigable persecutor and defamer of Frederick. On his death, the Romans sent a message, attended with threats, to the pope, ordering him, as being their pastor and bishop, to come without delay to Rome.

Bernard de Nympha collects money from the crusaders.

About the same time, Bernard de Nympha, a clerk, armed with the papal documents, collected a large sum of money from the crusaders, for the use of Earl Richard, and in such a dishonest way that it appeared robbery rather than justice. The mandate for the perpetration of this disgraceful robbery, in order that it may not offend the ears and feelings of the many, is fully given in the book of Additaments.

The melancholy reports which were brought from the Holy Land.

On the day of St. Kenelm, which was on the 1st of August, as Earl Richard was sitting in the Exchequer at London, there came to him in all haste a messenger, who was the sorrowful bearer of most melancholy reports, and of letters which contained the following statement:- "The most Christian French king, encouraged by the statements of a certain governor of Cairo, of whom mention has been before made, after holding a general council, moved his camp from Damietta towards Cairo, and slew some Saracens who opposed him on the road; and as the fortune of war smiled on him in every way, a fierce attack was made on the


Saracens, in which the Christians, after a long and most severe conflict, attended with dreadful loss on both sides, gained a glorious victory over them. He then, about the close of Easter, crossed a large river named Thanis, flowing from the channel of the Nile, by means of boats firmly bound together; numbers of the people crossing it by a secret ford which had been shown them by a certain converted Saracen. Robert, count of Artois, the king's brother, taking with him some of the nobles, one of whom was William Longuespee, crossed to the opposite shore without the knowledge of the king, his brother; his intention being to triumph alone, instead of allowing all to share it, and to gain the credit of the victory being ascribed to him alone (for he was proud and arrogant, and covetous of vain glory); and as they found some Saracens there, his party put them to death. Robert then proceeded boldly, but unadvisedly, and determined to take forcible possession of a village before them, called Mansor, and, after putting the inhabitants he found therein to death, to destroy it; he therefore forced his way into it, but was almost overwhelmed by stones hurled upon him, and compelled to leave it, not, however, without slaying some of the inhabitants. They then held a council as to what was to be done, and Count Robert, hoping that the end would happily correspond to the beginning, persuaded and encouraged them all to proceed, and said to the master of the Knights Templars, who was then with him, William Longuespee also being present, "Let us follow up the flying enemy, who, it is said, are near us, whilst affairs prosper in our hands, whilst we see our people warm and thirsting for the blood of their enemies, and they despairing of their safety; so that by crushing them all, we may the sooner bring our war to a happy termination. Let us proceed with confidence, because we are followed by a third of the French army; and if anything unlucky should happen to us, which God forbid, the invincible army of the king my brother will come to our assistance at a summons from us". To this speech the master of the Templars, a prudent and circumspect man, well skilled and experienced in warlike matters, replied as follows: "My lord and noble count, we give all due commendation to your bravery, innate magnanimity and daring, voluntarily devoted to the honour of God and his universal Church, and which we know and

368 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

have often tried. However, we wish, advise, and beg you to put a salutary check on this fervour, by the curb of moderation and discretion, in order that we may recover breath a little after this triumph and honour which the Lord has conferred on us. After the heat and toil of these battles, we are wearied, we are wounded, hungry, and thirsty, and if we are consoled by the honour and glory of the victory we have obtained, no honour or joy comforts our wounded horses, who are even now failing us. Let us, therefore, as a better plan, return, in order that, by being united to the army of our king, we may be strengthened by his counsel and assistance, and that our horses, as well as ourselves, may be refreshed by a little tranquillity; and when our enemies see this, they will praise our moderate prudence more, and will entertain greater fears of us. For by holding more deliberate counsel with our countrymen when we are all assembled together, we shall rise again stronger, and shall be established in greater confidence by our collected forces. For a cry has now arisen from the fugitives, who, being mounted on the swiftest horses, will arouse the sultan and our other enemies, confident in their strength and numbers, and will forewarn them of our small numbers, and, when informed of these things, they will take courage from the division of our army, an occurrence they have always longed for, and will assail us more daringly and confidently, pouring their strength forth on us to our destiniction and ruin. For they know that, if they are now crushed, they will be entirely deprived of thefr inheritances, and with then' wives and families will be driven into the Nile".

Of the reproaches heaped on the Templars and HospitallerS by the count of Artois.

When the count of Artois heard this speech, he became highly indignant, and replied, swelling with anger and pride: "See the ancient treachery of the Templars! the long-known sedition of the Hospitallers. How manifestly does their long-concealed deceit now burst forth amongst us. This is what we foretold long ago; and truly has the augury been fulfilled; the whole country of the East would long ago have been gained, had not we seculars been impeded by the deceit of the Templars, Hospitallers, and others calling


themselves religious men. See, the chance of capturing the sultan is open to us, and the ruin of all paganism is imminent, as well as the lasting exaltation of the Christian faith, all of which this Templar, who is here present, endeavours to impede by his fictitious and fallacious arguments. For the Templars and Hospitallers, and their associates, fear that, if the country is reduced to submission to the Christian power, their domination, who fatten on its rich revenues, will expire. Hence it is that they poison, in divers ways, the Christians who come hither ready girt for the cause of the cross, and, confederating with the Saracens, put them to death by various treacherous means. Is not Frederick, who has had experience of their treachery, a most certain witness in this matter"?

The reply of the master of the Templars.

The aforesaid master of the Templars and his brethren, as well as the master of the Hospitallers and his brethren, were grieved to bitterness of spirit by these satirical and biting words, and replied, as if with one mind, as follows: "Why, noble count, should we take the habit of religion? Is it that we might overthrow the Church, and, by practising treachery, lose our own souls? Far be this from us, and indeed from every Christian". The master of the Templars, being greatly enraged, also said in a loud voice to his standard-bearer, "Unfurl and raise our banner; let us proceed to battle, that we may this day all together try the fortune of war and the chances of death. We should be invincible if we continued undivided; but we are unhappily divided, like sand without lime, and being, therefore, unfit for the spiritual edifice, and without the cement of affection, we shall forthwith become ruins, like rejected materials".

Of the altercation between William Longuespee and the count of Artois.

On hearing these words, William Longuespee, who greatly feared that a schism was already created in the army, desired to calm the impetuous violence of the count of Artois, and, to mitigate the anger of the master of the Templars, interposed a reply, and said, "From such a schism and division, according to the word of the Lord, ensues desolation; let us, therefore, most noble count, listen to this influential and holy man; he has long been an inhabitant of this country,

370 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

and, having been taught by manifold experience, knows their strength as well as their cunning. Is it to be wondered at if we new comers, young men and strangers, are ignorant of the perils of the East? As far distant as the East is from the West, so far different are the people of the West from these Orientals"; then, turning towards the master of the Templars, he addressed him with calmness and soothing words, endeavouring to calm the violence of his feelings, when the count of Artois, interrupting him suddenly in his speech, and in loud tones, after the French custom, and with unbecoming oaths, gave vent to the following reproaches and insults in the hearing of the multitude: "What cowardice is there in these timid, long-tailed English; how happy, how pure would this army be, if purged of these tails and tailed persons". William Longuespee was touched with shame, and being provoked and enraged at his offensive words, replied, "Count Robert, I shall most certainly proceed undismayed by any peril of impending death; we shall be, I fancy, to-day where you will not dare to touch my horse's tail"; then putting on their helmets and unfurling their standards, they continued their progress against the enemy, who covered a spacious plain and the mountains and valleys in all directions. Count Robert, wishing to ascribe it all to himself if the Christians should happen to gain a victory, disdained to tell the French king, his brother, of the supposed danger. The sultan having been informed of all these matters by his active spies, boldly inspirited to the combat his numerous host, which had been collected in an unusually brief space of time, addressing them as follows: "Behold, this is what I have long much wished for: the Christians are divided, and brother now does not adhere to brother; and even these men, who only constitute a third of them, are at variance amongst themselves. They are given to us as booty and plunder. Even on this very day they have been bickering and casting reproaches amongst themselves. What they are doing or are about to do, the French king, who is at a distance, is utterly ignorant. In the first place we must crush these men, who are few and entirely weakened, being famished with hunger, wearied with fighting and the toils of the journey, and bruised by the stones which were hurled upon them at Mansora, in order that we may afterwards more easily attack


the others, whom we are now cutting off from all means of obtaining provisions". This plan, when heard by the other Saracens, was approved of by all. The sultan then, with his innumerable hosts, rushed impetuously on the Christian army, and a most fierce conflict ensued; but in a short time the Christians began to be surrounded by the multitude of Saracens like an island in the sea; the latter also interposed themselves between the Christians and the river they had crossed, that not one of them might escape. At seeing this, the count of Artois repented that he had not attended to the advice of older and wiser men than himself; but he who has his helmet on cannot draw back from the battle. Seeing also William Longuespee surrounded on all sides by the enemy in a dense mass, and sustaining the whole weight of the battle, Count Robert shamelessly and imprudently cried out, "William, God fights against us,- we can no longer resist: consult your safety by flight, and escape alive whilst your horse can bear you away, or you may begin to want to do so when you have not the means". To this William replied briefly, as well as such a tumult permitted him, "God forbid that my father's son should fly for any Saracen; I would rather die happily than live unhappily". But Robert, count of Artois, seeing himself already being hedged in by his enemies, and that scarcely any means of flight were open to him, turned his horse's head and suddenly took to flight. Mounted on a swift horse, he took his way with all speed toward the river, either the Nile or the Thanis, which flows into it, and at once entered it, armed as he was, trusting to swim the river, as he knew his horse to be a very powerful one; but he was unable to do so, as he was burdened with iron armour and many other impediments. He was therefore drowned; and thus wretchedly perished this proud man, a fugitive and pitied by no one, humbled, not voluntarily, but against his will, mourned by no one's tears; for, although descended from the noble blood of kings, he set a pernicious example to others, and according to the words of the poet,-

Tanto conspectius in se
Crimen habet, quanto qui peccat major habetur.

[As men hold high or low estate,
So is the crime deemed small or great.]

372 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

The count then being drowned, all the French who were in that battle began to despair, and retreated in scattered bodies; at seeing which, William, on whom all the Saracens had rushed, found that it was a matter of life and death, yet he bravely withstood the shocks of all of them, and sent the souls of many of his enemies to hell, and although after a length of time his horse became weak and had his feet cut off, yet William himself, even then, cut off the heads, hands, and feet of some of his assailants.

The death of William Longuespee.

At length, after receiving many blows and wounds, and overwhelmed with showers of stones, William began to fail from loss of blood, and breathed forth his spirit to receive the crown of martyrdom; and together with him perished Robert de Vere, his standard-bearer, a noble knight, and a great many Englishmen who had followed his standard from the commencement of the war. In the night preceding this battle a vision appeared to his noble mother, the abbess of Lacock, named Hela, in which a knight completely equipped in armour was received into the heavens, which opened to receive him; and as she knew the knight's shield by the device on it, she inquired in astonishment who the knight was who ascended to heaven, and was received by the angels to such glory, whose shield she recognised, and the reply was made to her in a clear and distinct voice, "It is your son William"; she therefore noted the night the vision appeared, and its meaning was afterwards plainly revealed to her. But to return to our principal matter,- Robert, count of Artois, being drowned, and William Longuespee having been slain, the Saracens, confident of victory, surrounded the helpless Christians, and mercilessly put them to the sword; and out of all that glorious and distinguished body of knights there only escaped two Templars and one Hospitaller, and one person of inferior class, who swam the river naked, and brought word to the French king and the rest of the army of this event to be deplored by all ages. The others who escaped were so wearied and wounded that they could scarcely breathe, and were unable to cross the river, but concealed themselves in the rushes on the banks of the river, and waited the approach of the darkness of night; but the anger,


indeed the fury, of the Lord did not allow any one of a high name to escape.

How the French king animated his followers.

When these events came to the knowledge of the pious French king, he was touched to the heart with grief, nor could he refrain from bitter sighs and shedding tears in abundance, and with clasped hands, and eyes raised towards heaven, he said, with sighs interrupting his speech, "As it pleased God, so it has happened; blessed be the name of the Lord"; then, summoning the French nobles who were about him, he said to them, "My friends and faithful followers, participators in my perils, and bold companions in arms, what is to be done in this lamentable crisis? If we endure these things and retreat without taking notice of them, our enemies will exult over us, as though they had gained a triumph over all of us; they wall glory more in our retreat than in the slaughter of our companions, they will be the more strongly encouraged to attack and to pursue us, as they are more swift than we are, and so they will soon destroy us from the face of the earth, to the confusion of all Christianity; and by such a proceeding the universal Church will be more utterly ruined, and France will be stained with indelible disgrace. Let us, therefore, call upon God, whom it is clear we give offence to by our sins, and let us unanimously and with confidence attack our enemies, who are stained with the blood of our brethren, and let us with condign vengeance require the blood of our friends, which has been shed at the hands of our enemies. And who, indeed, could any longer patiently endure such a great injury offered to Christ"?

Of the king's unfortunate advance to battle.

At the king's order then all, as if one man, were inspirited and took to their arms. But as each man called to mind the death of some friend or relative, sighs and groans redoubled, and their tears flowed in abundance, and thus they pined away more with grief than hunger. Those of them, however, who possessed strength advanced, preceded by the oriflamme, following the tracks of their brethren who had fallen, as above stated, sending the disabled and weak, who were entirely without arms and provisions, by way of the

374 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

river in boats to Damietta, that they might recover strength there in the shelter afforded them by the city. The sultan, being informed of this circumstance, at once ordered boats to be brought thither in waggons drawn by oxen, in order that, besides the vessels he had there to prevent the arrival of provisions, he might have a larger fleet to complete the destruction of the wretched Christians. These vessels, filled with Saracens, met the Christians sailing down the river, where a most bloody naval battle ensued, and the missiles of the combatants flew like hail. At length, after a long conflict, rendered dreadful by the Greek fire, hurled on them by the Saracens, the Christians being worn out by grief and hunger, the Saracens triumphed over them at pleasure; and as the Saracen fleet which had come from Damietta, and also that which had been stationed in the river to prevent provisions from being carried to that city, opposed them, all passage was closed against them when they wished to take to flight, so that not one of the Christians escaped to carry the news of the calamity to their fellows at Damietta, but they all perished, being either drowned, burnt, pierced with weapons, or suffering some other miserable death. One of those who came up in the rear, at a great distance from the advanced body of them, with some difficulty escaped and returned, not proceeding towards Damietta; him, however, the Saracens pursued, and in his flight inflicted five large wounds on him. This man's name was Alexander Giffard, an Englishman by birth, of noble blood, and the son of a noble lady who resided with the queen.

Of the wretched slaughter of the French.

The French, on being informed of these events, pined away more and more with internal grief, nor could their king console them, and the minds of all were oppressed by feelings of great desolation, whilst the sultan, who had heard of the misfortunes of the Christians in all directions, was elate with joy and inspired with greater boldness; and when he heard of the hostile approach of the French king and his army, he wondered at their audacity, that, after such misfortunes, a few hungry men dared to provoke such a numerous army to battle, an army composed of the whole of the forces of the East. He therefore called his nobles together and encouraged them in these words: "Most noble chiefs of the


East, you who have now nobly and triumphantly defeated almost the half of the French army, and who now are rejoicing in the spoils, arms, and horses of the slain, boldly meet this approaching rabble, worn away by hunger and grief, and easily to be crushed, and slay all who oppose you without mercy, so that not one of them may escape or elude your victorious hands. For what rash madness excites them to attack and endeavour to deprive us of our inheritance, who have inhabited this noble country since the Flood? Do they wish us to believe in their Christ against our will? Who can be converted or believe against his will? A certain motive, however slight, urges the Christians to covet the land which they call Holy; but what have they to do with Egypt? They are unfit to lord it over the land which is watered and enriched by the river sent from Paradise; beardless, shorn men, unwarlike and imbecile; more like hermaphrodites or geldings, or rather women, than men, what do they dare to do"? At these words all the Saracens were inflamed for the contest like raging fire, and they met our men in battle with the greatest confidence.

The capture of the French king.

Our fellow-Christians then proceeded, and as they neared the place of battle, where their French brethren had so miserably perished, they found the bodies of the slain headless, deprived of the hands and feet, and otherwise mutilated; for the Saracens, in order to obtain the promised rewards from the sultan, had vied with one another in cutting off the limbs of the dead bodies, as above mentioned, and had left the rest of the bodies to be devoured by the beasts and birds of prey; and when the French beheld this sight, they sent forth lamentable wailings, tore their hair and clothes, and moistened their arms and shields with their tears, so that their grief might have invited the compassion even of their enemies. In the mean time, the hosts of the enemy appeared at hand, and a lamentable conflict immediately ensued. But what could such a few men, worn out by grief and suffering, hunger and want, and mounted on famishing horses, effect against so many thousands of thousands? The French gave way, were struck down and slain, and vied with one another in submitting to their enemies. In short, the French army was defeated and dispersed, and few only of

376 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

their enemies were slain; and in this ill-omened conflict only one of the Saracens of noble rank was known to have fallen, and this one was named Melkadin, the son of Rocus; (?) and even if as many had fallen on the adverse side as we lost on ours, their army would scarcely have shown any diminution. For we lost two thousand three hundred knights of noble birth and fifteen thousand soldiers, who were almost slain or taken prisoners at the will of the enemy. To add also to their grief and to the lasting disgrace of the French, and the confusion of the Church and all Christianity, the king, with the very few who defended him, namely, Charles, count of Provence, Alphonso, count of Poitou, and other nobles who remained firm by his side, was made prisoner. Never has it been found in any history that a king of France had been taken prisoner, especially by infidels, or defeated, except this one; and if he alone had been preserved in safety and honour, and all the rest had fallen, the Christians might have had some means of recovering breath and avoiding shame. Hence it was that David in the psalm prayed in spirit that the person of the king might be preserved, as on that depended the safety of the whole army, when he says, "Lord, save the king". Of the force which Robert, count of Artois, the king's brother, in his rash daring, had taken with him, there perished nearly a thousand knights and seven thousand two hundred fighting men. Of the Templars, three knights only escaped; and of the Hospitallers, but four; the fifth died of his wounds and loss of blood before he reached Acre: of the house of the Teutonic order, three only escaped, and they half- dead. There also fell in this deadly conflict, besides the Templars and others, the following illustrious men: Ralph de Coucy, a famous and distinguished knight; Hugh, count of Flanders, a man of great power and distinction: Hugh Brun, count de la Marche, whose father had died a short time before at Damietta; and also the count of Ponthieu, a pilgiim: and to sum up in a few words, the whole of the French nobility there fell slain. Gaucher de Chatillon, a bold and invincible knight, was made prisoner, carried off, and presented, as a token of victory, to the caliph, whose custom it is never to set at liberty any Christian consigned to his prisons. William Longuespee also fell


covered with blood, after he had steeped his sword in the blood of many of his enemies; and, with him, Robert de Vere and several other illustrious knights and their followers. This noble, although he was persuaded to escape, and could have done so, refused, lest he might appear unworthy of being associated with the other martyrs.

Of the governors of Damietta, and the fleet left at that place.

There were left in charge of Damietta, the duke of Burgundy, who commanded the forces and the people left in that city, and Oliver of Termes, a distinguished warrior, who commanded the cross-bowmen and horse-skirmishers. There were also in the city, Odo, the legate, the bishops of Amiens and Soissons, and many other prelates and clerks; also the queen of France, and many other ladies in attendance on her. To command the fleet, too, which was numerous, and than which a more noble or better supplied fleet had never been seen, some illustrious knights had been appointed, and were stationed in the city, together with some Pisans, Genoese, Flemings, Poitevins, and Provencals, all faithful subjects of the French king.

It should be remarked, that, on the very day on which the French king was taken prisoner, Earl Richard was feasting with the pope; and as the sultan of Babylon took the king prisoner, so the pope endeavoured to take the earl in by feasting him, and to render him favourable to his wishes.

How the French king, although a prisoner, refused to restore Damietta to the Saracens.

The French king having been taken and secured, the Saracens, as they had formerly done in the case of those whom they had taken with his brother Robert, decapitated the bodies of the slain, and cut off their hands and feet, as a sign of extreme vengeance, as the sultan had ordered, and also in hopes of the reward above mentioned. But the more injuries these holy martyrs in the cause of God suffered, the greater reward they will doubtless obtain. The sultan determined to take the captive king to the more distant parts of the East, as a sight and object of ridicule to all infidels, to gain renown for himself, and that his prisoner might be exposed to the insults of all the Saracens, and that the most renowned of Christians might be presented to the

378 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

caliph, in honour of Mahomet; that, as the most noble one of the Christians was crushed, the infidels might conceive hopes of destroying the rest. But as they most eagerly desired to obtain possession of Damietta, the plan was changed, for fear the king should die of sorrow; for, indeed, he would not eat or drink any thing for two days after his capture, and wished for death. And if he had died, the besieged would have sustained without alarm, for a year at least, the assaults of all the forces of the East, both by land and sea, and in the mean time they could be freed by the succour of the Christians, for Damietta was well defended by walls, ramparts, and towers, and the fleet was invincible by sea. The wiser and more eminent of the Saracens, therefore, considering on this, called on the king instantly to restore Damietta, and to pay as a ransom for his own person the sum of a hundred thousand pounds of gold. To these demands the king replied with a dejected countenance and suppliant tone: "The Almighty knows that I came hither from France, not to acquire lands or money for myself, but to gain over to God your endangered souls; nor did I undertake this perilous journey for my own advantage, but for yours, in fulfilment of my vow. For I possess abundant territory, temperate and healthy, although a sinner and unworthy of it; but I pity your souls, which will surely perish. Rest you satisfied with the ruin which, owing to Christ being offended with me, I have suffered in many ways. I may be put to death; money may be extorted from me even to my utter impoverishment, but never shall Damietta, which was obtained by a divine miracle, be given up to you".

How the Saracens endeavoured to take Damietta by a stratagem.

Whilst the Saracens were deliberating on these matters, one of the most crafty amongst them said: "Why do you hesitate? whether this captive petty prince is willing or unwilling, we will obtain both Damietta and the money demanded". By his advice, then, a strong body of Saracens, about equal in number to what they computed the Christian army to have amounted to, or perhaps more numerous, and, treacherously putting on the armour and carrying the shields and standards of the slain Christians, at once set out, thus disguised, to Damietta, in order that, having the


appearance of Frenchmen, they might obtain admission into the city, and, as soon as they were admitted, might kill all they found therein. But when they approached the city, the Christians on guard looked forth from the ramparts of the city and towers on them, and at first thought they were Christians exultingly bearing spoils and trophies; but the nearer they approached, the more unlike Frenchmen they appeared. For they marched hurriedly and in disordered crowds, and sloped their shields irregularly, more after the custom of Saracens than the French. And when they reached the extremities of the fortifications, and approached the gates of the city, they were clearly proved to be Saracens by their black and bearded faces and the significations of their beards; and they at once imperiously demanded admission to the city; for all the approaches, both to the castles and the city, were carefully and vigilantly guarded.

Of the grief of the Christians at learning of the above-mentioned slaughter.

When the garrison of the city saw the Saracens equipped in the spoils of Christians, and were thus informed of the destruction of the Christian army, they filled the whole city with their lamentations; they, however, denied admission to the enemy into their castles and city, boldly declaring that, although the Christian army as well as its king had perished, they would firmly endure a siege, and withstand the assaults of all the Saracens of the East for a long time, as they were in certain hopes of receiving assistance. But as the persons on watch at the top of the towers saw that there was a large and widely-spread army of these new comers, and as they knew that their own forces were quite unequal to contend against the strength of the enemy, they would not sally forth to attack them, especially as their strength was failing them from grief and want. For who could fully relate their heartfelt grief, when they saw the enemies of Christ giving vent to their pride and derision, clad in the armour, and bearing the standards and painted devices which they so well knew?

How the French king gave up Damietta to the Saracens as the price of his own freedom.

The Saracens, being thus balked in their design, returned,

380 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

and from that time began to deal more mildly with the French king. They therefore allowed him to be served with food and drink by his subjects who had been made prisoners with him; for he was afraid he should be poisoned, according to the custom of the Saracens. He was detained a prisoner amongst them for a month and more, during which time he was frequently asked, with terrible threats, to give up Damietta; and as he refused to do so on any terms, they demanded that the before-mentioned sum of money should be paid to them without any abatement, or else that he should be put to an ignominious death, by protracted tortures, or, to the confusion of the Christian faith, should be delivered up to the caliph, never to be allowed to return, and without hopes of ransom. In this strait, therefore, considering that he could not in any way escape from their hands, and that he could not by any means retain possession of Damietta, or prevent it from being reduced by the besieging enemy (and who could release him or rescue that country by force?), and wishing to ameliorate his condition in some way, the king replied, "We of the West do not so much abound in gold as you people of the East, nor do we make use of pounds in our reckonings; change, therefore, gold into silver and pounds into marks, and let me be taken under safe-conduct from you to Acre, to effect a restoration of the captives on both sides; let also those who are dwelling in Damietta, be conducted by you to a place of safety, uninjured in person and retaining their arms, and then, I say, it with a deeply-wounded heart, I will resign Damietta to you, if I can induce those shut up in the city to consent to these terms". As these terms, but also with the addition of a truce of ten years, satisfied the sultan, the king sent four of his knights, accompanied by some Saracen nobles, and with letters and secret credentials to the legate, the duke, and others, who were in command in that city, giving them notice, and persuading them to restore Damietta to the Saracens, on the above-stated conditions. When the king's messengers, accompanied by the aforesaid Saracens, had passed through the camp, and arrived at the gates of the city, they delivered the message intrusted to them, at which the Christian nobles grieved more than can be expressed, and for a long time were in doubt as to what they


should do in the matter; for they greatly feared the wiles of the enemy, and that they should, after giving up Damietta, find the king to have been poisoned, as well as all who were with him, and that they would only live for a very short time; for they were well aware of this kind of Saracen treachery. But when they learnt from the king's messengers that he had not received food or drink from the hands of any Saracens, they were induced by the intercessions of the legate, the queen, and other friends of the king, who had a regard for his life, to comply with the terms; and after having received security for the safety of the king, as well as of themselves and the sailors, and also for safe-conduct to Acre, the governors of the city (with sorrow I write it) resigned the keys of it, although not without deep-drawn sighs of grief. When the people heard of this, they, in the violence of their grief and anger, and contrary to the terms agreed on on both sides, destroyed all the provisions that were left, which belonged either to the king or others, broke up the casks of oil and wine, and threw away or burnt the corn, barley, and salted meats; for they were overcome with grief at the thought that the enemies of the faith would be fattened on their stores, which they had preserved during such a long state of famine, and considered it better that it should never be taken.

How the Christians at Damietta were decapitated.

The sultan then dismissed the king under safe-conduct to Acre, and took possession of the city of Damietta; but on entering it, found it was entirely destitute of all kinds of provisions, and with the vessels which had contained them broken to pieces; he therefore ordered the lower orders of Christians, whom he found there - those of the higher ranks having escaped - to be beheaded; and grieved that he had allowed the chief men, who had consented to the terms, to depart peaceably; he also ordered the fleet of the Christians, which was found there, to be burned. Moreover, the Christians, who had left the city in crowds, were intercepted by ambuscades of the Saracens, who sallied from the mountains and valleys, and were cut to pieces by them; the prisoners, however, had fortunately been restored before this occurrence.

382 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

How the French king defied the sultan.

When this proceeding came to the ears of the French king, who was staying at Acre, under the protection of the Templars, Hospitallers, and other Christians, he sent word to the sultan, that he, perfidious transgressor that he was, had shamelessly violated the truce they had made, and that he had obtained the money which he had received from him, the French king, by deceit. To this the sultan replied, that the French had given occasion for this vengeance, and had provoked the animosity of the Saracens; and a portion of them having been proved to have fallen into these offences, that they had justly suffered the aforesaid punishments.

The Saracens rise against the sultan.

When the people of the East and the Egyptians heard that the sultan had been bribed, and allowed such a powerful king and his brethren to depart at liberty, they were highly exasperated, and rose in arms against him; nor could he excuse himself to them by the reason which he gave, that he wished to obtain the restoration of Damietta for the safety of all paganism, in order that the harbour there, and the means of entering the country, might not be open to other Christians; they therefore either compelled him to fly, or killed him. This excitement of the Saracen populace against the sultan was increased by his not having, out of all the money which he had obtained, both before and after the king's capture, given them the pay agreed on, although they had brought the war to a termination, and had decapitated the conquered French, according to his orders. Amongst the higher ranks of the eastern people there also arose a deadly strife and contention, as to which of them should enjoy the glory of possessing such great booty; but when they were informed of the release of the king, they poured forth all their anger on the sultan. In the city of Damietta perished Oliver de Termes, with all his followers, whom we call ruptarii (horse-skirmishers), and many others too numerous to mention, but who, it is well known, are all written down by name in the Book of Life. It is clear that the cause of this great misfortune was the pride of the count of Artois, who insultingly refused


to listen to the humiliation of the Saracens, when, for the sake of peace, they made the many offers previously mentioned; and afterwards, in order that all the glory might be ascribed to him, took with him a third of the army, and secretly left the rest of the king's army. But in order that we may be fully informed of all particulars of the aforesaid matters, we have inserted in this work the following letter, which was sent to Earl Richard.

The letter which was sent to Earl Richard.

"To his respected lord Richard, earl of Cornwall, John, his chancellor, etc., etc.- Whereas, sometimes, the minds of the great are wearied and tortured by the statements of various rumours, until the truth is known, I have thought proper to intimate to you some lamentable and mournful rumours concerning the French army, in a definite and true form, which reports are not yet made public, but the particulars of which I learnt by word of mouth, as he did not bring letters, but only credulous reports, from a former clerk of mine, who was sent to the queen of the French. These reports state that after the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the king took the road towards Cairo, the duke of Burgundy remaining at Damietta, as well as the wives of the nobles, and many ladies attending on the queen. But when the king attempted to cross the Nile, he was powerfully opposed on the other bank of the river by the sultan of Babylon and great numbers of Saracens; he therefore pitched his camp on this side the river and collected boats, in order that, by fastening them together, he might cross the river with his army by their means, as by a bridge. On the first day of abstinence from flesh, the sultan being absent, although he left a numerous host of people in his camp near the river, according to the plan of a certain converted Saracen, the count of Artois and the master of the Templars, with all the brethren who were there, were faithfully instructed to cross the river; this converted man being of the party of the count of Artois - his servant indeed. These chiefs were accompanied by William Longuespee and his followers, and many others, amounting to about a third of the whole army, who all crossed the Nile, and rushing suddenly on the Saracens, boldly gave them battle, and a severe

384 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

conflict ensued. At length, after many were slain, indeed all the Saracens whom they found in the plain, as well as in their camp, and a great slaughter made of both sexes, the Christians obtained a glorious victory; but the count and his people were not content with this; for he, the count, obstinately wished to proceed further, to attack a village called Mansora, which was near them, although the Templars opposed this, and endeavoured to dissuade him from doing so, alleging as reasons the many disadvantages they laboured under from the weariness and wounds of their own bodies, as well as their horses, and other reasons. But the said count and his followers would not return on any account; and reproaches having been cast on one another, they proceeded to the said village, and boldly attacked the enemy. At seeing this, all the Saracens who dwelt in that village and other neighbouring places, fled with loud cries of lamentation and alarm, so that on the same day the sultan, who, as was believed, was not far distant, heard the cry, and learnt the facts of the matter. The Christians, however, incautiously entered the village, and were cut off in their retreat, and overwhelmed by showers of stones hurled on them by some of the inhabitants, who remained concealed on the ramparts; and the army being dispersed, with much difficulty escaped from the place, much diminished in numbers, and thereupon began at once to despair. The sultan then came up with an immense host and engaged in a bloody conflict with them: and at length, God so permitting it, all the Christians were slain, with the exception of one person of low rank, who made his way back with much difficulty. The king was much grieved at hearing this (and no wonder), and in the ardour of his mind prepared with all the speed in his power to cross the river himself by means of the aforesaid boats, and other vessels, saying to his followers, "Now, it is necessary for France to put forth all its valour, and to exert its whole strength". But in the mean time, many of the Christians failed from hunger and thirst; their horses, being weary and hungry, began to grow weak; and, what was worse, grief and the recollection of the slain, had wounded the hearts of all to bitterness of spirit. In the mean time, too, adversity succeeded adversity; for the said sultan, from whom, out of personal hatred, many of the Saracens were


alienated, both in mind and body, owing to his pride and deceits, died about this time; and the Saracens immediately appointed another, his son, it is reported, in his place, and all of them confederated with him, and swore allegiance to him as their lord; and thus all became, as it were, one body; and, inspired with confidence, united much more firmly than before to effect the destruction of the Christians, as they saw that general ruin was impending over them. The newly-created sultan, then, by the advice of the older and wiser portion of his followers, diligently found out the proceedings and plans of the Christians. The king, in the mean time, sent many of the French of his army, who were worn out by sickness and hunger, in a fleet, by way of the Nile, to Damietta, that they might recover their strength in a place of safety; but the sultan being forewarned of this, caused a great many more boats filled with armed men to be brought in waggons drawn by oxen to meet this fleet, and a most fierce naval engagement took place on the river, in which the missiles on both sides flew like hail; but the Saracens, by throwing Greek fire on the Christians, burnt many of their boats and slew the people in them, and obtained the victory; the Christians were drowned, slain, and burnt; and thus, as well by the sword as by hunger, the Lord in his anger destroyed them all. One only escaped, an Englishman by birth, to announce the mournful calamity to the king, who was overwhelmed with afflictions, like another Job. After this, in the octaves of the following Easter, the king with his army crossed a river which flows from the Nile, but is called by another name, that of Thanis; but was met by the sultan with a countless host of Saracens, and a battle ensued, attended with a lamentable result; for the army of the Christians, weakened by sufferings and grief, gave way, and an irreparable misfortune fell upon the people of Christ. The king and his surviving brothers were made prisoners, as also were all the rest who were not slain. Thus, by the hidden judgments of God, the harp of the Christians was tuned to the notes of sorrow; and instead of its former sweet sound, it strikes forth in mournful wailings. The king and the others being thus made prisoners, the sultan spoke with him and them concerning a peace; but whilst the matter was being discussed,- for they could not agree,

386 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

as the king was grieved almost to death,- the sultan treacherously sent a large body of his men, bearing the oriflamme and the standards of the French, to surprise the Christians, who were ignorant of this event, and to gain possession of the city. The Christians, however, being forewarned of this deceit by their irregular mode of marching, the gates were shut, and a conference was held, in which the duke and others in the city refused their demands, declaring that they had no fear of being able to defend the city for two years or more, by the expiration of which time the Lord would provide them with assistance and wholesome counsel, and that they would not be bent from their purpose to obtain the life of the king: whereupon they returned to the sultan, balked in their design. The king, however, having made a truce on behalf of himself and his heirs, bound himself by hostages to pay a hundred thousand marks of silver for the loss of Damietta; and the governors of that city having been softened by the intercession of the queen and some friends of the king, who desired to save his life, Damietta was (I write it with shame) restored to the enemies of Christ, to the confusion of the Church universal. In this unfortunate battle perished almost all the nobles of France; count John of Dreux, the pride of France, died in Cyprus, as a sad presage of future evil".

The indignation of the French at hearing of the slaughter of their fellow-countrymen.

When the news of these mournful events was brought to the knowledge of the Lady Blanche and the nobles of France, by some people returning from the eastern provinces, they could not or would not believe them, and ordered the bearers of it to be hung; and these men we believe to have been manifest martyrs. At length, as they heard the same facts from repeated reporters of it, whom they did not dare to call story-tellers, and when they saw letters containing accounts of the same, with other unmistakeable credentials, the whole of France was covered with grief and confusion, and ecclesiastics as well as knights pined away with grief, and refused to receive consolation; for in all directions fathers and mothers had to lament the fall of their children; pupils and orphans mourned the death of fathers; relations


that of relations; and friends that of friends. The beauty of woman was changed; garlands of flowers were thrown away; songs were suspended; musical instruments were prohibited; and every kind of enjoyment was converted into lamentation and grief; and, what was worse, they accused the Lord of injustice; and, raving in bitterness of heart and in the violence of their grief, they broke forth into words of blasphemy, which appeared to savour of apostasy or heresy. The faith of many began to waver; and the noble city of Venice, and many others, inhabited by people who were half-Christians, would have fallen into apostasy, had they not been strengthened by the consolation of their holy bishops and religious men, who confidently asserted that the slain were now reigning as martyrs in heaven, and would not now live in this vale of darkness the world, for all the gold contained in it; and thus, after some difficulty, the anger of some, though not of all, was calmed.

How the king of Castile assumed the cross.

When the most victorious king of Castile, who had already obtained more than thirteen victories over the Saracens, heard of these events, he compassionated the sufferings of the French, and assumed the cross himself, thinking it more worthy to subdue the Holy Land to Christ, than any other country.

The complaints made of the extortions of money.

Such are the fruits produced by the rapine and depredations which, by the permission, indeed by the teaching, of the Roman church, the nobles practise on the all-suffering poor, in order that they may fill their own pouches, whenever they are setting out on a pilgrimage to fight for God. From the foregoing events, it is clear as light how displeasing to God is the gain which arises from the oppression and impoverishment of the poor.

A notorious example of the extortion practised in France.

Although some of the pecuniary extortions practised throughout the French kingdom are unmentionable, and ought to be kept in eternal silence, we have thought proper to insert one example in this book. It is well known that

388 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

the French king, by permission of the Roman church, had extorted a tenth from the churches throughout the kingdom of France for three years, on condition that the pope should afterwards extort the same amount from the same quarter, to enable him to prosecute the war more vigorously against Frederick. But after the first three years' collection, when the pope wished to gather fruit for himself, the French king, being informed of it, flatly refused to allow it, and played off a stratagem of his own, to defeat those of this rapacious collector, alleging as his reason, that he could by no means allow the churches of his kingdom to be impoverished for the purpose of making war on Christians: for the sake of attacking infidels, he could endure it with more equanimity; but even then, rather by a layman than a priest. Besides, if it were to be preyed upon for another ensuing three years, it would be open to irremediable ruin, which however he, the pope, would not trouble about; he, therefore, as above stated, extorted the said money by means of the pope's agents, that he might obtain it more effectually, and that he might find out to how much the pope's portion when collected would amount. By this proceeding the hearts of many were touched with deep grief, and amidst their maledictions they prayed that the sentence of the prophet Isaiah, or rather of God, might be verified, who has hitherto held in detestation all robbery connected with an offering to him. Would that the king of England and his brother Earl Richard, and other crusading princes, who are intent on the acquirement of filthy lucre, would weigh these things in the scale of reason; for although the act of holy pilgrimage is plainly pious in itself, yet the supplies for the journey, when acquired by foul means, stain the performance of the pious action; and this is believed to have been the cause of the above-mentioned disgrace and ruin, although, perhaps, other causes may not be wanting. Of the extortions practised in the kingdom of France we have thought proper to mention one case, as being a most disgraceful one. It happened that an agent of the said pope met a petty clerk of a village carrying water in a little vessel, with a sprinkler, and some bits of bread given him for having sprinkled some holy water, and to him the deceitful Roman thus addressed himself: "How much does the profit yielded to you by this church


amount to in a year"? To which the clerk, ignorant of the Roman's cunning, replied, "To twenty shillings, I think". The Roman, then, declaring himself, said to him: "From this, therefore, there arises for the benefit of the revenue twenty-four pence, that is, two shillings"; and he at once ruined this poor man, who begged from door to door, saying to him, "Pay the king what is due from you". And to pay that small sum this poor man was compelled to hold schools for many days, and, by selling his books in the precincts, to drag on a half-starved and famished life. But let us leave this collateral discourse and return to our principal matter.

The magnanimity of the abbess of Lacock.

When the above-mentioned misfortune came to the knowledge of the pope, he was sorely grieved, as was also the whole community of the Roman court; all bulls were suspended for some days, and the pope's disgrace increased and was spread abroad in no slight degree. Amongst the complaints of the French, words were heard to the following effect: "Alas! how great evils has the pope's pride brought on us, which so obstinately refused to accept of Frederick's humiliation, and would not receive proper satisfaction, but rather provoked him to bitterness of spirit. He unhesitatingly offered in his kindness to restore, without bloodshed, to us whatever possessions the Christians had at any time held in the Holy Land; and now, alas! how much generous and noble blood is uselessly shed in the Holy Land, in Germany, and in Italy; and what is worse, faith is wavering, and the Holy Land is exposed to danger; the Christian religion is diminished in effect, and the superstition of the pagans is exalted. Under what an unlucky star must he have been born, since such misfortunes have broken out in his time in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose vicar he declares himself to be"! When the account of this misfortune reached the ears of the abbess and countess Hela, who ruled with more than female vigour a convent of religious ladies at Lacock, and who was the mother of the noble William Longuespee, she, remembering the glorious vision she had seen of her son at the time when he died a manifest martyr, as above mentioned, with a cheerful spirit, clasped hands, and bended knees, broke forth in praise of God, highly pleasing to Christ,

390 MATTHEW PARTS. [A.D. 1250.

in these words: "Lord Jesus Christ, I give thee thanks for having willed it, that from the body of me, a sinner, such a son should be produced, whom you have deigned to honour with the crown of martyrdom. I hope that by his assistance I shall soon be advanced to the glories of the heavenly kingdom". When the bearers of these reports, who had been silent for a long time through fear, saw her actions and heard her words, they praised the more than womanly firmness of this woman, and wondered that in her maternal affection she did not break out into mournful complaints, but rather exulted in spiritual joy.

Of the deaths of certain nobles.

In the course of this lamentable year, some most illustrious men died on the above-mentioned pilgrimage: amongst these were earls and marquises, bishops and knights, some of whom died on board their ships, some at the islands they touched at, and some were drowned. One of these was the bishop of Noyon, whose name, as well as the names of the rest, are plainly written in the book of everlasting life. In this year, also, about the feast of St. Margaret, died Robert Muschamp, a man of high name in the northern parts of England; and about the same time died also Henry Hastings, a distinguished knight and rich baron.

How the Saracens prepared to lay siege to Acre.

About the same time, the Saracens, seeing that the war prospered in their hands, made preparations to besiege Acre, as they now rejoiced in abundance of spoil taken from their slain enemies; consisting of horses, arms, engines of war and crossbows, ships, and provisions, and also on account of the boldness they felt at the recent defeat of the Christians, as well as in consequence of the truce having been abandoned. They were also extremely sorry that they had allowed the French king and his surviving brothers to be ransomed, or to depart free when they were ransomed, even although the money had been twice as much; and for this they poured forth charges against the sultan of Babylon, in detestation of his avarice, and they confidently trusted yet to recover their lost possession, and again to secure the king and his brothers in their toils.


The French king sends his brothers back into France.

The pious king of the French on considering matters, after he had paid the amount of the aforesaid ransom-money, which sum he borrowed from the Temple and Hospital, and from the Genoese and Pisans, and had recovered the hostages he had given, suddenly and secretly embarked his two surviving brothers, Alphonso count of Poitou, and Charles count of Provence, in a strong ship, and wisely sent them back to the West; and, under the guidance and protection of God, they arrived safe and sound in France. But the king himself remained sad and inglorious at Acre, and swore in the bitterness of his heart that he would never return to sweet France in such a state of disgrace; for who can, without sighs and tears of sorrow, describe his grief and lamentations when, his third brother Robert being dead, and himself defeated, he now trusted two others in an inglorious condition to the billows of the ocean? The aforesaid counts then, together with the duke of Burgundy, who had come home with them, immediately went to the pope, as they had been enjoined to do by the king, earnestly exhorting him, although not with soft entreaties, to send speedy assistance to the French king, who was placed in such great peril, and was fighting for the honour of the universal Church, to restore the humiliated Frederick to peace with the Church, as he alone of all Christians could relieve them in such perils, and to induce him to give effectual and speedy succour to the king, who was now almost in a state of hopelessness; otherwise they, the duke and the said counts, would remove him, the said pope, from his see at Lyons, as being obstinate in his hatred, and caring nothing for the honour of the Christian faith; and if the bishop elect of Lyons and his brother the archbishop of Canterbury, in whom he rested his confidence, should defend him, all France, headed by the aforesaid nobles, would rise against them.

Of an unusual swelling and commotion of the sea.

About the same time, namely on the first day of the month of October, the moon being in its first quarter, there appeared a new moon, swollen and red in appearance, as a

392 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

sign of coming tempests; according to the experimental writings of the philosopher and poet:

Promittit de more rubens nova Cynthia ventos,
Caumate vel Borea valido nisi praepediatur:
Turgida dat nimbos, seu pallida clara serenum.

[When Cynthia yet is new, and ruddy tints
O'erspread her face, it threatens gusts of wind,
Unless excess of heat or cold prevent.
Her face, if swollen, portendeth storms; but, pale
And bright, she clears the face of heaven.]

The sky then, in the first week of the increase of the moon, was covered with a thick mist, and began to be much disturbed by the violence of the winds, which tore away the branches and the leaves which were then dying away on the trees, and carried them to a great distance through the air. What was more destructive, the disturbed sea transgressed its usual bounds, the tide flowing twice without any ebb, and emitted such a frightful roaring sound, that, even in parts remote from it, it created amazement in those who heard it; even old men, and indeed none of modern times, remembered ever to have seen the like before. In the darkness of the night too the sea appeared to burn like a fire, and the billows seemed to crowd together, as though fighting with one another, in such fury, that the skill of sailors could not save their sinking ships, and large and firmly-built vessels were sunk and lost. Not to mention other cases, at the port of Hertbourne alone three noble ships were swallowed up by the raging billows, besides small ones and others of moderate size. At Winchelsea, a port on the eastern coast, besides the salt-houses, and the abodes of fishermen, the bridges, and mills which were destroyed, more than three hundred houses in that village, with some churches, were thrown down by the impetuous rise of the sea. Holland in England, and Holland on the continent also, as well as Flanders and other level countries adjoining the sea, sustained irreparable damage. The rivers falling into the sea were forced back and swelled to such a degree that they overflowed meadows, destroyed mills, bridges, and the houses adjacent to them, and, invading the fields, carried away the corn which had not been stored away in the barns; that the anger of God


plainly appeared to mortals in the sea as well as on land, and the punishment of sinners appeared imminent, according to the prophecy of Habakkuk: "Art thou angered in the rivers, oh Lord, or is thy indignation in the sea"? And what wonder is it? for from the Roman court, which ought to be the fountain of all justice, there emanated unmentionable enormities, one of which, although unfit to be described, we have thought proper to insert in this work.

Of the detestable exaction from the priory of Binham.

Although the prior of Binham had full right in the church of Westley, which was to be held for his own uses as regarded the bestowal of patronage and the confirmation of two bishops and their chapter, from three pontiffs of the Roman church, namely, Lucius, Eugenius, and Gregory the Ninth, a certain Genoese, spurious and illiterate, obtained the following letter from the pope, contrary to all right and justice.- "Innocent, bishop, etc., etc., to his well-beloved son Master Berard de Nympha, our writer in England, health and the apostolic benediction. Whereas, our well-beloved son and chamberlain N. formerly gave the church of Westley, in the diocese of Ely, to Reiner de Solerium, provost of Ypres, lately deceased; which church, although it belonged to the presentation of our well-beloved sons the prior and conventual assembly of Binham, of the order of St. Benedict, the said provost held in England during his life; and as we have thought proper, by our authority, to bestow the said church on our well-beloved son and clerk Herrigettus, son of the noble Perrachin de Malachana, of Volta, a Genoese citizen, declaring null and void whatever shall be done contrary to his collation to it; we, ratifying what has been done by our said chamberlain in this matter, by these apostolic letters command you, either yourselves or by some other person, to induct the proctor of the said H., or any other person whom you may select in his name, into personal possession of the same church, and to protect him when installed in it, removing from it any detainer soever, postponing all appeal, and checking gainsayers by the Church's censure; notwithstanding the indulgence by which it is assured to the English, that when an Italian clerk dies or gives up his benefice, another

394 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Italian shall not obtain immediate possession of it; or anyother indulgence, of which mention ought to be made in these presents, or by which this collation or assignment can or may be impeded, or even delayed; and notwithstanding any decree concerning two days' journey issued at the general council. Given at Lyons the 29th of April, in the seventh year of our pontificate".

How the archbishop of Canterbury suppressed by threats the murmurs of complainers.

About this time, the archbishop of Canterbury, feeling his conscience wounded concerning the enormous offence he had committed at London, especially in the church of St. Bartholomew, as above narrated, secretly sent messengers, and by threats as well as soft speeches, both in the names of the king and queen and his own, endeavoured to suppress the complaints of the canons.

The death of William, bishop of Winchester.

About the feast of St. Matthew in this year, William, bishop of Winchester, died at Tours, after having resided there for about eleven months with a diminished household, in order to save himself expense; for his bishopric was burdened with endless debts to the pope, which had been increasing since the time when the king by his persecution drove him from England, when the pope, on being richly remunerated, opened the bosom of consolation to him, as before mentioned. Having therefore made peace with the pope, and inclined the king to good feelings towards him, he shortened the usual expensiveness of his table and diminished the number of his household, in order the sooner to collect the sum of money agreed on for the release of his church from debt. When he was at the point of death and saw the viaticum being brought to him, he said, as the priest was entering the door bearing the eucharist, "Wait a while, my friend; it is proper that I, who am a traitor to and disparager of my God, should be carried before him"; and accordingly he was obeyed, and, being carried by his attendants before the body of Christ, he received the salutary viaticum with tears of contrition; and thus in the fear of God he breathed forth his contrite spirit.


How the king used his most diligent endeavours to procure the election of his brother Ailmar to the see of Winchester.

When the king heard of this event, he gave utterance to brief sorrow with dry tears, which were mixed with joy, and endeavoured by all the means in his power to procure the appointment, in the said bishop's stead, of his brother Ailmar, although the latter was unqualified, as regarded his order, age, and knowledge. He therefore at once sent two of his chief clerks (whom he knew to be most clever in all kinds of arguments) to Winchester, bearing letters from him, in order, by means of mingled soft speeches, threats, and promises, to incline the minds of the cathedral clergy, to whom the right of election belonged, to demand the said Ailmar as their bishop and the pastor of their souls. The persons who were sent for this purpose were John Maunsell and Peter Chacepork, his clerks, who applied the greatest diligence to effect the king's wish, and by enervating the minds of several of the monks persuaded them to demand the said Ailmar as their bishop; I say to demand, because he was utterly incompetent and unfit for the episcopal dignity. After a lapse of about fifteen days, during which the said clerks daily used their utmost endeavours to bend those of the brethren who appeared to be more firm than others to the will of their earthly king and lay aside all fear of their heavenly one, he himself went to Winchester; and, going at once to the cathedral church of St. Swithin, entered the chapter, as though he were a bishop or a prior, and taking the seat of the presiding prelate, began the following sermon, prefacing it by a text.

The discourse of the king, as if preaching, in the chapter of Winchester.

"Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other", etc. Then, proceeding with his discourse, he added: "To me and to other kings, and also to our chiefs and justiciaries, who, by the mediation of justice, have the power of governing the people, belong the rigour of judgment and of justice; and to you, who are men of peace and pupils of religion, belong peace and tranquillity. This day, because you have fortunately shown yourselves favourable to my request, as I have heard,- and it is well for you that you have done so,-

396 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other, as I before said. [1] Some time since, when you were rebellious against me in the election of William de Rele, your lately-deceased bishop, who was unacceptable to me, I was severe upon you; but now I am become favourable and most friendly to you, and, remembering your kindness, am bound to make you a most grateful return. Moreover, it is well known that ruin was first brought on the world by a woman, but by a woman also was a remedy supplied. In the present case, likewise, in order that I might satisfy the wishes of the queen, my wife, who desired to promote the election to this see of her uncle William, bishop elect of Valencia, I formerly harassed you by my entreaties to that effect, and did you injury; but now, as I of course wish to promote the cause of my uterine brother, who, by reason of a woman, namely the queen Isabella, our mother, is undoubtedly allied to me in the relationship of a brother, I will become reconciled to you, and will effectually promote the advantage of you and your church, and will encircle you with the arms of heartfelt affection. Again, you ought to throw into the scale of reason, as being a matter not least in importance, the fact that I was born in this city, and baptized in this church; wherefore you are bound to me by the ties of greater affection, and ought not to oppose my will in any way, but rather to second me in all matters with prompt devotion. Nor is it wanting to the reasons for your giving a willing consent, that my brother Ailmar, if elected, will for a long time, as we hope, enlighten this church, like the sun, with the rays of his noble and royal extraction, for which he is distinguished by reason of his mother, of his illustrious blood which he derives from his father, and of his most willing kindness and his youth, in which he is pleasing both to God and man. Go, therefore, in peace, take counsel, and return speedily, and without any scruples or opposition, carry out our pious purpose, of which you have given me hope, and in my presence, and in that of all, unanimously declare my brother Ailmar to be your nominee for the bishopric". But at the end of his sermon he added, that if he should find the monks

[1] Quod est dictu; which should, perhaps, be "Quod est dictum".


opposed to his persuasions, he would forthwith ruin them all, according to the words of the poet:

Stricto supplicat ense potens.
[The man in power begs with a naked sword.]

How the monks of Winchester, being under compulsion, demand Ailmar as their bishop.

The monks being thus placed in a strait, conferred carefully on these matters when they went away from the chapter, and recalled to their minds the former troubles they had incurred, which were oppressive in the case of William, bishop elect of Valencia, and more so even on their election of William, their lately deceased bishop, and said to one another: "Again we are annoyed by these armed entreaties of the king, to oppose which is a serious and formidable matter, and one full of danger to our church. For the pope obeys the king in all things; and as he is now in a critical position, he, through fear, avoids giving offence to princes; wherefore, if we were to demand or elect any other person, however fit and proper a one he might be, then his brother, the king, would be provoked to anger,- indeed to fury,- would annul our proceedings, even though we should appoint St. Peter, were he alive, and would persecute us; and thus on one side we should have the king as an enemy, and on the other a powerful adversary in the pope, who is easily bribed; and we should be crushed as it were between two millstones, and our confusion and irreparable ruin would be imminent. Besides, after we had promoted and elected William, bishop of Norwich, to be our bishop, and had placed ourselves under his authority, contrary to the king's wish, and although he opposed the election and oppressed us for the same, the said William, on obtaining full power, although he was an Englishman skilled in the laws of the land, and one who we hoped would be pleasing to God in all respects and beneficial to ourselves, persecuted us without mercy, and irreparably injured us, forgetful of all the benefits he had received, and of the innumerable injuries we had suffered for his sake. We were imprisoned, dragged about, and beaten; we suffered from hunger, were bloodstained from our wounds, and were shackled like thieves. On whom,

398 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

then, can we henceforth trust? on whom can we rest our hopes? from whom expect safety? On one side we have to fear Scylla, on the other Charybdis is impending. If we do this, death is our portion; and if not, we shall not escape the king's hands. Besides these things, also, what ought to give us just cause of alarm if we should promote the said Ailmar to the bishopric, he will always be a bishop elect, not a bishop, which circumstance never occurred to this church before, and oh that it may never happen so! Perhaps, also, he will obtain permission from the pope to retain, when he is elected, the endless revenues which he now holds; for what cannot those persons who are liberal in their gifts obtain at the Roman court in these days? And if we shall elect him, he will become inferior in wealth and power to no one in England, scarcely excepting the king even; and he will then have the power (but may he not take after his father or the Poitevins) of transporting all England to Poitou, or, like the king's all-powerful doorkeeper, of bringing all Poitou into England; and thus he will destroy the memory of the English from the face of the earth". In the end, however, after enduring many sufferings, seeing that the times were evil, and that no place of refuge was open to them in the bosom of our father the pope, who generally affords assistance to those who flee to him, they were bent to a bow of depravity, and compelled to incline to the king's pleasure. The monks of Winchester, therefore, overcome by the king's importunity, and despairing of the pope's assistance, with united voices, although not unanimous in heart, demanded as their bishop and spiritual pastor of their souls, Ailmar, the king's uterine brother, the son of Hugh Brun, count de la Marche, and Isabella his wife, formerly queen of England, a Poitevin by birth, although he was incompetent for the office in age, knowledge, and his order, and abounded in countless revenues befitting an archbishopric. Thus, therefore, in the presence of the king, they publicly and solemnly named the said Ailmar their nominee or elected bishop, on the condition, that is, if such a person could be promoted to the pontifical dignity by a dispensation of the pope.


The king of England sends his messengers to the pope.

The king then declared his pleasure by his countenance, gestures, and elated voice, and ordered Robert Sothenden, his clerk and an able rhetorician, to compose an eloquent and effective letter, in which he was to mingle terrible threats and abundant promises with earnest entreaties, to be transmitted to the pope. He then sent special and eloquent messengers, who well knew how to bend the pope and his cardinals to their purpose, to confer with the pope on this arduous matter so pleasing to, and one so heartily desired by, the king, and by entreaties as well as bribes to incline him to give his assent to it.

The king's letter of complaint to the pope.

Alas! why is the weakness of the world any further prolonged? whither have the peace and justice, from which the king took the text of his sermon, banished themselves? where is the freedom of election? where the primitive peace of the Church, which the king at his coronation swore to observe inviolable? Alas! alas! he now despises the natural subjects of his kingdom, the holy men, learned and religious as they are, and foreigners are intruded, men unworthy of any dignity, utterly ignorant of letters and the English tongue, altogether useless in confessing and preaching, and not orderly or well formed in morals, extorters of money, and neglecters of souls. Formerly, holy men, religious and learned, were, by the co-operation and revelations of the Holy Spirit, dragged even against their consent to the seats which are now forcibly taken possession of, whether justly or unjustly, by courtiers (?) and foreigners. All the houses to which the right of pontifical elections belong, are now ruined, owing to this very circumstance. Patronage is now a burden, not an honour; a source of loss, not advantage. All the churches, pontifical as well as conventual, as they fall when vacant into the hands of the king, whose power ought to defend and protect them, are exposed to robbery and pillage. Oh Pope! father of fathers, why do you permit the countries of Christians to be polluted by such proceedings? With justice, then, were you driven from your own city and see, and driven into exile like another

400 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

proscribed Cain: your enemies, the adherents of Frederick, prosper; you fly from those who put you to flight, and those who pursue you are swift and powerful. In all quarters your bull thunders forth on those subject to you, but it is thought little amongst those rebelling against you. Everywhere prelates are suspended from the collation of benefices, and provision is ordered to be made for men unworthy of it; foreigners and unknown persons, who seek the milk from the sheep of the Lord's fold, pluck the wool and scrape away the flesh from them, flay and disembowel them; nor can any one obtain protection by the privileges granted them by the holy fathers. Amongst other nations and countries, too, England, where as the world knows the Christian faith flourishes most, is the most heavily trampled upon, and by the oppression of the pope is robbed of its property and the fruits of its labours. No one robs him, though he acts as a robber towards others. For where is any Englishman known to have revenues in any parts of Rome, Italy, Genoa, or any other kingdoms, although the men of those countries seized on everything in England? Oh God, Lord of vengeance, when wilt thou sharpen thy sword like lightning, that it may be steeped in the blood of such people? Of a truth, our sins have justly brought such inflictions upon us.

Of the death of the bishop of Rochester, and the election of Master Laurence de St. Martin to that see.

At the same time of the year, that is, about Michaelmas, died the bishop of Rochester, and in his place the monks of Rochester elected Master Laurence de St. Martin, a clerk and special adviser of the king, fearing lest, if they should happen to choose any other, the king would oppose the election.

The return of the bishop of Lincoln from the Roman court.

Near about the same feast of Michaelmas, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, returned sad and unsatisfied to England, after having remained for several days at the Roman court, at much useless expense, and without being able to effect his purpose, as he had wished. He had, however, harassed, and in no slight degree injured, many religious men, by obliging them to defend themselves from his attacks. On his arrival


in his diocese, seeing that confusion was impending over the Church universal, and warned by the example of Nicholas, bishop of Durham, he shook himself free from the affairs of the world, in which he had often mixed himself up without advantage, and intrusted the administration of the duties which belonged to him to Master Robert Marsh, an official of his, purposing to bid adieu to this perishable world, and to give up his bishopric; but as he feared the depredations of the king, who generally impoverished the vacant churches, and afterwards intruded unworthy persons into them, he waited in silence, and suspended the fulfilment of his secret design, not knowing what to do in such a disturbed state of worldly affairs.

How the bishops of England opposed the archbishop of Canterbury.

The bishops of England, in the mean time, learning from the statements of the said bishop, who had lately returned from the Roman court, and also from those of others, their proctors and spies, whom they had sent thither, that the archbishop of Canterbury was endeavouring to raise plots against them to their injury, collected money to pay their expenses at that court, which was usually bent hither and thither by the intervention of money, like a reed shaken by the wind; and they therefore took from beneficed persons twopence on each mark. For it was a heavy matter what the said exactor demanded, namely, procuration and visitation taxes from all the clergy. and people in his province, which was a large one. And this proceeding pressed the heavier on all, because it was clear that the said archbishop, who was deficient in morals and knowledge, coveted after these same visitations not for the increase of religion, or the reformation of morals, but for the sake of base gain, which was now become a custom with him.

Of an earthquake in Chiltern, in England.

In the same year, on the day of St. Lucia, about the third hour of the day, an earthquake occurred at St. Alban's and the adjacent districts, which are called Chiltern, where from time immemorial no such an event had ever been seen or heard of; for the land there is solid and chalky, not hollow or watery, nor near the sea; wherefore such an occurrence was unusual and unnatural, and more to be wondered at. This

402 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

earthquake, if it had been as destructive in its effects as it was unusual and wonderful, would have shaken all buildings to pieces: it came on with a trembling motion, and attended by a sound as if it were dreadful subterranean thunder. A remarkable circumstance took place during the earthquake, which was this: the pigeons, jackdaws, sparrows, and other birds which were perched on the houses and on the branches of the trees, were seized with fright, as though a hawk were hovering over them, and suddenly expanding their wings, took to flight, as if they were mad, and flew backwards and forwards in confusion, exciting fear and dread in those who saw the occurrence; but, after the trembling motion of the earth and the rumbling noise had ceased, they returned to their usual nests, which had been disturbed by the earthquake. This earthquake, indeed, struck horror into the hearts of all, which I think to be more than amazement or fear, and it was believed to be indicative of future events. In this year, the land as well as the sea was affected by unusual and dreadful commotions, which, according to the threatening words of the Gospel.- "there shall be earthquakes in divers places", threateningly foretold that the end of the world was at hand.

How the archbishop of Canterbury checked the clamorous complaints of the canons of St. Bartholomew's.

The archbishop of Canterbury, thinking that the sulphureous stench of infamy and scandal, which arose from the enormous excesses he had committed in the churches of the canons of St. Bartholomew's, had infected the whole extent of the kingdom, secretly sent messengers to these canons, and by soft speeches and promises, mingled with threats, suppressed the clamour of their complaints. They therefore held their peace, both because they were so poor, and because the archbishop had influence enough to justify himself, although plainly culpable; and keeping their minds patient and calm, intrusted their cause to God and St. Bartholomew.

The pope endeavours to take up his abode at Bordeaux.

About the same time, the pope sent special messengers to the king of England, and begged his permission to take up his abode at Bordeaux, in Gascony; for the brothers of the


French king had strictly questioned him, asking him, in the name of the said king, and on their own behalf, as he regarded the honour of the universal Church, to make peace with Frederick, who was now humbled, and offered to give satisfaction and to show all respect to the Church. The said brothers of the king, namely, the counts of Poitou and Provence, insinuated to him that the whole of the above-narrated misfortune had arisen from his, the pope's, avarice; for that he, the pope, corrupted by money, prevented the crusaders from proceeding to the succour of the king, and absolved from their vow of pilgrimage those men on whom he had, a little while before, by means of his agents, the Preachers and Minorites, conferred the sign of the cross. Besides this, that he sold the crusaders to Earl Richard and other nobles, in the same way as the Jews of old made a practice of selling sheep and doves in the Temple, who, we read in the Gospel, were punished and thrust out by the Lord in his anger. Notwithstanding these persuasions, the pope showed himself obstinate and inexorable; whereupon he and the said counts parted with harsh and contentious speeches, and the counts hastened to England, to persuade the English king, as he desired the honour of Christ, to make all speed, in accordance with his vow, to the succour of the French king, who longed for his presence.

The king of England's perplexity.

The king, therefore, was now in a position of difficulty, because, if he were to stop the roads against the pope, he would be offended, and would not promote his brother Ailmar; [1] and if he were to open the bosom of protection to the pope, he would provoke Frederick to anger, through whose territory he would be obliged to pass when he proceeded on his pilgrimage; besides this, it would not please the French. Another thing, which much alarmed the more prudent of the English, was, that if the pope were allowed to take up his residence at Bordeaux, he would be able to sail in a short time to England, and to injure, and, as was feared, defile it by his presence; for these persons perceived that the country was, corrupted, as it was by the usuries of

[1] The Latin text has "Edmundum"; but this must be an error here, as in other similar passages.

404 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

the Caursins, and feared that it would be worse polluted by his court, if (which God forbid) he were present; therefore, a more careful and lengthened deliberation was held on this matter.

The pope's letter to the abbat of St. Alban's and some others.

About the same time, namely, at the Advent of our Lord, the pope sent orders to the abbats of St. Alban's and Waltham, and to the archdeacon of the former place, that the sentence promulgated by Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, against Henry, dean of London, Peter the archdeacon, and Robert the chanter, of that phace, and also against Master William of Lichfield, William Leafete, and other canons of London, on account of an offence of their chapter, should be declared null and void. The said archbishop, nevertheless, pressed his demand at the Roman court for procurations and visitation taxes from those visited; and this he did more urgently and with greater confidence, because the bishop of Lincoln, who was known to be inferior to him, had a few years back obtained from the pope the privilege of visiting the canons of his church of Lincoln, although they strongly opposed him, and expended a large sum of money in defending themselves against his attempts to no purpose. The letters on this matter, namely, the precept of denunciation, are fully given in the book of Additaments.

The death of the emperor Frederick.

About the same time, Frederick, the greatest of earthly princes, the wonder of the world and the regulator of its proceedings, departed this life, remarkably contrite and humbled, after being absolved from the sentence passed upon him, and, as it is reported, having taken the habit of the Cistercians. He died on the day of St. Lucia; so that the earthquake which occurred on that day was evidently not without its signification. At his death, all hopes of succour for their king which had been entertained by the French were extinguished. His death was kept secret for some days, that his enemies might not so soon exult in the circumstance; but on St. Stephen's day it was publicly made known and announced to the people. His noble will is written in the book of Additaments. [1]

[1] M. Paris altered his mind, and inserted this will in the text a little farther on.


The completion of the twenty-fifth half-century from the time of grace.

At the expiration of this year, there had elapsed since the year of grace twenty-five half-centuries, that is, one thousand two hundred and fifty years. It ought also to be mentioned, and not lightly passed over, that in none of these half-centuries up to the thirty-third, did so many wonderful and extraordinary novel occurrences take place as in this one last past, namely the twenty-fifth. And there are some, indeed many writers of and searchers into history, who say, that not in all the other half-centuries were there seen so many prodigies and astonishing novelties, as occurred in the one now ended; and even worse events than these were now expected with fear.

Of the wonderful events of this last half-century.

For in this half-century the Tartars left their places of retreat, and ravaged, with the cruelty of wild beasts, the countries of the East, those inhabited by Christians as well as infidels. The emir Murmelin, the most powerful king of Spain and Africa, was defeated and took to flight, and his whole army dispersed. When Master Oliver was preaching in the German provinces, the figure of Christ appeared in the sky, and was plainly visible to every one. The Greek church withdrew from all subjection to that of Rome, owing to the various enormities of the latter, especially its usury, simony, sale of justice, and other intolerable wrongs. Damietta, the most celebrated city of Egypt, was twice taken and retaken with great loss of blood, both Saracen and Christian. England lay under interdict for about seven years; and the same kingdom also suffered from intestine wars for nearly the same length of time; it also became tributary. King John, in fulfilment of the prophecies of certain persons, did not hold quiet possession of any territory when he died, whence he was called Homeless. The ordeal for proving innocence by fire and water was prohibited. Permission was granted to one person to receive the profits of several bishoprics, and to retain the revenues he previously held besides. The martyrs, St. Thomas in England, and Edmund the Confessor in France, were translated. St. Elizabeth, daughter of the king of Hungary, flourished in

406 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

Germany during this period. Persons were forbidden, and afterwards by the agency of money were allowed, to hold more churches than one, and illegitimates were legitimatized. Louis, the eldest son and legitimate heir of the French king, was elected lord, and as it were king of England; but soon afterwards, owing to a violation of his faith, ingloriously left the country. The Roman emperor Otto, owing to the persecution of Pope Innocent the Third, met with a pitiable downfall, being defeated in battle, excommunicated, and deposed. The brethren of the Temple, and the Hospitallers of the Teutonic order of St. Mary and of St. Lazarus, were twice taken prisoners, dispersed, and put to death. The holy city of Jerusalem, with its sacred churches and the places hallowed by the presence of Christ, was twice destroyed, and on the last occasion was cruelly levelled to the ground by the Chorosmins and the sultan of Babylon. An eclipse of the sun occurred twice in three years; and another remarkable portent appeared in the sky, an account of which is fully given in this book, in the year of grace one thousand two hundred and thirty-three. Earthquakes occurred in England, and even in Chiltern, several times. In the provinces of Savoy, five villages, with their churches, houses, and inhabitants, were overwhelmed by masses of mountains which fell upon them. An unusual and destructive rise of the sea took place, such as had never been seen before. During one night immense numbers of stars were seen to fall from the heavens, so that at one and the same time ten or twelve seemed to be flitting about in the midst of the sky, some in the east, some in the west, in the south and the north, which if they had been real stars, not one would have remained in the sky: and no evident reason could be found for this event in the book on Meteors, except that Christ's threat was impending over men,- "There shall be signs in the sun", etc., etc. A general council was twice held, at Rome and at Lyons: at the second of these, the Roman emperor Frederick was deposed. Cardinal Otto, formerly legate in England, was made prisoner at sea near Genoa, together with a great number of archbishops, bishops, abbats, and prelates, and some Genoese, of whom many were drowned. Wales, after losing its prince, Llewellyn, and his two sons in succession, who met with a premature death, submitted to the laws of England and the


domination of its king. Gascony, which had kicked against the king of England's authority, was subdued by Simon, earl of Leicester. King Henry the Third twice crossed the sea with his army to regain possession, by force of arms, of his continental possessions, especially Normandy, of which his father had been deprived by the decision of twelve peers of France, as being stained with the murder of his nephew Arthur, and twice returned ingloriously, a disgraced and a poor man. A great part of Spain, with several of its noble cities, amongst which were Cordova, Seville, Peniscola, and several others, as well as the islands of Majorca and Minorca and many places on the coast, were taken by the victorious king of Castile, and were brought over to Christianity. In the northern parts, a great portion of Friesland and Russia, to the extent of a twelve days' journey, was taken by Waldemar, king of Dacia, and seven bishoprics in that part were by this event gained to Christ. The pope, having fled or been driven from the city by the persecution of the emperor Frederick, exiled himself and took up his abode in concealment at Anagni and Perusia - being accused by the said emperor of having endeavoured to seize on the empire whilst he was fighting for God in the Holy Land. The Templars too, out of hatred excited in them by the pope, took an opportunity, and endeavoured to deliver the emperor into the hands of the sultan of Babylon. On the death of Pope Gregory, the papal see was vacant for a year and nine months. Three men sat in the apostolic seat within two years. One of the cardinals, more distinguished than the rest, Master Robert Summercote, an Englishman by birth, who the others feared would be elected pope, was killed by suffocation in the palace, called the Palace of the Sun, as was reported, out of envy. At length, Sinibald, a cardinal, was elected under the name of Innocent the Third, who, following in the steps of his predecessor, excommunicated the emperor Frederick, and fleeing from place to place to avoid his persecution, at last went to Lyons, where, at a general council, he deposed the said emperor, and having shamelessly extorted a sum of money from the prelates of the Church, he endeavoured by its means to promote the landgrave of Thuringia, and afterwards William, count of Holland, to the imperial thron. One of these, however, dying, and the other

408 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

being defeated, he failed in his purpose. The usurers called Caursins, who were reckoned as Christians, found a place of refuge and tranquillity in England, at first under the tolerance only of the pope, but afterwards under his open protection; and unblushingly called themselves the pope's merchants and exchangers. Prelates were suspended from the collation of benefices till the pope's avaricious demands were satisfied for his unworthy followers, who never made their appearance in England, and never troubled themselves about the charge of souls. Brethren of several orders sprang up in abundance,- at one time the Preachers, at another the Minorites; now the Cross-bearers, now the Carmelites. In Germany there sprung up a sect of continent women, who assumed the title of Beguins, and who became so numerous, that a thousand of them or more dwelt in Cologne alone. These Preachers and Minorites at first led a life of poverty and the greatest sanctity, and devoted themselves to preachings, confessions, divine duties in the church, reading, and study, and abandoned many revenues, embracing voluntary poverty in the service of God, and reserving nothing in the way of food for themselves for the morrow; but within a few years they got themselves into excellent condition, and constructed costly houses. The pope moreover made them, although against their consent, his receivers of taxes and agents of his manifold extortions. The time indeed seemed to be returned of which Benedict, full of the spirit of all saints, makes mention at the commencement of his rule, where he treats of the various orders of monks. Nor did the order, either of St. Benedict or of St. Augustine, retrograde for such a length of time since their first establishment, as they did at this time. St. Edmund, formerly archbishop of Canterbury, whose body was found uncorrupted at Pontignac; St. Robert, a hermit at Knaresborough; St. Roger, bishop of London, and several other saints in England, shone forth in remarkable miracles, which were worked at their tombs; as also St. Elizabeth, daughter of the king of Hungary, and St. Hildegarde, a prophetess in Germany. The church of Westminster was rebuilt, and a golden shrine of most costly workmanship was constructed by King Henry the Third for the use of St. Edward. Some of Christ's blood, and a stone bearing his footmarks, were brought to England and placed


at Westminster as a gift from the king. The heresies of the Albigenses, Jovinians, and many Italian people, which had shot forth their branches, were destroyed during this period. Haco was anointed and crowned king of Norway. The Cistercian monks, following in the steps of those of the Black order, having obtained a dispensation from the pope, erected suitable buildings at Paris and elsewhere, where communities of scholars flourished, and held schools there, that they might not be held in contempt by the Preachers and Minorites. The noble see and church of Canterbury, which had been distinguished and sanctified by so many holy archprelates in former times, was taken possession of by an incompetent person thrust in by the king; which said intruder, stimulated by the example of the bishop of Lincoln, who, notwithstanding the opposition of his canons, obtained the power of visiting them, extorted the first year's profits of vacant churches for seven years, and oppressed many of those subject to him. In this last year of the last half-century the Saracens triumphed at will, and the whole Christian army, consisting of the nobility of all France, the Templars, Hospitallers, the knights of the Teutonic order of St. Mary, and those of St. Lazarus, was cut to pieces in Egypt; and at the same time also, Louis, the pious king of the French, was taken prisoner, together with his two brothers, the counts of Poitou and Provence; William Longuespee too was there slain, with many of the nobles of England; and Robert, count of Artois, the French king's brother, fled from the battle and was drowned. The pope and the whole Roman court daily lost favour with the clergy as well as the people, because the crusaders were sold, absolved from their vows on payment of money, and delayed in manifold ways. All Christendom was disturbed, and the universal Church exposed to danger, owing to the wars which arose out of the hatred and discord existing between the pope and Frederick. King Henry the Third and many of the nobles of England assumed the cross; as also did many kings, princes, nobles, and prelates of Christendom. The only abbat who did so was the abbat of St. Edmund's, who, forgetting that with the cowl he had undertaken perpetually to bear the cross of Christ, amidst the derision of many, received the ostensible sign of the cross in presence of and together with the king, which

410 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1250.

manifestly savoured of flattery. In this deadly year there departed to Christ an immense number of nobles, who had left their native country, their wives and children, their relations and friends, to fight faithfully for Christ. All of these were manifest martyrs, and their names, which cannot be given in this work on account of the great number of them, are inscribed in indelible characters in the book of life, and they themselves receive the crown of martyrdom according to their deserts. Moreover, on St. Lucia's day, Frederick, the wonder of the world, died in Apulia. All these remarkable and strange events, the like of which have never been seen or heard of, nor are found in any of the writings of our fathers in times past, occurred during this last half-century.

Here end the chronicles of brother Matthew Paris, monk of St. Alban's, which he committed to writing for the benefit of posterity, out of love for God and for the honour of St. Alban, the English protomartyr, that the memory of modern events might not be destroyed by age or oblivion.

Virginis a partu jam mille volumina Phoebus,
Cum his centenis et quinquaginta peregit
Annua; sed visum non est sub tempore tanto,
Aprilis sexto fuerit quod Pascha Calendas,
Dum quinquagenus orbem percurreret annus:
Hoc tamen evenit anno cui terminus hic est.

[Since first the Virgin bore her Son, hath Phoebus
One thousand, fifty, and two hundred times
His annual course now run; in all that time
Hath Easter never fall'n on the sixth day
Preceding April's calends, on a year
That ended half a century, save the year
Now ended.]

There have then elapsed twenty-five half-centuries since the incarnation of our Lord, and it seems that Easter was not observed in the year of Jubilee, which is the fiftieth year,


at its proper time, namely the 26th of April, except in this last year.

Terminantur hic Matthaei
Chronica: jam Jubilei
Anni dispensatio.
Tempus spondet requiei;
Detur ergo quies ei,
Hie, et coeli solio.

[Matthew's chronicle here ends,
And the Jubilee year sends
Repose down from the skies:
May repose to him be given,
Here on earth, and up in heaven,
When he there shall rise.]

It is believed to be not without its signification, that in this last year all the elements suffered unusual and irregular detriment; fire, because on the night of Christmas lately past it shone forth in a terrible way, contrary to the usual course of nature; the air, because, in the diocese of Norwich and the neighbouring districts far and wide, it was covered with mist and disturbed by unnatural and unseasonable thunder for a length of time, and obscured by thick clouds; nor had there for a long time been heard such dreadful thunder or such lightning seen even in summer; the sea, because it transgressed its usual bounds and devastated the places adjacent to it; and the land, because it quaked in England, and even at Chiltern, which is a chalky and solid country.

Siste tui metas studii, Matthaee, quietas, [1]
Nec ventura petas, quae postera proferet aetas.

[Matthew, here your toils are o'er.
Stop your pen and toil no more:
Seek not what the future brings;
Another age has other things.]

[1] At this point of the history, Matthew Paris seems to have discontinued his labours for a time. But he afterwards resumed his pen, and wrote the continuation.

412 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

How the king kept Christmas at Winchester.

Anno Domini 1251, the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Third, the king spent Christmas at Winchester, and because, as before stated, his brother Ailmar was nominated to the episcopal see which was vacant, he restrained his rapacious hands from plundering the property of the bishopric, as was his usual custom. But, as old customs are not easily forgotten, he ordered the wood to be cut down and sold, and the money arising from the sale to be collected and added to his treasury, although he was plainly told that such robbery would by no means benefit those who were going on a pilgrimage to fight for God.

Of an unseasonable thunder-storm in the winter.

About this time, namely on the night of Christmas-day, in token, as was believed, of God's anger, dreadful thunder was heard, especially in the diocese of Norwich and its adjacent districts, and fearful flashes of lightning darted forth, which, together with an unseasonable commotion of the air, struck the greatest fear and alarm into the hearts of all who heard and saw it; and diviners said that this occurred as a mournful prognostic of the future.

The king does not distribute any festive clothing.

At this most celebrated feast, the king (being perhaps saving in his anxiety about his pilgrimage) did not distribute any festive dresses to his knights and his household, although all his ancestors had made a practice from times of old of giving away royal garments and costly jewels.

How the expenses of the royal table were diminished.

The usual richness and hospitality of the royal table was also diminished; and he now, without shame, sought his lodgings and his meals with abbats, priors, clerks, and men of low degree, staying with them, and asking for gifts. And those persons were not considered courteous who did not, besides affording hospitality and splendid entertainments to him and his household, honour him and the queen, Prince Edward and the courtiers, separately with great and noble presents: indeed, he did not blush to ask for them, not as a favour, but as though they were his due. At this time


also, Robert Passlow, whom the king, when lately taking his meal in his chapel at Westminster, had loaded with disgraceful reproaches, was now rewarded with some rich presents. Nor did the courtiers and royal household appreciate any presents unless they were rich and expensive; such as handsome palfreys, gold or silver cups, necklaces, with choice jewels, imperial girdles, or such-like things; and the king's court became like that of Rome, sitting, or rather prostituting itself like a harlot, for gain.

The number of those slain of the French king's army, owing to the pride of the count of Artois, was more than sixty thousand, and twenty thousand men-at-arms, besides those drowned, others who were dispersed in fight, and those who voluntarily gave themselves up to the enemy and became apostates, who did more injury to the Christians than their other enemies.

The amount of the ransom-money for the king, who was made prisoner through God's anger, did not differ much from the number of those slain, being sixty thousand pounds of the best and purest gold, sterling money, besides some other common money of Tours and Paris, amounting to an immense sum. This slaughter took place in the year of grace one thousand two hundred and fifty; the payment of the ransom was made, or security given for it, in the year following,- one thousand two hundred and fifty-one.

How the emperor's prisoners were more strictly guarded.

About this time, too, three or four persons from each city of Italy, and some citizens from the states of Apulia, who had fought against Frederick and his son, and who were detained in a prison of Frederick's (all of whom he had been accustomed to call traitors and rebels against him), were, on the death of Frederick, sent by his son Conrad to a more distant part of his territory, namely to Naples and Palermo, in Sicily, that they might be more safely and strictly guarded; and this Conrad did by the advice of his father. Some of the prisoners had been delivered to Frederick's son Henry, the nephew of the king of England; but these he now delivered into the custody of Frederick. Amongst these prisoners was a son of the marquis of Montserrat, who had been oftered in exchange for Ensius, another son of

414 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

Frederick, who was still detained a prisoner by the Bolognese; but whilst the treaty for this exchange was pending, the death of Frederick intervened, and prevented its final arrangement.

How the sons and friends of Frederick rose against the pope.

The sons and friends of Frederick, then, now began to strengthen themselves, and to kick against the pope; and thus, although one head was cut off, as in the case of the hydra which Hercules is reported to have slain, many other heads grew up in its place. For Conrad, a most courageous knight himself, was beloved and feared by all the empire, because he was the son of the daughter of the invincible John, king of Jerusalem; and Henry, Conrad's brother, a handsome youth, was agreeable and held in high esteem by all the emperor's friends, because he was the son of the empress Isabella, who was beloved by all, and was also the nephew of the most Christian king of England; but the pope, owing to his own cupidity as well as that of his whole race, was an object of universal hatred to the imperialists; hence the Church, owing to the increase of its persecutors, was in no slight peril, and suffered manifold injuries. The recollection of past misfortunes, too, was as it were a thorn in the eye of those who sided with the pope; for Henry Raspe, the landgrave of Thuringia, whom he had purposed to raise to the imperial dignity, and for whose promotion he had expended an immense sum of money, perished by an ignominious death; after whose decease, Henry, count of Gueldres, was elected; but on reflecting on the disgraceful death of the former, he rejected this elevation. After him the duke of Brabant and Lorrain was chosen; but he also absolutely refused the ofter. The next who was selected for the dignity was Earl Richard, because he was a man of cunning, and abounded in money, and also because he was the brother of the king of England; but he altogether refused the dignity, because the chances of war were dubious. After him, the pope elected William, count of Holland, who rashly consented to it; and now, after having lost everything, he was driven back to his own territory - indeed, not now his own, because he had given it to his brother; wherefore, he was now compelled to beg, and detested the ensnaring wiles and


promises of the pope. After all these, the pope endeavoured to establish Haco, king of Norway, on the imperial throne, in the place of Frederick; and in order to render him fitter and more favourable to his purpose, he caused him to be consecrated and crowned king; but immediately after his coronation, the said king openly declared that he was always willing to make war against the enemies of the Church, but not against all the pope's enemies. And this the said king declared to me, Matthew, who wrote these pages, and attested it with a great oath. Owing to the above circumstances, perils daily burst forth over the Church from all quarters.

Of the disagreement between two of the most powerful sultans.

About the same time, a dispute arose between the two most powerful Saracen princes, the sultans of Aleppo and Babylon, owing to the French king having been ransomed and released from the hands of the Saracens through the avarice of the latter sultan; for all the Orientals in common said, that they should never have lost such a precious prize except through the idleness and avarice of the Babylonians; wherefore, the said sultan, being attacked on all sides by the Saracens, and especially by the sultan of Aleppo, was compelled to confess this, and also to send word to the French king, humbly begging for peace and terms of friendship on good and certain conditions; from which circumstance it was hoped that the preservation of Jerusalem would be effected. Concerning this matter, we have received bulled letters from the master of the Hospitallers, at Jerusalem; and if any one desires to see them, let him look in the book of Additaments. The person who had slain the sultan was so elated with pride, that he provoked the anger of all the men of the East; for the sultan who had just been treacherously slain was a discreet and modest man, and one indefatigably zealous in his faith. Having been severely reproached during his lifetime for having allowed the French king to be ransomed and to depart alive, he is said to have replied as follows:- "My friends, you know that he is the most noble of all the Christians; therefore if he were to be slain, his relations, who are numerous, would aspire with their whole heart to avenge him; moreover, I should

416 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 125l.

have lost his ransom; by the payment of which the whole of France is impoverished and Paganism is enriched and exalted; neither did I dare to attempt the sin of poisoning a person of such high rank, lest such great treachery should provoke the God of the Christians. Let us therefore be satisfied with the favour of Mahomet, and with the ruin of such a great king, who has been defeated, made prisoner, and ransomed, and with the knowledge that there was not one person of noble rank, or even of any note, who could escape our hands. We rejoice in the possession of their persons, their arms, their horses, and money; and we have to boast of a victory which surpassed all wealth". This reply, however, not only did not satisfy them, but only inflamed their anger the more, and they said to him,- "You basely lie; for if you had slain him or consigned him to perpetual imprisonment, we should have been an object of terror as well as respect to all the people of the West; but avarice has blinded your heart". And before the said sultan of Babylon was aware, he was suddenly pierced with a dagger, and expired in a pitiable manner; and the bloody traitor who had, as was stated, slain him, his lord, was substituted in his place. This murder and appointment of the other sultan were announced to Earl Richard in a letter, which may be found in the book of Additaments.

Of the patience of the French king.

The most Christian king of the French in the mean time bore all his adversities patiently and in silence, and remained at Acre waiting assistance and begging the prayers of the religious men, and especially of those at the general chapter of the Cistercians, that the Lord would grant to them a soothing and grateful calm, after all these heavy storms; he also, as has been before stated, sent his brothers, in whose bosom was reposed his greatest hope and confidence, to the Cisalpine provinces. They, however, forgetful of their Joseph, [1] performed the duty enjoined on them in a very lukewarm way, and so delayed matters that they seemed to be unwilling to assist him; according to the words of the philosopher, "Long procrastination is long hesitation".

[1] An allusion to the chief butler's forgetting Joseph in prison.


The arrival of the king's brother Guy from the Holy Land.

During the celebration of the solemnities of Christmas, the king's uterine brother Guy arrived in all haste from the Holy Land: whether he was a fugitive from the battle, is not known. However, it can be said with more regard to his honour, that, he prudently made his escape from prison at Damietta after the re-establishment of peace. Having arrived in England in a state of poverty, and travelling on foot, he turned out of his way to the abbey of Feversham, to ask hospitality, where he was courteously received and magnificently entertained. He then asked the abbat, out of charity to himself, and his honour and respect for the king, kindly to lend him and his companions some horses, and also some of his servants, till he should reach London, declaring, on his oath, that, as soon as he arrived there, he would send the horses back by those servants with many thanks. To this the abbat assented, and satisfied his demands; but when the said Guy arrived at London, he, not fearing to incur the charge of ingratitude and the old Poitevin opprobrium, neither returned thanks to the abbat nor sent back the horses, but only the servants, when he had annoyed them by unmentionable insults; thus this shameless guest may be compared to a snake in the bosom, or a mouse in a cheese.

How the king of England enriched his brothers.

When the king saw him, he rushed with joy into his fraternal embrace, and finding that he was empty-handed, and was craving after the royal money, he at once gave him the immense sum of money he had scraped up from the Jews, so that his brother's empty saddle-bags were now swollen with five hundred pounds. He moreover gave to his brother Geoffrey the charge of the noble barony of Hastings, then vacant; and thus deluding and excluding the native nobles of England, his natural subjects, from everything, foreigners were daily installed in their places, so that the English might well complain with the prophet, who says, "Our inheritance is given over to others and our house to strangers". Neither was the king satisfied with unadvisedly dispersing amongst seculars and foreigners the

418 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

money which he ought to have reserved to procure the necessaries for his pilgrimage, but sedulously endeavoured to procure the elevation of unworthy foreigners to ecclesiastical honours, and when raised to these dignities, armed and encouraged them against the English, and defended them in the suits which were brought against them. For he had written to the pope, devoutly entreating him to show himself favourable to Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, in the cause pending between him and the prelates of England, and especially between him and the bishop and canons of Loudon, that the said archbishop might not by any means be foiled in his wishes and designs.

How the bishop of London swore to abide by the decrees of the archbishop.

Although the bishop of London had been lately enormously injured by the archbishop, who had excommunicated him, and caused his sentence of excommunication to be published far and wide, yet, on viewing all these matters with the eye of sagacity and deliberation, he said to himself: "The honour of England is fast declining; the archbishop persecutes me and all the English; he, a foreigner, harasses me, a native, and one distinguished by the blood of noble Englishmen. If, then, the king should have an opportunity of venting his fury on me and my family, he would apply himself to doing so speedily and joyfully; he would despoil my relations of all their property by every means in his power, and would enrich foreigners with it; and thus evils would be heaped upon evils in England". On thinking deeply of these disadvantages, he found himself in a difficult position, and as it were crushed between two millstones; and he was driven hither and thither on one side by the cause and honour of his church, and on the other by the violence of the royal anger. At length, however, that he might suffer the least injury, he chose, although troubled and suffering under injury, to humble himself for a time, and to swear to abide by the decrees of the archbishop, although his enemy, rather than run the risk of inclining the king's anger. By these means he obtained absolution from the sentence pronounced against him, whilst many wondered that he did not fear the threat of the prophet,- "Woe to you who justify an impious man".


The pope goes to Perusia.

About the same time, the pope, after having passed a month and more at Milan in much anxiety, proceeded on his journey to the City, and when passing through the intermediate cities, expended large sums of money. At length he reached Perusia, where he thought it would be wiser for him to remain, as he had been given to understand that, if he went to Rome, the Roman people would exact a large sum of money from him by force, and that he would not have the power of opposing them on equal terms, as he would be in their net; therefore, although the Romans desired his presence, he would not go there, fearing a renewal of the treachery which he had some time since escaped, and aaid, as if addressing Rome:-

Quia me vestigia terrent
Omnia te versum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.

['Tis that the footprints pointing towards the den
Frighten me much for none point back again.]

Of the proceedings of the Venetians and others with respect to the king of France.

About this time, too, the Venetians, Pisans, and Genoese formed a plot against the French king, his brothers and his subjects, so that no trouble and suffering was wanting to them; for they said that they had forcibly obtained admission into Damietta before him, but that they had been afterwards driven from the city by the pride and violence of the French when they arrived. They also charged the French king with a proceeding of great irregularity, infidelity, and pusillanimity; which was, that when the king was ready to embark on the voyage, he sent away ten thousand crossbowmen, consisting of them, the Venetians, Pisans, Genoese, as well as some French, and would not trouble to take them with him, although he had summoned them, and promised a fixed amount of pay to them when about to set out; by which proceeding they had been obliged to return in a state of beggary, and, on returning into their own districts, they were not allowed even to take up their abode in the houses and fields they had sold. They therefore blockaded the ports with their galleys and watched the seas closely, for the

420 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

purpose of robbing or drowning any French who might be passing on the sea.

Of the confederacy of certain religious men.

In this year, some prelates and religious men belonging to the conventual churches, plainly seeing that the bishops in all quarters, in whom they ought to find protectors, were now become open persecutors of them, and did them more injury than laymen and seculars, and also that the supreme pontiff was the more severe in oppressing them the more powerful that he was, entered into a confederacy together, in order that, by supporting the burdens of each other, they might be the less weighed down by them. The conventual assembly of the episcopal church of Canterbury therefore confederated with the abbat and convent of Waltham, and they, as well as others, humbly begged the same kind of assistance and consolation to be afforded them by the monastery of St. Alban's.

The return of S., earl of Leicester, from Gascony.

On the day of the Epiphany, Simon, earl of Leicester, suddenly returned ingloriously and in all haste from Gascony, attended by only three men-at-arms, whose horses were worn out with hunger and toil. On arriving at London, he most urgently demanded effectual assistance from the king, both in money and troops, to check the insolence of the rebellious Gascons; for he could not, as he affirmed, continue such an expensive war on his own means alone, without assistance from the king, even though he should exhaust the revenues of his earldom of Leicester; and for this purpose he urged and encouraged the king in the following words: "My lord king", said he, "you must recall to your memory, that when you were last in Gascony, you flew in confidence for assistance to those whom you considered your faithful subjects, yet they did not open the bosom of affection to you, nor did they stretch forth the hand of assistance to you as they ought. Neither did they have any mercy on you when you were fleeing from the treachery and persecution of the French king, nor on the queen in her pregnancy, when lying ill at Reoli, and when she was delivered at Bordeaux, but extorted your money from you, and allowed you to lose your territory and your


honour". The king, on hearing this, was touched with pity for the great vexation of the earl, and by way of consolation replied: "By the head of God, you have told the truth, earl, and I will not refuse effective assistance to you, who are fighting so vigorously for me. But loud cries of complaint have reached me, that you unbecomingly imprison those who come to you in a peaceable way, and those whom you send for as if in good faith, and that you put them to death when in your power". But this the earl positively denied, and added: "My lord, their known treachery, which you have experienced, renders them unworthy of belief".

Of Earl Simon's proceedings before he left Gascony.

The aforesaid Earl Simon, who was a man of power and experience in war, before he left Gascony, took the strong castle of Fronsac, made prisoners of the besieged, and levelled the castle to the ground. An almost inaccessible mountainous region and impregnable castle, called Aigremont, he so depopulated, that all who travelled that way could prosecute their journey in peace; this place was hedged round by impassable rocks, and towers built on the summits of the rocks hung frowning over the valleys; nor could traders or pilgrims, or even the inhabitants of the province, pass that way without being plundered by robbers, and sometimes even murdered. All of these the earl had reduced to submission to the king by force of arms, as well as some of the people of Bordeaux who had rebelled against just laws.

The aforesaid earl's departure for Gascony.

The above-mentioned earl recovered breath from the consolation given him by the king, and although he was overcome by the rising of the whole community of the traitorous Gascons against him, yet he was now elate with eager hopes. Having then received three thousand marks from the king's treasury, and having raised a large sum of money from his county of Leicester, and from the land lately belonging to Gilbert de Humfronville, of which he had the custody, he at once joyfully returned, and sent word to the duke of Brabant and the neighbouring chiefs, to send him some knights and retainers, equipped with arms, to meet him on his arrival, as he was then making all speed to Gascony, and

422 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

that these men, if they would fight faithfully for him, should be enriched with abundant pay. The duke, in obedience to his orders, sent him three hundred irregulars, and some crossbowmen, who flew to the assistance of the earl, thirsting like leeches after the blood of the Gascons, whilst the Gascons, undismayed, fortified themselves against them.

How the detestable clause "Notwithstanding" was brought into use in the lay courts.

About the same time, a suit having arisen between Sylvester, bishop of Carlisle, and a certain baron, about a manor which the said baron had sold to Walter, the predecessor of the said bishop, and which he now wished to regain possession of, the said bishop wisely appeared in person, for his adversary was on the continent, although his proctors were present. He therefore obtained letters of protection from the king, as long as the baron was absent, and returned joyfully to his own province. The opposite party remained quiet; but when the bishop was gone to a distance, they obtained letters from the king, that, "Notwithstanding the former letter, the cause of the baron should not be delayed". This proceeding was not taken, it is believed, without the agency of money; and letters were scattered about in all directions, in which was inserted the detestable additional clause, "Notwithstanding the former order", or the words "Notwithstanding any old liberty, the matter shall proceed", were brought into use. Besides this, a sinister interpretation of the charters now crept into practice: for instance, if the writing ran thus, "We grant such a liberty to such a house", the name of the house being distinctly mentioned, and the words "and all its manors", followed, if the manors were not severally and expressly mentioned, the additional clause was of no effect. This was evidently dissonant to reason, and all manner of justice, indeed contrary to the rules of logic, which is an infallible investigator of the truth. This method of proceeding having been found out by a certain discreet man, then a justiciary, named Roger de Thurkeby, he said with a deep sigh, in reference to the addition of the aforesaid clause, "Alas! alas! why have we waited for these times? The civil court is now tainted by the example of the ecclesiastical one, and by the sulphureous spring the whole river is poisoned".


Of the release of some of the Christians from captivity amongst the infidels.

About this time, some persons who were believed to have been slain in battle against the Babylonians, were found alive in the prisons of the infidels, and were now ransomed by their friends. The master of the Hospitallers was ransomed and liberated for a large sum of money, owing to whose imprisonment the seal of the hospital, which was of lead, was, according to the custom of that order, suspended until they were assured of his being free again. The form of the same seal is given in the book of Additaments, and the letter which the said master sent to his friends is also inserted there.

Of the absolution of the dean and canons of London from the sentence of excommunication.

About the same time, the dean and canons of St. Paul's church, at London, of whom mention has been made in the foregoing pages, were, by the pope's authority, absolved from the sentence which Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, had pronounced against them by the abbat of St. Alban's, the abbat of Waltham, and the archdeacon of St. Alban's; but they were afterwards laid under sentence again on another account.

Of the contention concerning the portion of the late bishop of Durham.

About the same time, some evil-minded, cringing persons, wishing to please Walter, bishop of Durham, went to the pope, declaring that a portion of the bishopric of Durham had been given without reason to Nicholas, the late bishop, who had resigned the office, and that the said Nicholas had retained nearly a third of the bishopric; wherefore they now begged of the pope, that the bishopric might either be restored entire, or, at any rate, less injured. To this the pope replied: "We are astonished at these words of yours: was not that distribution and partition made, after long deliberation, according to the opinion of learned men, and also by consent of the parties, and has it not been already confirmed by us and the king of England, and by our provisors"? The bishop of Bath, one of the provisors, was then at the court, and was summoned to bear evidence to the truth.

424 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

He testified that everything had been done with due regard to justice; wherefore the accusers were sent away with a rebuke; and when they thought to have weakened the cause of Bishop Nicholas, they only strengthened it the more. This proceeding was not unattended by disgrace to Walter, bishop of Durham, and the prior and convent of that place, who were all evidently privy to and abettors of this plot.

Of the evil reports concerning Henry of Bath.

In the same year, on the Purification of St. Mary, a heavy accusation was made against Henry of Bath, a learned knight, and well skilled in the law of the land, and a justiciary and special adviser of the king; namely, that he, being a friend only to himself, and a deceitful supplanter of his lord the king, whilst holding the office of justiciary intrusted to him, by cunning arguments, not to say traitorously, emptied the purses of others, to fill his own, and did not hesitate or fear to receive gifts in both hands from all quarters; by which he was so enriched with revenues, manors, gold, and silver, that he was now second to none of his fellow-justiciaries. His wife, too, an avaricious and proud woman, who derived her origin from the Bassets and the Sandfords, and was thus proud of her birth, stimulated the said Henry to these proceedings. Being therefore urged on and inclined to act thus by his own will, he became so eager in his search after base gain, by just as well as unjust means, that in one circuit during his justiciaryship he appropriated to his own use, as was reported, more than two hundred librates of land. Much scandal thereupon arose, and a quarrel having also arisen between the said Henry and Everard de Trumpington, concerning a certain manor, the former was accused of breach of faith and treachery, by a certain knight named Philip d'Arcy, in the presence of the king and queen; wherefore he was detained, or, as it is commonly termed, attached; and although John Maunsell, a clerk and special counsellor of the king, wished to mainprise him, and to become security that he would abide by justice, he could not obtain a hearing; for the king's anger was highly kindled, and he replied that he would not accept any clerk as security for him in such a case, as he considered the crime to be one of high treason. However, as the bishop of London came to


speak for him, and by the intervention of many mediators, he was given over to the charge and suretyship of twenty- four knights, who were duly to enter an appearance, and to justify the said Henry by trial at a period previously determined on.

Of the suretyship of Henry of Bath.

Henry, then, being a cunning and circumspect man, and thinking of the heathen saying,

Judicis auxilium sub iniqua lege rogato,-
[The judge's aid makes up for unjust laws,-]

sent his wife to all the Bassets, her relatives, earnestly entreating them effectively to intercede with the king for him, and not to be sparing of ample gifts, and more ample promises, and if they could not gain anything by these means, to appear for him on the day of peril, supplied with arms and horses, if necessary; which they all, with one consent, agreed to do; for there was one of them, Nicholas de Sandford, a bold knight, who was able and willing to take his part against all, even at the risk of his life. This proceeding having been secretly intimated to the king, his anger was increased, and he positively refused all presents and conciliatory speeches, swearing that he should proceed in the matter by the medium of strict trial. Henry, therefore, knowing that he was in a critical position, in company with the bishop of London and Philip Basset, and some other friends of his, went to Earl Richard, and by entreaties as well as bribes, wisely gained over the heart of that noble to his cause, adding, with the attestation of a fearful oath, that if the king should cause his death, or even his disinheritance, the whole kingdom would be excited and would rise against the king; and that if this should happen, as other causes for it were supplied, especially by the unjust domination of foreigners and the oppressions of the English, the schism which had spread abroad would not be set at rest. The earl, on hearing this, was seized with alarm, and being also overcome by the entreaties and gifts of the said Henry, went to the king to calm his anger, and effectually to plead for Henry, and the peace of the kingdom; but the king's anger and indignation were not thus to be pacified; and the earl, when about to leave him, thus addressed him: "We cannot

426 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

fail the nobles of the kingdom in supporting their rights, nor in estabhshing the peace of the tottering kingdom".

Computation of the amount of the king's expenses.

About the same time, the king caused an examination to be made in each and all of the rolls to discover the amount of the extraordinary expenses he had incurred since his coronation, which were found to amount to an immense sum, and are given in the book of Additaments.

A religious house for females, founded by the countess of Arundel.

About the same time, the noble Lady Isabel, countess of Arundel, wife of the late Hugh, earl of Arundel, founded a nunnery at a place called Marham, near Lynne, at her own expense, that is to say, out of her own marriage-portion.

The news of the death of the emperor Frederick brought to the western kingdoms.

At the close of the feast of the Nativity, as the feast of the Purification of St. Mary drew near, a report gained ground throughout the western provinces, of the death of the late Roman emperor Frederick, namely, that he was seized with an incurable disease on the day of St. Lucia the Virgin, and died on that of St. Stephen. The report stated also, that, seeing his death was certainly approaching, he became contrite, and with abundant tears made a most full confession of his sins, commending himself to God and the Cistercian order, the habit of which said order, as we are informed by a positive statement of his friends, he had humbly and devoutly assumed before his death; and as his death was approaching, a certain bishop, on the emperor's promising to atone for his sins, absolved him from the sentence of excommunication, in the name of God, who does not wish any one believing in him to perish.

The will of the emperor Frederick.

"With deep sighs, and declaring he had rather never have been born, or assumed the government of the empire for the recovery and support of the rights of which he had been involved in so many and such bitter sorrows, he is reported to have made the following will:-

"I, Frederick, for the salvation of my soul, in the first place, leave a hundred thousand ounces of gold, to be


expended and laid out, at the will of my son Conrad, for the recovery of the Holy Land, to the holy Roman church. Item, it is my will that all property unjustly taken from any one be restored. Item, I bequeath liberty to all those belonging to the empire or kingdom who are prisoners - excepting only traitors. Item, I leave the whole of the Church's territory free; and it is my wish that all its rights be restored to it. Item, I leave Conrad as my heir to the Roman empire and the kingdom of Sicily. Item, I leave to my son Henry the kingdom of Jerusalem, and ten thousand ounces [of gold], to be paid at the dictation of my son Conrad. Item, to my grandson, that is, the son of my son Henry, I leave the duchy of Austria and ten thousand ounces of gold. Item, I leave my son Manfred as Conrad's bailiff in the empire, from Pavia, on this side, and the kingdom of Sicily, for seventy [1] years, except when Conrad shall be present. Item, I choose Hungary for my burial-place, where King William lies buried".

The will contains many other bequests, which I do not call to memory, as they are of less importance; amongst his friends, his other sons, and his attendants, he distributed a large amount of property, chiefly in gold and silver; and this may be believed, because in the same year twelve camels were sent to him from the East, laden with gold and silver; for he was a partner in mercantile traffic, and a great friend of all the sultans of the East; so that traders travelled, both by land and sea, even to the Indies, on his account.

How the dean and canons of London were excommunicated.

About the same time, the archbishop of Canterbury, by the agency of Master Eustace, of Lynne, an official of his, to the astonishment of many, brought it about that the dean and canons of London should be denounced and excommunicated on account of their offences; and they were, moreover, cited to appear before the pope. A disgraceful scandal therefore arose, inasmuch as they were at one time excommunicated by one party from some cause, and at another were absolved by others for some other reason; and the canons, in great perturbation and in bitterness of heart, entreated all the bishops of England to assist them in these

[1] This passage is altogether corrupt and unintelligible.

428 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

oppressions, and to resist the violence impending over them, as their neighbour's wall was in flames. The king, however, because he had created the archbishop, and the queen because he was her uncle, although they were touched with shame, could not leave him desolate, although his cause was an unjust one.

The bold death of Earl Walter.

In this year Earl Walter, who had shown his power in the Holy Land, both by word and deed, and had for some time been governor of Joppa, and some castles on the coast, and some islands near it, was kept closely imprisoned in the filth of a Saracen dungeon; for the Saracens hated him, because he had, when at liberty, often done them great injury; neither was there any one of greater renown in the whole Holy Land than himself, or one more powerful, or of more agreeable manners. Worn away, then, by hunger and thirst, at the will of his enemies, and frequently lacerated by scourgings, he was evidently approaching to death, and the tomb seemed to be all that remained to him; but by no kind of torture could the infidels bend him to apostasy, or to yielding to their will. A council was therefore held amongst them, and the earl, being brought into the midst of them, was thus addressed by the sultan, who by soft speeches, threats, and ample promises, intermingled together, urged him, as he was in their power, in order to obtain his own liberty, to give up Joppa to them, in charge of which he had placed his bold and faithful followers. "Most invincible earl", said he, "you have frequently done me many irreparable injuries, wherefore, you deserve to be punished by many deaths; nevertheless, you may even now save your life, and shall also be honoured with many gifts, if you will restore Joppa to us, which was some time under your rule, and in which you have placed a trusty garrison of your followers, whose firmness we cannot weaken; and you shall be taken to the gate of the city to make known to the besieged these terms, namely, your own liberty, and that of all the citizens". The earl having given his consent to this, he was taken to the city gate, surrounded by Saracen soldiers, in order to make the above-mentioned offer known to the garrison. When the citizens beheld the earl, they could scarcely recognise him, thin and worn away as he was; and the earl, first addressing


his guards, said: "Permit me to give utterance to the words I have to say to the end; for we say generally that the last word concludes the whole parable". Permission being given him to do so, the earl endeavoured distinctly and in an audible voice to pronounce the following words, addressed to his soldiers, who were stationed over the gate: "Most brave, most Christian, and devoted fellow-soldiers, you see that my body is so worn out that I can only be recognised by you by my voice and words alone; my death is at hand, and my almost lifeless body with difficulty inhales the breath of life; give up nothing at all; grant no terms at all on my account. Why should a half-dead body be ransomed? And if I were to be ransomed, I should never recover myself. I adjure you, therefore, by the shedding of Christ's blood, which was poured forth in this land for the redemption of the whole world, never to give up either the castle or the city to these dogs of infidels, who eagerly desire the possession of this city, to the ruin of all Christianity; for they would show no mercy to you after you had surrendered it; nor would the pilgrims and inhabitants, who are now prepared to come to your assistance immediately, then affford you their aid". The Saracens, on hearing this speech, struck the noble-minded earl on the mouth with the hilts of their swords, which they kept drawn, causing a copious flow of blood and striking out his teeth, and then led him back to be put to death by the most exquisite tortures; all of which proceedings Earl Walter bore manfully, following the example of his relative the prince of Antioch. As mention has been made of this latter person, we think it proper to insert a brief account of his death in the pages of this work.

Of the firmness in death of the prince of Antioch.

When Saladin was at war with King Richard in the Holy Land, the prince of Antioch had been taken prisoner, and was most inhumanly treated in a Saracen prison, being kept in the closest confinement, and famishing with hunger and thirst, so that he began to pine away. One day, Saladin ordered him to be brought into his presence, which was done; and that prince, eyeing him with a scowling look, said to him,- "As God is your helper, tell me the truth; if you had me in your power, as I now have you, what would you

430 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

do to me"? To which the prince, undismayed, freely replied,- "As God aids me, you would be at once decapitated; but as you are a king, although an infidel, that you might not be struck by any low person, I myself would behead you". To this, Saladin replied,- "Your own mouth has dictated your sentence"; and immediately calling for a sword, he said, "and I, therefore, will immediately decapitate you". The prince, then, bound as he was, hand and foot, leaped forward joyfully and smiling, and drew near Saladin, stretching forth his head and extending his neck, that he might be the more ready to the hand of the striker, and spoke these, his last words: "Take, dog, this disgraced, dishevelled, and bearded head of mine, this lean face and filthy ears; it is little - indeed, nothing worth - you will gain nothing more; to God I commend my soul". Saladin then at one slight blow decapitated this glorious martyr of God, saying,- "Obstinate man, not even in death are you conquered". This glorious martyr was a relation of Earl Walter above mentioned; and we believe them to be now reigning together as fellow martyrs. This account of the prince of Antioch was given to me by one who was present, and beheld the occurrence with his own eyes, namely, Master Ralph Bezace, then a physician of King Richard's, and afterwards a canon of St. Paul's church; for he had been sent to the said Saladin, to effect the release of the prince, but did not succeed.

How the woods of the archbishop of Canterbury were cut down.

About the same time, the woods of the archbishopric were cut down, and the people of it were reduced to poverty; the revenues of vacant churches were distributed at the pleasure of foreigners, of whose morals and knowledge nothing was known to the distributors; and thus, the shepherd being absent, the sheep were exposed to the wolves.

Of the war between the sons of Waldemar, king of Denmark.

In this same year, a detestable war broke out between the sons of Waldemar, king of Denmark, who were contending for the possession of the kingdom. And whilst all the world were execrating such fraternal dissensions, and kingdoms torn by such profane animosities, Abel, the eldest of the sons (who ought rather to have been called Cain), planned treachery against Henry; and as the latter was about to


bathe, after playing at dice, came suddenly upon him, and basely and treacherously slew his own brother, and afterwards threw his corpse into the sea, which, however, three times threw the dead body upon the shore; but the inhuman Abel, not wishing it to receive burial, caused it to be carried out to a greater distance, and sunk in the deep. Still, however, God so disposing it, the body of the innocent king was thrown up on the coast in the same spot as before; whereupon some Minorite brethren begged the body, and honourably consigned it to the tomb in their church, where God, yielding to their prayers, afforded them the benefit of miracles. To prove that treachery does not protect any one, the nobles of Dacia condemned this bloody fratricide Abel, who even denied burial to his murdered brother, to perpetual banishment; and as he attempted to kick against them, he was himself slain by them. In his stead was substituted by common consent the third and youngest of the brothers, who was raised to the throne, and now reigns prosperously. It should also be known, that from times of old the king of Dacia is anointed, consecrated, and crowned. Haco, king of Norway, also, on giving to Pope Innocent the Fourth a sum of thirty thousand marks of silver, received the benefit of consecration, and also legitimation, from that pope, by the agency of Lawrence, an Englishman by birth, and a professed Cistercian, afterwards abbat of Kirkstead, in Lincolnshire, who went to Rome, and brought the whole matter to effect.

The return of S., earl of Leicester, to Gascony.

In the same year, as spring drew near, Earl Simon of Leicester returned, with a large force and a great sum of money, into Gascony, where he found almost all the men of rank of the province confederated in a general conspiracy against him, and ready for rebellion; the war was therefore renewed with increased force, and the Gascons gained the worst of the matter.

Of the parliament held at London,

On the 17th of February in this year, a grand parliament was held at London, as had been pre-arranged, at which Henry of Bath made his appearance, because the king was persecuting him, and he was attacked and accused on all

432 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

sides by his adversaries. The king was enraged in the highest degree against him, because he had come hither attended by a large body of knights, of his wife's family and friends, and his own friends, and laid more heavy accusations against him than all the others, imputing to him, amongst other things, that he had disturbed the whole kingdom, and exasperated all the community of barons against him; owing to which, a general sedition was imminent. He therefore caused proclamation to be made by herald at London, and also at the court, that any one who had cause of action or complaint against Henry of Bath should come to court, where his case would be heard in the king's presence. Accordingly, many accusers arose against him, and one of his colleagues even, a justiciary, publicly declared that, on being bribed by rich presents, he had allowed a man who had been convicted of a crime, and imprisoned for it, to depart unpunished, which proceeding was to the prejudice of the king, and to the peril and risk of the justiciaries, his colleagues. The king's anger therefore was more highly inflamed, and he rose up, saying, "If any one shall slay Henry of Bath, he shall be quit of his death, and I declare him quit of the same"; and then hurriedly went away. There were many there present who would have rushed on the said Henry, and attacked him, had not the prudence of John Maunsell moderated and restrained their violence, who said: "My lords and friends, it is not necessary that we should act upon what is said over-hastily and in anger; perhaps when the moment of anger is past, our lord will be sorry that he has given utterance to such an angry speech. Besides, if you do any violence to this Henry, here are the bishop of London and his other friends, these knights, the former of whom will take spiritual, and the latter temporal, vengeance"; and thus he, in a great measure, put a stop to their anger. From that time forth, owing to the intervention of Earl Richard and the said bishop, he was more mildly dealt with; for it was told to the king, that it was a wonder that any one cared to serve him, when he endeavoured to cause their death after they had done him service. On giving a promise of a sum of money, therefore, the said Henry was freed from all risk of his life, and took his departure.


The confirmation of Ailmar to the see of Winchester.

About the same time, the king's uterine brother Ailmar was confirmed in the see of Winchester by the pope, notwithstanding his youth, his ignorance of learning, and his utter incapacity for such a high station and the cure of so many souls. He was also shown such great favour by the pope, that he retained the revenues he had previously held; and all this was brought about by the watchful diligence of the king. But the pope, to prove that he had not sown seed on a barren coast, without hope of reaping benefit from the harvest, at once demanded the son of the count of Burgundy, a child, to be provided for by the grant to him of a revenue of five hundred marks.

The death of William de Cantelupe.

About the same time, died William de Cantelupe, a man of rank and discretion, and a faithful friend of the king; he was succeeded in his inheritance by his son William, to whom the king showed himself harsh and severe, before he could obtain full possession of his inheritance, although his father had been a great friend to him, the king, and was seneschal of the royal household.

The assembling of the bishops of England at Dunstable.

Although the archbishop was at this time using his diligent endeavours to the utmost of his power, and even beyond it, at the Roman court, to bring his designs to effect, namely, to obtain the power of making a general visitation of all the clergy throughout his province, the bishops of England being annoyed at this (because it was evident to them that he did not aim at this for the reformation of morals and religion), assembled at Dunstable, on St. Matthias' day, to deliberate on the act of injury and oppression; for what concerned and grieved all, ought to be provided against by all. There were there present the bishops of Lincoln, London, Norwich, Salisbury, Ely, and Worcester; the bishop of Chester, being unwell, could not attend. After a deliberate discussion, they sent their proctor, Master J., to the Roman court, to lay their complaint in this matter before the pope, being determined to free themselves from the violence of the archbishop, if it were even necessary that they should expend

434 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

four thousand marks (for the Roman court was usually ready to grant favour to those making presents). The said proctor, therefore, proceeded to that court, and diligently set to work on the matter intrusted to him. The pope, also, was at this time given to understand, perhaps by the said proctor, or by some other enemy of the archbishop, for his oppressions multiplied daily, that he, the said archbishop, had, to the great injury of the English church, secretly collected more than the eleven thousand marks which were granted him by the pope; whereupon the pope wrote back in reply, that they were to give him fuller information concerning the said transgression. His enormous excesses perpetrated at London, were passed over in silence, owing to the pusillanimity of the complainants, who did not dare to prosecute their claims, or were unable to expend money. Then, at length, the pope confessed that he was glad he had removed from Lyons, and avoided the shackles of the Savoyards, and promised both of the parties, who complained with all due moderation, that they should obtain whatever was just; but as the court was daily fattened on their kindness, he still delayed giving a definite sentence. For he frequently made the complaint that, when he was staying at Lyons, he was so compelled to follow the will of the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops elect of Lyons, that when a certain person, who had been inducted into a prebend of that church by his authority, made his appearance there, he was made food for fishes, having been drowned by night, and he, the pope, did not dare to murmur. The bishops of England therefore became more calm in their minds, owing to the good-will of the pope, and would not tell him anything of the archbishop's excesses, lest a multitude of complaints should give an appearance of hatred; but firmly urged their principal cause.

The visitation of the bishop of Lincoln.

About the same time, the bishop of Lincoln held a visitation of the religious houses established in his diocese; and if one were to relate all the acts of tyranny committed by him during that visitation, he would be considered not only severe, but austere and inhuman. For, amongst other proceedings, when he came to Ramsey, attended by his seculars, he went round every part of the place, examined the beds in


the dormitory of the monks in person, scrutinized everything, and if he found anything fastened, he destroyed it; he broke open their coffers like a burglar, and trod to pieces the cups ornamented with circles and supported on feet of silver, which, if he had acted wisely, he could have given to the poor entire. What is unfit to be mentioned, he also went to the houses of religious females, and caused their breasts to be squeezed, to try, like a physician, if there was any debauchery practised amongst them. He also heaped horrible maledictions, such as Moses wrote, on the heads of those who transgressed his decrees, and the blessings of the same prophet on those who should observe the same. In the following Lent, however, he was suspended from the episcopal office, because he would not admit a certain Italian, ignorant of the English language, to a rich benefice in his diocese. But it was believed that he did all things to restrain those subject to him from sin, for whose souls he was answerable.

How Wales was reduced to subjection to the English laws.

About this time, Wales, which had so often raised the heel against the kingdom of England, was subdued and made amenable to the laws of that country, and that part of it adjoining to Chester was intrusted to the charge of Alan de la Zouche. This man supplanted John de Grey, who paid five hundred marks for the same, by paying eleven hundred marks for it. Thus was wretched Wales let out, as it were, to farm, to those who were willing to give an increase of revenue.

The confirmation of the bishops elect of Winchester and Rochester.

About the same time, also, two bishops elect were confirmed, namely, Ailmar, the king's uterine brother, to the see of Winchester, and Master Laurence de St. Martin to that of Rochester; who were granted permission to retain for some subsequent years the revenues they had previously held. Thus this abuse became a usage and custom, namely, that any one who was called to a bishopric should continue a bishop elect, instead of being a bishop; so that thus the shepherd did not feed, but was fed; also, that he should retain his former revenues when created a bishop, so that the monster appeared of many shapes; and that any bishop

436 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

who was nominated to a richer see, should be transferred to it, so that one church appeared to be the leman of another.

How the abbat of Westminster crossed the sea.

About this time, also, namely in Lent, the abbat of Westminster secretly crossed the sea, at the wish and by the order of the king. There were some, indeed, who said that the king had an intention to make a voyage himself, for the purpose of making a pilgrimage to Pontignac, to effect a reconciliation with St. Edmund there; for he was convinced that he had offended him in many respects, inasmuch as, adhering to the advice of the legate Otto, he had injured and provoked the said archbishop, who was his confessor, to bitterness of spirit, and had driven him into exile; but Earl Richard would not give his consent to such a suspicious pilgrimage. The abbat, as he could not prepare a peaceful way for the king's pilgrimage, employed himself in matters which concerned him, namely, to obtain the means of bending his conventual brethren to his will, and of obtaining the title of chaplain to the pope, which when the king heard of, he endeavoured to foil him in his purpose; and from that time he lost the king's favour, on which he rested his confidence, as the result fully proved, and as the following narrative will show in the end.

Of the desolate state of Antioch.

About this time (with sorrow I write it), the noble city of Antioch, which had been gained at the cost of so much noble blood, was exposed to ignominious peril, owing to the increasing power and numbers of Turks and Turkomans. Many of the citizens, mistrustful of their safety, took to flight, and the whole government and the patriarchal dignity were thrown into confusion; for the recollection of the sultan of Babylon's victory, and the confusion of the French king, greatly inspirited the infidels, and had alarmed the Christians in no slight degree.

How the dean of London went to the Roman court.

About this same time, the dean of London, who was so often harassed in defending the liberties of his church, again went, old man as he was, to the Roman court, to protect the rights of his said church, in consequence of the manifold


scandal which had arisen through the archbishop. For those of them whom the pope ordered to be absolved, their enemies, in the name of the pope, ordered to be excommunicated on some other accounts; so that their contention was a source of ridicule to laymen, and no wonder.

How the king enriched and showed his regard for foreigners more and more every day.

At this time, the king day by day lost the affection of his natural subjects, and that not now by degrees: for, openly following the example of his father, he enticed all the foreigners he could to his side, enriched them, and, despising and despoiling his English subjects, intruded aliens into their place. At one time Earl Richard, at another the archbishop, now the bishop of Winchester and his other brothers, now the bishop of Hereford, and now Peter of Savoy, and others, whom he had summoned from all quarters. Hence many kings rose up in England to carry off carts and horses, provisions and clothing, and indeed all necessaries; the Poitevins also employed themselves in oppressing the nobles of the country, and especially religious men, in a thousand ways; and if any one were to recount only the injuries which William de Valence inflicted on the abbat of St. Alban's and the prior of Tynemouth, he would draw tears from his hearers; but of those matters an account is given in the book of Additaments, to shorten the length of this work.

The death of Cardinal W., bishop of Sabina.

About the same time of the year, William, bishop of Sabina, a holy man and a cardinal of the Roman church, who had been some few years back legate in Sweden and Norway, and had crowned Haco king of that country, whilst sleeping one night safe and sound in his bed, saw a vision, in which Cardinal Otto, who had died a short time previously, appeared sitting in a sort of general council densely crowded with people, and he the said William went thither, but no one rose on his entrance, or offered him a seat, excepting only the said Otto, who, raising him from his seat, publicly said to him, "My friend, come up higher: I have reserved a place for you to sit in". These two men had, in fact, been the greatest friends when Otto was living. William, when

438 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

he awoke, was much disturbed, and it was intimated to him from above, that he would depart this life within three days. He therefore at once went straight to the pope, and having obtained his permission and benediction, said to him, "Farewell, my lord, for God summons me from this life"; and taking leave of all his brothers and friends in the same manner, he devoutly returned to his house. All persons wondered at these proceedings of his, and some derided him, saying that he was grown old and foolish, because they saw that he was in good health, and had received no bodily injury. But William made all the necessary arrangements in his house with due deliberation, and having revealed the above-mentioned vision to many, he, on the following day, passed from the regions of this world by a commendable death.

About the same time also, died Master John of Uffington, a canon of the church of Salisbury, who was not surpassed in fame by any clerk in England.

Of the dispute between the abbat and conventual assembly of Westminster.

At this time a scandal arose in the noble convent of Westminster, because a dispute had broken out alike injurious and unbecoming to both parties. For the abbat, a learned and prudent man, was endeavouring to annul a proceeding of his predecessor, who had divided the property of the convent into two portions, one for his own uses and the other for the use of his brethren, that they might enjoy greater peace; but now, this abbat was endeavouring by all the means in his power to unite the divided portions, and to bend everything to his will; he therefore stuck fast to the pope, followed him step by step, and prolonged his stay for a great length of time at the court, not without expending a large sum of money. In consequence of his prudence, eloquence, and elegance of person, he was reckoned amongst the familiar friends of the pope, was honoured with the title of his chaplain, and obtained many things he wished in the prosecution of his design. The brethren of the convent, on hearing of this, began to be in no slight alarm, lest what the predecessor of this abbat, namely abbat Richard, had piously ordained, should be invalidated, and their condition become worse; they therefore sent some of


the superior brethren of the convent to the king, who with grievous complaints thus addressed him: "Your majesty, the abbat whom you appointed over us is endeavouring to disturb our house, or rather your especial one, and to invalidate what has been piously ordained for our tranquillity; it is your duty to protect your house and your royal domicile from decaying and falling, through the violence of its enemies". To this the king replied, with a great oath, "He shall certainly never effect his purpose"; and in the anger, indignation, and hatred he had conceived, he said aloud, "I am sorry that I made that man".

The message from A., king of Castile, to the king of England.

About the same time, Alphonso, [1] the victorious king of Castile, out of affectionate regard for the king of England, sent an eloquent and handsome knight to him as a special messenger, through whom he advised the said king of England, as being his relation, and therefore especially beloved by him, not to follow in the footsteps of the French king, when he should proceed on his pilgrimage, or to imitate the pride of the French; but rather to travel in security through his, the said king Alphonso's, territory, and he would himself accompany him and be his inseparable companion and indefatigable aider, and would also provide him with provisions, arms, and a fleet. From the statement of this messenger we learnt that, after the capture of the rich city of Seville, almost all Spain as far as the sea-coast had submitted to the authority of this same king Alphonso. He also stated that the city of Seville, with the adjacent province, used to pay to the king of Morocco (whom we call "Emir of the World") an unfailing revenue every week; that is to say, eleven thousand marks, on the sixth day of the week; which appears scarcely credible to us people of the West. The king of England was pleased at this message, and returned thanks to the messenger. We were also rejoiced by the substance of this message, and should have obtained honour by it, had not the noble king Alphonso been taken away from amongst us by premature death; for he yielded to fate in the same year, and died lamented by all Christians. However, by the Lord's dispensation, that

[1] This is an error; it should be Ferdinand III.

440 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

he might not, when he died, appear to die entirely, he left some brave sons behind him to govern his kingdom.

An unworthy letter of the pope's.

About the same time, the pope sent a letter to the abbat of St. Alban's to the following effect:-

"Innocent, bishop, etc., etc., to his beloved sons the abbat and brethren of St. Albans, in the diocese of Lincoln, Health and the apostolic benediction.- Whereas, our well-beloved son John de Camecave, our nephew and chaplain, holds the church of Wengrave, the right of presentation to which belongs, as we understand, to you, we in our paternal affection beg of you, and by these apostolic letters order you to exchange the said church for the first one in your presentation which shall become vacant, which the said chaplain or his proctor shall think proper to accept of, reserving Wengrave for our own gift; notwithstanding any prohibition or reservation whatever, and notwithstanding even the indulgence which is said to be granted to the English, that the benefices of Italian clerks who resign them or die shall not be immediately given to some other Italian clerk. Given at Lyons, the 12th of December".

We have inserted this letter in our book, that all may know with what sufferings and injuries the Roman court afflicted us wretched English; for whoever considers the purport of it may find in it contempt, injury, and oppression. But that the denunciatory words of the apostle may be fulfilled, "Unless a separation shall first come, the son of iniquity will not be revealed"; here is the cause, here are the reasons, why people secede in heart, although not in body, from our father the pope, who is provoked to the austerity of a stepfather; and also from our mother the Roman church, who vents her fury with the persecutions of a stepmother.

The king's arrival at St. Alban's.

In this year, on the Sunday in Passion week, the king went to St. Alban's, and remained there three days, during which he offered three palls to St. Alban at the great altar, and one to St. Amphibalus, and also gave an oftering of some gold at the shrine of St. Alban. He, however, was very dilatory in the fulfilment of justice in the cause, so injurious


to us, which was pending between the church of St. Alban's and Geoffrey de Childewick, who, amongst other excesses too numerous to relate, had enormously violated the peace of the kingdom and the dignity of the king's crown, inasmuch, as he had by force, like a highway robber, taken away a horse loaded with presents from a servant of the church of St. Alban's; in consequence of which he was accused by the servant of a breach of the peace, and, a warrant having been obtained from the king, the knight was charged with the crime, and attached, if we may use a word taken from the vocabulary of justice. But when the abbat saw the lukewarmness of justice and the remissness of the king and of John Maunsell, his special adviser, who was also the brother-in-law of the knight aforesaid, and out of favour to whom the king was inclined to take the part of the knight, the appeal was abandoned. Yet this most ungrateful knight, notwithstanding this, endeavoured basely and treacherously to injure the church, the abbat, and brethren of St. Alban's, whose vassal he was; the aforesaid John inspiring him with boldness, urging him on, and assisting him.

Of the capture, and death of a knight named Robert.

About this time was made prisoner a certain knight named Robert Chandos, a strong and bold man, of the household of John of Monmouth. This man had on some account or other left the service of his lord J. in anger, and, in company with several accomplices, employed himself both secretly and openly, like a wicked assassin, in robberies and murders. But whilst the king was staying at St. Alban's, as above mentioned, a report was brought to him there that the retainers of the earl of Gloucester had taken and thrown him into prison, where, being kept closely fettered because his gaolers were afraid of him, he died a miserable death.

The death of the pious matron Cecilia de Sandford.

On the 23rd of July in this year, at about a mile from St. Alban's, died a most holy woman, named Cecilia of Sandford, a widow of noble birth, and still more ennobled by her morals; she was the relict of William de Gorham, a knight, and the mother of William de Gorham the younger, also a knight; and after she had been many years a widow,

442 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

being learned and eloquent, she was selected to be the mistress and instructress of the king's sister Johanna, the widow of William Marshall the younger; and afterwards of Johanna, wife of W. de Valence. This Lady Cecilia, in company with Johanna, countess of Pembroke, then a widow, in the presence of St. Edmund, then archbishop of Canterbury, made a solemn vow of observing perpetual continence and widowhood, and with the ring of betrothal took the russet garment, which was worn as a sign of perpetual celibacy, as also did her pupil, the Countess Johanna; but the latter, afterwards wishing to become a mother, obtained an indulgence from the pope, and was married to the earl of Leicester. Cecilia, however, both in mind and habit, inviolably observed the vow she had made to God till her death; and when it approached, she hastily summoned her confessor, Brother Walter de St. Martin, of the order of Preachers, a man of learning and of elegant manners; and after making a full confession, and being strengthened by the viaticum of our Lord's body, and having received extreme unction, she lay awaiting death, when Brother Walter, seeing the gold ring on her finger, said to the servants attending her: "Take away that ring immediately, that she may not die thus ornamented"; but Cecilia, although half-dead, heard these words, and recovering her breath, endeavoured to speak as follows: "Far be it from me, dear father, that this ring should ever leave me whilst alive, which I shall produce before the tribunal of God my spouse in testimony of the inviolate continence which I promised him by this ring, in order that I may receive the covenanted reward. I know whom I trusted, for I have, on his account, refused the embraces of nobles and rich dowries which have been offered me". Thus saying, she drew back her hand, and bending her finger, kept firm possession of the ring, although the servants attempted to take it off, and with her speech she closed her life. Brother Walter, being a discreet man, commended her devout speech as well as her pious purpose; and he related to me, the writer of these pages, these and other examples of her sanctity. Her body, then, still with the ring on its finger, was brought to St. Alban's, and, by reason of the privilege granted to her celibacy and the nobility of her family, was honourably buried in a stone


vault before the altar of St. Andrew in that church. At the performance of the burial solemnities were present the abbat and brethren, and a great number of knights and nobles of the family of the deceased lady; amongst whom was Nicholas of Sandford, her brother, who, owing to the great grief he felt for the death of his noble sister, never afterwards prospered. He was young, handsome in person, and second to no knight in England in bravery; but, after passing some time in sorrow, on the 20th of January in the same year he paid the debt of nature.

The pope's departure from Lyons.

In the same year, at a season of festivity, the pope left Lyons, accompanied by his cardinals and a great many nobles, and under conduct of Philip, bishop elect of Lyons, attended by a large retinue of armed men, for fear of treachery from the friends of Frederick. When everything was ready for their departure, Brother Hugh, a cardinal, on behalf of the pope took leave of the citizens of Lyons and publicly preached a sermon to the people; and after he had given them all some good instruction and civilly taken leave of them on behalf of the pope and the whole court, he added a speech, which we think proper to insert in this book on account of the satirical rebuke contained in it:- "My friends", said he, "since we arrived in this city we have done much good and largely bestowed alms; for when we first came here, we found three or four brothels, and now at our departure we leave behind us only one; but that extends from the eastern gate of the city to the western one". This speech gave offence to the ears of all the women, of whom there was an immense number present to hear his discourse; for all the inhabitants of the city were convoked by the voice of the herald in the name of the pope now about to leave them; and this piece of irony passed from mouth to mouth amongst the many, because its cynicism affected all alike.

How the pope arrived unharmed at Milan.

After many perils and risks, the pope arrived unharmed at Milan, on the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary, and on his approach was met by the citizens, who received him with the greatest honours; but some time afterwards, after he had passed a month amongst them, they demanded from him a

444 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1251.

large sum of money which they said they had expended in opposing the emperor Frederick for the honour of the Church and himself. To this demand the pope is said to have replied with calmness as follows: "Friends of God and the Church, we well know that you have exposed yourselves to many perils and losses for the honour of God and his Church and ourselves. But you well know that I have been driven from the city, have been an exile, and have suffered many losses besides that of my dignities. However, when prosperity smiles upon men, as I hope and trust it will by your means, I will visit you with ample honours". By such and other such-like speeches, and also by presents, the pope, who was open-handed in making presents and lavish in promises of them, wisely calmed the anger of the citizens, as he knew that his hand was fast held in the lion's mouth. He moreover obtained a promise from them that the whole community of the city, well armed, should conduct him uninjured and without loss to the borders of his dominions, to protect him from all of Frederick's adherents. He then, although not without great expense, set out towards Perugia, but would not enter any large city, lest he should fall like a fish into the sweep-net, and never get out again; so, not sparing his horse's sides, he made all haste on his journey till he reached Perugia, where the citizens received him with all due devotion, out of consideration for the profit they would make from the people who would flock there.

The arrival of the abbat of Westminster from the Roman court.

About the same time, the abbat of Westminster, the pope's chaplain, arrived from the Roman court deeply involved in debts and liabilities; for he had made a protracted stay at the court, and had gained for himself the affections of many there, so that it was believed that, as he was a man well adapted for difficult business, he would remain altogether with the pope. He now arrived armed with manifold power to bend the brethren of his convent to his will, and at once proceeded to the king at Windsor, where he chanted mass before him as if he were a pontiff, for he was remarkable for his voice as well as his handsome person. He then confidently approached the king, showing him letters from many princes, and begged his permission to have the entire


management of the house of Winchester, which the king had intrusted to his rule, and to unite the two separate portions of the possessions of his church in one. At this request, the king, whose affection was estranged from the abbat, looked at him with a scowling and sidelong glance, and gave utterance to many unmentionable reproaches and insults against him; amongst other upbraidings, he declared that he had exalted him, the abbat, undeservedly, and that he had acted unadvisedly in summoning him to his secret counsels; "for", said he, "how could I put any confidence in your fidelity, who endeavour to oppress and harass your brethren, and those who have been your companions and guests at table for a long time past"? And although many of the abbat's friends, John Maunsell and many others, too numerous to mention by name, interceded for him, the king in a state of great anger dismissed him from his council as well as from his affections. At length the abbat, who could ill brook the king's anger, consented to abide by the arbitration of the above-named John and Earl Richard, if it should so please the king, and promised that he would