English History




FROM THE YEAR 1235 TO 1273.



Late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.





Of the archbishop's arrival in England.

In the octaves of the festival of St. Martin, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, arrived in England; at whose coming no one rejoiced; indeed - we say it unwillingly - people were rather troubled by it; for each and all recalled to memory how extraordinarily and how cruelly he acted at London, when he there exacted from religious men the right of visiting them; how, moreover, he had in manifold ways impoverished the kingdom and the church, by extorting formerly eleven thousand, and lately six thousand marks, which were exacted on the occasion of his tyrannical visitation; and also how enormously he had impoverished the noble church of Canterbury, which had been under the rule of so many saints, by cutting down the woods, and trampling the convent under his feet; and again, how he had given away entirely to foreigners the rich revenues which had become vacant in his time. Hence, it was thought the building, which was raised on a marshy foundation, would be a weak one. This, however, must be left to the disposal of the Most High.

Of the disagreement between the archbishop and the bishop elect of Winchester.

Just before the octaves of St. Martin, in this year, a certain priest, acting on the authority of the bishop elect of Winchester, inducted himself to the guardianship of an hospital in Southwark, which was well known to be in the diocese of Winchester. The guardian of that hospital (which was said to have been founded by St. Thomas the Martyr), by a custom amongst the inhabitants, receives the title of prior. But Master Eustace of Lynn, an official of the archbishop of Canterbury, considered the above proceeding to be an infringement of his right; because, by virtue of his

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patronage, his consent ought to have been obtained, which had been omitted out of contempt; and he therefore admonished the aforesaid priest twice and three times to give up possession, on the ground that his entrance on the office was injurious and presumptuous; but with this admonition the priest, or prior as he was styled, refused to comply, relying on his possession of the post. The official thereupon excommunicated him for his contumacy, under which sentence the prior aforesaid remained for forty days, giving utterance to repeated threats and insults. The official, then, unable to endure such pride and presumption, ordered him to be seized as a contumacious person; on hearing which, the prior put on his sacerdotal dress for protection, and took refuge in the church. But the officers who had been sent to take him, did not spare him on that account, because, being excommunicated, he had shown contempt for the keys of the Church. The official then ordered him to be taken to Maidstone, a manor of the archbishop's, to be detained there till it should be decided what should be done with him; for it was reported that the archbishop was near.

Of the presumptuous proceedings of the bishop elect of Winchester.

On hearing of this proceeding, the bishop elect of Winchester was enraged beyond all proper bounds, and made heavy complaints to his brethren, as if he had suffered great injury and disgrace; and being encouraged by advice and assistance from them, he assembled an armed band of knights, and sent them with a large body of attendants to find out and seize the perpetrators of this act of violence. They thereupon set out with great impetuosity and shouting, and went at once to Southwark, thinking to find those they were in search of at that place; but after searching every part of Southwark, without finding any one they wanted, they proceeded with all haste to Maidstone, to release the captured prior; there they broke open every barrier that opposed them, and searched every secret place; but as they could not find him they sought, as he had been concealed, they called for fire, intending to reduce the whole place to ashes. Not finding him they sought there, and being informed by some tale-monger that the official was at


Lambeth, near London, they hurried off thither in crowds, after doing much injury at Maidstone. Arrived at Lambeth, they broke open the doors, or tore them away from the door-posts, and entering the house tumultuously and suddenly before the hour of dinner, they ignomimously seized the official, who little expected such a proceeding; they then at once placed him on a horse, to take him whither they chose, like one of the vilest of criminals, taken in an act of theft, without even allowing him to hold the reins to guide the horse. What rash presumption! What inexcusable want of respect could have possessed them to persecute and treat thus ignominiously a man in such high authority, one of such learning, so remarkably famous, and one who represented the person of the archbishop? They also insulted and ill-treated a chaplain, who performed duty in the chapel, who fled to the altar; and they assailed the church property with their sacrilegious hands. Master Henry of Ghent, on hearing the tumult, was overcome with fear, which might have been the case with a bolder man than he and cautiously made his escape, that he might not fall into the hands of those who sought his life. After they had perpetrated all the atrocities which their anger, or rather their fury, prompted, they dragged the official away by the bridle of his horse to Farnham, intending to detain him there forcibly, and against his will, until they should get information of the restoration of the prior. At length, however, he was suffered to depart, and was driven away sorrowfully and ignominiously; but he, rejoicing for the time at having escaped their hooked and rapacious hands, ran on foot, old man as he was, without daring to look behind him, lest he should be turned into a statue, as far as Walerle, a house belonging to the Cistercians. The monks of that place, on seeing him, wondered what misfortune had driven him to them a fugitive, and alone; he, however, received consolation there, and began to breathe freely again.

Of the complaint made to the archbishop.

The archbishop's dependants, having suffered such a great injury, with tears and lamentations laid a complaint of this great piece of audacity and presumption before the archbishop, with, however, a great deal of exaggeration. The

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archbishop's anger at the news was greater than can be described, and he exclaimed, "These are hard tidings on our first arrival"; and he at once set out to London, taking with him the bishops of Chichester and Hereford, where, at the church of St. Mary-le-Bow, he and the two latter, clad in pontifical robes, and in the presence of a vast number of people whom he had summoned by proclamation, for the purpose of granting to those who came an indulgence of thirty days, solemnly pronounced the awful sentence of excommunication against all the perpetrators and abettors of this rash act (excepting only the king and queen and their children, and Earl Richard, his wife the countess, and their children). He, the archbishop, also wrote to all his suffragan bishops, strictly ordering them, by virtue of the obedience due from them to the church of Canterbury, to do the like in their churches on every Sunday and feast-day. The bishop elect of Winchester, on the other hand, immediately ordered the dean of Southwark and some others subject to him, to oppose the archbishop to his face, and to announce publicly that the sentence was null and void, and frivolous, and that the excuse which had been made was sinful and deceitful. The party of the archbishop then appealed to the supreme pontiff concerning this insult, and the scandal which had arisen therefrom. There were some, indeed, favouring neither of the two parties, who said that the archbishop had evidently injured the bishop elect. However, to put an end to such-like controversies, it was settled that an arrangement should be made between the parties, to the effect that the whole house aforesaid should, notwithstanding the title of patronage, be subject to the jurisdiction of the bishop of Winchester, he paying three shillings annually as an acknowledgment of the same. Thus each of the two parties gained a bad name, and incurred the reproach of injurious and violent conduct, whilst the citizens of London, remembering the audacity which the archbishop had shown in his first violent proceedings at that city, recalled the immense extortions of money which he had been the cause of, also the king's rashness in creating him, and his extraordinary distribution of his benefices; and on the other hand, the partisans of the king, that is, the Poitevins, incurred the accusation of treachery, which is, indeed, innate


in them, with other reproaches, as is usual with those who make complaints; and there were many of the citizens who wished, some that they could knock the brains out of some of them, and others that they could tear the bowels out of the rest. As it is written, "Woe to him, or them through whom the offence cometh"; both parties were in danger from the great opprobrium and scandal which had arisen. Thus, then, the friends of the king arrayed themselves against those of the queen,- Poitevins against Provencals, who were intoxicated by their vast possessions, and who vented their ravings on the wretched sleepy English, as though they were vying with one another as to which of them should obtain superiority in the kingdom, to the exclusion of the natives of the same. However, common report rather condemned the Poitevins, because the bishop elect had in his pride so exceeded all bounds as to oppose his superior, relying on his brother the king, who, as God knows, had created him to be what he was; and especially so, because we are reported to have lost Poitou through the treachery of his father.

How the archbishop went to Oxford.

Archbishop Boniface then concealed the anger he felt, like fire beneath the ashes, and at the instigation of Master Eustace, who was the most injured, and grieved the most in this affair, insisted on taking condign vengeance for such an enormous transgression, and with this intention hastened his steps towards Oxford, in order publicly to make known the particulars of this nefarious proceeding to the community of scholars who assembled there to study from various parts of the world; and that they might give accounts of such a great offence, amongst even the most remote nations of the earth. When he approached the city, he was met by a great multitude of clerks dressed in most handsome clothes, and mounted on magnificently-accoutred horses, who received him with applause, and all reverence and respect, as it became them to do in meeting an archbishop, the primate of all England, and one of most illustrious birth. They afterwards entertained him at a feast abounding in meats and drinks, and when the archbishop and his lazy Provencal clerks had experienced the wit and eloquence of that community, their perfect behaviour, the arrangement of their dresses, and the

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strictness of their morals, they were obliged to allow that the university of Oxford was a deserving rival to that of Paris.

The promulgation of the sentence at Oxford.

On the day after the feast of St. Nicholas, the archbishop, in the presence of all the clerks of the university, who had been assembled for the purpose by the ringing of the common bell, openly related the particulars of the daring presumption of the bishop elect of Winchester, his brethren and accomplices, who assumed boldness from their confidence in the king's support; and he also published the names of the transgressors expressly, and reiterated the before-mentioned sentence, which are all contained more fully in the letters which the archbishop transmitted to all his suffragan bishops. In those letters, the names of the transgressors are given in full, and if any one wishes to see them, let him search the book of Additaments which is kept at St. Alban's, and which will give the full particulars of this affair. But it is evident to each and all that the bishop elect and his brothers were the authors of the proceedings.

The death of Blanche, queen of the French.

About this same time, namely on the first Sunday of our Lord's Advent, which fell on the first day of the month, died that lady of all ladies of this world, Blanche, the mother of the French king; the guardian, protectress, and queen of France, who departed this life, that, like a devoted handmaiden, she might reverently meet our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. Her death, a great loss and source of grief to the French, was prematurely brought on by manifold sorrows, amongst which were the death of her husband, King Louis, who was taken from her in the most agreeable time of her youth, leaving the French kingdom dependent on her, a matter of no slight solicitude; the sickly weakness of her son, his assumption of the cross, and his pilgrimage, from which he determined not to return; then his capture by the infidels, a circumstance to be lamented by all Christendom; also the disgraceful flight and subsequent death by drowning of Robert, count of Artois; again the incurable disease of Alphonso, count of Poitou; and lastly, the news which had been brought to her that her eldest son, the French king,


who was fighting for God in the Holy Land, intended to remain there all his life and to die there, and thereby to obtain a heavenly kingdom in exchange for his earthly one. Thus, therefore, languished in desolation and prematurely died that most noble lady Blanche, the mother of the aforesaid princes, pledges of affection of which she had been bereaved. Seeing that death was near at hand, she left orders for her body to be buried at a nunnery at Pontoise, which she had founded and built in great magnificence; indeed, prior to her death she became a professed nun, and took the veil, over which was placed the crown, and she also wore the robes of a queen, and in this manner dressed she was buried becomingly. Thus, therefore, did the noble lady Blanche, a woman in sex, but a man in counsels, one worthy to be compared with Semiramis, bid farewell to the world, leaving the French kingdom comfortless and void of all consolatian.

Of the immense revenues of John Mansell.

In the course of this year, John Mansell, who was the chief counsellor of the king, was so smiled upon by fortune, and became so rich, that his whole yearly income was computed to amount to four thousand marks, inclusive of the seven hundred lately accumulated by him; indeed, no clerk was ever known in our times to have risen to such a state of opulence. It was a source of great astonishment and wonder to those who know the things which are of God, that so circumspect a man did not fear to undertake the care of so many souls, when it was evident that he would be bound to render an account of them all before the Supreme Judge; but that that which is written, might be verified,- "there are many who know many things, but who do not know themselves thoroughly".

How the bishop of Lincoln made a computation of the revenues of foreigners in England.

During all this time, the avarice of the Romans had been allowed to rise to such a height, that Robert, bishop of Lincoln, who was astonished at it, ordered his clerks to make a careful computation of the revenues of foreigners in England; and it was discovered that the present pope, Innocent the Fourth, had impoverished the universal Church more than all

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his predecessors since the first establishment of the papacy. The revenues of foreign clerks appointed in England by him, and enriched by the church of Rome, amounted to more than seventy thousand marks. The clear revenue of the king was reckoned not to amount to a third of that sum.

Of the sufferings of the monks of the Cistercian order in England.

In this year, too, the king, finding that the disputes which arose amongst the nobles on account of their warrens, caused a great, though disgracefully acquired increase to his treasury, by the forfeitures which they incurred, ordered a proclamation to be made by herald in the public places, such as the markets, that whoever wished to have a warren should speak to him on the subject, and that, on payment of a sum of money, his request should be granted. Of this permission some took advantage; and thus were destroyed the rights of a great many persons, rights which had been granted by ancient charters, and confirmed by usage. Amongst others the abbat and monks of Waredon thought it would be advantageous to them to have a warren, because the servants of the neighbouring nobles broke down their hedges, traversed their sown fields, trod down their crops, and insulted and assaulted their brethren who cultivated and had charge of them; and they therefore paid the required sum of money, and obtained a right of warren from the king. This, however, seemed to William Beauchamp to be derogatory to his right; he therefore seized on their cattle, wounded and killed several of the brethren, and otherwise injured them in many ways; for he had learned, at the instigation of his wife (for he was an uxorious man), to make war against religious men rather than against knights, as he had now, for a period of twelve years, continually harassed and oppressed the canons of Newnham, proving himself hard as stone to those of whom he ought to have been the patron and protector. In like manner, also, Peter of Savoy, whose great familiarity with the king supplied him with the horns of presumption, not fearing to disturb the benefices of the old nobility, and to invalidate the established order of things, unceasingly persecuted, for ten successive years, the holy house of Jervaulx, an establishment of the Cistercian order in the north of England, which had been founded and built


with great magnificence by our pious forefathers. The king, too, connived at all these acts, and passed them over unpunished; for by thus allowing them he became a consenting party: but those who perpetrate such crimes are reserved for a more severe visitation of divine vengeance.

A summary of the year.

Thus then passed this year, moderately productive of corn and fruit, severe, owing to the deadly disease amongst the cattle; and to sum up briefly the state of human affairs, it was one of trouble to the whole of mankind. Of this state of trouble, the cause, amongst the Orientals, was said to be the unfortunate capture of the French king. Thus we see, when a bone is thrown amongst a lot of snappish dogs, each one endeavours to seize it, and in their struggle one attacks the other; and thus striving to gnaw the bone, they gnaw each other, whilst the bone remains untouched. The empire was in a state of danger, like a vessel without a helmsman. The French kingdom, deprived of rulers, barons, arms, and money, never before lamented such a comfortless and desolate state. England, trampled underfoot by foreigners, bowing the neck to many masters, and deprived of the sincere affection of its king, and submitting to the most abject conditions, pined away in despair and inconsolable; and, what was most grievous, the deadly hatred existing between the Church and the people daily increased.

How the king of England kept Christmas at Winchester.

In the year one thousand two hundred and fifty-three, which was the thirty-seventh year of the reign of King Henry III., the said king was at Winchester at Christmas, where he kept up the festivities of our Lord's Nativity with great magnificence.

Of the canonization of Peter, one of the order of Preachers.

At this time also there arrived messengers of the king and certain nobles, bringing news that a brother of the order of Preachers, named Peter, whilst preaching at Milan, and fearlessly reproaching the Milanese for their vices and errors, or rather heresies, was secretly murdered by them for his assertion of the truth, and thus acquired martyrdom as his reward for so doing. But that the light of truth might not

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be long hidden under a bushel, the Lord made him known on the spot by miracles; and the pope, having received full information of them, at once canonized him with great pomp.

How the Romans elected Brancaleon as a senator.

The aforesaid messengers also stated that in the month of August the Romans elected a new senator, one Brancaleon, a citizen of Boulogne, a just and strict man, and one versed in law, who would not, on any account, agree to the election of himself, unless they gave him security that the power of a senator should remain vested in him for three years, contrary to the statutes of the city. He, moreover, demanded from each of the influential citizens a moderate security, and from the commoners of the city an oath that they would faithfully obey him as their senator; for he was well acquainted with the insolence of the Roman people, who frequently kicked and revolted on the least occasion. When, however, his consent was obtained, and he was received by the citizens and people, an inviolable condition was imposed on him, that he should rule the city and its inhabitants justly, or that he should never be allowed to return to Boulogne with a whole body. When he was, at length, installed as a senator for three years, he ordered some of the citizens who were notorious for murder, and who had been convicted of the same, to be hung at the windows of their own castles, and some who were rebellious he consigned to the gallows.

How the people of Winchester sent a noble present to the king.

As the king was about to partake of a repast at the above-mentioned festival of Christmas, the citizens of Winchester sent him a most handsome present of eatables and drinkables, which excited the admiration of all beholders; and the king, by way of thanks, obliged them to pay him two hundred marks in a brief space of time, although he was born in that place; and thus the festivities of Christmas were turned into sorrow and lamentation for them. The king, however, paying no regard to this, employed himself in giving feasts. But as the pleasures of this world seldom come without alloy, both the host and guest were annoyed by the sentence issued by the archbishop against the bishop elect of Winchester, who was the king's entertainer, and against all his abettors;


for the bishop elect was not yet absolved, nor had be been admitted to the kiss of peace, although a reconciliation had been patched up between the parties. In the octaves of the Epiphany, however, by the active intervention of the king and queen,- the king, on behalf of his brother, the bishop elect, and the queen, on behalf of her uncle, the archbishop, and who were more interested in effecting a reconciliation, because it was reported that William of Valence and John de Warrenne had been engaged in that act of violence,- the bishop elect was fully reconciled to, and restored to favour with the archbishop, and was admitted to the kiss of peace. For he publicly made oath that he had never given his consent to those violent proceedings, and that they never pleased him, but that they had been carried on without his knowledge and against his wish. Thus was the bishop elect absolved from the sentence; and that no trace of anger on account of the disagreement might remain, all who were concerned in that insulting proceeding, enjoyed the benefit of entire absolution. It is therefore, clearly evident by the confusion of this affair, whereat all the aforesaid injuries were passed over unpunished and forgiven, how earnestly intent the bishops and all others were on the re-establishment of peace between these parties; and the matter was thus arranged, no doubt, because the king had promised always to show himself favourable to all those who were the means of bringing about this reconciliation, and to incline more readily to their wishes. They therefore betook themselves more confidently to the discussion of the aforesaid difficult business namely, the granting of the above-mentioned contribution, saving the observance of the conditions of Magna Charta. At length, after many arguments, they came to the decision to consent, not to such a great contribution as was asked, but to the grant of a certain sum, and to afford voluntary and effectual aid to the king, if he would, as he had ofttimes promised, desist from injuring and oppressing the Church in the way he usually did, and would listen to the affectionate counsels of his natural subjects, which they urgently pressed him to do as supplicants. To this proposition the king replied favourably, adding, that if they would, with due deliberation, find out and write down privately the matters of each offence, he would make all the

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necessary amendments; and a day was fixed on for publishing them, that he might, with the advice of all in common, reform them all. They therefore conceived great hopes that the king would graciously fall in with their wishes, because they had, at his urgent request, forgiven all the offences of his brother, the bishop elect of Winchester, as just now stated, and had entirely re-established peace; because he had taken the cross, which act requires humiliation and justice; and because he was of a more mature age; again, because he might gain instruction by the example of his father; and lastly, because the Church now voluntarily promised him assistance. There were many reasons why he was bound favourably and promptly to accede to their demands, and one of the most cogent of these we have thought proper to insert in this volume. During the time that St. Edmund ruled the church of Canterbury, a certain contribution was granted to the king at his request and entreaty, and he made oath (placing his right hand on the holy Gospels, and holding a lighted taper in his left, whilst the said archbishop dictated the oath) that he would, from that time forth, without any cavilling, inviolably observe the charter so often granted to his subjects, and would not allow himself to be entrapped by the usual false statements of any underhanded advisers. At the same time also, a great many prelates who were present, also holding lighted tapers, joined with the archbishop in excommunicating all who should violate or wrongfully interpret that charter, and in consummation of the sentence pronounced, when all, and even the king himself, had repeatedly exclaimed, "So be it, so be it", the candles were thrown down and extinguished, sending forth an offensive stench to the nostrils of the bystanders. Thereupon the archbishop exclaimed, "Thus, thus perish and stink the condemned souls of those who shall either violate or wrongfully interpret the said charter"; and all present, the king more eagerly and more frequently than the others, loudly responded, "Amen, Amen". These proceedings took place in the chapel of St. Catherine at Westminster. The king, however, did not destroy the high places, as we read in the Old Testament in the case of certain foolish kings; but he collected money, and prodigally wasted it, although collected against the common decision. In this same way he


acted a second time, and now again, in this present year; but as this act of fully and extravagance is so often repeated, it is not (to our sorrow) considered a great evil.

The departure of Master Albert.

Master Albert, who had been waiting for an answer to a message which he had sent to the pope, now made preparations for a speedy return home; for the pope would not in any way assist Earl Richard with his money, or give him castles wherein to take up his abode, or hostages on whom he could rely with confidence; therefore the latter listened to the more prudent advice and suggestions of his friend Conrad, and remained quiet. The pope, then, as he could not weaken the scruples of the earl, betook himself to other fallacious arguments, with the intention of working round the simplicity of the said earl's brother, the king; and how he succeeded in the matter will be shown in the following pages.

Of the expulsion of the Jews from the French kingdom.

About the same time, there came a mandate from the French king in the Holy Land, to the effect that all Jews should be expelled from the kingdom of France, and condenmed to perpetual banishment, with, however, the following saving clause:- "But whoever of them is desirous of remaining, if he be a merchant or mechanic, let him employ himself in the trade of a mechanic". For it had been hinted to that king by the Saracens, that we have but little love or veneration for our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffer his murderers to dwell amongst us. The Caursins thereupon eagerly took possession of the places and offices of the exiled Jews.

Of the death of the abbat of St. Augustine, at Canterbury.

About this time, too, the abbat of St. Augustine dying, the king, by way of showing how little he intended to observe the oft-mentioned charter, by means of his satellites, plundered the goods of that church, to its utter ruin, and shamelessly transgressing other articles of the same charter, vented his rage upon the prelates, nobles, and citizens of London. The monks of the said convent, in great consternation, with all haste, elected their precentor to be their abbat, in order that a stop might be put to this system of robbery; and he, after he was elected, could with difficulty

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provide himself with necessaries out of the substance of that church, after paying a fine to the king. The wealth of the church being thus squandered away, the monks could with difficulty support life for five years afterwards.

Of the loss and disgrace brought on the church of St. Mary, at York.

About the same time, also, the abbot and monks of the church of St. Mary, at York, incurred heavy loss and disgrace, in consequence of a certain charter being adjudged to be invalid by their adversaries (the chief of whom was John the Frenchman, a clerk of the king's exchequer. Indeed it was believed to be a fact, that this same John, who was born in the north, in his eager desire to increase his revenues in those parts out of the property of that church, had brought about that result, with little consideration for the good of his soul, as it is written, "Woe to the man through whom any scandal is generated"). The monks, then, were obliged to pay a large sum of money to the king; moreover, they for ever lost their lands and rich revenues, and incurred indelible disgrace, and finally were dispersed, whilst that noble church was put in confusion, and left exposed to peril and ruin. In a similar way, also, and for the same reason, did the aforesaid persecutor John (whom the Lord, the Avenger, had deprived of an eye for his previous deserts) cause irreparable damage to the abbey of Selby.

Of the devastation of the city of Tivoli by the Romans.

At this time, too, the Romans, owing to the insolence and pride of the citizens of Tivoli, devastated that city, to its ruin; and the inhabitants, in consequence, in order to save their lives, were compelled, clotheless and shoeless, to go to Rome to beg for mercy.

Of the earl of Gloucester's marriage with the king's niece.

In this year, also, the planning supplanter of the natives of England, willing all the nobles of his kingdom to degenerate, and thus to destroy the whole legitimate stock of the English, to their utter destruction, and to mix their noble blood with the scum of foreigners, felt aggrieved that amongst others, Richard, earl of Gloucester, and his offspring, were not defiled with this poisonous source; for the earl was young, handsome, eloquent, prudent, and well skilled in the


laws of the land, and such a man in all respects that the hopes of all the nobles of England rested confidently in his bosom, and he possessed the favour and good-will of all. But in the hopes they had conceived all were deceived, for a vile, avaricious disposition, long time concealed, now openly broke forth, which dreadfully clouded his nobility. The king, then, smelling out his cupidity (for the earl had been under his guardianship for several years), thus addressed him:- "My dear earl, I will no longer conceal from you the secret desire of my heart, which is, to raise and enrich you, and to advance your interests, by marrying your eldest legitimate son to the daughter of Guy, count of Angouleme, my uterine brother. And to you I will prove my munificence by giving you five thousand marks, with which your daughter-in-law will be raised to a level with royalty, as is suitable to a lady of regal extraction". At the instigation, then, of avarice (which alone amongst all vices is the slavery of idols), the earl in this instance became degenerate, and falling from the nobility of his ancestors, consented, for money, as though he had been a trader or usurer, to marry his legitimate son and heir to a girl, or rather an infant, one void of faith and beauty (as is to be presumed from the usual Poitevin fashion), and who claimed alliance with royal virtues only occasionally and collaterally. And as he had not the aforesaid money at hand (for he made it his custom to squander the money he plundered in all directions), the king begged, although in an imperious way, the abbats of St. Alban's, Reading, and Waltham, to become sureties to the earl of Gloucester for the payment of the aforesaid sum. This, however, they neither ought nor could well have done; for who could force the king to the payment, if he resisted? He also earnestly entreated of the Hospitallers and Templars to take on them the aforesaid obligation, and as they flatly refused to do so, declaring that it was not at all in their power, the king became enraged, and uttered dreaded threats against them. In his anger, he dismissed brother Roger, a Templar, from his office of almoner, and banished him from his court. On other occasions, too, when opportunity offered, he laid his wily snares for the Templars and Hospitallers. Besides the above, the king was indebted in a large sum of money to S., earl of Leicester, for the

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resignation of a charter which he held from the king for the governorship of Gascony for five years.

How the king of Spain laid claim to Gascony.

Alphonso, king of Spain, learning that Simon, earl of Leicester, had left Gascony, and resigned his charter for the government of it, at once claimed that province for himself and he did so with greater confidence because it was left solely to the governorship of the boy Edward; for, according to the words of Lucan: "The age of the tyrant of the Nile is a source of great suspicion, for strict faith requires mature years".

The above-mentioned king, then, learning the two facts that the earl, a warlike man, had left, and that a boy was appointed its ruler, conciliated the favour of the supreme pontiff, that he might be allowed, without any offence to the Church, to demand and regain possession by force of what was his own, by a gift of King Henry the Second of England; of which gift he held a charter, and which was confirmed by Kings Richard and John. The king of Castile therefore summoned to his aid a high-born and powerful Gascon, named Gaston, and some other nobles, of that province, and there were many nobles of Gascony who adhered to the cause of the king of Spain (abandoning the king of England), and above all, the rich men, who were accustomed to send their wines for sale to England, which the king of England did not blush to seize and detain at his pleasure. On seeing these proceedings, the people of Bordeaux, who remained faithful to their lord the king of England, sent word to him in all haste, that, if he did not speedily and effectually aid them, he would undoubtedly lose the whole of Gascony, and that it would be given up to the king of Castile, who laid claim to it all, and hoped to possess it. The king was grieved at hearing this, and repented heartily, but now too late, that he had recalled Earl Simon from his government of Gascony. But the earl, that he might not be worried by the king's entreaties to return to Gascony, departed to France, where the nobles of that kingdom willingly detained him, purposing, as he was bold and faithful, to make him a kind of seneschal over them, to advise them for their benefit and that of the kingdom, which was desolate and in great


despair, owing to the absence of the king, and the death of Queen Blanche. To this plan, however, the earl firmly refused to assent, that he might not appear a traitor, for as the apostle says, "Restrain yourselves from all appearance of evil": he therefore, as he was superseded in Gascony, for the government of which he had obtained charters; cautiously and silently looked on all these proceedings with the eyes of connivance.

Of the restrictions in the matter of visitations.

About this same time, too, the pope, in order to give satisfaction to both parties, wisely and moderately decreed and provided that an archbishop and the other prelates to whom the right of visitation belonged, should hold usual and proper visitations; but on the understanding that those visited, should not be oppressed and aggrieved by the procurations of their visitors: and he limited and taxed the cost of each visitation as the letters in the book of Additaments set forth.

How some nobles crossed the sea to carry the above-mentioned marriage into effect.

As spring of this same year drew near, Richard, earl of Gloucester, and William de Valence, the king's brother, set sail together in great pomp and splendour to bring to full effect and consummation the before-mentioned marriage between the earl's eldest son, Richard, and the daughter of the count of Angouleme, the king's brother. These nobles, in order to enlarge the borders of their garments, and to obtain renown for warlike skill in the flower of their age, with rash boldness put their strength and bravery, and the swiftness of their horses, to the test at a jousting match held there. The native French, from their innate pride, were indignant that two effeminate and delicate youths broke out in such great audacity, (for we read that Hector said to Paris; "Mars delights in a hardy soldier"),- eagerly took up their challenge; and after unhorsing and despoiling them, they beat them to such an excess that they required the application of fomentations and baths daily. They, however, deserved but little pity, for they were hastening to effect a marriage hateful to the English, themselves puffed up with pride and vain boastings. At this time the moon appeared four days before it was announced to be due.

18 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

How the Londoners were compelled to pay a sum of money to the king.

At this time, also, that is to say in the first fortnight of Lent, the king on a slight occasion compelled the citizens of London (whom we usually call barons, owing to the dignity of their city, and the ancient liberty of its citizens) to contribute the sum of a thousand marks. At the same time, too, the young men of London tested their own powers, and the speed of their horses, in the game which is commonly called "Quintain", having fixed on a peacock as the prize in the sport. Some attendants and pages of the king's household (he being then at Westminster), were indignant at this, and insulted the citizens, calling them rustics, scurvy and soapy wretches, and at once entered the lists to oppose them. The Londoners eagerly aceepted their challenge, and after beating their backs with the broken pike handles till they became black and blue, they hurled all the royal attendants from their horses, or put them to flight. The fugitives then went to the king, and with clasped hands and gushing tears besought him not to let such a great offence pass unpunished; and he, resorting to his usual kind of vengeance, extorted a large sum of money from the citizens.

Of the decrees for strengthening the kingdom.

About the same time, too, namely, in Lent, unfavourable rumours gained ground to the effect that the Gascons, in their insolence amongst themselves, said of the king of England, "We will not have him to reign over us; for, unjust man that he is, he observes neither words, nor oaths, nor even the terms of his charters"; and after a few days, news was brought that La Reole in Gascony, St. Emilion, and several other castles, were taken and lost to the king, and that a great slaughter had taken place of the inhabitants. The king, alarmed in no slight degree lest, by such losses, the whole of Gascony should be exposed to danger as lately happened in the case of Poitou (for these provinces were, so to say, the safeguards and barriers of the whole English kingdom), decreed and ordered proclamation to be made by herald throughout England in general, warrants for this proceeding being sent to each of the counties, that, according to ancient custom a sufficient quantity of arms should be

A.D. 1253.] DEATH OF R. DE WITZ. 19

furnished to the inhabitants, that they should be mustered and a census taken, in order that a sufficient number of competent men might be provided, according to the means of each; and that whoever possessed fifteen librates of land should be a knight. Moreover, that in each city, that is to say, as far as its jurisdiction extended, guards should be appointed, to be superintended by men of prudence and discretion, to watch the villages, streets, and ways of ingress and egress. The king, moreover, by the advice of the Savoyards, decreed and provided that, if any one on a journey should be robbed, or in any way injured by robbers, those persons on whom the care of that part of the country more particularly depended, should give proper and competent satisfaction to the injured party, and should restore to him what he had lost, according to the Savoyard custom; that if this was carried out, they would follow up evil-doers, and cleanse the country of them. It seemed evident, however, to many, that his plan could not be carried out in this country, the same as in Savoy; for, in the latter country there are not so many by-ways, so many bushes, or so many woods as in this; there, owing to the rugged and inaccessible mountains, there is no open road, but only a common beaten path, where robbers cannot conveniently keep out of the way and hide themselves, in consequence of which they are more easily taken. Besides this, what could be said, or how could anything be proved without witnesses? Thus, therefore, as discontent arose, the matter was delayed, or rather came to nothing, one great reason being that such a great change in the law could not be effected without the common consent of the baronage.

The death of R. de Witz, bishop of Chichester.

About the same time, namely on the 2nd of April, died Master Richard de Witz, bishop of Chichester, a man of distinguished learning and exalted sanctity, and formerly clerk and special counsellor of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, in whose track he endeavoured to tread, step by step. This prelate, whose advancement to a bishopric had been foretold by the blessed Edmund, went to Pontigny at the time when the aforesaid saint was about to be translated, in order that such a particular friend of the saint as he had been should not be absent from that great and sacred

20 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

solenmity. Indeed, he had been quite on familiar terms with the saint, and was acquainted with all his secrets, which now, for the edification of all, he openly published. It was from the statements of this man, and of brother Robert Bacon, of the order of Preachers, that Matthew Paris, a monk of the church of St. Alban's, wrote the life of the said St. Edmund, and carefully compiled what he had learned from people undoubtedly worthy of belief. Whoever wishes to see that work may find it in the church of St. Alban's.

The renewal of disturbances amongst the Gascons.

Towards the festival of St. Elphege the traitorous subjects of the king in Gascony, finding that in the absence of Earl Simon, and every one who could tame them, they could give free scope to their rage and fully, began, like wild beasts or unbroken colts, to fall foul of and worry one another, attacking the castles, imprisoning the followers, reducing to ashes the dwellings of each other, and putting the inhabitants to death. Amongst them the first and foremost was Gaston, the governor of Bearn and Perigord, a man polluted by many crimes, a sworn subject of the king, but who had perjured himself; and who, although he had been spared condemnation by the king of England, in order the more to annoy and harass that monarch, went over to the king of Spain. This man then ravaged a large portion of Gascony, and stirred up and encouraged the enemies of their lord and master the king of England against him, so that Bordeaux, which usually supplied provisions for all Gascony, began itself to suffer from want.

How the goods of the poor were pillaged.

The king at this time incurred the implacable hatred, and drew on himself the awful imprecations, both of natives and foreigners, for causes daily multiplying. For the sheriffs and royal agents, without fear of being charged with offences, made it their whole business, on some fictitious grounds or other, to impoverish, or rather to plunder, all they could, and there were now many kings in England intent on rapine whom I think it dangerous and tiresome to name. They seized from the poor, and especially from traders, their horses, carts, wines, provisions, cloths, wax, and other necessaries, and even compelled the despoiled parties against their


will to convey the goods seized to distant places, without giving them either payment, or even empty thanks for their trouble. Finding fault without reason, they imposed heavy fines on the towns for false weights and measures, extorting money from the innocent. And as the wines brought for sale by the Gascons were seized on without any payment, those who brought it returned empty-handed to their country, complaining to all the inhabitants of those provinces, in consequence of which the king incurred general indignation.

Of the great liberty granted to the church of Waltham.

On Easter, in this same year, the king, in consideration of the sanctity and munificent hospitality displayed by the abbat and monks of the convent of Waltham, granted and confirmed to that religious assembly the free liberty, whenever that house should be vacant and deprived of a pastor, through the resignation or decease of its abbat, to dispose at their own will of the goods of that house, and to have full power of disposing of the barony as well as the other possessions of the said house; and for this he granted them a full and regular charter. This liberty they had obtained in times long past, but for greater security the king now granted and confirmed it to them. He also granted to them two markets, and conferred other greater benefits on them; but all these things, together with the contents of the charters, are more fully given in the book of Additaments.

How the French sought counsel and assistance from Earl Simon.

As Easter drew near, the French nobles, considering that the kingdom of France was destitute of a ruler, and exposed to imminent danger, owing to the absence of the king, who was fighting for God in the Holy Land, as also to the death of Queen Blanche, as well as by the loss of the nobles of France who had fallen in the Holy Land, turned their attention to Earl Simon; and seeing his fidelity and nobleness of mind as he studied to follow his father's example in all things, and that he was relieved from the government of Gascony, earnestly begged of him to take up his abode amongst them and to become one of the guardians of the crown and kingdom of France, for which they would heap honours upon him as a merited recompense. For they asserted that he, like his father Simon, who had fought for the Church against

22 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

the Albigenses, loved the kingdom of France in his heart; nor was he an alien to France by blood. Twice did the French send letters by special messengers to the earl to the above effect; but he firmly refused to accede to their request, lest he should appear a renegade.

How the pope was recalled home by the Romans.

At this time the Romans sent special messengers to beg of the pope to return to Rome to aid his flock like a good shepherd, that Rome might rejoice in the presence of its pontiff (for he bore the title of Roman pontiff), the same as other cities enjoyed the presence of their bishop. It also appeared, and might well appear, unnatural to them, that Rome alone, that Rome which was called the queen of cities, should, of all cities, be so long deprived of its high priest's presence in it. But the pope, who gaped after presents from those who came to him, and opened his bosom to all kinds of gifts, was at rest, and unsettled when present amongst the people on this side of the mountains; and, as he delayed coming, the Romans again summoned him as before, but more urgently, and with the proviso that he should come to them then or never. As he saw that danger was impending, especially as the Romans had sent word to the citizens of Perugia not to detain the pope any longer, on pain of being besieged and destroyed, he left Perugia in the month of May, and hastened to Rome in fear and trembling. It had been whispered to him that the Romans and the Milanese also demanded from him a large sum of money, due to them for what they expended in making war against Frederick, and in protecting the papal and ecclesiastical rights; wherefore, although he cloaked his sadness under a calm countenance, it was with fear and anxiety that he returned to his city. The senate and the Roman people however, received him with joy.

Of the great parliament held in the Easter fortnight.

In the fortnight of Easter, in the month of May, all the nobility of England, called together by royal warrant, assembled at London to discuss with the king some difficult matters concerning the kingdom. At this meeting were present, together with numerous earls and barons, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, and almost all the bishops of England. The archbishop of York, however (who


usually avoided joining the king's councils as much as he could, having so often found out their inutility), excused himself on the plea of old age and his living at a distance. The known ill health of the bishop of Chichester was an excuse for his absence; and the see of Chester was at that time vacant. After a long and useless discussion had taken place concerning the pressing wants of the king, who asked for a large sum of money for his pilgrimage, and when after sundry messages had passed between the two parties, consent was obtained, the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Carlisle and Salisbury, and the bishop elect of Winchester, were sent to the king, on behalf of all the bishops and prelates, to urge aad induce him, as he had often promised and solemnly sworn to do, to allow the holy Church to enjoy its liberties, especially in the matter of elections, in which the ecclesiastical liberty chiefly consisted. For, at present, neither in cathedral nor conventual churches could any one be promoted, unless he was thrust on them by the king, whereby the prelates and their dependants fell into ruin, and churches were dreadfully injured; but they said that if he would reform this and some other abuses, in accordance with the terms of the great charter of their liberties, they would agree to his demands, even though at great injury to them. To these proposals the king replied; "It is true; and I am sadly grieved that I have acted as I have; it ought therefore now to be arranged that what has been done should be remedied, and that the like proceedings should not occur in future; and be you in this coadjutors with me, that you who have been thus promoted may not be injured, together with those subject to you. For recall to your memory that it is I who have advanced to high dignity him who is now archbishop, Boniface of Canterbury; and you, William of Salisbury, I have raised from a very low degree to be the writer of my warrants, and in many perilous judgments have you acted as justiciary and hired follower. And you, Sylvester of Carlisle, who so long have licked up the crumbs of the Chancery, and been a petty clerk of my clerks, how many theologians and reverend persons have I put aside to raise you to a bishopric. Of you, likewise, my brother Ailmar, it is well known how, against the will of the monks, and regardless of their prayers or alarm, I raised you to the head of the noble

24 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

church of Winchester, though, deficient in age and learning, and still even wanting a teacher. First and foremost it is expedient, both to me and yourselves, that you should, under the influence of repentance, resign what you have unjustly obtained, lest you suffer eternal condemnation, and I, justified and chastened by such an example, will take care henceforth to promote no one that is not worthy of it". The deputies thus civilly and satirically rebuked, then replied, "My lord king, we do not make mention of what is past, our discourse extends to the future"; then, abandoning all frivolous matters, which could only excite disputes, they betook themselves seriously to the difficult business before them. At length, after long and numerous discussions, which continued for fifteen days and more, it was determined by the general consent of all, that the king should not be entirely frustrated in his design, which was a pious one, of undertaking a pilgrimage, but that the kingdom and the Church should not suffer grievous injury thereby. The tenth part of the revenues to be received from the Church, was, therefore, granted to the king, which was to be expended at the discretion of the nobles, in necessaries for the journey, and for three years, too, when he should set out for Jerusalem, to the assistance of the Holy Land, against the enemies of God; it was also determined that a scutage should be levied on knights for that year, namely, three marks for each escutcheon; and the king promised in all good faith, and without any cavilling, that he would faithfully observe the great charter and all its conditions. In years long past, his father, King John, had sworn to observe that charter, as also had he the present king on receiving the crown, and on many occasions afterwards, and by those means had extorted large sums of money. There were present at this council, of the prelates, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of London, Rochester, Ely, Lincoln, Worcester, Norwich, Hereford, Salisbury, Bath, Exeter, Carlisle, Durham, St. David's, and the bishop elect of Winchester; the bishop of Chichester had died lately, the bishop of Chester excused himself on the plea of ill health, and the archbishop of York on account of old age, and his residing at a great distance. This third day of May, in the great royal hall at Westminster, in the presence and with the consent of our


sovereign Henry, the illustrious king of England, and of their highnesses, Richard, earl of Cornwall, his brother, R., earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, marshal of England, H., earl of Hereford, H, earl of Oxford, J., earl of Warwick, and other nobles of the kingdom of England, we, B., by the divine mercy, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England, F., bishop of London, H., of Ely, R., of Lincoln, W., of Worcester, W., of Norwich, P., of Hereford, W., of Salisbury, W., of Durham, R., of Exeter, S., of Carlisle, W., of Bath, L., of Rochester, T., of St. David's, clad in our pontifical robes, and with candles lighted, have solemnly pronounced sentence of excommunication, in the following terms, against all violators of the liberties of the Church, and of the liberties or free customs of the kingdom of England, especially those which are contained in the charter of the liberties of the kingdom of England, and in the charter of the forests. (These charters are written in their proper place in this book, namely, in the time of King John, when he granted them). "By authority of the Omnipotent God, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the glorious mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and all the apostles; and of the blessed archbishop and martyr Thomas, and of all martyrs, of Saint Edward, king of England, and of all confessors and virgins, and of all the saints of God, we excommunicate, anathematize, and banish from the threshold of the holy mother Church, all those who from this time shall knowingly and maliciously deprive or despoil the churches of their rights; and also all those who shall by any arts or contrivances rashly violate, diminish, or change, privily or publicly, by word, deed, or counsel, the liberties of the Church, or the ancient and approved customs of the kingdom, and especially the liberties and free customs which are contained in the charters of the common liberties of England and of the forests, which charters have been granted by our lord the king of England, the archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of England, the earls, barons, knights, and freeholders, by rashly contravening them, or any one of them, in any article soever. Also, against those who shall promulgate, or, if promulgated, shall observe any statutes, or shall introduce, or, if introduced, shall observe any customs

26 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

contrary to those liberties or their statutes; and argainst all writers of such statutes, as also the counsellors and executors of them, and who presume to judge according to them. And let all and singular the above-mentioned persons, who shall knowingly commit any one of the aforesaid offences, rest assured that they will incur this sentence by so doing; and those who shall through ignorance so offend, and shall not, on being warned thereof reform, and give full satisfaction for their offences within a fortnight from the time of admonition, at the discretion of ordinary judges, shall, from that time, be included in the sentence. In this same sentence, also, we include all those who shall presume to disturb the peace of the king and kingdom. In lasting memory whereof we have affixed our seals to these presents". Then was brought before the assembly the charter of his father John, in which he, the said King Henry, had, of his own free-will granted the aforesaid liberties, and was read to them. The king, as he listened to the above sentence, held his hand to his breast, and preserved a calm, cheerful, and joyful look, and when at the end of it they threw down the candles, which on being extinguished sent forth a stench, and each and all had exclaimed, "Thus perish and stink in hell all who incur this sentence", the bells at the same time ringing, he thus spoke, "So help me God, all these terms will I faithfully observe, as I am a man, a Christian, a knight, and a crowned and anointed king". At the commencement of pronouncing this sentence, it should be remarked, lighted candles were given to all present, and when one was handed to the king, he took it but would not retain it, and handed it to one of the prelates, saying, "It is not proper for me to hold such a candle, for I am not a priest; the heart gives a surer proof"; and for the rest of the time he held his opened hand to his breast, until the sentence was ended. However, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, resolving this in his heart, and fearing that the king would recoil from his compacts, immediately on his return to his see, caused sentence of excommunication to be solemnly denounced in each parochial church in his diocese (which on account of their number it would be difficult to reckon), against all violators of the above-mentioned charters, and especially priests, so that this sentence tingled in the ears


and awed the hearts of those who heard it, in no slight degree.

Of the deposition of Earl Simon from the government of Gascony.

Thus, then, the council was dissolved, and the king at once, taking the worst of advice, sought to invalidate all the aforesaid proceedings. For he had been told that, if the above conditions were kept, he would not be a king, or even a lord in England, and that his father John had found that out, and he preferred death to being thus trodden under foot by his subjects; and, said these whispering agents of Satan, "Do not trouble yourself if you do incur this sentence, for one or two hundred pounds the pope will absolve you, for in the plenitude of his power he can loose or bind whatever he chooses, and no one, great though he be, holds power over a greater one than himself. You will obtain fully a tenth part, which will amount to many thousand marks, and if you give a small portion of this immense sum to the pope, he will absolve you, even though the sentence be confirmed by him, since it is for him to revoke and invalidate whose part it is to establish; indeed, for a slight remuneration, he may even prolong the period for the contribution of the tithe for a year, or for two years". And this subsequently happened, as the following narrative will show. And about the same time, too, the inhabitants of Bordeaux sent word to the king that, unless he came promptly and in great strength to the Gascons, he would to a certainty lose the whole country; of this they had often informed the king previously, but this time they did so in plain terms, adding (what was a falsehood) that he had lost many subjects and friends through the tyranny of Simon, earl of Leicester, because he had tamed and reduced to submission to the king many more, and more powerful, rebels against him. The king, then, wishing to please the Gascons, informed them ' that he would, if he lived, come to them without fail, and in force, for their honour and advantage. He also ordered proclamation to be made by herald, in Gascony, that no one should from that time submit to or obey Earl Simon, and made it known to each and all, that, in consequence of complaints made of the earl's oppression, he had deposed him, and had at great cost redeemed the charter which the earl

28 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

had obtained from him for the holding possession of Gascony for the three following years. All these proceedings gave great satisfisiction to the Gascons, and then the treachery which had long lain hid disclosed itself; for from the moment that they knew the earl's period of rule had expired, those who had pretended to be his firmest friends and had followed his fortunes, now became his most bitter enemies.

Of the return of Henry of Bath to court.

About this time, too, Henry of Bath, forgetting all his grievances, again of his own free will mixed himself up with the cares of a court, for he whom the world holds in its toils finds some difficulty in escaping from them. In this year, too, Arnold du Bois, knight, was appointed chief forester, in the place of Egbert Passeleve, in the southern parts of England as far as the great river Trent; and John of Lexington, knight, for the districts extending from the same river to the kingdom of Scotland, in the stead of Geoffrey de Langley, who in the past year had mercilessly and without reason impoverished all the inhabitants of the country adjacent to the forests.

Of the miracles performed at the tomb of Richard, bishop of Chichester.

At this same time, the Lord worked manifest miracles at the tomb of Richard, bishop of Chichester, in the church at that place, and now was revealed his secret piety. For when he had expired, and his body was stripped for the purpose of being washed, it was found to be covered with a hair cloth garment, and bound with iron hoops.

Of the election of John Clippinge to the bishopric of Chichester.

About this time, the canons of Chichester, having God before their eyes, elected as their bishop, Master John Clippinge, a canon of that same church.

Of the visitation of the Black order.

The pope, intent on his own specious purposes, now enjoined on the bishops each of them to visit the abbeys and convents established in his diocese, and to compel them, under penalty of excommunication, to observe certain irrelevant articles of the rules of St. Benedict, which did not form part of the substance of the said rules, and which the monks made it a practice never to obey, and vowed they


never would. The monks of the Black order in France, finding themselves entirely deprived of the king's protection, sought to purchase peace for themselves, that they might not be exposed to the will of the bishops to whom the privileged were an object of hatred; they therefore paid four thousand pounds of Tourain to the pope, and thus restrained the violence of this act of tyranny. This affair and all its particulars are described in full in the book of Additaments. The abbat and convent of St. Alban's appealed to the pope against being visited by the bishop of Lincoln, for by that their privileges would be violated.

How the king of England made praparations for an expedition to Gascony.

Immediately after the holding of the above-mentioned council, (that is to say, about the 1st of June), the king being informed of the desolate condition of Gascony, summoned by royal warrant the knights who owed him military service in all England, to be ready and prepared with horses, arms, and other necessaries at Portsmouth, in the octaves of Trinity, to set sail with him, as he was about to set out in great force for Gascony, which was now exposed to danger, to reduce it to submission, and to restore peace. In the mean time, he ordered all the merchant ships, those of traders belonging to the continent or to England, and of others, to be taken possession of, for the transportation of himself and his followers, and these vessels were considered to amount to more than a thousand. The masters of these vessels, at great loss and with much weariness, prolonged their stay for three months waiting for a favourable wind, but to no purpose, so that it appeared evident that this expedition was not favoured by God. The king, then, having expended a great deal of his money, extorted all the small subsistence of the religious men in the adjacent country, and sent his horses and followers hither and thither to take up their quarters, till a more favourable wind should smile upon them. He also wrote to Earl Richard and to the queen, the guardians of the kingdom, instructing them, if any noble abbacy became vacant, to reserve the charge of it to themselves, and the same with regard to any bishopric becoming vacant, nor did he scruple to violate many of the

30 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

conditions of the charters, for the non-observance of which such an awful sentence had so recently been pronounced.

Of the slaughter perpetrated in the environs of Flanders.

In this same year, a great slaughter of men, horses, and cattle took place in the provinces adjoining Flanders and Germany, and it was believed that more than forty thousand fighting men were slain. Like Troy, which was said to have been destroyed with its inhabitants through a woman, so this deadly slaughter was caused by a woman, namely, the countess of Flanders. The cause and the particulars of this irreparable misfortune are fully stated in the book of Additaments, and are also more fully mentioned in the following pages. At this period, too, died William, bishop of Llandaff, who had been forewarned of his death by a seven years' blindness.

Of the visitation made by the archbishop of Canterbury.

About the same time, Archbishop Boniface held a visitation at Feversham and Rochester, and visited the canons of St. Paul's, and others in the city; and owing to the restrictions imposed he was received kindly. This he did cautiously, that he might have access and the right of visitation.

How the mareschal of England again received his wife.

About the same time, Earl Roger Bigod, mareschal of England, again received his wife, the daughter of the king of Scotland whom he had formerly repudiated, relying on evil counsel. To this he was induced by the judgment of the Church, and being certified of the truth, he said, "Since such is the judgment of the Church, I safely and willingly accede to the marriage, of which I was formerly doubtful and suspicious". For it had been hinted to him that they were allied by blood.

Of the departure of the king of England for Gascony.

On the 6th of August in this year, the king, after appointing Earl Richard and the queen guardians of the kingdom, and intrusted his eldest son Edward to their care, bade feurewell to England, and embarking at Portsea, put to sea accompanied by three hundred large ships and a numerous fleet of other vessels. The boy, Edward, after his father had kissed and wept over him at parting, stood crying and sobbing on


the shore, and would not depart as long as he could see the swelling sails of the ships.

The dtath of Thomas of Hertford, archdeacon of Northumberland.

In the octaves of St. Lawrence, in this year, Thomas of Hertford, archdeacon of Northumberland, and brother of the abbat of St. Alban's, died at his archdeaconry; his end was holy and happy, and he was well prepared in all things necessary for the holy transit of a Christian from the world. He was formerly a pupil in the school of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, and that prelate's intimate friend; hence, becoming like him, he endeavoured to follow step by step in his track (as likewise did Master Richard, afterwards bishop of Chichester, who has been mentioned above). As he had been a man of wealth, and a munificent friend of the poor, especially of the Preachers and Minors, he bequeathed his body to a very poor house of the brothers of Mount Carmel, which bequest turned out much to their honour and advantage. After the breath had left his body, and his friends standing round were anxiously debating as to procuring a tombstone, which was a thing then difficult to be found in those parts, on which they wished to engrave the name of Thomas, a certain priest, also named Thomas, a good and pious man, exclaimed, "Do not trouble yourselves about the matter, for I have at hand what you want, namely, a tombstone on which is engraved my name, Thomas, under which I, Thomas, a sinner, purpose being buried, but now by the will of God who disposes all things at will, it is ordained otherwise by Heaven. I therefore make this a gift to our holy archdeacon (nor need the name be altered), trusting that he will deign to place me with him in his heavenly abode. Oh what a different tenant from me has this stone happily obtained"! At the tomb of this same archdeacon Thomas, the faithful servants of Christ obtained miraculous cures of diseases, as was attested, as an indubitable fact, to the writer of this book by John of Lexington, knight, a man of great knowledge and high authority. Our Lord Jesus Christ, also, manifested the sanctity of this holy man by especial miracles, of which credible facts bear testimony; and in a short time, in consequence of the numerous and frequent benefits, both spiritual and corporeal, conferred on suppliants there, the petty chapel of the afore-said

32 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

brethren, increasing its reputation, gained the title of a convent. It is our firm belief that this holy archdeacon Thomas, as well as Richard, bishop of Chichester, although they were not canonized at Rome, were united to St. Edmund, whose special friends they had been during his life. The miracles which the Lord deigned to work through the merits of the blessed bishop, are mentioned in the books containing the history of St Alban's, that is, in the book of the life of St. Edmund. And the miraculous benefits which the Lord imparted to those needing them, through the merits of the above-mentioned archdeacon Thomas, are well known to the aforesaid brethren of Mount Carmel, and to the people of that country. These three blessed children of England, Edmund, Richard, and Thomas, we believe to be enjoying the glory of the supreme Trinity.

Of the misfortune which befel the French army.

As time was thus passing, while the French king in the time of his tribulation, and oppressed by famine in the Holy Land, was passing his time ingloriously in fortifying Caesarea, a certain brave and noble knight of French origin went to him, saying, "My lord king, we are lying here in shameful uselessness. Permit me, if it please you, to go against these infidels with whom you have not made a truce or friendship, to gain amongst them some honour and benefit, as well as provisions, of which we stand in the greatest need, saving the military discipline of our army; for, as you know, whatever advantage or fame accrues to a knight, accumulates more fully to his lord". To this request the king graciously replied, "Go, and may the Lord bring you safe through". The knight, thereupon, collected a body of soldiers, and, instructed and animated by the example of William Longsword, who had undertaken a similar expedition, as has been mentioned in its proper place, set out for the country of the Saracens who did such great injury to the Christians, and attacking them furiously and suddenly defeated and dispersed them; and with this glorious triumph returned rejoicing with a large booty. At seeing this, certain envious sycophants amongst the king's counsellors said to him, "Your majesty, this knight has acquired a great sum of money; your right entitles you, and requires that you should claim


possession of a large proportion of that of which you are now in want, for by your favour and kindness he has privately left the army contrary to, and rashly transgressing general orders". The knight was thereupon summoned belore the king, and a heavy accusation was made against him by his rivals, the result of which proceeding was that he gave up the largest portion of his acquisition to the king. The knight then addressing the king, said, "My lord, all my possessions, even I myself, are yours; but it appears to me that it would be more just for him to enjoy the wealth he has gained who has exposed his body and life in gaining it. These proceedings, it is my belief, have been provoked by some lazy and cowardly chamber gentlemen and advisers of yours, who flatter and fawn on you to give you pleasure". One of those whom he had thus reproached, at hearing this speech, leapt forth into the midst of those assembled, and boiling with rage poured forth invectives against the knight, sayings "In uttering such words you lie in your foul throat, when you accuse the body servants of our lord the king of idleness and treachery"; and added, "that he the accuser was a bad knight, a recreant and defeated one", in the French language, a mechant, which was a most offensive epithet amongst them. At this speech, the son of the accused knight a young, bold, and brave cavalier, sprang up in the midst of them, and unable to restrain himself with rage, cried with a voice of thunder, "By God's brains, you degenerate and impotent wretch, do you dare to utter such words to my father in my presence and hearing"? and suddenly drawing a small sword, or dagger which he wore, at once stabbed him in the belly, and rushing forth still mad with rage, fled to a Church for protection. His father, on seeing what was done, was deeply grieved, and falling at the king's feet, said, "Now, my most revered master, will your royal clemency be proved, if you will deign to pardon this infuriated deed; as for me, I am ready to abide by the judgment of your court, and to submit to its jurisdiction". Then replied the king, "Find proper securities in the matter". Whilst he was gone for the purpose, his son was dragged from the Church by the king's agents, and hung at once without any trial or judgment, and when the father returned with his sureties, prepared to obey the law in every respect, he saw his son hanging and already

34 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

dead, which his enemies had managed in order the more to grieve the father by the sight of his dead son. His limbs trembling with agony, and speaking with difficulty, he at length exclaimed, "What is this, my lord king? Have you hung, or connived at and permitted the hanging of my son without trial or judgment? I cannot dissemble my feelings as a father. Where is the reverence due to the Church? Where the justice of French courts? Whatever belongs to me in France by ancestral right, as also my homage to you, and what I have lately acquired with my sword I resign to you, and leave you myself". So saying, he suddenly mounted a swift horse, and not sparing the spur he fled to a certain soldan, and related all these proceedings in detail. Then said the soldan, "You have fled to me, and I will never fail you; I open the bosom of refuge and protection". He at once then joined the army of the Pagans and became a formidable apostate, proving the truth of the proverb, "Anger is the desire for vengeance". From that time he entirely devoted himself to revenge, and his friendship being changed to especial hatred, he did immeasurable injury to the king and his army, nor did he desist from his purpose until he had slain those who had hung his son. Thus, then, does envy beget anger, and anger propagate murder. A very similar disaster occurred forty years previously, when a certain Templar, named Ferrand, a man brave in fight and prudent in council, in consequence of a valuable horse having been forcibly taken from him, deserted to the Saracens, and through him the Christians unhappily lost Damietta in the first place, and finally all the honour they had gained; but at length, when they were in danger of drowning, his bowels of compassion were touched, and he assisted those who were on the point of perishing, that the fault of one might not be avenged on so many thousands.

At this time, the long wished-for fair wind smiling on him, the king embarked, and after kissing and embracing his son, Edward, who returned to his mother, departed under full sail.

The arrival of the king of England at Bordeaux.

About the time of the festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the king arrived safely at Bordeaux, and the citizens went to meet him, receiving him with all due respect,


whilst his enemies either fled or shut themselves up in their castles to defend themselves. He then ordered La Reole to he besieged, where great numbers of the partisans of Gaston, his enemies, were hidden, Gaston himself having fled to the king of Spain, of whom he had become a friend and ally, promising that monarch the sovereignty of Gascony, which, as he said, belonged to him by right. Those whom he had placed in care of La Reole, trusting to this alliance, defended themselves with bravery and spirit.

Of the suspicions entertained of the Poitevins by the French.

Those who held the reins of government of the French kingdom, being suspicious of the Poitevins, owing to their oft-proved treachery, were alarmed, when they heard of the English king's safe arrival in Gascony, lest they, the Poitevins, should desert to him, who was their old and liberal lord; especially as their own king was at a distance from them. They, therefore, sent thither a body of troops, and would not allow them to hold possession or charge of the castles or cities; and thus, though against their will, the Poitevins remained faithful, and did no harm to the French kingdom nor benefit to the king of England. However, privately they laid snares for the feet of the English, as will be more fully explained in the following pages.

The bishop of Lincoln's letter to the pope.

About this same time, Pope Innocent the Fourth having sent apostolical letters, ordering the bishop of Lincoln to so some act which appeared to that prelate unjust and contrary to reason, as he, the pope, had often done to him and othar prelates of England, the said bishop wrote the following letter in reply.

"Greeting,- Be it known to your holiness that I devoutly and reverently obey the apostolic mandates with filial affection, and in my zeal for my father's honour, I oppose and resist those things which are contrary to the apostolic mandates, for to both these courses I am bound by the Divine command. For the apostolic mandates are not, and cannot be other than the doctrines of the Apostles, and of our Lord Jesus Christ himself, the Master and Lord of the Apostles, of whom in the hierarchy of the Church the pope represents the type and person in the highest degree fitly and

36 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

conformably. For our Lord Jesus Christ himself says, 'Who is not with me is against me'; and against him the most divine sanctity of the Apostolic See is not and cannot be. The tenor of the aforesaid letter, therefore, is not consonant with apostolic sanctity, but utterly dissonant and discordant thereto. For from the introduction in that letter and others similar to it, which have been spread far and wide, of that clause, 'Notwithstanding', which is not inserted from the necessity of obeying a natural law, there bursts forth a deluge of inconstancy, audacity, and frowardness, of shamelessness, lying, deceit, and want of confidence and faith in trusting to any one; and from the vices consequent on these, which are without number, the purity of the Christian religion, and the tranquillity of the social converse of mankind is agitated and disturbed. Moreover, since the sin of Lucifer, which same sin will at the end of time be that of the son of perdition, Antichrist, whom the Lord will slay with the breath of his mouth, there is not and cannot be any other kind of sin so adverse and contrary to the doctrine of the apostles and of the Gospel, and at the same time so hateful, detestable, and abominable to our Lord Jesus Christ, as to mortify and destroy souls by defrauding them of the offices and ministry of their pastors. And by the most evident proofs of the Holy Scriptures, this sin is committed by those who, installed in the power and care of pastors, procure their salary from the milk and wool of Christ's sheep, which ought to be vivified and saved by the duties and ministry of the pastor, and do not administer duly to their wants. For the non- administration of pastoral offices is, according to the testimony of Scripture, the slaying and perdition of the sheep. And these two kinds of sins, though different in their kind, are the very worst of sins, and immeasurably exceed every other kind of sin; as is manifest therefrom, as the two exist as aforesaid, though different and unlike each other, and are contrary to what is best, and 'whatever is contrary to the best is the worst'. But as to those sinning in this way, one of the sins is the slaying of the Deity, which is superessentially and supernaturally very good; the other is the slaying of the reformation and deification, which is by a grateful participation in the Divine ray essentially and naturally very good. And whereas, as in the case of good things, the cause


of the good is made better than its effect, so in the case of the bad, the cause of the bad is worse than its effect; it is manifest that those who introduce these evil slayers of the reformation and deification amongst the sheep of Christ in the Church of God, are worse than the worst of slayers themselves, are even nearer approaching to Lucifer, and Antichrist, and in this worse degree of wickedness exceed others, as, from the greater and more divine power, given to them from heaven for the edification, not for the destruction of mankind, they ought to feel themselves more bound to exclude from the Church of God, and extirpate such evil murderers. The most holy Apostolic See, therefore, to which, as witness the apostle, all kinds of power have been given by the holy of holies, our Lord Jesus Christ, for edification and not for destruction, cannot incline towards any sin of such a kind as to order, or enjoin, or in any way attempt at anything so hateful, detestable, and abominable to our Lord Jesus Christ, so extremely pernicious to the human race. For this would evidently be a defection from, or a corruption, or abuse of its most holy and full power, or an estrangement from the throne of glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and would be to sit down in the chair of pestilence and of the pains of hell, close to the two princes of darkness mentioned above. And no faithful subject of the said See, in immaculate and sincere obedience to it, unless he be separated from the body of Christ and the said Holy See by schism, can obey such mandates or precepts, or attempts of such king, whencesoever emanating, even though it be from the supreme power of England; but it is a necessary duty for him to oppose and resist them with his utmost strength. Therefore, my reverend lord, by virtue of the obedience and fidelity due from me to both fathers of the most holy Apostolic See, and out of regard for my union with it in the body of Christ, I, although with all desire for union, and in filial affection and obedience, refuse to obey, and oppose and resist the orders contained in the aforesaid letters, and principally because, as before stated, they most evidently tend to that which is a most abominable sin against our Lord Jesus Christ, and to what is most pernicious to the human race, are altogether opposed to the sanctity of the Apostolic See, and are contrary to the Catholic faith. Nor can your holiness,

38 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

on account of this, institute any harsh proceedings against me, because all my proceedings in this matter are neither opposition nor rebellion, but the promptings of filial affection, and honour for my Father and you in obedience to the Divine commands. To sum up in a few words, I say the sanctity of the Apostolic See has only power for edification, and not for destruction, for the plenitude of power is to be able to do all things for building up. Those things which they call provisions are not for edification, but for the most evident destruction; therefore the blessed Apostolic See cannot accept them, because flesh and blood, which will not possess the kingdom of God, have revealed them; and not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ which is in heaven".

Of the pope's great indignation at the letter of the bishop of Lincoln.

When this letter reached the pope, he could not contain his anger and indignation, and assuming a haughty and angry look, he said, "Who is this raving old man, this deaf and foolish dotard, who in his audacity and temerity judges of my actions? By Peter and Paul! were it not that my innate generosity restrained me, I would precipitate him into such an abyss of confusion and shame, that he should be a subject of talk, and an object of amazement and horror to the whole world. Is not the king of England our vassal, or I should rather say our slave? and he can at his will imprison and consign to ignominy this same old prelate". When the letter was read amongst the cardinal brethren, they with difficulty restrained the violence of the pope, saying to him: "It would not become us, your holiness, to institute any severe proceedings against this bishop, for to say the truth, what he says is correct. We cannot condemn him; he is a Catholic, yea, a most holy one, more religious, more holy, and of a more correct life than ourselves, and indeed he is believed to have no equal, much less a superior, amongst all prelates. This the whole community of the clergy, English as well as French, know, and our opposition to him would be of no avail; the truthfulness of this letter, which is now perhaps known to a great many, may excite many against us. For he is esteemed a great philosopher; he is fully learned in the Latin and Greek tongues; he is zealous in the cause of justice, a reader in the schools of theology, a preacher to


the people, a lover of chastity, and a persecutor of simonists". Thus spoke Giles the Spaniard, a cardinal, as also did the others, who were touched by their own conscience, and they advised the pope to connive at the passing over these matters in silence, lest an excitement should arise upon it, and especially as they knew that a schism would soon take place.

Of the munificence of R. of Sothindon,

In this year, too, Robert of Sothindon, a clerk and special counsellor of the king, out of charity, and in consideration of the money expended by the house of St. Alban's, gave the church of Hertburne, of which he held full possession, to that said house, to hold it to its own proper uses. He also conferred a similar benefit on the church of St. Martin, of Battle, by giving to it the church of Jelelham; he likewise bestowed the church of Hospinge on the Brothers Hospitallers of Dover. The revenue of the first benefice amounted to the sum of three hundred marks; of the second to one hundred; and of the third to sixty marks, annually. All these donations were made with the pious intention that in each of the aforesaid places, an increased hospitality might be shown both to men and horses.

The death of Ralph, abbat of Ramsey.

On the eve of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin died the venerable Ralph, abbat of Ramsey, leaving his house to be plundered by the creatures of the king at the time of harvest. The care of the house was, thereupon, intrusted to Ude, a clerk of the court, whose acts I pass over in silence, lest they should reach the ears of revilers. Silver vessels which weighed thirty-five marks, choice wines, horses, and beasts of the forests, were seized on for the use of the guardians of the kingdom, and irreverently alienated from the Church, and, what was more harsh and severe, large sums of money were extorted from the tenants of the abbey by those who were bound to be the guardians and protectors of the fatherless. Moreover, Master Nicholas Plumpton, and Master John Ireland, clerks of the king, were sent to the court of Rome to oppose and annul all the above-mentioned promises of the king, having received orders to spare no expense in carrying the king's purposes and wishes into effect. In the mean time, and throughout the whole of that year, the

40 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

bishop of Lincoln, who had foreseen that the king would be led away by evil counsel to violate all his promises, ordered sentence of excommunication to be pronounced against all violators of the aforesaid charters throughout the whole of his diocese, and wherever there were any assemblages of people; but amongst them, alas! the keys of the Church were held in contempt.

Of the wonderful inundations caused by the rains.

About this same time, too, a wonderful circumstance occurred, and which was much talked of, namely, that although in the spring and summer of this year there had been a great and prolonged drought, yet at the end of the summer, and in the autumn the rivers overflowed their banks and rose to a level with the tops of the hills, covering the neighbouring country. Again, at the end of autumn, and after Michaelmas, the floods caused by heavy rains having dispersed, there succeeded such a drought, and diminution and scarcity of water in the rivers and springs, that those who wanted to grind corn were obliged to carry it nearly a day's journey to be ground. A similar wonderful occurrence took place in the spring of this same year, contrary to the nature of the season, for at the time of the equinox, as the whole atmosphere is moderate in temperature, there is peace in the elements.

Of the splendid celebration of the feast of St. Edward.

By command of the king, a great number of prelates and nobles assembled at the feast of St. Edward, which occurs in the fortnight of Michaelmas, and through the management of Earl Richard and the queen, that festival was celebrated in a manner that had never been surpassed.

How the king of England gained possession of his castles in Gascony.

At the end of the summer of this year, after much toil and useless expenditure of money, the king of England gained possession of his own castles in Gascony, granting favourable terms to the besieged. Indeed, he did not, though they richly deserved it, do them much harm or injury, unless, as they knew and saw to be the case, their vineyards were destroyed. The besieged, however, daily hurled large millstones and darts of a wonderful size on the army of the king,


which missiles were carried away to England, to be shown as extraordinary curiosities; and when closely pressed by the siege, they frequently and privately sent messengers to the king of Spain, begging him to assist them as his faithful subject, whilst so besieged, all which proceedings exaggerated and increased their offences. When they were compelled to leave their castles as prisoners of the king, his uterine brothers went to him, demanding the captives to be given up to them, to be treated as they chose, which piece of presumption excited the astonishment and indignation of many of his friends. He out of compassion spared these open enemies of his, whom he had been at such great trouble to subdue, not regarding the precept of the gospel, which says, "Bring those who would not that I should reign over them, and slay them in my presence"; and his good name died away, and all respect for him perished, inasmuch as he oppressed his own native subjects, and showed kindness to foreigners.

How the king of England sent ambassadors to the king of Spain.

The king, then, fearing the treachery of the Gascons, and that they would desert to the king of Spain, who had great influence with them, sent the bishop of Bath and John Mansel, his favourite clerk, on a special embassy to that monarch, humbly begging his friendship and alliance, and requesting him to give his uterine sister in marriage to his eldest son and legitimate heir, Edward. He, the king of England, had ceded Gascony to his aforesaid son Edward, and this was not far different from a gift made, or to be made, to the sister of the aforesaid king of Spain, if she should marry his son Edward. The aforesaid messengers carried out this matter to its completion, and after immense trouble and anxiety, obtained the friendship and good-will of the king of Spain, as also a special and noble charter, the gold seal of which weighed a silver mark, and in which a special clause was inserted, to the effect that the king of Spain quitted claim of whatsoever rights he had or could havein Gascony, by virtue of a gift of King Henry the Second, and the confirmation thereof by Kings Richard and John. By the skilful measures of these messengers, or rather to say, of John Mansel alone, certain liberties were obtained, to the

42 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

benefit of pilgrims going to St. James's, namely, the right of taking up their lodgings at pleasure in the cities under the domination of the king of Spain, and of procuring food for themselves at will, without asking leave of their entertainers. The said king of Spain then required that Edward should be presented to him, that he might examine into his skill and knowledge, and confer knighthood upon him, with all the honours due to a youth of such high rank. This intelligence, and the whole conduct of the business, pleased the king of England, but he had great fears, and no wonder, of sending his eldest son, the heir of all his territories, to the king of Spain, who was living at such a distance, lest that monarch should be led away by the promptings of avarice and malice, and should detain as a hostage the prince so carelessly given to him. At length, however, John Mansel bearing testimony to the good faith of the king of Spain, and declaring that he would not perpetrate, nor allow to be perpetrated, such an offence, the king's confidence was raised, and he was forthwith pleased to give orders that not only Edward, but also his queen should be sent for, which was done. During the whole time of that war, it invariably occurred that if any Englishman committed an offence, he was punished beyond what his fault deserved, but in the case of a foreigner offending, little or no punishment followed, which fact was a subject of remark, and not without reason.

Of the fierce hostility of the Saracens against the Christians.

About this time, certain nobles of the Oriental Saracens, in their hatred of the Christians, entered into an alliance for their destruction, and, roving about at will, carried their devastations, without any opposition, up to the very gates of Acre, where, in their pride, they caused much injury.

Of the great famine in Gascony.

At this time, also, a great scarcity prevailed in the king's army in Gascony, to such a degree, that a hen was sold for sixpence sterling; a measure of corn for twenty shillings; a quart of wine for two shillings and more, and a loaf of bread of a pound weight, for two or three pence, so that a hungry knight could scarcely support himself, his esquire, his page, and his horses for two shillings of silver [a day].


How the abbot and convent of St. Alban's were acquitted of the debt of R. Oxhaye.

On the 23rd of October in this year, the bond by which the abbat and convent of St. Alban's were held liable for the debt of Richard Oxhaye, knight, was withdrawn from the hands of Elias the Jew, of London, and altogether extinguished: and proclamation was made in the assembly of the Jews at London, that the aforesaid abbat and convent were acquitted of all claim against them in that respect, from the beginning of the world until that time, as the statute obtained by them declared and set forth.

How the fame of the king of Spain was diffused abroad.

The fame of the king of Spain was at this time far extended, but not that of the king [of England]. The titles of the former, in his letters and warrants, was as follows:- "Alphonso, by the grace of God, king of Castile, Leon, Gallicia, Toledo, Murcia, Cordova, and Jaen". The dominion of the king of England was in a great degree mutilated; for he promised Ireland and many other possessions to his son; but these matters require a particular narration.

Of the prudent counsel given to the king of England by the king of Spain.

The king of Spain had now become a great friend of the king of England, and having heard of his practices, he grieved in the spirit of kindness and prudence, and sent a letter to him, the king of England, urging him to follow the example of good kings and princes, whose motto, from times of old was as follows: "He shall be a lamb to his servants and fellow-soldiers, and a lion to strangers and rebels". This saying he mentioned, to incite him so to act, and no longer to oppress his native subjects, and to entertain and support foreigners and strangers; but-

Quid juvat in sterili spargere semen humo?

[What benefit repays the toil
Of sowing seed on barren soil?]

The king of Spain had eight kingdoms: Castile, Gallicia, Seville, Cordova, Murcia, and Hispalis, which were all held by him, and subject to Christian laws. He had also two

44 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

Saracenic kings tributary to him, as appears in a charter to the king of England.

Of the severe illness of the bishop of Lincoln.

About the same time, whilst the dog-days were exercising their evil influence, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, lay seriously ill at a manor of his called Buckdon; he therefore called in Master John of St. Giles, a brother of the order of Preachers, one who was skilled in medicinal art, and a learned lecturer in theology, in order that he might obtain from him consolation, both in body and mind; for he knew, as if by inspiration, that tribulation was coming upon the Church in a short time, which we were not provided against, and for this reason he ordered the established priests throughout his diocese unceasingly to reiterate the sentence of excommunication against all violators of the great charters of the liberties of the kingdom, wherever they should find people assembled together. Some friends of the court, clerks as well as laymen, contumaciously resisted this order, and heaped insults on the priests, wherefore we are assured that by that very proceeding, they were caught in the shackles of the anathema. One day, when conversing with the aforesaid brother John, his physician, the bishop, in speaking of the acts of the pope, severely rebuked his brethren the Preachers, and others, nor did he spare the Minorite brethren, because their order is established in voluntary poverty, which is poverty of the spirit, in order that they may exercise greater freedom, not in soothing down the faults of those in power, but in reprobating and reproaching them with the austerity of censors, for-

Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.

[The traveller, whose purse is light.
Will sing, though robbers are in sight.}

"And", said the bishop, "as for you, brother John, and the rest of you Preachers, inasmuch as you do not boldly reprobate the sins of the nobles, and do not unveil their crimes, I consider you to be downright heretics"; and he added, "What is heresy? Give me a definition of the word". As brother John hesitated in a reply, not recollecting an authentic meaning or definition thereof, the bishop subjoined, giving a faithful translation from the Greek into the Latin


tongue, " Heresy is an opinion selected by human feelings, contrary to the holy scripture, openly taught, and pertinaciously defended". Heresy, in Greek is election in Latin, and on this principle the bishop rebuked the prelates, especially the Romans, for intrusting the cure of souls to their relatives, who were unfit for it, being incompetent, on account of youth and want of knowledge. "To give the cure of souls to a child, is the opinion of any prelate chosen by human feelings on account of the flesh or worldliness, and it is contrary to holy scripture, which forbids those to be pastors who are not fit to keep off the wolves; it is openly taught, because it is openly supported by charters bearing the seal or bull; and it is pertinaciously defended, because, if any one dares to oppose it, he is suspended, excommunicated, and the war waged against him is sanctified; and to whomsoever the definition of a heretic is entirely adapted, he is a heretic. But every faithful Christian is bound to oppose a heretic to the utmost of his power; therefore, he who can oppose him and does not, sins, and shows himself a favourer of heresy, according to the saying of Gregory: 'He who fails to oppose a manifest crime, is not free from the suspicion of being a secret accomplice therein'. But the brethren of the Minorite, as well as the Preacher order, are, above all others, bound to oppose such a doctrine, because, by virtue of their office, they have the power of preaching, and owing to their poverty, they are more free to exercise that office; and they not only sin, if they do not oppose it, but favour it also, as the apostle says, in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans: 'Not only they who do such things, but they also who consent thereto, are deserving of death'. We may, therefore, come to the conclusion, that the pope himself, unless he desists from committing this fault, as well as the said brethren, unless they show themselves anxious to do away with such a doctrine, are deserving of eternal death. There is, also, a decree which says that for such a vice, meaning heresy, the pope can and ought to be called to account".

The bishop of Lincoln's complaint of the Roman pontiff.

The nights being just now long (for it was the third night before the feast of St. Denis), and the bishop being worn down with illness, and oppressed with weariness, he ordered

46 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

some of his clerks to be sent for, that they might be refreshed by conversation, and the bishop, lamenting over the loss of soyls, owing to the avarice of the papal court, sorrowfully addressed them as follows: "Christ came into the world to gain souls, therefore, if any one has no fear of destroying souls; does he not deserve the title of Antichrist? The Lord made the entire world in six days, but to repair the faults of man, he laboured for more than thirty years; ought not, therefore, a destroyer of souls to be considered an enemy to God and an Antichrist? By means of that clause 'Not withstanding', etc., the pope unblushingly annuls the privileges of the holy Roman pontiff his predecessors, which is not done without prejudice and injury to them; for by so acting, he sets at nought and destroys what it has taken such a number of great saints to build up: lo, he is despised of the saints. Justly, therefore, will the despiser be despised, according to the words of Isaiah: 'Woe to you who reject, will you not be rejected'? Who will preserve his privileges? In reply to this, the pope thus defends his error: 'Equals have no power the one over the other, therefore, one pope cannot force me who am also a pope'. "To this" said the bishop, "my reply is: it seems to me that those who are navigating amidst the perils of the world, and those rejoicing in the security of port, are not equal. Granted that any pope may be saved; far be it from me to say otherwise. The Saviour says, 'Whoever is the least in the kingdom of heaven, is greater than John the Baptist, than whom there is no one greater amongst those born of woman', Is not, then, any pope who has given or confirmed privileges greater than a living pope? Certainly, it appears to me he is greater, and therefore has power over one less than him; consequently,; this pope ought not to invalidate the decisions of his predecessors. Does not the pope say, in speaking of most of his predecessors, 'Such and such a one of pious memory, our predecessor', etc.? and often, also, 'We, following in the steps of our holy predecessor', etc.? Why, therefore, do those who follow destroy the foundations which those gone before have laid? Several apostolic pontiffs have confirmed each and every privilege previously granted. Are not the many who have been saved by divine grace more than the one solitary one who is still in danger? Again, our ancient


fathers, the apostolic pontiffs, are before him in their time, and those whom the respect of ancient times exalts, we are bound to hold in veneration. This system was well attended to by the holy, virtuous, and venerable Benedict, who was filled with the spirit of all saints in establishing his rule; for he preferred those who came first to join the order, of whatever rank, to those who joined it later, even though men of rank and authority, and ordered that those who were oldest should be held in the greatest veneration. Whence, therefore, springs this injurious temerity to annul the privileges of so many old saints"?

His lamentable complaint of the oppressions of the Church.

Moreover, although many apostolic men have harassed the Church, this one has reduced it to a worse state of servitude than others, and has multiplied its inconveniences; for the Caursins, those manifest usurers, whom in our times, as we have seen and know, the holy fathers and teachers, amongst whom are an illustrious Preacher in France, the abbat of Flaye, of the Cistercian order, Master James de Vitry, the exiled Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, and Master Robert de Courcon, have driven from France by their preaching, have been awakened, and are protected by this pope in England, which did not formerly suffer under that pestilece; and if any one complains or rebukes them, he incurs trouble and loss, as witness Roger, bishop of London. The world knows that usury is held up to detestation in both Testaments, and is prohibited by God, and now the pope's merchants or agents, to the discontent of the Jews, practise their usury openly in London, and devise divers schemes of oppression against the servants of the Church, and especially religious men, compelling those who are pressed by want to lie, and to affix their signatures to false writings, which proceeding is to practise idolatry, and to renounce the truth,, which is God. For example, I accept a loan of a hundred marks for a hundred pounds: I am compelled to give a written paper and to sign the same, in which I acknowledge to have accepted a loan for a hundred pounds, to be paid at the year's end; and if you should wish to pay to the pope's usurer the money lent you within a month, or some time less, he will not receive any less than the full hundred

48 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

pounds, which terms are more oppressive than those of the Jews; for when you return to a Jew the money he has lent you, he will receive it with a good grace, and with only interest commensurate with the time the money has been lent. Moreover, we know that the pope has enjoined on the Preacher and Minorite brethren to attend the dying, to question them carefully, and urgently persuade them to make their wills for the benefit, and to the succour of the Holy Land, and to take on them the cross, so that if they recover from their illness, those brethren may cheat them out of their substance; or if they die, so much may be extorted out of their executors. He also sells those who have taken the cross to laymen, as formerly the Jews made it a custom to sell sheep and oxen in the temple; and we have seen a letter of the pope's, in which we find it stated that those who make their wills or assume the cross to assist the Holy Land, shall receive indulgence in proportion to the money they give for that purpose. Moreover, the pope has, in many of his letters, instructed the prelate to provide with an ecclesiastical benefice such and such a person, a foreigner and an absentee, and one utterly unworthy of it, who knows not the language of the natives so as to be able to preach or receive confessions, and who could not even take up his residence to administer to the wants of the poor, and to receive travellers; and has ordered that the benefice should be one that this same stranger should think worth, accepting. Again, we know that the pope wrote to the abbat of St. Alban's, ordering him to provide one John of Camezan, whom he had never seen, with a suitable benefice, and within a short time, that person was installed in a church worth forty marks and more annually, and not being content even with this, he complained to the pope. Again, therefore, his holiness wrote to the aforesaid abbat to make a more profitable provision for the said clerk, reserving, nevertheless, to himself the pope, the gift of the former church. A few days afterwards, two contemptible persons went to the said abbat's convent, bearing letters from the pope, among the contents of which was an order for the abbat to pay down in hand, and without trouble, the sum of ten marks to those noble persons, to enable them to arrange their affairs, and the abbat, to put an end to their menacing and haughty speeches, paid the money. Of the


holy and learned men who have left the world never to return, for imitating God, the pope makes tax-collectors, to extort money on various pretexts, and they undertake the office, though unwillingly, that they may not appear disobedient. Thus, from being worldly, they become more worldly, and the coarseness of their vestments tells lies on them, inasmuch as under the garb of poverty dwells the spirit of pride; and whereas a legate cannot be sent to England unless asked for by the king, the pope sends false and disguised legates, though not clad in red garments, armed with great powers: and it is not difficult to find an example, for so many of this sort come so often, that to mention them by name would weary my hearers. Again, what I have not usually seen, the pope, for worldly favour, allows any one to hold a bishopric, though he be not a bishop, but only a perpetual elect, keeping also the old revenues; which signifies just this, that he is allowed to take the milk and wool of the sheep without driving away the wolves".

After holding up to their detestation these and other enormities, such as every kind of avarice, usury, simony, and robbery; every kind of luxury, lust, gluttony, and love of adornment which reign in that court, so that it is with justice said of it: "To satisfy its avarice the whole world does not suffice,- for its pleasures, all the harlots of the world are not sufficient", he then with much effort proceeded to show that that same court, hoping that the Jordan would flow into its mouth, was gaping open-jawed with the desire of claiming to itself the goods of those who died intestate, as also of those who distinctly bequeathed their property by will; and how, in order to do this with greater freedom, they made the king an accomplice and participator in their robberies. "Nor", added he, "will the Church be freed from its Egyptian bondage, except at the bloody sword's-point; these evils are just now slight, but in a short time, I will say in three years, they will become more serious". At the end of this prophetic speech, which he had pronounced with difficulty, and which was interrupted by sighs and tears, his tongae faltered, and, his breath failing him, he became silent, having lost the power of speech.

50 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

Of the death of Robert, bishop of Lincoln.

Thus, therefore, departed from the exile of this world, which he had never liked, the holy Robert, the second, bishop of Lincoln, who died at his manor of Buckdon, in the night of St. Denis's day. During his life, he had openly rebuked the pope and the king; had corrected the prelates, and reformed the monks; in him the priests lost a director - clerks an instructor - scholars a supporter - and the people a preacher; he had shown himself a persecutor of the incontinent, a careful examiner of the different scriptures, and a bruiser and despiser of the Romans. He was hospitable and profuse; civil, cheerful, and affable at the table for partaking of bodily nourishment; and at the spiritual table, devout, mournful, and contrite. In the discharge of his pontifical duties, he was attentive, indefatigable, and worthy of veneration.

Of the music heard in the heavens.

During the night in which the said bishop departed to the Lord, Faulkes, bishop of London, heard in the air above, a wonderful and most agreeable kind of sound, the melody of which refreshed his ears and his heart, and fixed his attention for a time. Whilst listening to it (he was at the time staying near Buckdon), he said to some persons standing near him, "Do you, too, hear what I do"? Whereupon they asked him, "What hear you, my lord"? The bishop replied: "I hear a supernatural sound like that of a great convent-bell, ringing a delightful tune in the air above". They, however, acknowledged, although they listened attentively, that they heard nothing of it, whereupon the bishop said to them: "By the faith I owe to St. Paul, I believe that our beloved father, brother, and master, the venerable bishop of Lincoln, is passing from this world to take his place in the kingdom of heaven, and this noise I heard is intended as a manifest warning to me thereof, for there is no convent near here in which there is a bell of such a sort and so loud. Let us inquire into the matter immediately". They therefore did so, and found, as was proved by the statement of his whole household, that at that very time the bishop had departed from this world. This wonderful circumstance, or rather primitive miracle, was told as a fact, and borne evidence to,


to the writer of this book, by Master John Cratchale, a confidential clerk to the bishop, one held in great veneration, and of high authority amongst his attendants and friends.

Of the noises of trumpets and bells heard in the sky.

On the same night, too, some brethren of the order of Minorites were hurrying towards Buckdon, where Robert, bishop of Lincoln, was staying (for he was a comforter and a father to the Preachers and Minorites), and in passing through the royal forest of Vauberge, being ignorant of its windings, lost their road, and whilst wandering about they heard in the air sounds as of the ringing of bells, amongst which they clearly distinguished one bell of a most sweet tune, unlike anything they had ever heard before. This circumstance greatly excited their wonder, for they knew that there was no church of note near. When morning's dawn appeared, after wandering about to no purpose, they met some foresters, of whom, after obtaining directions to regain their right road, they inquired what meant the grand and solemn ringing of bells which they had heard in the direction of Buckdon? to which the foresters replied, that they had not heard and did not then hear anything, though the sound still gently filled the air. The brethren, therefore, in still greater wonder went on, and reached Buckdon betimes, where they were informed that at the very time of the night when they had heard the aforesaid melodious sounds, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, breathed forth his happy spirit.

Of the great famine in Gascony.

At this time the scarcity of provisions in Gascony gained ground, and increased to such a degree that a measure of wheat cost twenty shillings, and the same quantity of oats, ten shillings; meat and fish were sold at a high price, and even wine, with which Gascony usually abounded. The king, therefore, sent the prior of Newbury, a canon, and Roger Censor, with some other faithful counsellors of his, to England to procure and bring with them what was necessary for his army. These men, then, went to London and exacted a large sum of money from the citizens of that place, and were not slow or inactive in their extortions; they collected arms, corn, and salted meats, with which they loaded a great many ships. But the king's courts and army, like the

52 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

insatiable gulf of Charybdis, easily swallowed up all these things. The king, indeed, considered England an inexhaustible well, which was to pay for the fault and offences of all neighbouring and circumjacent countries, according to the saying:

The penalties of kingly freaks
Fall on the shoulders of the Greeks.

Being now become a second Lycurgus, the king uprooted and destroyed the vineyards of his enemies, the Gascons, on which they chiefly depended for support; and ordered their houses and castles to be levelled with the ground. The Gascons, on finding this out, complained of such a kind of revenge, considering it to be far inferior to the chivalrous method of war practised by Simon, earl of Leicester; the destruction of their vineyards and the burning of their houses they considered to be old women's warfare, and not that of men.

Of the release of captives by the king.

On the capture of the castles of La Reole and Bazas, which had caused much trouble and expense to the English, the king gave free possession of them to Peter of Savoy, and his brothers, Poitevins, who, on being set at liberty, at once joined his enemies.

The death of William de Vesey.

Thus robbed of her wealth on all sides, was England bereft of arms, food, and money, as well as, what was more to be deplored, of her chivalrous knights; for after the king went to the continent, a great many of his followers died. Amongst the number, William de Vesey, one of the most noble of the barons of the North of England, went the way of all flesh, and the king immediately gave the charge held by him, which was one of great importance, to a foreigner, causing thereby great offence to his natural subjects.

Of the sufferings of the knights of Shrewsbury.

Just about this time certain knights of Shrewsbury, in fact almost all of them, refused to bend their necks to the yoke of the king's new decree, concerning the possession and showing of arms, as also the restitution of the property of which travellers were robbed, as was the custom amongst the Savoyards in their country. They were, therefore, by


way of punishment, subjected to the greatest extortion, so that for some years they could with difficulty provide themselves and their household with the necessaries of life, or with the means of cultivating their land.

Of the excesses perpetrated by the Saracens.

On All Saints'-day in this year, a most dreadful rumour reached Earl Richard, who was more anxious than any others concerning the state of affairs in the Holy Land, to the effect that, as a sign of God's great anger, the soldans and chief men of the Saracens had made peace amongst themselves and joined in an alliance together for the destruction of the Christians; that they were roving at will in the Holy Land, seizing on the possessions of the Christians at pleasure without any opposition; that they had ravaged the whole country beyond Acre, and had demolished some mills belonging to the citizens of that place. For they, the Saracens, had formed a conspiracy to besiege Acre, to make prisoner the king of the French, as an indelible disgrace to the Christians, and to present him to their caliph, who was to them as a pope. When this fact became generally known (amongst the Christians), they were deeply grieved, and attributed all these misfortunes to the obstinate avarice of the Romans, who had insolently rejected the humble offer of Frederick to recover peaceably all the possessions the Christians had at any time held in the Holy Land, as they did not wish such a great advantage to be ascribed to him. And what was more pitiable, they sold to laymen the crusaders, wearied and reduced to beggary, in the same way as the Jews, as above stated, sold sheep, oxen, and doves in the temple, but whom the Lord cast out. However, by the will of God, who, though angered, remembereth mercy, some of the eastern Saracens rose against those who were venting their fury upon us; thus their purpose was defeated, and they were compelled to retreat.

Of the expeditions of Conrad, the son of Frederick.

During all this time Conrad was prospering in his expedition in Apulia, undertaken out of hatred to the pope; he reduced the cities of Capua, Naples, and others, to subjection, and crushed the strength of many opposed to him. There dwelt in that country, being also a native of it, a wicked and

54 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

blood-stained man, called John the Moor, a crafty flatterer, who, under the pretence of friendship, stealthily poisoned people; and this man, as was stated, had by these means killed Frederick in former times, and now he laid his secret and deadly snares for his son Conrad.

Of the dispute between archbishop B. and the chapter of Lincoln.

When Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, returned from attending the burial of Robert, bishop of Lincoln, a dispute arose between him and the chapter of Lincoln. For be claimed by common right the power of giving away the prebends and revenues of the diocese of Lincoln, now deprived of its pastor, whilst the dean and chapter, relying on their special privilege, and the ancient and approved custom, opposed his claim. They were supported by Master Walter Billesdon, a man well skilled in law and worthy of belief, who gave evidence for them, enumerating three churches given away by the dean when the See had been vacant, as did also many other persons who knew and had seen it to be the case. The archbishop, having confidence in his manifold powers, excommunicated all who opposed him. Master William Wolff, archdeacon of Lincoln, a man well versed in the law and other kinds of literature, and of great influence, was the only one who opposed the archbishop to his face, and he appealed to the supreme pontiff on behalf of the rights and liberties of his church; and as he alone set himself up as a barrier of defence for the possession of his own and his churches liberties, he was compelled to endure the most wretched sufferings, as the following narralive will show. The canons having been worn out by proceedings carried on in times of old without advantage, were neither able nor willing to try a doubtful cause against so powerful an adversary; they therefore succumbed to the archbishop, and on doing so, obtained the favour of absolution. The archdeacon remained firm to his purpose, and sought a place of concealment in the mean time. At length believing that he should find a safe refuge at St. Edmunds, because the afflicted usually found refuge and protection there, and in the domain of St. Alban's, he betook himself to the aforesaid city of St. Edmunds for protection, after having continued forty days under the sentence, whether justly or unjustly we cannot say. These, however,


the persecutions of the archbishop followed him, and instead of an asylum he only found a prison, nor could the abbat of St. Edmunds receive or protect him. Reduced to poverty, proscribed and an exile, the archdeacon went to Rome, to seek comfort and consolation from the pope, who, on learning the facts of the case, pitied him and gave him paternal relief, at the same time rebuking the pusillanimity of the canons, and the severity of the archbishop, and commending the firmness of the archdeacon. The hopes of the latter then rose, and he set out on his return from the court of Rome; but on reaching the Cisalpine provinces, overcome by the many toils and griefs which he had sustained in defending the liberties of his church, he went the way of all flesh, a worthy associate to St. Thomas the martyr, who died in a like cause. Before his death, however, he underwent nearly three years of tribulations in this matter.

How archbishop Boniface went to St. Alban's.

At the above-mentioned period of this year, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, whilst on his return from the burial of the sacred body of Robert, bishop of Lincoln, passed by St. Alban's, and requested permission to take up lodgings there, and he made the request with the greatest modesty and humility, fearing lest he should meet with a repulse, owing to that house's exemption from affording hospitality, as had lately happened to him at Belvoir, a priory belonging to St. Alban's. However, the abbat of St. Alban's sent his archdeacon and same of the brethren to meet him, pleading as an excuse for not coming himself his old age and infirmity. Those parties therefore went to meet him with the greatest honours and reverence, as they had received his letters, stating that he asked hospitality as an act of kind-ness, and accordingly he was admitted on a certain day after the Nones. But he would not, though anxiously entreated to do so, accept any presents offered him from the goods of the houses except food and drink. Then civilly thanking the abbat for having received him out of kindness, and for his gratuitous hospitality, he took his departure early in the morning of St. Martin's day, without entering the cloister or the church. Acting in the same way, the Legate Otto, who was as it were a second pope in England, wrote letters

56 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

stating that he asked hospitality as an act of charity. But Robert, bishop of Lincoln, on going to Hertford, would not write a letter to that effect; therefore he was not admitted. The next day he suspended the churches of the seculars at Hertford; but being reproved for so doing by the legate, he at once withdrew the sentence so rashly pronounced by him, for he acted on evil counsel.

Of the privilege of the house of St. Augustin, at Canterbury.

On his departure from St. Alban's, the said archbishop received a papal letter, which was delivered to him by a monk of St. Augustin, of Canterbury, to the effect that he was not to disturb the abbat of that house, or the conventual brethren by visiting, suspending, or excommunicating them, which he purposed, and previously attempted to do. These letters, after carelessly reading them, he ordered to be burned. Their contents may be found in the book of Additaments. In consequence of this, the archbishop, as well as those who gave him the advice, was well pleased that he had conducted himself peacefully and modestly at St. Alban's.

How the queen of England gave birth to a daughter.

About this same time, Eleanor, queen of England, gave a daughter to the king at London, who was baptized by the archbishop, and named Catherine, because she drew her first breath on St. Catherine's day.

How Simon, earl of Leicester, went to the king of England.

At this same time, Simon, earl of Leicester, who, as before stated, was requested to accept the office of seneschal of France, on account of his fidelity and courage, but refused it, as "no man can properly serve two masters", who are opposed to one another, went to his lord, the king of England, in Gascony, expressing himself both ready and willing to serve him in subduing his rebellious enemies, the Gascons, who, it may be stated, dreaded him as thunder. He also took with him a chosen body of troops raised at his own expense, and which he offered to keep up at the king's pleasure; and the knights and soldiers he had with him were a numerous host. For he had been prompted by the spirit of charity and humility, which passes the bounds of human feelings, to return good for evil, and to think nothing of the


impetuous words of the king, who, in the heat and haste of anger, some time since poured forth insults against him; but rather to recall to mind the benefits which the king had conferred on him by giving him his sister in marriage, by granting him the earldom of Leicester, and confiding to him the custody of the heir of Gilbert, of Humfreville. To this advice, which was given him by Robert, bishop of Lincoln, who was a particular friend, as also the father confessor of the earl, he willingly bent his inclinations, and the king admiring the earl's charity, received him with the greatest joy. The Gascons, who are the friends of fortune, on learning that the king of Spain was reconciled to the king of England, and that Earl Simon had arrived accompanied by such a formidable body of troops, became humbled, though against their will, and returned by degrees to their subjection to their king, who forthwith proposed to return to Eagland.

Of the disturbances in the university of Paris.

About this time a great dispute arose between the scholars of the university of Paris and the Preacher brethren, who had become so numerous, and so elevated at being the confessors and advisers of kings, that they refused to submit to the old and approved customs and rights of the scholars. The latter, therefore, assembled and made a collection amongst themselves, each contributing according to his means; and the weekly commons of each was diminished that the demands of the court of Rome might be satisfied therefrom on the part of the clergy. From this circumstance the aforesaid brethren took courage, for they had friends of great power at that court, amongst them brother Hugh, of the order of Preachers, and even the pope himself, and many others of high influence and authority. A great deal of money, therefore, was spent and much trouble wasted in the matter, till at length, by altering some of the Parisian customs, peace was re-established.

Of the pope's arrival at Rome.

During all this time, the pope, agitated by many and daily troubles, had been making a prolonged sojourn at Assissio, whither a request was now sent to him by special messengers, on behalf of Brancaleone, the senator of the Romans, and of all the inhabitants of the city, that he would without

58 MATTBEW PARIS. [A.D. 1253.

delay return to his own city, as being their pastor and Roman pontiff. They, moreover, stated to him that they greatly wondered at his running about hither and thither, uusettled and an exile, leaving his pontifical See of Rome, and abandoning his sheep, of whom he would have to render a most strict account to the Supreme Judge, to the jaws of the wolves, whilst he himself was only gaping after money. Moreover, the senator and Roman people signified to the citizens of Assissio, with a threat of irremediable ruin, that they were no longer to detain the pope; whom the world knew to be the pontiff of Rome, not of Lyons, nor Perugia, nor Agnano, for at those places he had often hidden himself. The Assissians, therefore, went to his holiness themselves, and more fully impressed this message on him. It was, therefore, an understood thing with the pope that he must of necessity go to Rome, lest the Assissians should be destroyed by the Romans in their fury, the same as had been the case with the people of Ostia, Porto, Tusculum, Albano, Sabino, and recently with the citizens of Tivoli. He therefore, whether willing or unwilling, packed up his saddlebags and went to Rome, although in a state of alarm; but on his arrival he was received with all honours, the senator so willing and ordering matters. In the mean time, Conrad, who was, as it were, a thorn in the pope's eye, was committing dreadful ravages, both on the land and on the sea side, on the walls and fortifications of Naples (which city was formerly the favourite residence of Virgil); but owing to the hatred and curses of the people, he could never prosper in his undertakings.

Examples of the cupidity of the Romans.

Unable and unwilling any longer to conceal their avarice, the Romans began to make heavy complaints against the pope, urgently demanding that he should indemnify them for the losses and injuries they had sustained through his absence, such as in letting their lodgings, in tradings, usuries, revenues, provisions, and numberless other ways, which grieved the pope to the heart, and, finding himself caught in a trap, he had recourse to the senator for comfort The senator, then, by gentle speeches, restrained the fury of the people, telling them that it was an inhuman act so seriously


to annoy and disturb their father and pastor, who had been peaceably summoned by them to take care of their souls; and by these means the violence of the tempest was lulled.

Of the disturbed state of the aimosphere and of the sea.

On the morrow after St. Lucia's day in this year, the clouds poured forth snow in abundance, and winterly thunder gave forth dreadful prognostications.

Of the expulsion and banishment of the people of La Reole.

Just at this time, also, all the people who had dwelt in La Reole and other fortresses whilst they were besieged, and who had been driven out of them during the famine, were condemned to perpetual exile, both men and women, who wandered forth beggars through the neighbouring countries.

Of the inundations of the sea and the rivers.

In this year, too, the sea and rivers several times overfowed their usual bounds, doing irreparable damage to the adjacent country.

Of the miracles performed in the church of Lincoln.

Miracles were multiplied upon miracles daily in the church of Lincoln; and by the working of the Lord through the merits of Bishop Robert, the other saints who lie at rest in the same church, St. Remy and St. Hugh, were aroused to confer benefits on the faithful, as if they were called on and inclined to do so by the prayers of the suppliants. Let no one be astonished at certain acts of violence committed by this same prelate during his life, and which are related in this volume; one of which acts was his earnest desire to visit the canons of the church of Lincoln, much to their vexation and injury. Moreover, this same Robert used to fulminate terrible threats against religious persons, especially those of the female sex, no doubt with a proper zeal, but perhaps without due discretion; but I assert that his virtues pleased God in a greater degree than his faults displeased him. The same as in the case of David and Peter; I praise the gentleness of David, but I reprehend the treachery he perpetrated towards his faithful subject Uriah; I commend the firmness of Peter, but I disapprove of his thrice denial of our Lord. The first of these was well liked according to our Lord's heart; the other was named chief of the apostles.

60 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1254.

The year's summary.

This year throughout was abundant in corn and fruit; so much so, that the price of a measure of corn fell to thirty pence. But the benefit which accrued to the earth was obviated by the damage done by the sea overflowing its bounds, which by its sudden inundations overwhebned men and cattle, and when it happened by night it drowned many the more. This was a year of destruction to the Holy Land; of bloodshed to Flanders and its neighbouring countries; of loss and disgrace to France; and of vexation and trouble to the pope and his adherents. To England it was pregnant with trouble, and gave a depressed tendency to its spiritual and temporal welfare.

How the king passed the winter in Gascony.

At Christmas, Anno Domini 1254, which was the thirty-eighth year of the reign of King Henry the Third, the said king was at Bazas in Gascony, not far from La Reole, and there in company with his nobles he celebrated the anniversary of the Nativity with great splendour and solemnity; and he also made some rich presents of garments and other costly articles to the Gascons, who had a keen smell of his money. The queen, too, who had risen safely from childbed, gave a most splendid feast, to commemorate her purification, on St. Edward's day, which was the eve of the Epiphany, at which feast were present the archbishop, her uncle, the bishop of Ely, Earl Richard, the earl of Gloucester, and many other nobles of England. Just about this time, too, the queen sent, as a new year's gift to the king, five hundred marks out of the royal revenues received, to enable him to carry on the war, and to acquit himself of his pledges.

The election of H. Lexington to the bishopric [of Lincoln].

On the morrow of St. Thomas the Martyr's day, the canons of Lincoln elected as their bishop, Master Henry Lexington, a dean of that same church, who, on his election, went to the continent to see the king, and to be seen and approved by him, as he had the power of approving and disapproving the elected as well as the election. He, all the time, was afraid to appear before the king, who, according to his custom, had most urgently begged and prayed of the said dean and the


whole chapter to choose as their bishop and pastor of their souls the bishop of Hereford; but he ought without hesitation to have been rejected, as well because he was a foreigner and did not understand the English tongue, as because he was known, or rather notorious, for being most hostile and unfaithful to the kingdom. To that request, almost pressingly urged by the king, the canons, the electors, would on no account turn a favourable ear; indeed, he was by force thrust into the bishopric of Hereford, and by the secular power, and after fattening himself on the milk, wool, and richness of the flock intrusted to him, he abandoned that flock, the religious men and seculars on the continent (where he dwelt, I grieve to say, without honour), to be exposed to the fangs of the wolves. However, as the king could not find any cause for rejection of the aforesaid elect of the canons, he, although not with a good heart, accepted of him.

Of a fantastic apparition [in the sky].

About midnight of the day of our Lord's circumcision, the moon being eight days old, and the firmament studded with stars, and the air completely calm, there appeared in the sky, wonderful to relate, the form of a large ship, well-haped, and of remarkable design and colour. This apparition was seen by some monks of St. Alban's, staying at St. Amphibalus to celebrate the festival, who were looking out to see by the stars if it was the hour for chaunting matins, and they at once called together all their friends and followers who were in the house to see the wonderful apparition. The vessel appeared for a long time, as if it were painted, and really built with planks; but at length it began by degrees to dissolve and disappear, wherefore it was believed to have been a cloud, but a wonderful and extraordinary one.

A deceitful mandate.

On the 27th of January in this year, which was St. Julian's day, almost all the nobles of England were assembled at a parliament, when there came before them Roger Bigod, the Earl Mareschal, and Gilbert Segrave, as special messengers from the king, to announce, being perhaps imposed upon themselves, to the community of England at large, the said king's heartfelt wish and purpose. There

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were present, too, at this meeting, Richard, earl of Cornwall, the king's brother, and the earl of Winchester, together with the queen and all the bishops of England, excepting only the archbishops of Canterbury and York and the bishops of Durham, and Bath, the latter of whom was with the king in Gascony. All being assembled, the king's spokesman rose and addressed them as follows: "My friends and masters, in whose breasts repose the hopes of our lord the king, who has, in fact, no other refuge than in you his faithful subjects. You know how faithfully and firmly he has exposed himself to the perils of the sea, which spares no man, and to the risks of war, to preserve the power of the kingdom. He has found his enemies kicking against him, and opposing him courageously, some of whom he has crushed, whilst others remain to be conquered". Then, the more to move his auditors, the speaker added (although in so saying he violated the truth), that "the king of Castille, whom he expected and hoped to find his greatest friend, as being allied to him by blood and otherwise, proved to be a most bloody enemy, and even defied the king of England. To the said king of Castille the Gascons incline, and prefer him, a Spaniard, to their natural lord and master; wherefore he asks effectual aid from, you, as he is thus placed in a critical position". As a proof of their good faith, and the truth of their words, some of the king's messengers brought some darts of a wondrous size, which are hurled by cross-bows, and which are called quarrels. (The bows, considering their size, might be termed joists, and the missiles as a sort of weavers' beams.) Earl Richard, thereupon, in order to set an example to, and to urge on the rest, said, in answer to the king's request (for he put faith in the above tale of the messengers), "I, being more powerful, and more bound to do so, than the rest of you, will effectively assist my lord and brother, by furnishing him with three hundred soldiers to fight for him at my own expense for a year". The earl of Gloucester also promised assistance, to the best of his ability, adding that he would in no way assist the king for the pnpose of acquiring territory; but if the king of Castille should attack him, he would help to rescue him. Earl Richard, too, now put a similar restriction on his promise of assistance, and added, "if what is told us is true". The generality of


those assembled, however, finding that a trap was laid for them, replied, in answer to these speeches, "Alas! alas! why do our superiors endeavour to deceive us by such cunning arguments? We here find, as clear as the day, two opposing circumstances; for the king has sent for his queen and his eldest son and heir, feeble persons, and unfit to be exposed to the dangers of war, to come to him as soon as possible, which he would on no account do if he was about to wage war against this king of Castille; nay, he would rather, if he had them with him, send them back to England for greater safety. Has not previous mention been made of some special marriage to be contracted between them? All this is at variance with the above-mentioned statements of the messengers". Thus, then, the king rendered himself unworthy of belief and the council was dissolved without any result. The earl, therefore, sent a letter to that effect to the king, for which look in the book of Additaments at the sign of the harp.

How some Saracens went to France, to he baptized.

At this same time, too, some Saracens who were converted to the Christian faith came to France, some of whom were already baptized, and the rest intended to be; and the cause of their conversion was as follows. They had seen the French king miraculously, as it were, liberated from the hands of the powerful soldan of Babylon, the soldan himself having been murdered immediately after the king's capture; they had, moreover, witnessed the king's great patience in adversity, and his inflexible firmness of purpose; for, even after having been made a prisoner, he still continued in the Holy Land, strengthening castles, and fortifying cities against the enemies of the Lord; and they had also been witnesses of the strength of his faith, inasmuch as, like Job, in so many adversities he sinned not with his lips. Besides this, they considered of the fact that, for the love of the Lord Jesus Christ his God, he had left his pleasant kingdom of France to expose himself to the perils of the sea and the winds, and to the risks of battles and wars in foreign and distant kingdoms, giving all his labour and attention to the gaining over the souls of infidels; all which he could by no means have done without the aid of the Deity, and the

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consolation of the Divine Majesty; and they had also learned from the teaching of the Preachers and Minorites that the most filthy law of Mahomet was poison to their souls. These converts had brought letters patent from the king, giving orders that they should be supported out of the royal charity until he himself should return to his own country, when he would make more ample provision for them.

Of the arrival of strangers in England who were ignorant of the habits and language.

In Lent of this year, some foreign vessels arrived, driven hither by the fury of the winds, notwithstanding the efforts of those in charge of them. We have not amongst us any like them; they were large, and handsomely and strongly built, and well equipped with all kinds of arms, warlike stores, and provisions. They were driven on the northern coasts of England, near Berwick, and were at once seized by the coast-guard, as well as the crews of them, on suspicion of being foreigners, or spies, or enemies of some kind perhaps. On instituting a strict search of the vessels, the captors found the holds of them filled with large quantities of arms, with coats of mail, helmets, shields, lances, bows and arrows, crossbows and darts, as well as provisions, sufficient for an army. On being asked, they would not tell the bailiffs who they were, or why or whence they came, and none of the bailiffs could understand their language. Other vessels, also, were visible at sea. When all belonging to the vessels believed that they were going to be put to death, they were allowed to depart in peace, that men might not prove themselves more cruel than the tempest, and possibly, for fear of vengeance following any harm done to them.

Of a conspiracy at Bayonne.

In this same year, about the time of the feast of the Purification of the blessed Mary, Gaston of Bearn, having assembled a host of the king's enemies, audaciously attempted to make his way into, and to get possession of, the city of Bayonne. This Bayonne is a rich city, the second in importance in Gascony, possesses a harbour much frequented by shipping, and inhabited by a great many warlike persons, and also by wine merchants. But most of the citizens hated the king, on account of the many injuries done them by him


in England; and some of the enemy having been admitted into the city when it was exposed to danger, they were taken prisoners by those who faithfully adhered to the king, through the agency of the lower orders, who loved him, and many of them who had thus traitorously entered the place were punished according to their deserts.

Of the burial of John Hansard.

On St. Gregory's day, which fell about this time, the body of John Hansard, knight, was carried through the town of St. Alban's, on its way to the part of the country where he was born, which was in the north, to be buried there with becoming honours; for he was one of no small consequence amongst the nobles of that part of the country. He had lost his life in the general calamity attending the expedition.

Of the protracted frost.

On that same day, too, the severity of the frost gave way, which had lasted uninterrupted for nearly the whole winter, at least, ever since the night of the Circumcision, when there was seen the wonderful apparition of the ship in the sky, or a cloud very like a ship. The apparition was believed, at the time, to be a sign of coming tempestuous weather, and was, moreover, followed by such a deadly disease amongst sheep and wild beasts, that the sheepfolds were void of sheep, and the forests of wild beasts; indeed, in large flocks scarcely one half survived.

Of the pope's reforms.

About the same time, it occurred to the pope, who still remained at Rome, that the liberal arts were almost entirely converted into mechanical arts for the sake of gain, and that it might with justice be said of philosophy; "She prostitutes herself and sits as a harlot awaiting her hire"; and he also discovered that nearly all scholars neglected the rudiments of grammar, and, deserting the study of authors and philosophers, were hurrying to study the laws, which, it is clear, are not included in the number of liberal arts; for liberal arts are sought after and acquired for their own sake; but the laws are studied for the sake of acquiring salaries. Indeed, as was evident to all, young men, deficient in knowledge, as soon as they have learned to chatter on a few

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sophisms in noisy assemblages, mount to the chairs of the masters, in order, by usurping the name of master, to swell in their pride, and, being in a position demanding greater respect, to climb to more lofty situations without any foundation to support them; then, taking leave of the schools of laws or degrees, to fly to pontifical dignities, whereas, it would be better and more advantageous to be first imbued with experience of the schools, and thus deservedly to rise to the aforesaid higher stations, adjudged to them by others, according to their deserts. The pope, therefore, wishing to give wholesome advice to those presuming in this way, published a laudable and fitting admonition, and wrote on the matter an eloquent letter, which commences as follows:-

"Innocent, bishop, etc., to all the prelates appointed in the kingdoms of France, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and Hungary, to examine into matters, Greeting, with the benediction of the apostles. We recollect with grief", etc., etc.- See in the book of Additaments.

Again, the pope performed another pious action, by modifying visitations and the oppressions to which they gave rise.- See in the same book, at the sign of the first dove; the letter begins thus:-

"In memory and for the perpetual observance, against the oppressions", etc.

Again, Pope Innocent did another pious deed in matters contained in the letter written in the said book, at the sign of the second dove, which commences as follows:-

"To all our venerable brethren, the patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops, and to our beloved sons the abbots", etc.

In the same way, in this book, also are given these two letters at the end of the preceding year, at the sign of the doves.

Of the dreadful dream of Pope Innocent the Third.

One day, in this same year, the pope, in an excessive fit of anger, wished, despite of the opposition of all the cardinal brethren, to throw the bones of Robert, bishop of Lincoln, out of the church, and to hurl him to such infamy and degradation, that he might be proclaimed a heathen and a disobedient rebel throughout the whole world; and he ordered a letter, stating such to be his purpose, to be written and sent to the king of England, knowing that he would


willingly vent his fury against that prelate, and upon a church which was open to be plundered. But in the night following this day, a vision appeared to the pope whilst lying restless in his bed, in which the said bishop of Lincoln, clad in his pontifical robes, with a severe and grim look approached him, and addressed him with a terrible voice, at the same time poking him in the side with the point of a shepherd's staff which he carried. "Villanous Pope Senebald", said the phantom, "did you intend to eject my bones from the church, to the disgrace of me and my church of Lincoln? Whence arises this act of temerity on your part? It would be more worthy of you, who are exalted and honoured by God, to cherish those who are zealous servants of God, even though they be dead. The Lord will not suffer you henceforth to have any power over me. I wrote to you, in the spirit of humility and affection, begging you to correct your frequent errors; but you treated my wholesome admonitions with haughtiness, and despised them in the intoxication and empoisonment of your heart. Woe to thee who despisest! shalt thou not be despised"? With these words Bishop Robert departed, leaving the pope half-dead, who had been groaning and sighing as if he were pierced with a lance each time he was poked with the staff as above stated. His chamberlains were astonished at hearing his exclamations, and inquired what he wanted; and, still sighing and groaning, he replied: "The terrors of the night have greatly disturbed me, and I shall never be restored to my former health. Oh! Oh! what pain I feel in my side; I have been pierced with a lance by the demon":- and he neither ate nor drank during that day, pretending that he was suffering from inflammatory fever. Nor did the anger and vengeance of the Lord rest here

Of the defeat of the pope's army.

Not long after this, the pope, who had been giving his attention to worldly affairs, little heeding the warnings of God through his servant, met with reverses in a warlike expedition, on which he had lavished great care, toil, and expense; for the fortune of war going against him, or rather against the lord of his army, which he had sent against the Apulians, at great expense, under the command of his

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nephew William, was defeated and entirely dispersed, its general being mortally wounded. There were said to have been slain there to the number of four thousand brave Christian knights and soldiers in the pay of the pope; and the whole Roman country wept at such an effusion of Christian blood. The pope himself at that time had taken the road for Naples, although labouring under weakness in the side, as if afflicted with pleurisy or by a lance-wound; nor could the medicinal skill of Cardinal Albo give him any relief. For Robert of Lincoln spared not Sinebald of Genoa, who would not listen to the rebukes of him living, and now felt his strokes after his death; nor did this pope ever afterwards pass one whole day in good health, or prosperously, nor one whole night without being restless and disturbed.

How the election of the bishop of Lincoln was confirmed.

On the 28th of April, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, confirmed the election of Henry of Lexington, dean of Lincoln, who, because he had succeeded to such a noble predecessor, gave good hopes to those around him of himself; but although as elevated in power and honour as his predecessor, he was inferior to him in his acts of munificence and bounty.

Of the death of the bishop of Carlisle.

In the same month, that is to say, on the 15th of May, died Sylvester, bishop of Carlisle. His death was caused by accident, for whilst riding a restive horse, the animal's foot struck against a tuft of earth, and the rider fell on his back, dislocating his limbs and joints.

Of the death of William, Earl Ferrers.

On the 24th of March in this year, died William Fitz-william, Earl Ferrers, a prudent man, and one well versed in the laws of the country. This noble had, from his earliest years, laboured under an infirmity in his feet called the gout, as his father had before him, and from whom he inherited it, as it were, and was usually carried from place to place in a litter or a carriage. One day, as he was proceeding on a journey, his servants, through careless driving, allowed his carriage to be upset on a bridge, and although he escaped with his life at the time, he was never properly sound in body afterwards, and soon after went the way of all flesh.


In this year, too, the chrism in the church of St. Alban's was prepared by the venerable Richard, bishop of Bangor.

About Easter, the canons of St. Paul's elected Master Walter of London to be their dean, in lieu of Master Henry of Cornhill.

The canons of Lincoln elected as their bishop, Master Henry of Lexington, a dean of the same church.

Of the hatred of the Sicilians towards Frederick's son Henry.

About this same time, Henry, the son of Frederick and Isabella, the king of England's sister, who was in the prime of his youth, was, owing to the innate nobility of his race, showing his affection for the English, and promoting their advantage to the utmost of his power, which fact becoming known to the Sicilians and Apulians, they said amongst themselves: "What think you this youth will come to be? He is descended from the blood-royal of England: if he prospers as he has begun, he will conquer us all, and when conquered, will trample us under his feet". They had also heard that the pope had given their kingdom to Earl Richard, the uncle of the young Henry, whereat they were unspeakably indignant, and were puffed up with anger against the pope and this innocent youth, and, as was their custom, they conceived the design of poisoning him, as above stated.

Of the lamentable war on the frontiers of Flanders.

About this same time, the most bloody battle since that of Apulia was fought on the confines of Flanders and Brabant, between the French and Flemings and their allies, on one side; and the countess of Flanders and her allies, William of Holland, the king of Germany, and several other chiefs of Brabant and Germany, on the other; on account of the two sons of the said countess and her two husbands. In this lamentable battle, one for ages to be deplored, the bravest warriors fell, either slain in battle or were drowned in the sea or the rivers; and so infinite was the slaughter on both sides, that of the inhabitants of one city of Flanders, ten thousand were slain, and no one survived to tell of the calamity. At length, after much bloodshed, the victory rested with the aforesaid King William and the Germans, whilst the French, defeated, wounded, and the greater

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portion of them slain, got the worst of the battle, and suffered irreparable loss and disgrace. Plunged into an abyss of despair, mistrust, and desolation, as well on account of the reiterated slaughter of their countrymen in the Holy Land, as of this recent defeat at the hands of their neighbours, who were now triumphing over them at will, they sent word with all haste to their king, who, in foreign parts, had, by the advice of the Templars and Hospitallers, exposed their castles and cities to heavy debts for his ransom, urging him to hasten home as soon as possible; for they informed him the crown of France was tottering, through the pride of a woman; the countess of Flanders, who placed her reliance on her two sons and her two husbands, and the whole kingdom of France was exposed to danger; that the kingdoms of Germany and Sicily also were shaken; and above all, that the king of England was bent to the pope's will, and was much strengthened by an alliance with the king of Spain; that he showed front in Normandy, where he was introduced and powerfully aided by the Spaniards, so that he threatened to attack France. On receipt of this news, therefore, the king of France, to the grief of all the inhahitants of the Holy Land, and against his own wish, made preparations for a speedy return home, taking all proper precautions; for he feared the Pisans and the Genoese, whom he had rashly supplanted at the capture of Damietta, and to whom, moreover, he was indebted to a large amount. The French, therefore, kept them occupied by land, in order that their king might return in greater security.

The cause of the war in Flanders.

Not even now, did hatred, treachery, fire, and slaughter, cease to rage amongst the Germans, French, Flemings, Brabantians, and Frieslanders, who continued to gnaw and consume each other day and night; and as this war was productive of much bloodshed to all Christendom, I think it proper to explain the original cause of it to my readers. Now the first seeds of discord were sown as follows: Margaret, countess of Flanders, whilst still in girlhood, and without any hopes of attaining to the government of that country, privily contracted a marriage with Bouchard of Avesnes, by whom she had three sons, John of Avesnes and two others. Now this same Bouchard, remembering that he


a deacon, and that consequently his marriage was illegal, and might be dissolved,- or perhaps conscience-struck at the act itself went to Rome to get his marriage confirmed by the pope, or to prevail on him to shut his eyes to the matter. It was now discovered that the sister of the said Margaret, who held the county was barren, and hopes were entertained that, in course of time, the heritage might fall to herself. One William Dampier, a knight of a noble French family (yet a subdeacon), who aspired at the government of Flanders, having previously had a secret interview with the said Margaret, afterwards solemnly contracted a marriage with her whilst the other man was prosecuting his business at Rome. When the aforesaid Bouchard first heard of this he treated it as a false report, but afterwards, the rumour becoming more frequent, he was convinced of the truth of it, and he wrote to the said Margaret reproaching her, and earnestly begging her to return to her senses. She, however, in the full enjoyment of her second marriage, which pleased her better than the first, treated his exhortations with contempt, and by way of provoking him wrote back to him in a tone of derision. "Let Bouchard", she said, "henceforth serve the Church in the order of the Levites; let him grasp at oblations, whilst Margaret is enjoying the long-desired embraces of her new husband". At receipt of her letter, Bouchard, as he could do nothing, returned to Rome, begging that his children by the countess might be legitimatized. By her second husband, Margaret had three sons, namely William Dampier and his brothers. When the children by the different fathers grew up to manhood, the mother having by the death of her sister, the countess, obtained the counties of Flanders and Hainault, they began to dispute amongst themselves about the heritage, the mother saying that the children by the first husband were bastards, and those by the second marriage were legitimate,- her hatred to her first husband being passed on to her children by him. On the death of both the fathers, the litigation between the young men rose to a higher pitch, the mother as well as the young men declaring the baseness of each other. At length the matter in question was carried to the court of France, and the parties submitted themselves to the decision of the king of that country; and he, out of regard to flesh and blood (for the

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aforesaid William was akin to him), gave as his decision, that the inheritance should belong neither to the one party or the other, but that it should be divided,- and adjudged Flanders to William, and Hainault to John. This decision, however, John could ill brook, and he replied, "Your majesty is giving me what you cannot take away, and you are taking from me what you could give me; for Flanders is held under you, and Hainault under the empire". As he could not gain anything, because he was bound by sureties to abide by the decision of the king by ratification, he left the court in anger, determined to reserve the effervescence of his indignation for a proper time and place. By way of precaution, and to strengthen his party, he espoused the niece of the then duke of Brabant, who was sister to William of Holland. His cause was also further strengthened by the death of William [Dampier], who was afterwards slain in a tournament; and the brother of the latter, who would have succeeded him in the country of Flanders, perished amidst a host of Frenchmen.

Of the great slaughters caused by Margaret, countess of Flanders.

The aforesaid conflict, which was to be deplored for ages, took place on the frontiers of Flanders about the middle of autumn, so that the devil reaped an abundant harvest and gathered in the souls of the many slain. There perished in divers ways more than twenty thousand fighting men, who had congregated from the various provinces of the kingdom, of France, as well as of the empire,- that is to say, of Germany, which includes many provinces; and all these men died on account of one immodest woman. And as the whole of Troy, or Pergamus, (which is derived from the words per signifying through, and gamos, marriage), was reduced to ashes through a woman, and as Greece was deprived of its inhabitants at the instigation of Venus, so by this catastrophe, which occurred on a Friday (which is Venus' day), the whole of France, Germany, and Flanders were covered with confusion and grief. Besides this, the wives, children, relations, and friends of the slain suffered, as it were, another sort of death. At this period, John, prior of Newbury, a special counsellor of the king of England, and who was always in close attendance on him, was sent to those parts to


arrange some intricate business of his sovereign's, and being informed of these events by the nobles, he committed the particulars to writing.

Of the immodesty and cruelty of the countess Margaret.

It is a fact that the sister of this cruel Countess Margaret by her great sins obtained the appelation of parricide, at least from many people; and with as much reason did she, who had shamelessly submitted to the illicit embraces of two men, and caused the death of so many, deserve the name of infanticide, for her eldest son was slain by her, and she broke the legs of another.

Of those slain and made prisoners in the aforesaid battle.

Amongst those made prisoners in this bloody battle were, the count of Bar, who was fighting fiercely, desiring to revenge himself for an injury done him in a previous engagement during the war, in which he had lost one eye (for the war had lasted for nearly three years); the count of Guisnes, the count of Gueldres, the count of Joigny in Champagne, Simon de Claremont, John de Giny, Robert de Bosk, a noble of the highest rank amongst the Swiss, and many other nobles whose names we do not remember; and of the lower orders of French a numerous host. Indeed, the number of those made prisoners and those slain, including nobles, knights, serving-men, and common soldiers, was said to amount to more than a hundred thousand men. I should not have inserted the particulars of this affair in the chronicles of England, were I not urged to do so by this horrible effusion of Christian blood, which was shed in a country adjacent to England.

Of the princes who were concerned in the war in Flanders.

Whilst those enemies of God, the Saracens, were exulting, as they usually did at any loss suffered by the Christians, the dominions of the princes of the whole of Germany were shaken to their foundations. In the first place, the most vexatious loss was suffered by the king of France, who was fighting for God in the Holy Land, than whom no king was more powerful; and his return from that country,- being recalled on account of this calamity,- tended to the injury of all Christianity. Of the chief men of France, too, many

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were sufferers. The duke of Bavaria, who from times of old had received a hundred thousand Cologne marks of revenue yearly, and of late more than that, expended all his money in this war. Amongst the sufferers, too, were the duke of Saxony, as high in station as the last-named duke, and a blood relation of the king of England; the duke of Brunswick, also a relation of the same king; the duke of Brabant and Louvain, who also styles himself duke of Lorraine; the duke of Limbourg, the duke of Suabia, the duke of Austria, and the duke of Luneburg; a certain landgravine of great power, named Sophia, who was mistress of a large portion of Thuringia; two marquises, one on the side of Sclavonia, the other on that of Bohemia, who was also king of Bohemia; the duke of Poland, who was slain by the Tartars; the landgrave of Thuringia; St. Elizabeth, landgravine of Thuringia; and the daughter of the king of Hungary. Each of the above had sent some of his people to the assistance of William of Holland, king of Germany, against the French army. The Frieslanders who came to join the army were ill-treated by William, who was proud, and careless of their friendship, and was moreover enriched by the money he had received from the pope; and the Frieslanders, indignant at this, plotted against him, as was afterwards apparent, and as will be shown in the subsequent narrative. The pope's money, however,- money ill gained as it was,- was no benefit to him; on the contrary, it did him great harm. Thus was almost the whole of Europe in a disturbed state for tihe pleasures of a woman, and through the machinations of the devil, who with good reason laughs at man's misfortunes. In this year, too, the Cistercian order incurred great loss through the devastation of Flanders, as they could not procure their usual stock of wool. I think I ought not to omit mentioning a cruel speech which this Countess Margaret, a second Medea, did not blush to give utterance to.

The cruel speech of the countess of Flanders.

It happened soon afterwards that John of Avesnes, son of the above-mentioned countess, by laying an ambuscade made prisoners of two of his uterine brothers, her sons; and rejoicing in his luck, as he hoped by means of them to bring his mother to terms of peace with him, he sent a letter to


her by messengers he thought would be agreeable to her, in these terms: "Dear mother, if you do not choose to have pity on me, at least pity my uterine brothers, your sons, whom I hold prisoners, and consent to terms of peace which will be advantageous to you". To this appeal, sbe replied,- "Your brothers, my sons, are in your hands; I will not be turned from my purpose on their account; they are exposed to your will and pleasure. Put them to death, cruel villain, and eat them, one boiled with pepper, and the other roasted with garlic". This offensive speech passed from mouth to mouth amongst the public, much to the shame of all women, especially of mothers. But, not to pollute the air, let us leave this matter and apply our pen to those matters which relate to the history of England.

Of the assembling of the nobles of England at London.

Again were the nobles of England assembled at London, and again did the king send a message to them that he needed money and greater powers to repel the attacks of a great enemy who was coming upon him. This message was sealed with the royal seal. But they all and each replied, that they had now been waiting for three weeks to no purpose, expecting the arrival of Earl Richard and some other nobles wbose absence had been prolonged, and that they were so often worried by the king's exactions that they could scarcely breathe. They would not, however, they said, fail to come in person to the king's aid if they were fully satisfied of the hostile approach of the king of Spain, who threatened to do so. They wondered too, as they said, that the same king of Castille never claimed Gascony at the time that Simon earl of Leicester governed Gascony, and kept the many rebels in subjection. By these arguments, and many others previously stated at the holding of the last parliament, and also from learning the truth of the matter from Earl Simon, who had then returned from the continent, they guarded against the king's cunning plans, who fattened foreigners out of the wealth of England in its time of peril. This underhanded plan was said to have emanated from the poisonous fountain of Poitevin counsel. So the nobles, still grieving, departed in the greatest indignation.

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Of the misery of the Jews.

About the same time, between Easter and the Rogation days, the king, who could not rest, vented his fury against the wretched rabble of the Jews to such a degree that they hated their lives. Earl Richard having convoked them to a meeting, demanded of them for the use of the king - who, he said, was highly indignant with them - a large sum of money, under penalty of imprisonment and ignominious death. In consequence of this, Elias of London, the high priest of the Jews, who had often willingly or unwillingly paid heavy sums, held counsel with his fellow Israelites, and replied to the demand as follows: "My lords and masters, we see plainly that the king purposes to blot us out from under heaven. In the name of God, we ask his permission and safe conduct for us to depart from his kingdom, that we may seek a place of abode elsewhere, under some prince who has bowels of compassion, and will properly observe truth and good faith. Let us depart hence never to return, leaving behind us our houses and household goods. How can he love us wretched Jews, or spare us, who destroys his natural English subjects? He has papal merchants, or rather his own (I will not call them usurers), who amass endless heaps of money; let the king depend on them, and gape after his emoluments by them; they it is who have destroyed and impoverished us. The king conceals his knowledge of this, and demands of us what we have not the power to give him, though he should pluck out our eyes, or skin us, and afterwards cut our throats". After giving utterance to this speech, which was interrupted by his sighs and tears, he was silent, and fell lifeless, as it were in a fit. When this resolution of the Jews was made known to the magistrates, they would not allow them to leave the kingdom, for, they said, "Whither would you fly, wretched beings? The French king hates and persecutes you, and has condemned you to perpetual banishment; do you wish in avoiding Charybdis to be dashed on Scylla"? And thus the small remnant of their small substance, which if left would only afford them a meagre subsistence, was extorted from them by force.


Of the battle between the French and Germans.

About this same time, a battle took place between the French and their allies on one side, and the Germans and their allies, under the command of William of Holland, king of Germany, on the other. The Frieslanders, who kept neutral, were attacked by William of Holland, who had been informed that they were planning treachery against him, and they with difficulty saved themselves by flight.

Of the consecration of the bishop elect of Lincoln.

On the 17th of May, Henry of Lexington, bishop elect of Lincoln, was consecrated as bishop of that diocese by Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, on the continent.

Of the forays made by the Welsh in the king's army.

About this same time, some Welsh soldiers in the king's army in Gascony, according to their custom, made a foray on the lands of the king's enemies, and gave themselves up to pillage, for which they were made prisoners by the king's brothers, and by the bishop of Hereford, and were punished more severely than they deserved, for they that time did little or no harm. Nor was the complaint in this matter in the first place laid before the earl of Hereford, who had been, and still was, by right of old the constable of the king's army, the non-compliance with which rule was to the prejudice and in contempt of the said earl, and contrary to the law and custom of the army; and consequently the earl laid a complaint before the king, but met with nothing but derision. The English were indignant at this, and could scarcely refrain from attacking the Poitevins and cutting them to pieces; but the king, in fear and trembling, with clasped hands, begged pardon humbly for his error, and even then with difficulty restrained their rising fury, which, if it had burst forth, would have caused a great effusion of blood. A murmur then crept about through the whole army, that the king in all respects endeavoured to follow in his father's steps; and his followers abandoned him, as he acted so indiscreetly, and returned home; for they saw that any kind of a lasting peace was as far off as ever. Some of the nobles of England, however, Earl Roger Bigod, William de Saye, and several others, obtained the king's permission, and

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followed the steps of Simon, earl of Leicester, who had preceded them.

Of the repeal of the unjust judgment against the liberties of the house of St. Alban's.

In the summer of this year, was repealed and annulled the unjust judgment by which Henry de Mer, a justiciary on circuit, amerced the house of St. Alban's in the sum of a hundred pounds, whilst the queen and Earl Richard were regents of the kingdom, during the king's absence in Gascony.

The letter concerning the repeal of the same.

Henry, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normamdy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting,- Whereas, it appears to us, by an inspection of the charters of our predecessors, the kings of England, which the abbat of St. Alban's holds, that the dependants of the said abbat are not bound to go beyond the liberty of the said abbat on any summons or on any occasion, before any justiciaries or inspectors, we have remitted to the said abbat the hundred pounds in which the town and liberty of St. Alban's were amerced; because those residing in the said liberty did not come before our well-beloved and faithful justiciaries Henry de Mer and William of Wilton at Chesterhunce, which is out of the liberty aforesaid, to make inquiries concerning the violation of exchange, and to amerce the violators of the same. We have also remitted to the said abbat the two marks and a half in which Nicholas the grocer, Alexander Stoyle, William Sandruge, and Reginald the goldsmith, dependants of the said abbat, and parties in the aforesaid liberty, were amerced before the aforesaid Henry and William for the aforesaid transgression. In witness whereof we have granted these our letters patent to the said abbat. Witness, Richard, earl of Cornwall, our brother, at Westminster, this thirteenth day of October, in the thirty-eighth, year of our reign.

The confirmation of the liberties of St. Alban's.

These testimonial letters of the liberties of St. Alban's were sealed with the lesser seal, because the king was then on the continent, the kingdom being under the guardianship of


Earl Richard and the queen; and if the earl or the queen had taken any money for the grant of them, they would have greatly sinned against the martyr Alban, and against their lord the king. Because these and other liberties, granted in times of old by the kings, and confirmed by the pope, were known to have been hitherto held inviolate. But this will be seen by Him from whom nothing lies hid.

Of the stronger confirmation of the same liberties.

And in order that these liberties might be more firmly secured, other letters, in continuation of the above, follow in the book of Additaments, which begin in these terms: "The sheriff of Hereford has rendered an account of a hundred and one pounds from the town of St. Alban's".

Of the false reports contained in letters from Gascony.

Following the above letters in the same book is a short missive from Gascony, in which is contained the following false and deceptive statement. "H., by the grace of God, etc.- Whereas the earls and barons, and other nobles of the kingdom of England, have faithfully promised us to be in London from Easter-day next ensuing for three weeks, well equipped with horses and arms, and prepared to set out without delay to Portsmouth, for the purpose of joining us in Gascony against the king of the Castilles, who is about to make a hostile inroad on our territory of Gascony in the ensuing summer", etc., etc. The bearers of this letter also added, that the said king of Castille had arrived with so many thousand soldiers, that he had no cause to fear all the strength of England or of France. But he could not get there in any way; for if he should presume to move towards the Gascon provinces with such an army, it would be necessary for him to be on friendly terms with the kings whose kingdoms he would have to pass through - for instance, the sovereigns of Navarre, Arragon, and many other chiefs and magnates, none of whom would allow of such a proceeding. Moreover, the Saracens, with whom he was at war, would follow in his track, and would find the land he had taken from them offered as a gift to them as it were. Again, as before mentioned, the fact of his sending for the queen and his eldest son revealed the king of England's cunning deceit; and "The nets which are too clear to the view the bird

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avoids". They grieved then in their hearts, and without hope of comfort, because their lord and governor by so many pretexts endeavoured to ruin his natural subjects, whether by lawful or unlawful means. And who could more quickly or more easily expose the ship to danger than the pilot, who was bound on the contrary to rule the helm?

Of the privilege granted to the abbats of Westminster.

In this same year, a grant was made by King Henry, in his own name, and in the name of his successors, that the [abbats] of Westminster, and their successors [who might appear] before any justiciaries of the king, whether those on circuit or others, should have extracts of the rules of the said justiciaries, concerning the amercements and fines of all kinds inflicted on their dependants, and also of the chattels of their said dependants who are fugitives or condemned; on the condition that the said extracts shall not be delivered to our exchequer, but shall be delivered by the hands of the said justiciaries to the bailiff of the said abbats or convent in whose presence the persons aforesaid shall have been amerced. A charter to this effect was made and granted to them in the year of grace 1252; and in that same year, also, a charter was granted to them to the effect that the conventual assembly should hold whatever belonged to it during a vacancy. Transcripts of these charters are to be found in the book of Additaments. In the same place, also, are to be seen the charters which were granted to the abbat and convent of Waltham, at another period, in the following year, but which did not come to the knowledge of the writer of this book at the time he wished.

How the queen of England made preparations for going to the continent.

As the queen was now preparing to set sail for the continent, the inhabitants of Yarmouth sent a large and handsome ship, manned with thirty skilful sailors, and well armed, to be at the service of the Prince Edward, to convey him and his attendants across the channel in greater security. The people of Winchelsea had prepared some ships for the conveyance of the queen, and finding that the one sent for the prince was much larger and more handsome than theirs, they grew jealous, and treacherously and suddenly made an


attack on it, destroying the ship, and wounding and slaying some of the crew; and in order to palliate their crime, they took the mast of the destroyed vessel, and fitted it to the queen's ship, as though they had acted as they did for her benefit and advantage. The Yarmouth people thereupon made heavy complaints of this proceeding, not only to the queen and to Earl Richard, but also to all the wardens of the Cinque Ports, and with justice roused the whole kingdom to take vengeance for the offence.

How the queen set sail, notwithstanding the king's order to the contrary.

Whilst this unlooked-for disturbance was disturbing the queen's mind, another message and an urgent one, came from the king ordering the queen not to cross the Channel. Thus tormented in two quarters, she said in her vexation, "Troubles arise on all sides; everything is ready for setting sail; I have bade farewell to all; the wind blows most favourably; and shall I go back? No". Then concealing her annoyance at these circumstances, she embarked at Portsmouth on the 29th of May, which was the Friday before Whitsuntide, taking with her her sons Edward and Edmund, attended by forty knights and a noble retinue, and under the conduct of the archbishop of Canterbury, her uncle. She at the same time wrote to Earl Richard, urging him to endeavour with all prudence to settle the discord and excitement which had arisen between the people of the Cinque Ports, as it was fraught with peril to the kingdom; and this was soon after happily effected. The queen arrived safely at Bordeaux on the last day of May. Walter de Gray, archbishop of York, was appointed regent of the kingdom in the queen's stead; but he would not take on himself the office, for he felt himself worn down by old age and disease. Some of the nobles who preferred the delay consequent on a journey by land to going direct by sea,- for instance, John de Warrenne and Edmund de Lacy,- crossed the sea at Dover, and directed their course towards Bordeaux. In this year a remarkable occurrence took place as regarded the wind; which was, that it blew continually from the north-east or the north for three months and some days, and destroyed the fruit and flowers of spring; and about the 1st of July, the time of the solstice, a deluge of rain with most violent hailstorms burst forth,

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such as we had never seen before; and which lasted for an hour and more, tearing away the tiles and laths of the houses, and rending away the branches of the trees.

Of the death of the emperor Frederick's son Henry.

In the month of May, in this year, died Henry, the hope and glory of the English, a youth of remarkably handsome appearance, the son of the emperor Frederick and the empress Isabella, sister to the king of England. He lost his life, as was stated by the enemies of Conrad, king of Sicily, through the machinations of that same king; but this statement does not seem credible, inasmuch as the said king regarded Henry with brotherly affection, and had given proofs of that affection towards him; as he also stated in his answers to the serious accusations brought against him by the pope, that at his death he considered he had lost the chief part of his own person. The real perpetrator of the crime was a most vile wretch, called John the Moor, who poisoned him, and afterwards, whilst still breathing in the agonies of death, strangled him. After the death of his brother, Conrad never wore a calm aspect as formerly.

Of the quarrel between the pope and Conrad, king of Sicily.

In the month of June, in this year, a serious quarrel broke out between the pope and Conrad, king of the Sicilies. For he was an object of hatred to the pope, who, notwithstanding his illness, and that he had been severely rebuked by Bishop Robert, of Lincoln, was but very little, if at all, amended. He accused Conrad of many offences, his hatred to Frederick supplying him with grounds of accusation, for the ashes were not yet without a spark of fire amongst them; but to each of the accusations the king replied with moderation, but flatly and firmly denied them. The pope accused him of being a heretic, and a homicide, one who despised the keys of the Church, and who caused divine services to be perfonned during the time of interdict. He also charged him with having killed one Frederick, his nephew, by poison, and also his brother Henry, by the agency of John the Moor, who first poisoned him, and afterwards, as he was long in dying, strangled him with a napkin.

The pope trumped up these accusations in order to excite and provoke the king of England against Conrad. The


pope's accusations, and Conrad's replies to them, may be found in the book of Additaments, at the mark of the red anchor.

Of the non-observance by the king of the liberties which he so often promised on oath to observe.

The preconceived hopes of the faithful observance of the aforesaid charter and liberties, were thought by all to be resting on firm foundations, because the king, who had oftentimes sworn to observe them as they had been formerly granted by his predecessors, was now of a more mature age, and feared to be involved in the sentence pronounced; but even now, yielding to the advice of evil men, he hesitated not to violate and infringe them, believing that for a sum of money he could obtain absolution for the transgression.

Of the marriage of Edward, the son of the king of England, to the sister of the king of Spain.

About this time, Edward was sent in great pomp and splendour to Alphonso, king of Spain, by whom he was received with all honour and respect. At Burgos, he was united in marriage to the king's young sister Eleanor, and received the honour of knighthood from the king himself, who was well pleased with the handsome appearance and conduct of the young prince. Edward then returned to his father with his newly-married wife, and was received with the greatest rejoicings, as though he had been an angel from God. John Mansell also brought with him a charter from the king of Spain, sealed with gold, by which he, for himself and his heirs, quitted claim to the whole of Gascony to the king of England and his heirs. The king of England then at once gave to his son and his wife the province of Gascony, Ireland, Wales, Bristol, Stanford, and Graham, so that he appeared himself to be a mutilated petty king. From that time, then, the king began his preparations for a speedy return home, as if all matters of difficulty were settled to his wish, although to men of discernment he appeared to have gained no advantage for, but rather to have brought great harm on, the kingdom; for what succour or aid could the king, who was at such a distance, render against the king of France, of whom the English king mostly complained? In fact, he was surrounded on all sides by domestic enemies,

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who plotted against him, and whom he could not well resist, and so many countries and kingdoms intervened and separated him from Gascony. Moreover, the king was acquainted with the manners of the Spanish and their religion; he knew that they were the scum of mankind, that they were ugly in face, contemptible in behaviour, and detestable in their morals. It was also found out by indubitable proofs that, by his futile expedition to Gascony, where he gained nothing except what was his own previously, the king of England had drawn from his kingdom and expended uselessly two millions seven hundred thousand pounds and more, exclusive of the lands and revenues which he had inconsiderately given to unworthy persons, who would do injury to him and to his kingdom, and would utterly devour all the wealth of the country. And, moreover, he gave to his uterine brothers, true Poitevins by birth and manners, thirty thousand marks, besides lands and revenues, wardships, houses, and costly jewels. Thus, and thus alas! it turned out that in the space of a few years, he expended more on his expedition to Poitou, which he lost, and recently to Gascony, which he had great difficulty in retaining, and sowed more money on barren soil than any purchaser or valuer of discretion would give for both countries, if they were exposed for sale. Thus was England deprived of honour and despoiled of her wealth through the idleness of her king, of whom Merlin is reported to have said: "A lynx shall go forth penetrating all things, and which shall be intent on the ruin of its own race". Of a truth did the lynx penetrate everything, since there was not a purse in England that it did not penetrate and shake out the contents. This great and irremediable expenditure of money was made known to him by some one of his intimate friends, and when he heard it, he was struck with astonishment and anger, and he replied, gasping for breath, "By God's head" (to use his accustomed phrase), what was that to him? Let it not be revealed to any one, lest it should create surprise and wonder in the mind of the public.

How the king grasped at the tithes granted to him.

In the mean time, unchecked by the admonitions of good men, the king most greedily longed for the collection of the tithes which had been promised him on conditions by the


community for three years, to enable him to undertake a pilgrimage for the succour of the Holy Land, at the same time paying no regard to the promises he had so often made to observe the charters inviolate, of which mention has been often made previously.

How the bishop of Norwich went to St. Alban's to collect the tithes.

At the festival of the Translation of St. Benedict, by order of the pope, as well as of the king, the bishop of Norwich went to St. Alban's to take tithes of all the property of that church, except the barony, for the use of the king. He therefore convoked all the rectors of churches in the St. Alban's district, as well as the vicars and guardians of the same churches, including even the church of Gopwell, where the nuns lead a life of perpetual seclusion with very slender means of subsistence; as also of the churches of St. Julian and of St. Mary's in the Fields, in the former of which a few wretched monks, and in the latter a poor remnant of nuns, lead a wretched life, with scarcely anything to support existence: and these people were all called together to be strictly taxed, they being put on their oath as to their means of life. He also convoked all who held office under the church of St. Alban's, even the almoners, and made a strict taxation of their property, stating that a strict and careful inquiry and scrutiny would afterwards be held, to see if the computation was unjust; and he also showed the warrants which he held, as well from the pope as from the king. He added, that it was very much against his will that he had undertaken this grievous and burdensome duty, but that he was compelled to do so by virtue of his obedience. And he did perform the duty with the greatest moderation and fidelity. Oh! unheard of novelty! Hitherto laymen usually paid tithes to the prelates; now, by a retrogression and perversion of the order of things, the prelates are compelled against their will, to pay tithes to the laity. They, however, found one consolation under the infliction, in the belief, as was promised them, that the money arising from these tithes would be expended in succouring the Holy Land, to the honour of God and of the Church, and also that the terms of the charters would be observed according to promise; but "hope refreshes, and also deceives the person who conceives it".

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Moreover, before we were informed of it, the Romans and agents of the king, to crown their deceits, by common consent; although privately, added two to the three years; so that the tithes, which were only granted and promised for three years, were now given for five, and on a condition which was not observed on their part.

Of the unusual inundation of the eastern seas.

About this time, some agents of the king arrived from the fair of St. Botulf, and stated that the people in the eastern parts of Europe, whom we call Estrichales and Gutlanenses, had suffered the same calamity as ourselves from the eastern seas, which had passed their usual bounds and covered the coasts to a great distance. What was more wonderful was, that at a distance from the shore, where the sea was usually deep, the water receded, leaving visible a dry sandy spot, like an island, which had never before been shone upon by the rays of the sun. So it appeared as if a contradiction was given to what is read in the psalm concerning the sea: "Thou hast given them a limit which they (that is, the waters) shall not exceed". But we must admit that anything is possible with God, which it is not for man to know. But of such prodigies God has forewarned us, for he says, "There shall be signs in the sun", etc.

Of the French king's return from beyond sea.

About this same time, that is to say, on the festival of the Translation of St. Benedict, the king of France, though against his will, returned from the Holy Land. For his nobles had summoned him with great urgency, for the especial purpose of setting at rest that accursed dissension, provoked by the forwardness of a woman, which had caused the death of more than a hundred thousand men, had made children orphans, and matrons widows, and had reduced a beautiful country, as it were, to a desert. The king, having under God's protection escaped the treachery of some of his enemies by sea, arrived safely in the vicinity of Marseilles, near to Montpellier (where the medicinal science flourishes), and there remained for a time to rest and to recover from the fatigues of his sea-voyage; for he said that he had not yet concluded his pilgrimage, but had only suspended it for a time, and for that reason he wore the symbol of the cross in


public; but he had hastened to his kingdom, he said, at the instance of his nobles. For it was with great difficulty that William of Holland, king of Germany, had been prevailed on to accept of a short truce, and to keep it, without attacking the Flemings and French with his impetuous Germans. The pious French king, on arriving in his own kingdom after the perils he had undergone in a foreign country, by sea, and now in his own country, after all the toils and losses he had suffered, was received with all becoming honour and respect. He immediately set himself to consider of the course to be pursued, either to subdue his enemies near at home by force, or to pacify them by the mediation of justice; but he could not appease so many tempests and whirlwinds without careful and prolonged consultations with his councillors.

Of the death of Hugh, bishop of Ely.

At this time also departed this life the good Hugh, bishop of Ely, and formerly abbat of the church of St. Edmund's, who had worthily fought for the Lord in the two churches for about forty years. He died at his manor on the 9th of August, and his body was carried with much and well-deserved reverence to Ely, where it was buried in his own church, in a magnificent presbytery, which he had founded and built of marble at his own expense. Amongst other works of piety performed by him, he built a large stone palace, covered with a lead roof, at Ely, and also erected some large and noble buildings elsewhere, at the same time, and notwithstanding, preparing for himself a heavenly palace by almsgivings and other deeds of charity. In the same way as he showed his devotion at the spiritual table, that is, the altar, and fountains of tears sprung from his eyes, so at the table for bodily refreshment be showed himself hospitable, profuse, cheerful, and composed. At his death perished the flower of masters and of monks; for as he was the abbat of abbats in England, so he shone forth the bishop of bishops.

Extraordinary thunder and lightning.

On the eve of the feast of the Assumption of the blessed Mary in this year, about six o'clock, in the midst of an unusually heavy fall of rain, a single clap of thunder was heard, and a flash of lightning which accompanied it fell on the tower of St. Peter's church, in St. Alban's penetrated the

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upper part of it with a horrible crash, twisted the oaken material as though it were mere network, and, wonderful to relate, crashed it, so to speak, into small shreds. It left behind it an intolerable stench of smoke throughout the whole of the tower.

Of the election of Thomas Oldbridge to the bishopric of Carlisle.

About the same time, the canons of Carlisle elected Master Thomas Oldbridge as their bishop and pastor of their souls, although the king had made use of the most urgent and imperious entreaties to the chapter, as they valued the advancement of their church, to elect another person, namely, the prior of Newbury, a canon also, a special adviser of his own, and a wise and prudent man.

Of the arrival of some Greek nobles at the court of Rome.

In the summer of this year, some nobles and men of high rank came out of the Greek empire, dressed in rich clothing, riding fine horses, and attended by a well-equipped retinue with about fifty sumpter-horses. These men presented themselves before the pope, and accused him, in harsh terms, of erring enormously in faith, and by his example of inducing all the Latins to do the same; for they, the Latins, say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, whereas, according to the approved opinion of the Greeks, it is affirmed to proceed only from the Father. This is the old error of the Greeks, which the Latins reject and reprobate, being confirmed in their opinion by strong authorities and reasonings, too tedious to mention. Another subject of dispute between them is, whether the terms "procession" and "mission" are identical, or different in their meaning; which we leave to be discussed by arguments.

They also said that simony and usury are inherent in the court of Rome, which they would prove by the most clear proofs and examples; for that which the general report has spread abroad can scarcely be contrary to truth, or at least to human belief. However, it is pious to believe that such acts, perpetrated on the advice of the wicked, ought not to be set down to the pope's decision. Upon being examined as to the articles of their faith and their sacraments, they gave tolerably satiafactory answers, and when they were in a state of doubt, some of them willingly received instruction.


The pope made them presents of some rich garments of scarlet, trimmed with costly furs, and silk belts studded with silver and gold, and with valuable clasps, whereof they might well be proud.

How the pope offered the kingdom of Sicily to the king of England.

About this time, Master Albert returned to the court of Rome, bringing word to the pope that he could in no way influence Earl Richard to accept of the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia, which was offered to him, or to expose himself and all his possessions to risk, unless the pope would first give good hostages from among his own family as security for his good faith; and would, moreover, assist him with a certain sum of money, to be laid out on the expedition, and would also deliver up to him certain fortresses which he the pope held on the frontiers, that he might have safe places of retreat. But the pope seeing the difficulties he would be labouring under by agreeing to these terms, replied: "We will not submit to so many conditions". Master Albert then added: "The earl told me, that if you would not do as above stated, it would be the same as if any one said to him, 'I give or sell you the moon, climb up and take it'. The pope, finding that his hints had no effect with the said earl, subjoined, "We do not care about entering into any treaty with him, or to have anything in common with him"; and as he was satisfied that he had "cast his net before the eyes of the birds in vain", he sent messengers privately to the king of England to work upon his simplicity (as he knew that he was always easy of belief and prone to his own loss), and offered to give him the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia, and to give him such assistance in getting possession of the same, as he could without doing any injury to himself; that, for that purpose, he would divert all the crusaders from their primitive purpose of sailing for the Holy Land, and would induce them all to follow him, the king of England, and to assist him in gaining possession of Sicily and Apulia. The Templars and Hospitallers, the patriarch of Jerusalem, and all the prelates and inhabitants of the Holy Land who were opposed to the enemies of Christ, were grieved to the heart to hear of these proceedings; for they detested the falsehoods of the Roman pontiff and feared worse would happen. The

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king, however, was so exhilarated at the pope's empty promise, and his heart was so puffed np with empty joy, that his exultation showed itself in his voice, gesture, and laugh, and he openly called his son Edmund "king of Sicily", believing the possession of that kingdom to be an accomplished fact. The pope's messenger whispered in his ear not to divulge this secret, lest it should come to the knowledge of his friends, who were aware of the wiles of the Roman court, and that he might thus be put on his guard. The king then sent to the pope all the money he could draw from his treasury, or the exchequer, as well as whatever he could scrape from the Jews, or extort by means of his circuit justiciaries, for the purpose of making war against Conrad, and subjugating the Sicilians and Apulians. As for Conrad, he grieved that the king of England should have fallen into the meshes of the Roman court, and thanked Earl Richard for not having allowed himself to be entrapped; at the same time giving him to understand, that he had acted wisely in not trusting to the promises of the pope, or to his money, for he hinted, that where the earl could find a piece of silver to be expended, he, King Conrad, could expend a piece of gold. But the pope, relying on the abundance of his wealth, was raised to a state of confidence; he raised an immense army of mercenaries in his pay, and intrusted it to the command of Cardinal Octavian, and lavishly distributed money amongst the soldiers, sending word to the king of England, when it failed him, that he wanted money. The latter, obeying the instincts of the devil and of avarice, wrote in reply to the pope, and sent him promissory notes, sealed with the royal seal, authorizing him to borrow money enough, and in abundance, from the Italian merchants, and recommended him not to be afraid of the quantity of money required or the high amount of interest, for that he would acquit him of all the debt, and bound himself so to do under penalty of disinheritance. The pope agreed to all this and accepted his order: whether he acted well, it is for the Lord, the judge of all judgments, and who has the care of all, to decide; it is not for me to judge the pope's acts. He thereupon ordered public proclamation to be made, as if by imperial or royal warrant, calling on all who wanted good pay to join the papal army; for he now had an immense sum of money,

A.D. 1254.] DEATH OF CONRAD. 91

as he had borrowed from the Italian usurers. A large host, therefore, flocked together, for the sake of the pope's pay; composed of low and ignoble Italians, idle and unwarlike creatures, devoid of good faith, who looked not to the advantage of the king of England or of the pope, but were only bent on gorging the money, as the sequel of the affair showed to be the case.

Of the death of Conrad, king of Sicily.

King Conrad in the mean time set himself to oppose the above parties with vigour, and called on his natural subjects, the inhabitants of Sicily and Apulia, fellow-soldiers with him, to stand up bravely and fight for their country, and not to bend their necks to the yoke of foreign masters. Daily he diminished and weakened the pope's army; but the love of the English money increased the multitude of his enemies; for the pope did not spare the king's purse, but spent immense sums, in his desire to conquer the king of Sicily, and to substitute the king of England in the sovereignty of that country in his stead. Yet he wished to remove all from the crown, and to create Edmund sole king, that he might act according to his own will and pleasure with respect to him, as being his creature, and with all that belonged to him. In the mean time the pope defamed King Conrad greatly, accusing him of enormous crimes,- for instance, the murder of his brother Henry,- in order to provoke the king of England and all the English, against him; and charged him with treating the keys of the Church with contempt, and with many other offences, unnecessary to mention, but which are all given in the book of Additaments, and are previously mentioned in this work. The hostility, threats, reproaches, and defamations, heaped on him by the pope, afflicted King Conrad beyond measure, and he began to pine away under the weight of his grief. His malady was also brought on, according to report, by poison administered to him, and he at length took to his deathbed, as it proved, giving vent to his grief in the following words: "Alas! alas! wretched man that I am; why did my mother give me birth? why did my father beget me to be exposed to so many sufferings? The Church, which ought to be a mother to my father and me, is rather a stepmother. The empire, which flourished

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from before the time of Christ's nativity till this time, is now rotting away, and is consigned to oblivion". Then, cursing the day of his birth, he breathed forth his wretched and afflicted spirit.

Of the pope's exultation at King Conrad's death.

When the pope was assured of his death, he exclaimed, with great joy of heart, with a smile on his countenance, and in a voice of exultation, "I am extremely glad, and let all of us, children of the Roman church, rejoice, that two of our greatest enemies are taken from amongst us, the one a churchman, the other a layman; Robert, bishop of Lincoln, and Conrad, king of Sicily". The aforesaid King Conrad died in the month of June, and the pope immediately proceeded in person to the interior provinces of Apulia, and reduced almost the whole of the kingdom to submission to him in a short space of time, and usurped the sovereignty of it; but the nobles of the country, which was formerly a duchy, were highly indignant at this proceeding, and, calling upon a natural son of Frederick's, named Manfred, they united with him, giving him their allegiance, and doing homage to him as their lord. Thus the last error became worse than the first, and the enemies of the pope rose up revived and invigorated.

How two monks of St. Alban's were sent to Rome.

About this same time, also, two monks of the church of St. Alban's were sent to Rome, to resist the insolence of certain bishops, who were endeavouring to hold visitations in the same church, contrary to the terms of their privileges. Those sent on this mission were William of Huntingdon, prior of Heathfield, and the lord John de Bulim, who set out on their journey on the day after the festival of the Assumption of St. Mary, and returned in safety.

Of the sterility of the land, owing to the inundation of the sea.

In this same year, at the autumnal season, when agriculturists usually reaped the reward of their toils, they found all the lands in the vicinity of the sea, though carefully cultivated, to be devoid of any kind of crop, and drenched with brine; for, as before stated, during the winter, the sea had taken possession of the shores and the lands adjacent to


them; so that no corn was visible, nor even did the woods or orchards show their leaves, or blossoms, or fruit. We may imagine the losses of others from the case of one, the prior of Spalding, who could not boast of having gathered one single sheaf of wheat on all his land adjacent to the sea-coast. The trees, also, of the forest, as well as fruit-trees, were so dried up, that they were only fit for cutting down. Flanders, also, and all maritime countries, suffered the same loss; nor did any old man remember to have ever before seen the like. A remarkable fact was noticed during that unusual and extraordinary fluctuation, by sailors and fishermen whilst plying their avocations in many parts of the sea; for they discovered, both whilst lying at anchor and when on a voyage, that the sea left its usual bed or channel, and laid bare sands in the midst of the ocean, where the water was usually of a great depth; but this has been mentioned before.

Of the capture of certain nobles at Pone, in Poitou.

In the mean time, John de Plessets, earl of Warwick, Gilbert Segrave, and other nobles, determined, as everything appeared peaceable in Gascony, to obtain leave to return home. Having, therefore, obtained passports for proceeding in safety through the countries subject to French rule, they took their way with a feeling of security through that country, towards England; and the earl, who was a Norman by birth, determined to travel through Normandy. On their arrival at a city in Poitou, called Pons, which a few years before had been a favourite city of the king's, they were met by the inhabitants with demonstrations of joy, who took them to their dwellings, and made them handsome presents in token of respect. Those with whom they took up their quarters, were, however, told to get possession on the morrow of the arms and weapons which the Englishmen had with them, and not to give them up again; but this was to be done by stealth, and treacherously, according to the custom of the Poitevins. Whilst, then, the earl and Gilbert Segrave were feasting in all security with their entertainers, some of the citizens came running to them, as if in great alarm, and with lies in their mouths, saying: "See, see, your companions and followers have provoked a riot in the city, and we cannot quietly put up with it". In company with the earl and

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Gilbert Segrave, there were then lodging in the city some illustrious Englishmen, including barons and knights, and their followers; amongst whom were Philip Marmim, William Mandim, and many others including about forty knights, besides a greater number of followers, equal in rank to knights; and these would have defended themselves well if they had received any forewarning. As the tumult gained ground, and the cry "To arms" was raised, the guests asked their hosts to give them up their arms at once, which the latter would not do, but kept them shut up out of the way. Suddenly, and in great force, the citizens, armed to the teeth, rushed on their unwary and unarmed guests, and secured them prisoners; nor did it avail them aught to show the passports of the king of France for their safe progress through the country. Some of the party might have got away, but would not do so, unless all who had arrived in company of the earl were allowed to go at liberty. The king of England, on hearing of these events, was much enraged, but did not show it in the way he ought to have done, if he had had the true heart of a king. However, he wrote on their behalf to the citizens of Pons, once his friends and faithful citizens, but they treated his letter with contempt, and detained their prisoners in close custody. The prisoners, during their captivity, suffered the more, because the king of England, their natural lord, had formerly heaped many benefits upon them. Gilbert, a noble and rich man, one of good morals, was there seized with a malady, from which he never afterwards recovered, but dragged on a wretched existence till the time of his death. By this glaring act, the citizens of Pons made perceptible to all, French as well as English, how much treachery lies hid in the hearts of Poitevins.

Of the death of William Cantelupe.

About Michaelmas of this same year, to the grief of many, died William Cantelupe, a rich and handsome young man; and he was the third of the family of Cantelupe who had been taken from amongst us within the space of a few years.

Of an extraordinary mandate of the king.

About the same time, that is to say, on St Edward's day, there emanated from the royal Chancery court the following


extraordinary warrant, from which no good was to be hoped for or expected:-

^Henry, by the grace of God, etc.,- Let a strict inspection be made in the manors of religious orders, as to how many ploughs there may be fit to cultivate the demesne, and how many ordinary ploughs there may be, and whether, from a diminution of them, they can furnish a plough a year, or more or less. Let a like inspection be made as to the precarious ploughs; also let an inquisition be taken as to the computed amount produced by each domain in itself in each year, deducting the necessary expenses incurred; also, let inquisition be taken as to the computed amount of labour done and service rendered yearly by the peasants to their lords, on account of their lands; also, what and how much, and of what kind, are the revenues of them in each of their manors yearly. Let this inquisition be taken by four men of good faith, and who shall be provosts of the place chosen from each of the manors of the religious orders".

Of William of Kilkenny, who filled the office of chancellor.

At this time, the office of chancellor was filled, and the title borne, with moderation and blamelessly, by William of Kilkenny, a clerk and special counsellor of the king, one learned in the law, handsome of mien, and eloquent in discourse.

Of the election of William of Kilkenny to the bishopric of Ely.

Soon after the festival of St. Edward, the monks of Ely elected [as their bishop] Master William of Kilkenny, a discreet and prudent man, and one skilled in the law, who was at the time chancellor to the king, or was performing the duties of the chancellor.

Of the deaths of three abbats.

About this same time, that is to say, within the space of a month and a few odd days, three abbats died in the Marshlands,- a strange and astonishing fact; namely, the abbat of Croyland, the abbat of Thorney, and William of Hacholt, the good abbat of Ramsey, who died on the 17th of October, and who had not held the government of the church of Ramsey for a year.

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Of the thunder and rain in winter.

On the day after the festival of Saints Crispin and Crispian, the ears and hearts of all were disturbed by dreadful thunder, though in the winter, accompanied by a deluge of rain.

Of other commotions of the atmosphere.

In this same year, also, from Ascension-day till that of All Saints, scarcely two or three days passed undisturbed by some commotion of the elements.

Of the inconsolable state of the French king.

The king of the French, cast down in heart and look, refused all consolation: musical instruments afforded him no pleasure; no cheerful or consolatory speeches drew a smile from him; he felt no joy at revisiting his native country and his own kingdom, nor at the respectful salutations ho received, nor at the acknowledgments and gifts made by his subjects to him as their lord; but with downcast looks, and with deep grief and frequent sighs, he thought of his capture [by the Saracens], and through it of the disgrace brought on Christianity in general. At length, a holy and discreet bishop addressed him with words of consolation to this effect: "Beware, my beloved lord and king, of casting yourself into such a life-wearying sorrow; it absorbs spiritual joy, and is the stepmother of souls, for it is a great and incalculable sin, and generates prejudice to the Holy Spirit. Recall to the eye of your thoughts the patience of Job, the endurance of Eustace"; and he related the whole history of both, and how God rewarded each of the two. To this the king, the most pious of earthly kings, replied: "If I was the only one to suffer the trouble and disgrace, and if my sins did not fall upon the Church universal, I could bear it with equanimity; but, woe is me, through me the whole of Christianity is enveloped in confusion and shame". A mass was therefore chanted in honour of the Holy Ghost, that the king might receive consolation from Him who is above all things; and thenceforth he, through the grace of God, accepted wholecome and consolatory admonitions.


How the abbats of the Black order were appointed justiciaries at the king's instance.

At this same time, too, the king sent justiciaries to several parts of England, to hear causes, to give to each one what belonged to him by right, and to free the country from robbers. One of these justiciaries was the abbat of Peterborough, who joined them by virtue of the obedience which he owed, not to God and to the order of St. Benedict, but to his earthly king. He took part with them in the profits of his manors, and perhaps, owing to this, it was done designedly. This occurred not only in the case of the said abbat, but in that of other abbats of the Black order also, to the enormous injury of their rule and profession, as well as of their churches.

How the king paid his debts out of the property of vacant abbacies.

The king, in the mean time, prolonged his stay in Gascony fruitlessly, expending an immense sum of money, not only that which he had, but what he could get, and involved himself and his kingdom, and the English church, in heavy debts; and we think that if Gascony were for sale, it would not realize an amount equal to them; and when he was informed of the deaths of the above-mentioned abbats, and of some other prelates deceased; for instance, the bishop of Ely, the abbat of Selby, and many others whom we do not remember at present, he ordered the possessions of their churches to be rendered up to his treasury, and to be devoted to paying the usurers to whom he was indebted, not fearing the awful sentence pronounced at London. Not in the least, however, did he observe the terms of the charters according to his agreement.

How the king asked permission to return home through France.

About this time, the king prepared for a speedy return home, having effectually arranged terms of peace with the king of Spain. As a voyage by sea was attended with great risk, he determined in preference to take his journey by land, if he could do so without any chance of danger, and could obtain leave of the king of France. He had, also, a wish to see the French kingdom and the cities of it, of

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which he then only knew the names. He therefore sent messengers to the king of France, selecting for the purpose those whom he considered worthy of the errand, and who were held in great favour and esteem; and having succeeded in obtaining permission to do so, he prepared to return home through the kingdom of France.

How the countess of Cornwall crossed the Channel to visit her sisters.

The countess of Cornwall, on hearing that the king of England was about to pass through France, accompanied by the queen her sister, and also that the queen of France, another of her sisters, would meet them, obtained permission of her husband Earl Richard, to meet her two sisters, and set sail attended by a numerous and illustrious retinue, in order that her condition might not appear inferior to her sister's, the queen. Indeed, almost all who accompanied her were illustrious knights, mounted on the best horses, with handsome trappings, clad in rich clothes, and numerously attended, that they might appear worthy of admiration, in the sight of the French.

How the bishop elect of Winchester oppressed his monks.

The king's brother Ailmar, bishop elect of Winchester, in the mean time was practising the most grievous oppressions upon his subject monks; and were one fully to mention them, it would draw forth tears of compassion. He kept them shut up in their church, fasting for three days and more, just before Michaelmas, so that some of them, worn out with hunger and bitterness of spirit, never afterwards recovered their proper state of health. The monks of the convent, therefore, sought safer places of refuge to await better times, and were dispersed in wretchedness; some going to St. Alban's, some to Reading, some to Abingdon, and others to other houses of the Black order, being driven forth as exiles and beggars, and compelled to subsist on the charity of others. On separating, they said to one another with tears, "Justly do we thus suffer, inasmuch as in making our election we feared man rather than God, by raising one utterly unworthy of it to such a high dignity; in the station which so many saints, so many influential persons have previously occupied, we have accepted of a man young in years, who is reported never to have laid


his hand to the rod in the schools, who has never yet heard the rudiments of the arts, or even of grammar; who, without being a bishop, plunders the bishopric he has seized upon; who is ignorant of our language, of the Scriptures, and of all clerical duties; who knows not how to preach, or to receive confessions, or to fulfil any spiritual duty to God". At St. Alban's and the other places they were kindly received, and found the bosom of refuge open to them amongst religious men. The king, who had by his imperious entreaties, and by his improper and unbecoming urgency, advanced the bishop elect to his episcopal dignity, addressed him on behalf of the convent, reproaching him with ingratitude, with having brought on him disgrace in return for the honour conferred, and with having repaid all kinds of evil for manifold benefits; which manner of proceeding was contrary to the king's decided promises. The bishop elect, however, would not listen to the commands or entreaties of the king, but heaped menaces on menaces: in the place of those who had left him, he made monks of illiterate rogues and utterly unworthy persons, to the scandal and disgrace of religion and of the whole monastic order. A certain person was forcibly, owing to his flatteries, installed as prior, who disturbed and upset the whole order of things, whilst the true prior, seeking some place of refuge, went to Rome till the anger of the bishop elect should be calmed down. There, owing to the evident justice of his cause, although without money, he obtained much favour; but all his efforts were rendered ineffectual by the rich presents of the bishop elect {which agency generally perverts justice, especially the justice of Rome). The goods and possessions of that noble church were wasted, the order pined away, and, to our shame be it said, all respect and reverence for religion became of small repute. This was the third church in England which had been given in marriage by the king to foreigners (for the mandate of a prince transgressed the right, and his will violated reason); the noble cathedral church of Hereford,, the still more noble one of Winchester, and foremost of all, that of Canterbury: these three were reckoned to be the most famous churches in England, and ought to have been under the rule and protection of those most worthy amongst the natives of the country. But lest truth should generate

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enemies (wldch is often the case), these things, though true and manifest, must be passed over in silence; for hard is the case of historical writers, who, if they tell the truth, provoke men, and if they commit to writing that which is false, they are not acceptable to the Lord, who separates those who speak truth from flatterers.

How the king indiscreetly pledged himself and his kingdom to the pope.

At this time, too, the king, in a manner neither proper nor advantageous (a deed, too, which he neither could nor ought to have done), pledged himself and his kingdom to the pope, under penalty of disinheritance, for the payment of all the money which he should lay out in his warlike expedition on behalf of him, the king; and urged him not to despair of a supply of money, but to prosecute his undertaking without hesitation, and to check all those who hindered him in his designs; for that he would supply him with abundance of all necessaries from the inexhaustible well of England. Thereupon the pope, who bore no bowels of affection towards England, borrowed largely, indeed wastefully, of the Italian usurers, who go by the name of merchants; and by the extortions of the pope and the cheating of the king, England, now become a slave of the lowest condition, was compelled to pay these debts. But by a just dispensation of God all this immense sum of money so plundered and extorted brought no advantage at all, either to the pope or to the king, as the following narrative will show more fully in its proper time. Oh! how much more laudable, how much more virtuous was the opinion and belief, according to his faith, of that heathen and pagan poet, who, though without faith himself, said, "No good results ensue from sordid booty ill acquired".

Of the death of Pope Innocent the Fourth.

About this same time too, that is, on the day after that of St. Nicholas, Pope Innocent the Fourth died at Naples, having been struck by a twofold disease. For ever since he had received the blow in his side from the shepherd's staff of Robert, bishop of Lincoln, in his anger, as has been mentioned before, he had suffered from incurable pleurisy; and since his army was defeated and dispersed by his enemy Conrad, he never was well, either mentally or bodily, but


sensibly yielded to the influence of death. As he lay betwixt life and death, and saw his relatives standing round him moaning and lamenting, and, as was the custom there, shrieking and tearing their hair and clothes, he raised his eyes, swimming in the dews of death, and said to them, "Why do you weep, wretched beings? Do I not leave you all rich? What more do you require"? and with these words he breathed forth his spirit to undergo the severe judgment of God.

Of an awful vision concerning the same pope.

In the same week in which Pope Innocent the Fourth departed this life, a wonderful vision was seen by a certain cardinal, whose name is suppressed for caution's sake. It appeared to him that he was in heaven before the majesty of the Lord, who was sitting at the judgment-seat, and on whose right hand stood the blessed Virgin his mother, whilst on his left there appeared a woman of noble person and venerable mien. The latter, with arm extended, carried in her left hand a kind of temple, on the front of which was written in letters of gold, "The Church". Before the Divine Majesty was prostrated Innocent the Fourth, who with clasped and upraised hands, and on bended knees, was asking pardon, not judgment. The noble lady, however, spoke against him, saying, "Oh! just judge, give judgment aright, for I accuse this man on three points. Firstly, when you founded the Church on earth, you gifted it with the liberties which proceeded from yourself: this man has rendered her a most abject slave. Secondly, the Church was founded for the salvation of sinners, to gain over the souls of the wretched; but he has made it a money-changer's table. Thirdly, the Church was founded on the firmness of faith, on justice, and on truth; but this man has caused faith and morals to waver, has done away with justice, and overshadowed truth: render me, therefore, a just judgment". Then said the Lord, "Go, and receive your reward according to your deserts"; and thus he was taken away. Terrified at this dreadful sentence, the cardinal awoke crying aloud with fear, and became like one beside himself, and all indeed thought that he was mad; however, as his grief became less he began to narrate the particulars of his vision in full, and

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it became public in that part of the country. This vision {we know not whether it was a creation of fancy or not) greatly alarmed many people, and God grant that it may take effect and chasten and amend their ways.

How Alexander the Fourth was created pope.

Pope Innocent the Fourth being then taken from amongst us, another man was appointed in his stead, who was, according to report, kind and religious, assiduous in prayer, and strict in abstinence, but easily led away by the whisperings of flatterers, and inclined to listen to the wicked suggestions of avaricious persons. He was bishop of Ostia, and nephew of Pope Gregory, lately deceased, who had advanced him to his bishopric; and he now took the name of Alexander the Fourth. Immediately on his creation he wrote to all the prelates of churches, humbly begging them to pray for him, that the Lord might give him the power, the grace, and the will to govern God's church properly, that he might deserve to be entitled a competent vicar of God, and a worthy successor of Peter: and by this new mode of proceeding (for none of the other successors of that apostle ever did so) he gave rise to better hopes in the hearts of many. But his simplicity soon allowed him to be deceived by the cardinal brethren around his person, and, according to report, an extraordinary fraud was practised by the agency of his bull, which is a pledge and testimony of the pope's good faith; however, I do not excuse him in that matter; for a pope ought to be such a man as not to deceive or be deceived; for in a man of such high rank both are reprehensible. By the advice of some persons in whom he reposed heartfelt trust and confidence, and on the persuasions of his predecessor Pope Innocent the Fourth, who at the point of death had urged his cardinals to it, he vigorously continued the war commenced against the partisans of Frederick, and especially against Manfred, the natural though legitimate son of Frederick. As it seemed to the pope difficult to contradict them at the commencement of his reign, he held to be right and agreeable the advice given him by worldly men, and those given to worldly pomps, especially as they told him that it would be absurd and manifestly contrary to the religion of the Church, to allow in the


Christian territories a city inhabited by and crammed full of Saracens, and which Frederick had founded. The pope was determined by this specious pretext, as well as by another course of reasoning, which was, that it would be inhuman to balk the king of England in the hopes, which by the promise of the Church he had conceived, of obtaining the kingdom of Sicily, for the sake of which he had already expended an endless amount of money.

Of the desire of the Romans to destroy Nucera.

When some time since the city above referred to, which was called Nucera, was built by the emperor Frederick, as above stated, and was peopled by infidels, it was, as it were, a house of refuge and a place of trust to him; and he was bitterly reproached for his act, and accused of polluting the Christian religion. To this he replied, having a good plea for defending his fault, that he preferred to expose such people as those to the risks of wars which might arise in the kingdom or the empire, rather than Christians, for the shedding of whose blood he should have to give a strict account before the awful tribunal of the Supreme Judge; the Church therefore allowed it and connived at it. But because in later times it became a place of refuge, and a source of trust and confidence to the lately deceased Conrad, and now, in like manner, a place of refuge and succour to Manfred, it became a sort of thorn in the side of the Roman church. The citizens dwelling in Nucera were infidels, and amongst them were about sixty thousand soldiers ready to engage in war, who were feared the more because it was the custom of the Saracens in war to use poisoned spears, Greek fire, and other nefarious warlike instruments.

Of the ineffectual siege of Nucera.

With the consent of the cardinal brethren, and by the advice of a certain base and traitorous marquis, who made himself a special friend of the Church, as far as regarded appearances, the pope collected a large army, having reassembled that which had been shamefully defeated and dispersed under the command of Cardinal William, the nephew of Pope Innocent the Fourth, lately deceased, whose feeble life the Lord had terminated by a speedy death; and on assembling his force together, he found he had sixty thousand

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fighting men, amongst whom he showered forth copious sums of money, showing no mercy to the king of England's treasury. This numerous and formidable army he intrusted to the command of Cardinal Octavian and the aforesaid marquis, and despatched it for the purpose of destroying the city of Nucera, and of crushing the power of Manfred and his Sicilian and Apulian abettors and allies. On their arrival before the aforesaid city, however, the pope's army dared not attack it, nor did the citizens dare to go out to attack them: therefore, though they had started intent on action, they made no progress, but wasted their time in delays, greatly to the cost and injury of the king of England: they, however, soothed and comforted him with promises of great things.

How the king of England transferred the body of his mother inside the church [of Fontevrault].

About this same time, too, the king arrived at the noble nunnery of Fontevrault, where he offered up his prayers at the tombs of his ancestors, who were buried there. On reaching the tomb of his mother Isabella, which was in the cemetery, he caused her body to be removed inside the church, and having erected a mausoleum over it, he offered thereupon, as well as in other parts of the same church, some silk cloths of great value, thus fulfilling the precept of our Lord, "Honour thy father and thy mother", etc.

How the king went to Pontigny to offer his prayers.

Feeling himself somewhat unwell, he in like manner went to Pontigny, and after praying at the shrine of St. Edmund, he recovered his health. There, too, he made offering of palls and other costly regal gifts.

How the king was permitted to travel through France.

The king of England had long felt an ardent desire to visit the French kingdom, his brother-in-law the king of France, and the queen, who was sister to the queen of England, as also to see the cities and churches, the manners and habits of the French, as well as the French king's famous chapel at Paris, with the extraordinary relics therein contained. He therefore sent special messengers to the French monarch, and obtained free permission and safe conduct; whereupon he at once assembled his household and retinue, and directed his course towards the city of Orleans.


Of his honourable reception throughout all France.

The kind-hearted king of the French in the mean time gave strict orders to the nobles of the country, and to the inhabitants of the cities, through which the king of England would pass, to clear away all dirt, blocks of wood, and everything offensive to the sight, and to decorate the streets with flags, and the fronts of the churches and houses with leaves, boughs of trees, and whatever other ornaments they could; to receive him on his arrival with ringing of bells, music, and other demonstrations of joy, and dressed in holiday clothes, to wait upon him during his stay at any place.

How the French king went to meet him.

The king of the French, on being informed of his arrival,, went to meet him at Chartres, and at sight of one another, they rushed into each other's arms, and after mutual greetings, entered into conversation. The French king, too, liberally ordered ample provision of rich and costly supplies to be made, at his own expense, for the king of England, as long as he should remain in the kingdom, which kindness the latter accepted in part. The king had in his own retinue a thousand handsome horses ridden by men of dignity and rank, besides waggons and sumpter-cattle, as well as a large number of choice horses, the unusual novelty of the array causing great astonishment to the French, and their number wonderfully increased daily, like a river swollen by the torrents; for the queen of the French came, with her sisters the countesses of Anjou and Provence, to meet and exchange greetings with their sisters, the queen of England and the countess of Cornwall, who were with the king of England. Their mother also was present at the meeting, the Countess Beatrice of Provence, who, like another Niobe, could look, with pride on her children; nor was there, amongst the female sex throughout the world, any mother who could boast of such illustrious fruit of the womb as she could in her daughters.

Of the king of England's arrival at Paris.

When the scholars of Paris, especially those of English birth, were informed of the arrival of these great and illustrious kings, queens, and nobles, they suspended for a time

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their reading and disputations, for it was quite a season of festivity, and, diminishing their weekly commons, they bought and got ready tapers, holiday clothes (commonly called "cointises"), and all sorts of things to demonstrate their joy; then, carrying branches of trees and flowers, they went singing, and attended by musical instruments, to meet the approaching visitors; and the united numbers of those arriving and those meeting them, were immense; nor was there ever seen in times past such a gay and festive spectacle as on the present occasion. During the whole of that day and night, and the following day, the whole city was splendidly decorated, and the scholars and citizens passed the time amidst illuminated bowers of leaves and flowers, indulging in songs of joy, and in all the pomps and exultation of this world.

How the king of England took up his abode in the Old Temple.

When the two kings and their attendants (who might well be considered a large army) reached Paris, and were met by such a numerous and distinguished portion of the Parisian community, the French king was highly delighted, and thanked the clerks for paying them so much honour. Then addressing the king of England, he said, "My friend, the city of Paris is placed at your disposal; where will you be pleased to take up your abode? There is my palace in the middle of the city; if you please to take up your abode there, your wish shall be accomplished; or if you would prefer taking up your lodgings at the Old Temple, outside the city, which is more roomy, or anywhere else, it shall be so arranged". The king of England chose for his abode the Old Temple, because his retinue was so numerous, and in that building there was sufficient room to lodge an army. At certain periods and terms, all the Cismontane Templars assembled at that place at their general chapter, and found ample accommodation there; and it is necessary for them all to lodge in one building, for at their chapter they discuas their matters of business during the night. However, although there were so many dwellings in the court there, yet the company now assembled there was so numerous that many were on this occasion obliged to sleep in the open air; the neighbouring houses, extending towards the street called


the "Greve", not even sufficing to lodge them. The horses were placed outside the houses, in buildings better adapted for stables.

How the king of England ordered a feast to be provided for the poor.

The king of England, having selected the Old Temple for his abode, gave orders that early on the following morning, as many poor people as the rooms of that building could hold, should be feasted there; and although the number of those entertained there was immense, they all and each of them were supplied with an abundance of meat, fish, bread, and wine.

Of his visit to the holy places at Paris.

On the morrow, whilst the poor were being supplied with food at seven and nine o'clock, the king of England, under the guidance of the French king, visited the handsome chapel in the palace of the latter, and after inspecting the relics therein deposited, and praying, he made some regal offerings there. In the same way also he visited other famous places in the city, where he prayed with due devotion and made offerings.

How the kings and a great many nobles partook of a banquet together.

And on the same day, as he had prearranged, the French king dined with the king of England and a numerous company, composed of the retinues of the two kings, in the large palace at the Old Temple; and all the apartments of the building were filled with the guests; neither was there any porter or fee-taker at the great door of the hall, or at any entrance; but free ingress was allowed, and a rich repast furnished, to all comers; and the many kinds of meat were sufficient to cause satiety in the consumers. After the meal, the king of England sent to the French nobles at their abodes, rich silver cups, gold clasps, silk belts, and other presents, such as it was proper for so powerful a king to give, and for such nobles to receive with thanks.

Of the splendour of the banquet.

Never in times past was there given such a rich or splendid banquet, even in the time of Esther, of Arthur, or of Charles. For this one was resplendent with the rich variety of the food, the delicious abundance of the drinks, the ready

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attendance of the servants, the orderly disposition of the guests, and the large and handsome presents. At it, too, were present persons held in high reverence and respect, whose superiors it would be impossible, and whose equals, even, it would be difficult, to find in the world.

Of the nobles who were present at the banquet.

This banquet was given in the great hall of the Temple, in which were hung up, according to the continental custom, as many bucklers as the four walls could hold. Amongst others was seen the shield of Richard, king of England, concerning which a witty person present said to the king of England, "Why, my lord, have you invited the French to dine with you in this house? See, there is the shield of the noble-hearted English king Richard; your guests will be unable to eat without fear and trembling". But no more of this. The guests were arranged in the following order. The French king, who is the king of all terrestrial kings, on account of the heavenly unction bestowed on him, as also on account of his power and his eminence in chivalry, sat in the middle, whilst the king of England sat on his right hand, and the king of Navarre on his left. On the French king endeavouring to arrange otherwise, and to place the king of England in the middle and more distinguished seat, the latter said to him, "Not so, my lord king; it is more becoming and proper for you to sit in the middle, for you are my lord, and will be so, and the reason is plain". To this speech the French king replied in a low voice, "Would that every one could obtain his right uninjured, but the pride of the French would not allow it". But enough of this. Next to them sat the dukes, according to their dignity and rank; and there were others, twenty-five in number, who occupied the more distinguished places, being intermixed with the dukes. Besides them, there were twelve bishops present at the banquet, who took precedence of some of the dukes, but were still mingled with the barons. Of the number of illustrious knights present no account was taken. There were eighteen countesses, of whom three were the sisters of the two queens aforesaid; namely, the countess of Cornwall, the countess of Anjou, and the countess of Provence, all of whom were worthy of comparison with queens; also the


Countess Beatrice, the mother of them all. After a rich and splendid feast, although it was a day for eating only fish, the king took up his lodgings for the night following in the French king's large palace, which is in the middle of the city of Paris; for such was the unalterable determination of the latter, who said, jokingly, "Let it be so; for it is proper for me to perform all the duties of courtesy and justice"; and he added with a smile, "I am lord and king in my kingdom, and I will be master of my own house". So the king of England acquiesced.

How the king of England showed himself to the people of Paris.

After the king of England had traversed the street called the "Greve", then a street in the direction of St. Germain l'Auxerrois, and afterwards a large bridge, he examined the handsome houses, which in the city of Paris are made of gypsum, or plaster, and the mansions of three, and even four stories and more, at the windows of which appeared an immense number of people of both sexes. Crowds, also, assembled, rushing in masses, and vying with one another in their endeavours to see the king of England in Paris, and his fame carried to the skies by French, on account of his munificent presents, his hospitality during that day, his munificent almsgiving, as also on account of his select retinue; and again, because the king of France had married one sister, and he, the king of England, another. The pious king of the French, too, said to him, "Have we not married two sisters, and our brothers the others of them? All that shall be born of them, both sons and daughters, will be brothers and sisters. Oh, if there could be such affinity or consangninity amongst the poor, what mutual affection would exist amongst them! by what heart-binding ties would they be united! I grieve, the Lord knows, that our feelings of affection cannot be cemented on all points; but the obstinacy of the barons will not bend itself to my will, for they say that the Normans did not know how to keep their bounds and limits inviolate, and to remain peaceable, therefore you cannot recover your rights". But enough of this. The king of England was accompanied for one day's journey by the French king, and when he had parted from him, it was found out by a correct calculation, that he had laid out a thousand

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pounds of silver in his expenses at Paris, besides almost priceless presents, which be had drawn from his treasury, which was much injured thereby. However, the honour of the king of England, and, in fact, of all the English, was much increased and exalted.

Of the conversation between the two kings.

One day, wbilst the two monarchs were conversing, the king of France said to the king of England, "My friend, how pleasant your conversation is to my ears. Let us enjoy ourselves in talking together; never, perhaps, at any time hereafter shall we have an opportunity of doing so". And he added, "How much bitterness of spirit I endured, whilst on my pilgrimage through love of Christ, it is no easy task to tell you. And though everything turned against me, I return thanks to thee, oh, Most High. On reflection and repeated examination of my heart, I rejoice more in the patience which the Lord in his favour granted to me, than if the whole world were placed in subjection to me".

Of the parting of the two kings.

After the two kings had proceeded together for a day's journey, they parted, previously to which, however, they turned a little out of the road, and held a private conversation in friendly terms. The French king said with a sigh, "Would that the twelve peers of France and the barons would agree to my wishes; we should then be inseparable friends. Our disagreement gives cause of rejoicing and pride to the Romans". Then after mutual kisses and embraces they separated, the king of France returning to his own territory, and the king of England directing his course towards his own country. The latter, on reaching the sea-coast, was obliged to wait, much against his will, for a fair wind (for the sea and the winds were not obedient to him), and during his stay there he visited the church of St. Mary of Boulogne, to see the relics there. At that place died Peter Chacepore, a Poitevin bv birth, a favourite clerk and counsellor of the king, and the queen's treasurer, who ended his life by a happy death.

The year's summary.

This year throughout was abundantly productive in fruit and corn, so that the price of a measure of corn fell to two


shillings; and in like proportion oats, and all other kinds of corn and pulse fell in price, to the benefit of the poor plebeians. To the Italians, French, and Flemings, this year was one of war and hostility, and one of suspicion to England. From the middle of autumn to spring it was troubled by storms, to such a degree that at Bedford more than forty men and an immense number of cattle perished.

How the king remained awaiting a fair wind.

Anno Domini 1255, the king was at Boulogne, on his return from Gascony, awaiting a fair wind to cross the Channel to England. It was the thirty-ninth year of his reign. In the mean time, according to his voluntary custom, he visited and did honour to the relics, of which a large quantity are kept in St. Mary's Church, at Boulogne. There too he caused the body of his fabourite clerk, Peter Chacepore, to be honourably buried, and a solemn funeral service to be performed over it. This same Peter had made a noble will and testament three days before Christmas, by which (amongst other legacies) he bequeathed six hundred marks to purchase land in England, where land and revenues could be more easily procured, and to build on it a church for a religious sect, to consist of regular canons selected from the house of Merton, in order that the Lord might be worthily and creditably served there for ever, and that daily sacrifices might be offered up to God for his soul, and for the souls of all Christians. On the eve of our Lord's Nativity he departed this life. In this year Christmas-day fell on the sixth day of the week, and some persons ate meat out of reverence for Christ; because the Word, become flesh, went forth on that day as a light to the world, whence some one in admiration exclaimed,. "Oh! honour granted to the flesh", etc.

Of the king's return to England.

On the Sunday immediately following, the wind and the sea being favourable, the king embarked, and after a prosperous voyage arrived at Dover. On reaching that place, he was received with joy by Earl Richard, his brother, and other nobles who had come from a long distance on being summoned for the purpose some time before, and had been awaiting on the English coast with great anxiety. On his arrival, they at once made him rich and costly presents, as

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did also the prelates, and especially the abbats and priors, as it was necessary for them to do; for he made urgent and imperious demands, like a man hungering after food. They therefore offered him the most choice and costly gifts of gold and silver, and other things which could captivate the eye and inclination of the beholder. With these the king might have raised a large sum of money, but all together would not suffice to pay all the debts he had contracted, even though it were multiplied a hundred-fold; for his debts were reported to amount to more than three hundred thousand marks.

Of the appointment of H. de Wengham as keeper of the royal seal.

About this same time, the king, having approved of the election of Master William of Kilkenny, who had filled the office of keeper of the royal seal with credit, intrusted the care and custody of the same to Master Henry of Wengham, who was a favourite clerk and counsellor of his, and in whose fidelity he had great confidence.

Of the king's contempt of the gift of the London citizens.

On being certified of the king's arrival, the citizens of London, who had given bountiful alms, and offered up constant prayers for his safety and prosperity whilst he was on the continent, and who had ardently desired his return to England, now met him with joy, and offered him a hundred pounds, which proceeding, owing to its frequent repetition, the king now considered to have become a custom. Considering it therefore not as a gratuitous present, but rather as a payment of what was due, he praised neither the devotion of the citizens nor their present, and would not even return them empty thanks. On being rebuked by one of the bystanders for this ingratitude, he replied, "I do not return thanks to the London citizens, because they bring me what is due to me, and pay me a debt. But let them make me a spontaneous and gratuitous present, some honourable gift, and then I shall with reason return them thanks".

The London citizens endeavour to please the king by another gift.

This being told to the citizens, they, in their desire to satisfy the king's wish, purchased, for two hundred pounds, a most costly cup of wonderful make and material, which happened to be for sale at the time in London, and presented it with


due reverence to the king as a gift of affection. Then, indeed, he did return thanks, but not in proportion to such a handsome present; however, he received the gift, but not with a satisfied and pleased look.

How the king, for a trifling cause, demanded three thousand marks from the London citizens.

A few days afterwards, in consequence of the escape from gaol of a certain clerk, who, according to report, was guilty of murder, and who had been imprisoned at London, the king instituted severe proceedings against the citizens of London, and demanded of them (although the cause was slight and trifling) the sum of three thousand marks under the name of talliage, and for punishment, because they did not guard their prison more carefully. A certain man of letters, who was accused of the murder of a prior of the Black order on the continent, was imprisoned in England in Newgate, but made his escape. The queen, of whom the prior had pretended to be a blood-relation, was enraged at this, insisted on revenge, and complained to the king. The fugitive fled to his brothers of the order of Minors, who opened the bosom of compassion to him, received him amongst them, and shaving off his hair, conferred on him the habit of their religious order, whereupon the citizens became enraged, and vented their anger upon the brethren to their great injury, for having sheltered the fugitive. When cited by the king in the matter, they replied, although in the greatest alarm, that he himself had given up the prisoner to the bishop of London, who demanded him as being an ordained clerk; that the bishop, not having a proper place of incarceration, had begged of them to allow him the use of the prison of Newgate, as being strong and secure, that the prisoner might be kept there in safety until he could be tried, and a determination could be come to as to what ought to be done with him. That they, the citizens, out of civility granted the bishop's request, and that, in the mean time, the prisoner deceived the keepers placed over him by the bishop, and escaped; wherefore the blame for his escape, they submitted, ought not to be imputed to the citizens. They therefore humbly entreated the king mercifully to relax his anger, which he had inconsiderately, and without provocation

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on their part, conceived against them, to recall to mind the devotion of the citizens towards him, and also the liberties of the city, which he was bound to preserve inviolate by repeated oaths, charters, and sentences of excommmunication. The king, however, was inflamed with fiercer anger, and swore a dreadful oath that he would exact so much or more from the citizens, called them slaves, and even ordered some of them to be seized and imprisoned.

The death of Arnold du Bois.

On the 6th of February in this year died the noble Arnold du Bois, one of the high foresters of England; a man brave in war, eloquent of speech, and endowed with the best of morals. He was buried in the abbey of the Cistercian order at Becclesden, before the high altar.

How the Jews were despoiled of their money.

When Lent drew near, the king with great urgency demanded from the oft-impoverished Jews the immediate payment to him of eight thousand marks, on pain of being hung in case of nonpayment. Seeing that nothing but ruin and destruction were impending, the Jews unanimously replied to this demand in the following terms: "Your Majesty, we see that you spare neither Christians nor Jews, but make it your business on divers pretexts to impoverish all: no hope remains to us of breathing freely; the pope's usurers have supplanted us; therefore permit us to depart from your kingdom under safe conduct, and we will seek another abode of some kind or other". When the king was told of this speech, he exclaimed in a querulous tone, "It is no wonder that I covet money, for it is dreadful to think of the debts in which I am involved. By God's head! they amount to a sum of two hundred thousand marks; nay, were I to say three, I should not exceed the bounds of truth. I am deceived on all sides. I am a mutilated and diminished king; yea indeed, I am now crushed into pieces: for on making a strict calculation of revenues and expenditure, the yearly revenue of my son Edward amounts to more than fifteen thousand marks; I am therefore under the necessity of living on money obtained in all quarters, from whomsoever and in what manner soever I can acquire it". Becoming, then, a second Titus or Vespasian, he sold the Jews for


some years to his brother Earl Richard, that the earl might disembowel those whom the king had skinned. However, the earl spared them out of consideration for the diminution of their power, and their ignominious poverty.

How Earl Richard lent the king a large sum of money.

Earl Richard, at the urgent request of his brother, and considering his great need of it, lent him a large amount of money, receiving from him, however, security, in gold.

Of the prolonged deluges of rain.

In this year, from St. Valentine's day for a month following, the wind blew violently, attended by deluges of rain both day and night, causing great commotion not only on land but also on the sea.

Of a wonderful sea monster.

During that same time the sea cast up in the districts belonging to the diocese of Norwich an immense sea monster, which was disturbed by the violent commotions of the waves and was killed, as was believed, by the blows and wounds it received. This monster was larger than a whale, but was not considered to be of the whale kind: its carcass enriched the whole adjacent country.

Of an elephant in England.

About this same time, too, an elephant was sent to England by the French king as a present to the king of England. We believe that this was the only elephant ever seen in England, or even in the countries on this side the Alps; wherefore the people flocked together to see the novel sight. The French queen, Margaret, also gave to the king of England a peacock, that is to say a curious washing-basin, which was in the shape of a peacock, in which was inserted a precious stone commonly called a pearl. Besides this, other ornaments were artificially worked in the body of the bird in gold and silver, with saphires aiso, so as to resemble a real peacock when he spreads his tail in a circle. So richly was this jewel ornamented, and so new and wonderful was the workmanship, that it created admiration in the eyes of all beholders.

How the king went to St. Alban's.

On the ninth of March in this year, whilst his son Edward

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was in Goscony, the king went to Saint Alban's, and remained there for six days, during which time he daily and nightly prayed devoutly, and with tapers lighted, to Saint Alban, as chief martyr of the kingdom, on behalf of himself, his son Edward, and other of his friends. He also made an offering to God and to the blessed martyr of two costly cloaks which we call baudkins, and a handsome choral cape ornamented with gold. And it should be remarked, that no king of England, not even King Offa himself, the founder of the convent of St. Alban's, nor any of his predecessors, nor indeed all of them together, had ever contributed so many palls to ornament the walls of that church, as Henry the Third, king of England, had alone given, as is entered in the small book in the said church, and in which a full account is given of the palls, rings, and costly jewels.

Of the murder of a certain knight for the sake of his inheritance.

During Passion-week of this year, one William, the degenerate and wicked son of a knight, caused the death of his father, in order to obtain his inheritance sooner, and being convicted of the crime, was dragged to the gallows at London and hung. Owing to the heinousness of his crime, in having dared to commit parricide in Passion-week, his corpse was not allowed burial, but, unpitied by any, was left to be devoured by the dogs and birds of prey; nor did it obtain the rites of Christian burial. The name of the murdered knight was John, surnamed de Seldeford; and he belonged to the liberty of St. Alban's. Thus is explained the happy saying of the poet, when speaking of those who caress, exalt, and enrich their heirs as themselves, or rather more than themselves, who says, "He who for the sake of his heir is sparing and strict to himself is akin to a fool". Together with the aforesaid knight John, was slain a regular canon, who was chaplain to him.

Of the miracles worked at the tomb of St. Robert, at Lincoln.

At this same time also, many and divers manifest and well-attested miracles were performed in the church of Lincoln; and as if the ancient holy confessors, the bishops Remigius and Hugh, were rejoicing with St. Robert, who had lately departed to the Lord, they vied with each other in bestowing their favours on Christians; and out of the many miracles, which would be too numerous to mention, much more


to write, there are now twenty manifest ones, which have been carefully examined and approved before influential and credible persons, in the chapter of Lincoln (for we know that the falsehoods of those in office are displeasing to God). And thy testimonies, oh Lord God, are credible indeed. And now is verified what happened to a certain person, one worthy of belief, in a vision by night (not a mere creation of the fancy), during the life of the said bishop of Lincoln, about four years before his death. He seems plainly to hear a voice clearly and distinctly uttering the following words: "The Lord loved Edmund in the odour of his kindness; and the Lord loved Robert in the odour of his faith"; and he was allowed to know this in spirit, that he might understand that these words were spoken concerning the blessed bishops and confessors Edmund and Robert.

Of the vision of Pope Alexander.

In Lent of this year, as we have been told for a fact, a vision was seen by Pope Alexander as he was lying in a sound sleep one night, after the fatigues of the day. It appeared to him that he was taken to a large and spacious palace below, in an elevated part of which sat a man of authority and imposing aspect, as also a woman of venerable appearance and mien; with a numerous body of attendants around them on all sides. On a sudden, a kind of bier was brought before them by some foul-looking bearers, whereon lay a despicable-looking corpse. The corpse then arose, and prostrating itself before him who sat in the elevated seat, as if it were a sort of judgment-seat, said in a lamentable voice, "Most mighty and most pious God, have mercy on me". In reply to this prayer, the judge remaining silent, the woman said, "The time for repentance and mercy is past; now has arrived thy time for judgment. Thy prayers are unseasonable and importunate, which is to be lamented. Woe to thee; for thou will find, not mercy, but the judgment thou hast merited. During thy life thou hast disturbed the church of God; thou hast become a man of the flesh; and thou hast disdained, annulled, and invalidated the holy decrees, and the benefits conferred by thy holy predecessors, to their injury; wherefore with justice thy acts are adjudged to be annulled". At these words, he who sat as judge assumed a severe look, and speaking in a terrible

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voice, said to the bearers of the bier, "When I have taken time, I will judge him according to the laws of justice. His time is past, and the time of judgment has arrived for him". And, added the judge, "Go and receive a fitting reward according to thy works". Scarcely was this sentence pronounced, when he was borne away quickly from the presence of the judge to a place not to be determined on by us; but as it is pious to believe, probably to purgatory. And when Pope Alexander, to whom this vision (whether real or a creation of the fancy) was revealed, inquired, as he did in a low and tremulous voice, of his guide, who that wretched being was? he was answered, "It is the lately-deceased Pope Innocent, formerly called Sinebald, who departed from the world pining away with grief, not for his sins, but for the defeat and destruction of his army". After seeing and hearing all this, Pope Alexander (who was the immediate successor of the aforesaid Innocent) awoke from his sleep (if sleep it could be called) in great horror and alarm, and becoming almost deprived of his senses, it was some days before he was restored to health. From that time, therefere, this pious pope ordered alms to be given and masses to be celebrated in behalf of the deceased Innocent, and revoked some of his acts, in order to obtain a mitigation of his punishment. If any one offered him rich presents to obtain any church which he wished for, Pope Alexander replied "No, brother, the vender of churches is dead". From that time, too, he asked the favour of the prayers of the prelates, and wrote to many of them as before stated. It is, however, believed that, if he had not been alarmed and amended by this vision, he would have been more severely brought to account before the Lord; but God chose to make this revelation to him, as it is believed, to warn and amend him, as an indication of his paternal affection. The pope, too, immediately decreed that any clerk who should be apprehended for any crime demanding bodily punishment, should be deprived of ecclesiastical privileges, if he was not under clerical and legitimate censure.

Of the general desire to form an alliance with the king of England.

About this same time, William of Holland, desiring to cram his coffers as many others have done, with money, the chief


object of his desires, sent special messengers to the king of England, begging for an alliance with him by reason of their relationship; and at the same time, too, John of Avesnes came over from Flanders in haste, with a most urgent entreaty to the king to assist him in his war. The king, however, declared that he was occupied with affairs of difficulty connected with the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia, and he did not wish to distract his mind by attending to different matters at once, but to finish off one matter first and then another, in their proper order, and thus bring them to a favourable termination.

Of the great parliament held at London.

In the fortnight of Easter, which is commonly called Hokeday, all the nobles of England, ecclesiastics as well as laymen, assembled at London; and never before was such a numerous host seen assembled together there. At this meeting (to sum up much in a few words) the king complained that he was involved in many debts, and that he could not extricate himself without effectual assistance from his nobles, wherefore he vehemently and urgently asked for pecuniary assistance, proposing that he would receive the full portion of the tithe which had been previously granted from the baronies to aid him, and that he would be bound to return full and proper thanks for the same; which proceeding would clearly be the ruin of the kingdom; for when deprived of all its money it would be exposed and abandoned to all who might wish to take possession of it. As this course was not to be endured on any account, the assembly took counsel, and it was decided amongst them that they would take on themselves a heavy burden to obtain the observance, from that time forward and without any cavilling, of the great charter, which he had so often promised and sworn to observe, binding himself so to do on his soul in the most formal manner. They, moreover, demanded permission to choose for themselves, by the general opinion of the kingdom, a justiciary, chancellor, and treasurer, as had been the custom from times of old, and as was justly their right, and that they should not be removed from their offices unless for palpable fault, and then after due deliberation, and by the common consent of the kingdom in general, to be declared

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in council assembled: for there were so many petty kings in England that the old times seemed to be renewed there, and it was a sad sight to see grief reigning amongst the people. Indeed, the prelates and nobles did not know how to secure their Proteus, meaning the king, even though they should make all these concessions; for in all his actions he exceeded the bounds of truth; and where there is no truth, no fixed and certain reliance can be placed. Besides, the assembly had heard from the king's private chamberlains, that he would on no account grant their requests in the matter of the justiciary, chancellor, or treasurer. Again, the prelates were overcome with grief at being compelled, owing to the utterly servile condition to which the Church was reduced, to pay the tithe, which they had only promised on certain conditions; and the nobles were cut to the heart by the impending extortion. At length they came to the unanimous decision to send word to the king on behalf of the community, that the affair must stand over till Michaelmas, in order that they might have proofs of his kindness and his good faith in the mean time; so that if he should gain their goodwill and should reward their patience by observing the conditions of the charter so often promised and so often redeemed, they would, as far as lay in their power, obey his will and aid him in his time of necessity. These conditions the king, as is reported, did not accept, but showed by his silence that he did not agree to them. Thus, after many and protracted useless discussions, the council broke up in discomfort and despair, and the nobles, now become ignoble, returned to their homes.

Of the inclemency of the weather during the sitting of the Parliament.

The weather at this time was quite unseasonable, the north wind, which is a great enemy to the budding flowers and trees, blowing during nearly the whole spring. Throughout the whole month of April, too, neither rain nor dew moistened, or afforded the least refreshment to the parched earth. For a long time the nobles had fasted day after day, uselessly beating the air, and many of them were seized with divers kinds of disease and sickness. The atmosphere, dried up by the blasts of the north and the equinoctial winds, assumed a citron-like colour, and generated much sickness.

A.D. 1255.] GREAT DROUGHT. 121

Of the death of Walter de Gray, archbishop of York.

Walter de Gray, archbishop of York, who like the rest was oppressed by various troubles and anxieties during the aforesaid parliament, was seized with a disease in the brain from daily fastings, and for the sake of recovering his health after his fatigues and fruitless labours went to Fulham, a manor belonging to the bishop of London, at the request of the said bishop. But worn out by old age, as well as by grief and fatigue from his late labours, he lost his appetite entirely and became extremely weak; and on the third day after his arrival at Fulham he died, after receiving all the sacraments, which form part of the duty of a Christian. He had correctly governed his church of York for about forty years (that is to say, there were only three months and three weeks wanting to make up that period), and he would even have governed the kingdom irreproachably. He went the way of all flesh on the first of May.

How the body of the aforesaid archbishop was taken to York and buried there.

After his body had been dissected, it was carried with all honour to York, under the charge of Walter, bishop of Durham, his suffragan, who fulfilled every duty of humanity and respect, as became him, towards the body of such a high prelate, by almsgivings and the performance of daily obsequies. The body was at length consigned to the tomb with all due honour in the church of York.

Of the great drought.

In this same summer a drought prevailed, owing to the continuance of the equinoctial winds, which altogether stopped the dews of the morning and checked those of the evening, and continued from the middle of March to the first of June. One might see the grains of corn lying in the dust whole, and not decaying as usual, so as to shoot and give increase. At length, however, by the kindness of Him who rains on the just and the unjust, the earth with its half-dead roots and seeds was refreshed by a seasonable supply of rain and dew, so that by the grace of God, the drought was turned to a living freshness, and all places revived, giving promise of abundant fruits and crops.

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Of the miracles worked in the churches of Lincoln and Chichester.

About the same time, the churches of Lincoln and Chichester became famous from the frequent miracles worked there, to the glory of God, and to the honour of the holy pontiffs Robert and Richard. In the church of Lincoln twenty miracles shone forth as evident, on being examined into, not to speak of the others, which are innumerable. And in the church of Chichester an equal number, or more, were made manifest, and every day added to their number; and if anyone desires to see an account of those examined into, he can find writings concerning them in the church of St. Alban's.

Of the appointment of an archdeacon of Lincoln in lieu of William Wolff.

About the same time, too, Master Hugh de Mortimer, an official of the house of Canterbury, sent orders to the chapter of Lincoln to annul the election of William Wolff, lately appointed archdeacon of Lincoln, and to appoint another in his stead without delay; if not, he, Master Hugh, would, by virtue of the apostolic authority, and that of his lord of Canterbury, do so himself, and would punish the canons for disobedience. In obedience to these orders, therefore, the canons elected a new archdeacon, and Master William boldly standing up for the liberty of his church, endured all this with patience, and fled to the bosom of the pope's clemency, which is usually open to the afflicted.

Of the destruction of the pope's army.

About this same time, Pope Alexander, who adhered to the steps of his predecessor Innocent in prosecuting the business connected with the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia, sent Cardinal Octavian with a large army, consisting of sixty thousand armed men, to utterly destroy the city of Nucera, together with Manfred, who was hidden there, and all its inhabitants. There were in that city more than sixty thousand infidel Saracens, whom the emperor Frederick had assembled for the purpose of exposing them to the dubious chances of war, and to whom he had given that city for a place of abode; and this city now opened the bosom of refuge to Manfred and some other partisans of Frederick.


Octavian, therefore, arranged his troops in order, assisted by a certain clever and warlike marquis (on whose advice and assistance the entire papal army depended), and both he and the pope entertained great hopes that they would obtain their ends; but when this invincible army, as they thought it, approached to within a few miles of the city, a sudden alarm and panic fell upon both parties, so that the citizens did not dare to sally forth and attack the invaders, nor did the latter dare to attack the citizens or the city; and thus for many days they wasted their time uselessly. The papal army was numerous and formidable, receiving large amounts in daily pay from the coffers of the king of England, and indulging in greater expectations owing to the pope's promises. Such had been the orders and arrangements of Pope Innocent, lately deceased; and all these proceedings took their rise with him, and were carried out by the cardinals. After a long delay, in which both sides lay idle, this traitorous marquis, who had a large body of followers in the army, went to Octavian, and said, "Why, my lord, do we stand idle here so long? We are wasting an immense sum of money. Let one-third of the army go away; for neither Manfred nor his army will dare to sally forth from the city. They are closely besieged, and a very small force will suffice to keep them in check and in alarm". Again, as the citizens did not make a sally, did this same marquis diminish the pope's army, till scarcely ten or twelve thousand soldiers remained with them. Then, one night, mounting a swift horse, he went to the city of Nucera, and addressing himself to Manfred, said, "My dearest friend, you have been given to understand that I have injured you, and that I am still ready to do so; I wonder that you will lend your ear to such underhanded statements, or put faith in them in any way. Your highness knows how faithfully in times of danger I have rendered service to your father, the emperor Frederick; and how could I persecute the son of my beloved lord, your revered father? You will at once find out the devotion and fidelity I have long conceived towards you. The papal army is diminished by my agency, and scarcely ten thousand fighting men remain with Octavian, and of them the greater portion belong to me. Do not delay. Let all who are faithful to you in the city arm themselves at

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once and follow me closely. You shall soon dispose of Octavian and his followers as you may think fit". Manfred thereupon sallied forth from the city, attended by his followers and all the citizens armed to the teeth, and assembling in numbers equal to a large army, they approached the papal troops with the rapidity of a whirlwind. But whilst they were indulging in the hope of seizing all their enemies like birds caught in a net, at that very time Octavian was warned by some friend of what was about to take place, and made his escape, although with difficulty; while his army, with the exception of the marquis's followers and friends, were slain, or made prisoners, or dispersed. After this triumph, Manfred began to prosper day after day, to the great confusion of the Church; whilst the pope and the whole Roman church were overwhelmed with grief at the news, particularly because the Church had promised the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia to the king of England for the benefit of his son Edmund, to whom the pope had transmitted the ring of investiture by the bishop of Boulogne; and because his advisers had thrown the money of England into a pit, to the irremediable ruin of that country. The said bishop, who had already crossed the mountains, made all haste to reach England, knowing that he should please the king, and receive rich presents; but he was entirely ignorant of the above-mentioned catastrophe, and was elate with false and empty joy and exultation.

Ludit (enim) in humanis divina potentia rebus.
[The power divine thus sports with human things.]

An apostrophe of lamentations on the iniquity of the Roman court.

How sterile thy anxiety! how blind thy ambition! oh, court of Rome, which, holy as thou art, art too often deceived by the counsel of the wicked. Why dost thou not check thy violence with the curb of discretion? why art thou not taught by the past and amended by so many calamities? Lo! by thy losses we all are punished, for we all suffer together, and we all feel the general scandal and reproach. Now thou hast attempted to create two emperors in Germany, in promoting whom thou wast obliged to expend immense sums of money plundered from all directions, though both parties were uncertain of that high position.


And now in Apulia the papal army has been twice disgracefully destroyed; once under the command of Cardinal William, and now again under the command or lieutenancy of Cardinal Octavian; whereby all the children of the universal Church are overwhelmed with losses, covered with disgrace, and cut to the heart with grief. To sum up in few words, the universal Church, which the Roman court is bound to defend and protect, complains that it is aggrieved in many points by her.

Of the proclamation concerning the observance of the charter of the liberties of England.

About this same time proclamation was made in the counties, in the synods, in churches, and wherever people assembled, that the great charter, granted by King John, and which the present king had many times confirmed the grant of, should be observed inviolate; and sentence of excommunication was solemnly pronounced against all violators thereof. To this, however, the king still paid no attention, but inhumanly made away with the property of the church of York. Frequently, too, he said, "Why do not these bishops and nobles of my kingdom observe towards those subject to them, this charter about which they make such outcry and complaint"? To this he received the following reasonable reply: "Your majesty, it becomes you to set an example of observing your oath, and others will follow it, for as the poet says:-

Mobile versatur semper cum principe vulgus".

[Where'er the prince his footsteps bends,
There too the fickle mob attends.]

Of the accusations made against Robert Ross and John Baliol.

About the same time, too, a serious accusation was made against Robert Ross and John Baliol, of having acted un-faithfully and unjustly towards the kingdom of Scotland, as well as the king and queen of that country, the guardianship of which had been intrusted to them. The king at that time was at Nottingham, in the northern provinces of England.

How Reginald Bath, a physician, made accusations against the Scots.

There was a certain physician named Reginald Bath, well skilled in the medicinal art, who had been sent to take care

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of the bodily health of the queen of Scotland by the queen of England, who was exceedingly anxious for the safety and well-doing of her daughter the said queen of Scotland, and her husband the king, whom she loved as an adopted child. When this said Master Reginald arrived at the castle of Damsels, commonly called Edinburgh, he explained the cause of his coming, and showed letters from the king and queen of England, bearing evidence to the same, and was received with kindness. On being left alone with the queen, as was the custom with physicians, he inquired what was the cause of her vexation and paleness, for he found her sad; to which she replied. "It is as proper to disclose to a physician the secrets of the body, as it is to reveal the secrets of the heart to a priest". When Master Reginald understood her mental and bodily troubles, he severely blamed her guardians and attendants; and after much abuse and mutual reproaches, and even threats, he accused all the nobles and the guardians of the king, queen, and kingdom, of treason, and threatened them with punishment for the same. A few days afterwards, this physician Reginald was seized with a mortal complaint, and took to his bed; and there were some evil-minded persons who said that he was poisoned. When he saw that he was drawing near to the gates of death, Reginald wrote to the king as well as to the queen, stating that he had come to Scotland under an unlucky star, for that he had seen their daughter traitorously and inhumanly treated amongst those unworthy Scots, and that, because he reproached them, these creatures of the north had poisoned him. When the king received this intelligence, he was highly enraged, and meditated in silence on vengeance for this great offence. When this physician had thus vomited forth the poison of discord, the origin of future evils and irreparable injury, he breathed forth his wretched spirit.

Of the poverty of certain churches in England.

About the same time the church of Canterbury was visited with great trouble and oppression, deservedly brought on it by the proceedings of its children, the monks of the said chuch; for though she by right held the first place in England, she had rejected noble and deserving men, natives of the country, and had accepted of a foreigner as her guardian. It was not, therefore, undeservedly that those who thus


acted fell into a state of poverty, so much so indeed, that thery were involved in debts to the amount of more than four thousand marks. As ruin was impending over their church the monks, to prevent their falling into an abyss of confusion, gave over six of their best manors to the care of one John de Gatesden, a knight, to hold them, on terms advantageous to him, but most injurious and oppressive to themselves, until the debts should be liquidated. In the same way, also, the priory of Rochester, which was involved in endless debts, was pledged to the said John and to other creditors, the monks there diminishing their allowance of food and clothing, and scarcely retaining for themselves the necessaries of life. Again, the noble priory of St. Swithin, at Winchester, was borne down with irreparable losses; but its wounds were deservedly inflicted, for, preferring the favour of the king to a proper fear of God, it had chosen a pastor utterly unfit for the government of such an important church: for the bishop elect had thrust in a certain prior, and had dispersed the monks, and had admitted to the monastic order and habit some illiterate and good-for-nothing persons in the places of those driven away, men who ought to have been rejected rather than selected; a proceeding which tended to the disgrace of religion and monastic probity; in fact, thirteen men who were monks in naught but wearing the cowl. Why should I mention the confusion and trouble of the conventual church of St. Mary at York, and of other noble churches, but to show that the anger of God was manifested towards men, owing to the accumulation of their sins?

Of an extraordinary eclipse of the moon.

And in order that the condition of the heavenly bodies might not differ from that of those below, the moon underwent an extraordinary and unusual total eclipse in the month of June, during the night following St. Margaret's day. The eclipse began two hours before midnight, and lasted for nearly four hours.

Of the death of Warren de Montchensil.

About the same time died the noble Baron Warren de Montchensil, who was the most noble and the wisest, or at least one of the wisest and most noble, of all the nobles of England. This same Warren was a zealous advocate of peace, and of the liberties of the kingdom; and at his death the

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strongest pillar of the kingdom tottered. He was, moreover, possessed of a large sum of money, and his testamental property was stated to amount to two hundred thousand marks and more. The king inunediately intrusted the guardianship of his heir William, to William de Valence, his own uterine brother, who had married the daughter of the aforesaid Warren, to become his son-in-law. And thus, alas! the nobility of the English daily died away.

Of the sickness of John the Frenchman.

John the Frenchman, one of the principal clerks and counsellors of the king, was just now seized with incurable palsy; but this gave rise to no tears of pity and sorrow amongst the monks of the convents of St. Mary at York and of Selby.

Of the departure of John de Gray from court.

At this same time, also, John de Gray, knight, a modest and discreet man, perhaps chastened and taught wisdom, withdrew from the councils of the king and the mazes of the court.

How the king went to Scotland, being instigated to do so by the complaints of his daughter.

About this time the king was more and more disturbed and harassed by the daily complaints of the queen of Scotland and her attendants; he therefore assembled an army, and directed his march towards Scotland, with the intention of demanding a strict account from Robert Ross and John Baliol, knights, men of great power and influence: for he was informed, as he said, by repeated private messages from his friends, that they had, contrary to their promises to him, governed the kingdom of Scotland improperly, and ill-treated the king and queen. As he drew near Scotland, he sent Richard, earl of Gloucester, and John Mansell, a favourite clerk and adviser, in advance of him, to find out if Robert Ross had justified the outcry of complaint by his acts, and if he presumed contumaciously to defend his error and the crime imputed to him, and to kick against the spur. The earl and John therefore went on in advance, according to the king's orders, accompanied by a picked and numerous escort; and being informed that the king and queen of the Scots were then staying in the castle of Damsels, they went


there at once without causing any excitement; and dismissing their attendants with orders to follow them at a distance, they passed themselves off as humble knights of the household of Robert de Ros; and thus deceiving the porter and the rest of the guards, they made their way into the castle. Soon afterwards their attendants followed them, and thus they formed a strong body, so that if those who were left in the castle to guard it should attack them, the intruders might have no cause of fear. The queen of Scots then went to them with confidence, bitterly complaining that she was improperly kept in custody, or rather imprisoned, in that castle, a sad and solitary place, devoid of wholesome air and out of sight of the green fields, as the castle was near the sea. She stated, also, that she was not allowed to travel through her kingdom, or to have special attendants, or even to keep the young women she wished as ladies of the chamber to wait on her; neither was her husband permitted access to her, or to enjoy the privileges of a husband. If any other secret grief was added to these complaints, it is not known. The earl and John, then, being men of eloquence and discretion, endeavoured to soothe her, and checking her tears and lamentations, consoled her by promising that certain punishment should be inflicted for these offences; and they at once arranged matters for the king and queen of Scotland to sleep together in one bed, as husband and wife. Robert de Ros was especially summoned to appear at the court of the king of England, to answer the complaints made against him; but being in fear for himself, he at first kept out of the way; however, becoming afterwards more humble, he obeyed, and went thither. Some of the Scotch nobles, indeed, were indignant that the earl and John had so suddenly, and without opposition from any one, gained access to their castle, which is at the entrance to their territory, and is a sort of barrier of protection to the whole kingdom; and, bent on vengeance, they approached the castle with a numerous body of followers, and surrounded it. But when they learned that they were safe, and that it was folly to besiege their king and queen, they withdrew, and thus everything was peaceably settled. Robert de Ros promised, on certain conditions, to come to the king's court to answer to the charges made against him; but the king, by the

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advice of the friends who followed his fortunes, seized his lands and consigned them to strict guardianship.

Of a dispute between the university of Paris and the Preacher brethren.

About the same time, too, a serious dispute arose between the community of scholars at Paris and the Preacher brethren, living there; for the latter, contrary to the old established custom of the city and university, and without the consent of the same, purposed to increase the number of lecturers in theology, hitherto limited. At length, notwithstanding the French king, as well as the citizens of Paris, endeavoured to preserve the liberties of the university, these Preachers, who were devoted to the pope, and who, owing to the many and divers services rendered to the court of Rome, were full of favour in its eyes, gained the best of this quarrel. The pope therefore gave his decision in favour of the Preachers and all other religious men, to the effect that they should be at liberty to lecture on theology, without regard to the number of lecturers, which had been hitherto, from times of old, limited to a certain number.

How John Baliol made peace with the king by the payment of money.

About the same time, John Baliol, a rich and powerful knight (whose father, a man brave in war, had done much good service to King John, and had often rendered assistance to him in cases of doubt and difficulty), having been, like Robert, accused of serious offences, craftily made peace with the king, by supplying him in his necessity with money, of which he possessed abundance.

Of the king's return from Scotland.

Having, then, arranged everything peaceably and to satisfaction, and after he and his queen had enjoyed sufficient conversation with the king and queen of Scotland, the king of England hastened his return into the southern parts of England; and on the road he visited abbeys and priories, commending himself to the prayers of the prelates, and at the same time enriching himself with their money.

How the king took away some money deposited at Durham.

On arriving at Durham he entered the church, and prayed for a short time at the tomb of the blessed bishop and glorious


confessor Cuthbert. He there learned from the statements of some informers, that there was deposited in that church a large sum of money, belonging to Bishop Nicholas, the bishop of Ely, and certain clerks, who, on account of their respect for and confidence in Bishop Cuthbert and his church, had deposited their wealth there under the care of the prior and conventual assembly. The king therefore, despite the opposition of the monks, and without asking the consent of the owners of the money, ordered his burglarious agents to force their way in, to break open the locks and seals, and to take away for his use whatever money they found in the chests and coffers, asserting that he did not consider the money to have been abstracted and carried off by force, but as having been lent to him. Thus he feared not to violate the peace of the church of such a great saint, and of the universal Church of God, which he had so often sworn to preserve inviolate. However, on reflection, he some time afterwards repaid to its owners the money which he had borrowed in such a way, but without satisfying them for the injury done to them.

Of the consecration of William of Kilkenny as bishop of Ely.

About the same time, that is to say on the day of the Assumption of the blessed Mary, William of Kilkenny, the bishop elect of Ely, was consecrated bishop of Ely, at Polenza, by the archbishop of Canterbury, who was then staying on the continent. As the bishop elect had come to him in his own country, the archbishop honourably gave him an abundant supply of all necessaries. He was also praised and treated with honour by Peter of Savoy, that they might not seem to be in a state of want in their own country. But the bishops of England, as also the conventual brethren of Canterbury, were grieved at this proceeding, as being injurious to them, inasmuch as it was always the custom for bishops to be consecrated in England. Moreover, they were much afraid that the archbishops of Canterbury would make a custom of it in consequence, as a new proceeding, which had already been done by this same archbishop in the case of the church of Lincoln.

Of the arrival of the bishop elect of Toledo at London.

In the octaves of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary, there arrived at London the bishop elect of Toledo, whose name

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was Sancho, who was twenty years old, and was brother of the king of Castile; and in company with him also came a man of great influence in Spain, named Garcias Martin. The cause of their coming was not known, but it was stated to be for the purpose of increasing their revenues by the rich presents which they would receive from the king, who made a practice of indiscriminately squandering amongst such people all that he could extort from his own native subjects. The manner, habits, and attendants of this bishop elect entirely differed from those amongst us; for he was a young man, wore a ring on his forefinger, and gave his blessing to the people. He ornamented his place of abode, which was at the New Temple, and even the floor of it, with tapestries, palls, and curtains; yet he had a vulgar and extraordinary body of attendants, and only kept a few palfreys, though he had a great many mules. When the king heard of their arrival, he gave strict orders that they should be received with the highest honours, and that nothing in any way offensive should meet their eyes. But the citizens of London, on finding out their customs and manners, abused and insulted them, taunting them with gluttony and luxuriousness. The king, in the mean time, was glorying in the marriage which had been contracted between his eldest son Edward and the sister of the king of Castile, as though he were about to gain all his rights and possessions on the continent with his son's new wife, although that marriage had not benefited him or his kingdom in any way.

Of the marriage of the French king's son to the daughter of the king of Castile.

When the intelligence of this matrimonial alliance having been arranged between the king of Castile and the king of England reached the French king, he began to entertain suspicions concerning it, and, sending special messengers to the king of Castile, he demanded that king's daughter in marriage for his son. This he was induced to do, and to beg that no denial might be given him, by his desire to be allied by marriage to such a great man, and to make his condition better than that of the king of England, who had only obtained the uterine sister of that king as a wife for his eldest son Edward. He succeeded as he wished, and the giver congratulated himself on the honour done him by the request.


Of the various and useless plans of squandering money put in practice by the king of England.

In the mean time expenses were daily incurred; to sustain the war in Apulia, and on the above-mentioned expedition, which was of little or no advantage, the king expended large sums of money: the bishop elect of Toledo, too, expended ten or twelve marks daily from the king's purse. And now a new method of wasting money sprang up, for Thomas, formerly count of Flanders, the queen's uncle, and brother of the archbishop of Canterbury, had stirred up a fresh war against the cities of Turin and Asti, to sustain and carry out which, the king and the church of Canterbury, ay, and even the queen, were obliged to contribute a very large sum of money. And thus the king, who had lately much diminished his revenues to give a portion to his son, was harassed and agitated by cares and anxieties on all sides.

Of the evil counsel given by the bishop of Hereford.

About this same time Peter Egeblank, bishop of Hereford (whose memory exhales a most foul and infernal odour), went to the king, whom he knew to be in need of money and to be striving to acquire it with his utmost endeavours, and whispered in his ear the following poisonous counsel: "My lord", said he, "consent to a plan of mine, and not only will I relieve your wants, but will give you the means of obtaining money in the greatest abundance; for if you will procure me, as if for some slight matter of business, three or four seals of the influential prelates of England, I will (as I hope), by a new interpretation, induce the pope to compel each and all of the prelates of England, even by force and against their will, to pay a large sum of money, so as fully to satisfy your wants". To this plan the king gave a hearty consent, and the two were highly pleased. The bishop thereupon at once started to cross the Alps, to carry his promises to effect, being accompanied by one Robert de Walerann, the more effectually to perform his enchantments on the pope. On reaching Rome, he found the pope in distress and grief at the misfortimes which had lately befallen the Church. He was, moreover, involved in debts, to such an amount that all who heard of them were struck with astonishment; and all these debts the king of England was

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bound to pay, on pain of disinheritance. Moreover, the transalpine merchants and usurers were become pressing, urgently and continually demanding payment of the debts due to them, which by usury, penalties, and interest, were increasing daily in amount. On the pope's expressing his grief at these matters, the bishop replied: "Your holiness, do not let yourself be disquieted by the amount of your numerous debts, great though it be; for, previous to our departure from England, the king, myself, and this clever knight, provided a safe and certain method for paying all without difficulty, provided that I am allowed, with your favour and permission, to carry out the plans with which my heart is pregnant; for the king is so devoted to you and to the Roman church, so ready in his munificence to the Church and to ecclesiastics, doing them so many kind offices, bestowing on them so many benefits in offerings of silks, in erecting buildings, in gifts of tapers, and other costly presents, that he has obtained the good-will and favour of all men. He likewise confers so many gifts on his nobles, of lands, wardships, and revenues, that all justly entertain the greatest affection for him. On passing through France lately, he gave to the churches so many silver goblets, palls, and necklaces, and to the nobles and prelates so many presents of cups, rings, belts, and clasps, costly in material as well as workmanship, that he obtained the praise and admiration of the French, whereby the famous name of the English has been extolled to the stars. Hence the English ardently desire, and would be much pleased, by your command, to drain and burthen themselves, and to bind themselves as if they were compelled by a pious wish to free their beloved king from his debts". Then showing the letters, which he had with foxlike cunning extorted from certain prelates, and which he had sealed with their seals, he gave an appearance of truth to the above statements, and caused the pope the more readily to listen to his falsehoods. In reply to his speech the pope said, "My beloved friend and brother, do in this matter whatever may seem expedient to you; and we much praise your industry and skill".

Of his extraordinary treachery.

The bishop of Hereford, now joined by certain of the


cardinals who had free access to the bull, and by whose counsel the pope carried out the audacious acts of his predecessor, imposed such heavy obligations on the prelates of England, who were entirely unaware of this fraud, that if all previous oppressions were reckoned up together, they would be considered light in comparison with this infliction. In the letters he inserted some evident falsehoods; for instance, that each and all of the prelates were bound to pay to such and such a merchant of Sienna or Florence a large sum of money, which they had accepted as a loan for settling advantageously some business connected with their churches, although he had never known or even seen any of them, and no mention had been made of money. And if they did not pay what was enjoined on them within a very brief space of time, these same usurers (whom the French commonly call "bougres") had the full power of punishing the innocent servants of God, the prelates of the Church, with all kinds of sentences, of condemning them to pay heavy fines, and of oppressing them in various ways, as the ensuing narrative will show at the proper time and place.

Of the arrival of Edward's wife at Dover.

About the time of the feast of St. Denis, in this year, when the king was returning from the north of England to London, in order to be present at the solemnities in honour of St. Edward, in the fortnight of Michaelmas, Eleanor, the sister of the king of Spain, and wife of Edward, arrived at Dover in great pomp, and with such a numerous retinue that their arrival was looked upon with suspicion by all England, and fears were entertained that the country would be forcibly taken possession of by them. The king thereupon gave orders that she should be received with the greatest honour and reverence at London as well as at other places; but especially at London, whene her arrival was to be celebrated by processions, illuminations, ringing of bells, songs, and other special demonstrations of joy and festivity. On her approaching that city, therefore, the citizens went to meet her dressed in holiday clothes, and mounted on richly-caparisoned horses; and when the noble daughter-in-law of the king arrived at the place of abode assigned to her, she found it, like the dwelling of the bishop elect of Toledo, hung with

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palls of silk and tapestry, like a temple, and even the floor was covered with arras. This was done by the Spaniards, it being in accordance with the custom of their country; but this excessive pride excited the laughter and derision of the people. Serious and prudent persons, pondering over future events, were deeply grieved on a careful consideration of the pleasure manifested by the king at the presence of any foreigners. Indeed, the honours shown to the Spaniards, excited the wonder and astonishment of all, and no wonder. The English, therefore, lamented that they were held in less esteem than the people of any other nation by their own king, and with sorrow perceived that their irreparable ruin was imminent.

Of the wretched condition of the kingdom of England.

Moreover the most grievous reports gained ground, namely, that the legate, or a clerk of the pope's armed with the power of a legate, had been sent a latere by the pope, and that he was now close at hand waiting only for a fair wind. This envoy was ready and willing, in the first place, to assist and second the king in all his projects, to the ruin of the English community, and afterwards to enshackle with the bonds of the anathema all those who opposed the king's will, tyrannical as it was. Moreover, the prelates and nobles were alarmed and plunged into an abyss of despair at seeing how the king with unspeakable cunning drew foreigners round him by degrees; and how he had successively enticed into a league with him many, in fact almost all, the nobles of England; for instance, the earls of Gloucester, Warenne, Lincoln, and Devon, besides a great many other nobles; how he had despoiled his native subjects, and enriched his brothers, relations, and kinsmen; and if the general community of the kingdom presumed to stand up for their rights in opposition to the king, they would have no power or means to check or oppose the king and his foreigners. Earl Richard, who was reckoned to be the chief of all the nobles, was neutral, as also were many others, as they did not dare to grumble. The archbishop of Canterbury, who ought to have been as it were a shield against the hostile violence of the king, was at a great distance on the continent, involved in divers and secular affairs, and paying little heed to his flock in England. Those


high-minded and zealous defenders of the kingdom, the archbishop of York, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, Warren de Montchensil, and several of a like stamp, were taken from amongst us. In the mean time, the king's brothers, Poitevins, Provencals, and now Spaniards and Romans, were enriched with revenues, which daily increased and were covered with honours, to the utter exclusion of the English.

How Edmund, son of the king of England, was invested with the kingdom of Sicily.

After the feast of St. Luke, a great number of nobles assembled together, having been summoned by royal warrant. For the bishop of Romagna had come to the king in the pope's name, in the stead of his holiness, bringing with him a ring which he gave to the king's son Edmund; thus solemnly investing him with the kingdoms of Sicily and Apulia. The king's heart was now elated with pride and full of exultation, as though he had already received the homage of all the Sicilians and Apulians, as if he was already master of their cities and castles, and his son Edmund were already crowned king; in fact, he in public called his son Edmund, king of Sicily. The aforesaid bishop, as was believed, did not know that the pope's expeditionary army was destroyed, that the king of England's money was entirely spent, and moreover, that he was dreadfully burdened with debts; and if he did know, he cunningly concealed his knowledge of it, that he might not lose the presents prepared for him. The fact was, indeed, unknown to the king and the nobles, and the bishop returned home, loaded with rich presents, before the real state of the case was known in England. The king, however, with over much haste approached the altar in presence of his nobles, and trusting in the pope's assistance, swore by St. Edward that he would go to Apulia, his only care and difficulty being as to how he should traverse the French kingdom in peace with his army and his money; and he at once bethought him of whom he should send to the French king to obtain leave to pass through his territories. He next thought of imperiously demanding from the same king his continental possessions, and of regaining them by force, if necessary, because, between Apulia and England, France would be crushed as between two millstones. Finally,

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he sent John Mansell thither; but this will be mentioned hereafter at its proper time.

How the king impeded the election of the archbishop of York.

At this time, the king used all the means in his power to delay and impede the election of an archbishop of York, in order that he might the longer, and with greater freedom, pillage the possessions of that archbishopric; "for", said he, "I have never yet had that archbishopric in my possession, therefore I must take care it does not slip away from me too quickly". At length the canons elected, or rather nominated to the office Master Sewal, dean of that church, a modest, holy man, and one well versed in the law and in other sciences. They then sent Master Roger Holderness, a learned man, and one held in high favour [to Rome], and the matter was brought to a happy termination, as will be stated in the following pages.

Of the cruel treatment of the Jews for having crucified a boy.

In this same year, about the time of the festival of the apostles Peter and Paul, the Jews of Lincoln stole a boy of eight years of age, whose name was Hugh; and, having shut him up in a room quite out of the way, where they fed him on milk and other childish nourishment, they sent to almost all the cities of England where the Jews lived, and summoned some of their sect from each city to be present at a sacrifice to take place at Lincoln; for they had, as they stated, a boy hidden for the purpose of being crucified. In accordance with the summons, a great many of them came to Lincoln, and on assembling, they at once appointed a Jew of Lincoln as judge, to take the place of Pilate, by whose sentence, and with the concurrence of all, the boy was subjected to divers tortures. They beat him till blood flowed and he was quite livid, they crowned him with thorns, derided him, and spat upon him. Moreover, he was pierced by each of them with a wood knife, was made to drink gall, was overwhelmed with approaches and blasphemies, and was repeatedly called Jesus the false prophet by his tormenters, who surrounded him, grinding and gnashing their teeth. After tormenting him in divers ways, they crucified him, and pierced him to the heart with a lance. After the boy had expired, they took his body down from the cross and


disembowelled it; for what reason we do not know, but it was asserted to be for the purpose of practising magical operations. The boy's mother had been for some days diligently seeking after her absent son, and having been told by the neighbours that they had last seen him playing with some Jewish boys of his own age, and entering the house of one of that sect, she suddenly made her way into that house, and saw the body of the child in a well, into which it had been thrown. The bailiffs of the city having then been cautiously assembled, the body was found and withdrawn from the well, and then an extraordinary sight was presented to the people, whilst the mother of the child by her cries and lamentations excited the grief and compassion of all the citizens who had flocked together to that place. There was present at this scene one John of Lexington, a man of learning, prudent and discreet, and he thus addressed the people; "We have already learned", said he, "that the Jews have not hesitated to attempt such proceedings as a reproach and taunt to our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified"; then addressing a Jew who had been seized upon, and the one whose house the boy had gone into whilst at play, and who was therefore an object of greater suspicion than the others, he said to him: "Wretched man, do you not know that a speedy death awaits you? Not all the gold of England will avail to ransom you, and save you from your fate. However, I will tell you, undeserving as you are, how you may preserve your life and prevent your limbs from beiug mutilated. Both of these I will guarantee to you, if you will without fear or hesitation disclose to me, without any falsehood, all that has happened on this occasion". The Jew, whose name was Copin, thinking he had found a means of escape, then said, "My lord John, if by your deeds you will repay me for my statements, I will reveal wonderful things to you". Then, being urged on and encouraged by the eloquence of John to do so, he continued: "What the Christians say is true: for almost every year the Jews crucify a boy as an insult to the name of Jesus. But one is not found every year, for they only carry on these proceedings privately, and in out of the way places. This boy Hugh, however, our Jews crucified without mercy, and after he was dead, and when they wished to hide his corpse, considering the body of a child useless to draw an

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augury from (for which purpose they had disembowelled it) they could not hide it under the ground as they wished to do; for in the morning, when they thought it was hidden from sight, the earth vomited it forth, and the corpse appeared unburied above ground; which circumstance struck the Jews with horror. Finally, it was thrown into a well; but even there it could not be kept from sight, for the mother of the child, searching into all these misdeeds, discovered the body of the child and informed the bailiffs". After hearing these disclosures, John detained the Jew in close confinement. When these circumstances came to the knowledge of the canons of the cathedral church of Lincoln, they asked for the body of the child, which was given to them; and after it had been shown as a sight to an immense number of people, it was honourably buried in the church of Lincoln, as if it had been the corpse of a precious martyr. It should be known that the Jews had kept the boy for ten days, feeding him on milk all that time, so that during life he endured many kinds of torments. When the king, on his return from the north of England, was informed of this occurrence, he reproached John for having promised life and limb to such a wicked being; which he had no right to do; for a blasphemer and murderer like him deserved to die many times over. When the guilty man saw that unavoidable punishment was impending over him, he said, "My death is imminent, nor can John aid, or save me from perishing: now I will tell all of you the truth. Almost all the Jews of England agreed to the murder of this boy, of which they (the Jews) are accused; and from almost every city of England in which Jews dwell, some of that sect were selected and summoned to be present at the sacrifice of him, as at a paschal offering". After he had given utterance to these words and to other ravings, he was tied to a horse's tail and dragged to the gallows, where he was delivered over body and soul to the evil spirits of the air. The rest of the Jews who had participated in this crime, to the number of ninety-one, were carried to London in carts, and consigned to close imprisonment; and if they were perchance pitied by any Christians, they did not excite any tears of compassion amongst the Caursins, their rivals.


How eighteen Jews were dragged to the gallows and hung.

Afterwards, on an inquisition made by the king's justiciaries, it was discovered and decided that the Jews of England had by common consent crucified and put to death an innocent boy, after having flagellated him for several days; but for this offence, on the mother of the aforesaid boy making an appeal to the king against them for the said murder, God, the Lord of vengeance, visited them with retribution according to their deserts. For on St. Clement's day, eighteen of the richer and higher order of Jews of the city of Lincoln were dragged to new gibbets, erected especially for the purpose, and were hung up, an offering to the winds. More than eighty others also were kept in close confinement in the Tower of London, awaiting a similar fate.

Of the arrival in England of Master Rustand, on a mission from the pope.

About this same time, Pope Alexander sent his subdeacon and lawyer, Master Rustand, a Gascon by birth, to England, giving authority to him, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of Hereford, to collect the tithes from England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the use of him (the pope) or the king indiscriminately, "notwithstanding any letters of indulgence previously sent, in whatever terms worded, for whatever cause obtained, or any obstacle that could be understood thereby". The pope also gave authority to the same parties to absolve the king of England from his vow of undertaking a crusade and proceeding to Jerusalem, in order that he might undertake an expedition to Apulia, to make war against Manfred, the son of the late emperor Frederick, a powerful enemy of the church of Rome. In fact, the pope had received a promise on oath from the king of England to the effect that he would do so, through the bishop of Boulogne, who had been sent by his holiness especially for that purpose, and also to invest Edmund with the kingdom of Sicily, as above mentioned.

Of the parliament held in consequence of Rustand's mission.

At the festival of St. Edward in this year, almost all the nobles of England were assembled at Westminster. The king then appeared amongst them, and addressing his brother

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first, earnestly begged pecuniary assistance from him. The pope also had sent letters of entreaty to the said earl, begging him to assist his brother with a loan of forty thousand [marks], keeping the fact of its being a loan secret, in order that, by making a gift of the same, he might set an example of assistance to others. But the earl would not listen to the entreaties either of the king or the pope, and the more especially because the king was bewitched by the underhand instigations of his transalpine advisers, and had undertaken the expedition to Apulia without asking the advice or consent of him (the earl) or that of his barons. On the question of rendering assistance being put to the others, they replied, that "at that time they had not all been summoned in accordance with the terms of the great charter, and that therefore, without their peers, who were then absent, they could not give a reply, or grant any assistance". The king therefore resorted to his usual cavilling arguments to bend the nobles to consent to his wishes, and delayed the business for which the parliament was assembled for several days, so that the matters under discussion were prolonged on various false pretences for a month; and then, when they had emptied their purses in the city of London, he provoked, rather than convoked, them to assemble and hold council at another place. But Earl Richard, a man of caution and prudence, severely and with justice reproached the bishop of Hereford and his companion Robert Walerann for infatuating the king so, to the entire ruin of the kingdom. Thus all the nobles returned home in a state of irritation, without effecting anything. It should also be known that when the king returned from Gascony, he was involved in debts to the amount of three hundred and fifty thousand marks. However, he did not, even on that account, desist from ill-advisedly and prodigally squandering daily amongst foreigners the money which he had by him, as well as what he thought could be drawn from England, which he considered to be an inexhaustible well. To the bishop elect of Toledo he gave an income and a large sum of money, as well as to the bishop of Boulogne; and to Rustand, besides some most costly presents, he gave a rich prebend in the church of York.


How Master Rustand ordered a crusade to be preached against Manfred.

At this time, too, Master Rustand issued orders to all zealous supporters of the holy Church, publicly to preach a crusade, first at London, and afterwards at other places, against Manfred, the son of Frederick, late emperor of the Romans, as being an enemy to God, the church of Rome, and the king of England, an ally, abettor, and protector of the Saracens, and as unjustly occupying the kingdom of another; and to those who should join in that expedition, a promise was made of obtaining the fullest remission of their sins, as though they went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. When the Christians heard this announcement, they were astonished that they were promised the same for shedding the blood of Christians as they were formerly for that of infidels, and the versatility of the preachers excited laughter and derision. At one place, when Master Rustand was preaching, he added at the end of his sermon: "Become the sons of obedience, pledge yourselves to such and such a merchant for such an amount of money". And this amongst religious men in their chapter, when no previous rumour of such a proceeding had ever disturbed them.

Of the truce made in the Holy Land.

The inhabitants of the Holy Land, finding that the pope cared little for the liberation of the Holy Land, which our Lord himself consecrated by his presence, and finally by his blood, entered into a truce with the soldan of Babylon, who was at war with the soldan of Damascus, and prolonged the said truce for the space of ten years.

How the archbishop elect of York was harassed by the king.

Master Sewal, dean of York, who had lately been duly elected archbishop of that church, was just now grieved beyond all consolation at seeing the possessions of his church pillaged, destroyed, and squandered. The king, moreover, because the said dean was not born in lawful wedlock, endeavoured, on some frivolous pretexts, to impede his nomination and election to the archbishopric.

Of the withdrawal of John de Gray from court.

At this same time, also, John de Gray, a knight of

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praiseworthy morals and of great courage, who had been a favourite counsellor of the king, withdrew from the court, perchance feeling conscience-struck at the courtly cares and anxieties to which he was subjected, and likewise on account of his old age, which had already whitened the hair of his head. He, however, as was believed, took his precautions against future events; for he was afraid that the counsellors of the king would at some time be severely blamed for their frequent faults.

Of the pope's letter obtained by the bishop of Hereford.

The bishop of Hereford, in conjunction with his ally Rustand, began now to vent his anger upon the prelates of England, especially the religious orders, strongly supported as he was by the apostolic authority, and by the following letter: "Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the bishop of Hereford, etc.- Whereas, we know that you are under the necessity of incurring heavy expenses, for the advantage and benefit of the abbat and convent of St. ... and the monastery of St. ..., on whose account you came to the apostolic see, and that their affairs may not be neglected for want of means to meet those expenses, we, by virtue of these presents, grant to you, our brother, full power to contract a loan for this purpose, to the amount of five hundred, six hundred, seven hundred, or more marks sterling, in the name of the aforesaid abbat and convent and monastery, and to pledge them, the abbat and convent and their successors, and the goods of the said monastery, to the creditors, and to renounce the constitution concerning the two days promulgated at the general council, and the benefit of entire restitution, and all the apostolic letters and indulgences obtained or to be obtained, and also the convention of the judges, if any apostolic letters of any purport soever shall happen hereafter to be obtained in this matter in the name of the creditors. So that they and their successors shall be bound to pay this money to the creditors, and if they shall not pay the same money at a period fixed on by you, to make good all losses and expenses, and to pay all interest, concerning which it is our will that you believe the oath of them or any of them who lent the money, without requiring any proof. And also to the said creditors on


pretence of any decree canonical or civil, or of any privilege or indulgence of which full and express mention ought to be made in our letters. And in order that they and their successors shall not be able any longer to defend themselves in any way, there shall not be any necessity of proving that the said money was applied to the use of the said abbat and convent and monastery.- Given, etc". At the same time, also, the pope asked for a loan of money from Earl Richard, to the amount of five thousand marks, to advance the cause of the earl's nephew Edmund; but to this request the earl replied, "I will not lend my money to a superior, whom I cannot compel to pay me". These and other detestable proceedings, to our shame and sorrow we say it, emanated at this time from the sulphureous fountain of the Roman church.

Of a council held at London by the prelates of England.

At this time, Rustand, by the pope's authority, convoked all the prelates of England to assemble at London, in the fortnight of Michaelmas, to hear the message from his holiness, and to discuss some matters of difficulty concerning the king, as well as the pope, and, like sons of obedience, to give a discreet and favourable reply to the demands already made, as well as those to be made. When they had all assembled at the appointed time and place, and the powers and authority of Rustand had been read and explained, that person made a discourse to them, demanding immense sums of money from them all, by means of writings full of injuries and iniquity, which would deeply wound the heart of the most patient man. If this money had been collected, the church of England, indeed the whole kingdom, would have been reduced to the most abject slavery, and would have been afflicted with irremediable poverty; for it was an insupportable burden that he imposed on others to bear, yet would not move a finger to help them. Not to mention other instances, he enjoined the house of St. Alban's of itself alone to pay six hundred marks to the pope, besides interest and severe terms and conditions, by which these usurer merchants, to whom the power of oppressing the churches at their pleasure had been granted, might coerce the said house. Moreover, Rustand, the bishop of Hereford, and

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their accomplices, endeavoured to abbreviate the term allowed for payment, under penalty of suspension and excommunication; and the term fixed on, none of those bound could keep. This was done that the prelates might be compelled to borrow money from these merchants, and thus be subjected to their usurious terms, which appeared to each and all of them to be not only difficult, but impossible. After a careful deliberation had been held for several days, Fulk, bishop of London, speaking with heart-felt grief, addressed the assembly, saying: "Befonre I will give my consent for the Church to be subjected to such an injurious state of slavery, I will cut off my head and free myself from this intolerable oppression". On hearing this bold and determined speech, Walter, bishop of Worcester, loudly exclaimed: "As for me, before the holy Church shall submit to such a ruinous imposition, I will condemn myself to be hung". Encouraged by these wholesome declarations, all the rest firmly promised to follow, step by step, in the track of St. Thomas the Martyr, who had allowed his brains to be beaten out for the liberty of the Church. But they were oppressed on all sides: the king was against them; the pope, in his greediness for money, was their enemy; the nobles felt no compassion for their mother Church, and Rustand, a learned man, and one well capable of injuring them, stimulated their enemies to this mode of proceeding. The archbishop of Canterbury, who ought to have been the support of the tottering Church, and the pilot of the vessel of Peter, which was at the mercy of the billows, was involved in worldly business in far-distant countries beyond sea, and governed his flock with less care than he ought; the archbishop of York, a man of deep thought and prudent counsel, had yielded to his fate; the bishop elect of Winchester was an object of suspicion, and consequently avoided, because he was a Poitevin, and a brother of the king who persecuted them, and also because he was not a bishop; whilst the bishop of Hereford was not merely suspected, but was considered as a declared enemy. Having therefore invoked the Holy Spirit for comfort, they appealed to the pope, who ought to open the bosom of refuge and protection to every one oppressed, in the matter of this intolerable and unusual extortion, and set themselves to oppose the arbitrary and


impetuous oppressions and threats of Master Rustand. A proclamatdon was at once made by herald, at London, by authority of the bishop of that city, that for the space of several days no one should institute or carry on a process on the authority of Master Rustand's letters. When intelligence of this proceeding was brought to Rustand, he made great complaints to the king, stating that the bishop of London had instigated and encouraged all the other prelates in opposing the will of the pope and of him the king. The latter then, in a great rage, heaped reproaches upon the bishop of London, declaring that neither he nor any of his family had ever loved their king; and that he would endeavour, as far as he could, to make the pope censure and punish him. To this the bishop replied: "Let the pope and the king, who are stronger than I am, take away my bishopric, which they cannot do with justice: let them take away the mitre, the helmet will still remain". At this same time, too, an incredible report (which it would be absurd and wicked to believe) was whispered in the ears of a great many, to the effect that certain cheats and forgers made a disgraceful misuse of the bull, and appended it to blank schedules, that whatever they chose might be written upon them afterwards. But people said to one another: "Christ forbid that the pope, who is without doubt a most holy man, should consent to such enormities; for it is clearly evident that he has been raised to his high dignity by divine influence. Moreover, he has done what we never remember any pope to have done, for he requested the prayers of the Church to be offered up for him,: then how can it be believed that he would do worse things than his predecessors? God forbid"! And thus seeking consolation for their ignorance and troubles, with the cloak of this specious reasoning they imputed these mad acts to forgers.

How the bishop of Hereford and his accomplices endeavoured to stir up a schism amongst the prelates.

In the mean time the bishop of Hereford, Rustand, and others of their transalpine allies, endeavoured by all the means in their power to excite a schism and dissension amongst the prelates of England, fearing lest the latter, by cordially adhering together, should direct the pope into the

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way of truth, and that they should be frustrated in their greedy money-hunting purposes. Thus they acted according to the saying of the Gospel: "Every kingdom divided in itself shall be made desolate".

The return of Edward from Gascony.

About this same time, that is on the eve of St. Andrew's day, Edward returned from Gascony, and on the same day he was met by a great many nobles of England, and by the citizens of London, who had richly ornamented their city for the occasion, and was by them conducted to the palace of Westminster, with great pomp, and amid much acclamation.

Of the arrangement of peace between the bishop of Durham and John Baliol.

In this year, also, peace was made between Walter, bishop of Durham, and John Baliol, knight, in the several matters of controversy which had arisen between them. Likewise, peace was re-established between the prior of Tynemouth and the said John. This same John was avaricious, rapacious, and tenacious, far beyond what became him, and what was beneficial to his soul; and he had for a long time unjustly harassed and much injured the church of Tynemouth, as well as that of Durham. He had also on divers specious pretexts worried and injured other churches, as well as knights and ecclesiastics, his neighbours, fulfilling the saying:

Omnisque potestas,
Omnisqae superbus,
Impatiens consortis erit.

[All power,
All pride,
Is jealous of a sharer.]

In like manner, also, the avaricious man, for whom his own possessions do not suffice, will grasp at those of others. The king, learning that this said John had abundance of money, instituted rigorous proceedings against him, as before stated, hoping to diminish his heaps of money through his desire to re-establish peace between them. Robert de Ros


also was involved in similar proceedings, and was much injured and impoverished thereby.

Of the reformation of the university of Paris.

At this time, also, the university of the clerks of Paris was re-established and reformed, which had been exposed to danger, owing to the suspension of its lectures and disputations, and the dispersion of many of its scholars, through the disturbance caused by the Preacher brethren, who wished to alter the old-established custom of the university. But the condition of these brethren, as they were supported by charity and alms, was much altered for the worse; whilst, owing to the insults and reproaches of the Preachers and Minors, much improvement and increase was daily felt by the house of monks of the Cistercian order, who were studying at Paris; which house had been founded by the abbat of Clairvaux, who was an Englishman by birth, named Lexinton; and their honourable and orderly behaviour gave pleasure to God, the prelates, and the people. They did not wander, like vagabonds, through cities and towns; nor was the ocean their barrier and limit; but they remained quietly shut up within the walls of their domicile, obeying their superior, according to the rule of St. Benedict, which will obtain the praise of every one who chooses to study the rule of that saint. For at the commencement of it, in distinguishing the different kinds of monks, he rebukes the Sarabaitas and Gyrivagos. However, these same brethren, zealously pursuing their office of preaching, and weakening the authority of the ordinary preachers, gained the commendation of many, whilst to many others they rendered themselves objects of reproach; for many of them assumed horns of audacity in their delinquencies, because they were not obliged to confess their sins to their priest. And here was the harm: some refused to confess to their proper priest, because he was perhaps a drunkard, or for some other secret reasons, but flew with confidence to make their confessions under the shelter of the wings of consolation and counsel, spread out to them by passing Preachers and Minors. And what was the remedy and utility which resulted from it?

The death of Cardinal Giles, the Spaniard.

At this time died Cardinal Giles, a Spaniard, who had

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attained the age of a centenarian. This remarkable man, who was without his equal, proved himself, at the court of Rome a pillar of truth and justice, and despised presents, which generally turn aside the strictness of justice and equity.

Of the earl-marshal's anger against the king.

At the above-mentioned council, which had been prolonged uselessly for several days, Rustand, in order the more to bend the king to his will, caused false and groundless reports to be spread, to the effect that Manfred's army was dispersed, and Manfred himself, having been poisoned, was at death's door. That being humbled in consequence, and knowing his wretched state, he had most urgently begged for peace from the pope, whereat the whole court of Rome was filled with great joy and exultations, and was assured that they would obtain all that they wished in the matter of Apulia. At this news the king was so exhilarated, and his heart was so elate with groundless joy, that he publicly called his son king, and hastening to the nearest altar, he made oath upon it that he would go to Apulia to receive possession of it for the use of his son Edmund. At this same parliament the earl-marshal made a speech in justification of Robert de Ros (who was accused of a serious crime, and one which endangered his life), when the king heaped shameful reproaches upon him, the earl, as well as Robert, and publicly called the earl a traitor. At this the earl was highly exasperated, and with a scowling look replied, "You lie: I never have been, and never will be, a traitor". And added he, "What can you do to me? how can you harm me, if you are ruled by justice"? To this the king replied, "I can seize your corn, and cause it to be threshed and sold; and thus you will be subdued and humbled". Then said the earl, "I will cut off the heads of those who thresh it and send them to you". Upon this, as it was feared that matters would grow worse between the long and the earl, mutual friends interfered and separated them; but although their menacing speeches were interrupted, they were not pacified, and anger and hatred were the result of the quarrel. At this fruitless council, at which nothing was done to settle the principal business in hand, the barons, on the last day of its sitting, replied "that they would no longer, as they had


heretofore done, impoverish themselves for the advantage of others"; and they refused to discuss any secret and difficult business of the kingdom: for, as they said, they saw that it was all full of suspicion and fox-like treachery. The city of London was full to overflowing, not only of Poitevins, Romans, and Provencals, but also of Spaniards, who did great injury to the English, especially the citizens of London, committing adultery and fornication, and insulting, wounding, and even murdering the people, while the king did not check, but rather defended them. Thus the council, if council it could be called, broke up in sorrow. On the festival of St Lucia, Lucas, archbishop of Dublin, went the way of all flesh. This man had been promoted to the archbishopric by the forcible means employed by Hubert de Bourg, formerly justiciary, whose chaplain he (Lucas) was; but the Lord, to chasten and urge him to repentance, visited him with blindness under which affliction he suffered miserably for several years.

How Manfred, on being victorious, was joined by many adherents.

Whilst these things were passing in England, in the transalpine provinces the wheel of fortune had performed some wonderful revolutions; for, those whom it had a short time previously exalted, it now hurled into an abyss of confusion and dismay. For on the dispersion of the papal armies, the Apulians, who had learned that the pope had given their country, without their consent, to an unknown Englishman, a foreigner to them, were highly indignant; and they were still the more exasperated, because the pope had diverted the crusaders from their original purpose, and wished to send them against them (the Apulians) as against infidels, to exterminate them. They therefore all submitted to Manfred, and taking their stand by him to a body, even those who had formerly sided with the pope, they now formed a numerous army against him.

Of the second meeting of the prelates before Rustand.

Aboat the same time, the whole body of the prelates of Enland again assembled in the presence of Master Rustand at London, and after various discussions day after day, it was determined, owing to the absence of the archbishop of Canterbury, who was on the continent, the vacancy of the

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church of York, which was the second in the kingdom, and the absence of some of the bishops, to put off giving a decisive answer to the demands made by the pope through Master Rustand, until the festival of St. Hilary, that they might all assemble at that time, and give a definite and decisive reply. And thus, after much loss, trouble, and expense, they all separated and returned to their homes, not knowing what they should do. For if any one should either justly or unjustly be suspended or excommunicated by the said Master Rustand, the king, like a lurking lion seeking whom he can devour, would confiscate and seize on all the property of the party under sentence after a period of forty days. The pope and the king, like the shepherd and the wolf, were allied together for the destruction of the sheep. From that time forth, then, they separated, and like blind men feeling their way by the wall, each consulted his own safety, after the custom of the English. If they [the prelates] had by common consent despatched to the Roman court a syndic or proctor to speak for them all, they would have enjoyed a happy peace.

Of the departure from England of the bishop elect of Toledo and the bishop of Boulogne.

The bishop elect of Toledo and the bishop of Boulogne, although well assured that the pope's power was weakened and broken, and that the king would fall into a state of the uttermost confusion and ruin by his losses, would not disclose to him the true facts of the case, but as soon as they had become rich through his costly presents, they took their departure, one after another, and secretly returned home, as also did all those who had fascinated the king by false promises, except Master Rustand, who was still detained by the king in his simplicity. But when at last this deception and the pope's disgrace were proved to the king to be a fact, he would have been grieved beyond all consolation if he had known how to grieve; if he had known shame, he would have been confounded with bitterness of spirit; if he had had any heart, he would, after being provoked by so many injuries and losses inflicted on him, have insisted on taking condign vengeance. But, effeminated and fascinated, he still, even after so much deception, adhered to the counsels


of foreigners and the enemies of the kingdom, and did not deign to listen to the wholesome persuasions of his natural subjects. This fact may be learned from an absurd and insolent speech made by Rustand at the conclusion of the aforesaid council, in the presence of all assembled, in reply to some one who complained of the unjust exactions of the pope. Said he: "Were it not out of respect for the bishops here present, you should not remain unpunished, as long as you have a hair on your head". Mark that rash and presumptuous speech, and from it it can be understood that he showed the horns of presumption from confidence in the protection of the king. A similar kind of reply was given by him to Master Leonard, who acted as spokesman for the bishops, for he asked, "Are you prompted by others to speak as you have? or do you speak on your own responsibility"? and he ordered his speech to be committed to writing, as if to be mentioned to the supreme pontiff. At this Master Leonard was greatly frightened, although he had spoken nothing at variance with reason and truth, lest he should lose all that he possessed, especially as none of the others would speak on his behalf. The sum in which the king was indebted to the pope was said to amount to two hundred thousand pounds, besides fifty thousand pounds sterling, which the bishop of Hereford had bound the prelates of England to pay, although without their knowledge.

Of the quarrel between the bishop of Bath and the abbat of Glastonbury.

At this same time, a serious dispute arose between the bishop of Bath and the abbat of Glastonbury, and the bishop, in consequence, set out to cross the Alps in order to bring the matter to a termination at Rome. The king took part with the abbat, not regarding the manifold trouble and expense which the bishop, in compliance with the king's entreaties, had undertaken in travelling to and from Spain, and even to the most distant parts of that kingdom.

A catalogue of those who died about this time.

In this year, or within a short period of it, there died Walter de Gray, archbishop of York; Thomas Welchman, bishop of St. David's; Robert, bishop of Lincoln; Master William Wolf, archdeacon of Lincoln; William, king of Germany and count of Holland; and many both of high and

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low station, who perished by the sword or by drowning on the frontiers of Flanders and Brabant. Also died Master Robert of Tortona, archdeacon at the court of Rome, who was engaged there lecturing on theology; also at the same court, Giles the Spaniard, and William, nephew of Pope Innocent; the two latter being cardinals; Warren de Montchensil, a noble and rich baron, who made the famous will above mentioned; Arnold de Bois, one of the high foresters of England, distinguished for his morals and bravery in war; John the Roman, canon of York, a rich old man, very avaricious and quarrelsome. Amongst the king's familiar friends died William, bishop of Salisbury, who, amongst other worldly acts, committed one which brought endless maledictions on his head; William of Haverhulle, the king's treasurer; Peter Chacepore, who closed his life by a glorious end, after making a noble will; Robert Passeleve, and Richard, the king's head cook, who had amassed a great deal of money, and was said to have been possessed of five thousand marks or more at his death. Of the queen's especial household there died Robert Muscegros, the queen's seneschal; Walter de Brudel, her treasurer; and Master Alexander, her physician; three men most deserving of good report. Of all these the principal and chief was Walter de Gray, archbishop of York, whose skill and fidelity, if doubted by any one, will be sufficiently proved by his government of the kingdom when the king was on the continent. In this year, also, some nobles died in Gascony, who were fighting there for the king: amongst others, John the Frenchman, a favourite clerk and counsellor of the king, and the persecutor of the convents of St. Mary of York and Selby, whose death was caused by a stroke of palsy.

A summary of the year.

This year throughout was most fatal to the church of Rome and the papal court, if the devotion of the people is considered; for all that devotion expired, which was usually felt by the prelates and people towards our mother the church of Rome, and our father and pastor the pope. And though that court had often overwhelmed Christians with bitterness of spirit, yet she never inflicted such deadly wounds on each and all of the servants of Christ, as she did during

A.D. 1255.] SUMMARY OF THE YEAR. 155

this and the following years; for the innocent were driven to idolatry, aad like apostates, to renounce the truth, which is God. And besides this (which though unendurable, was yet considered endurable), they were forcibly despoiled of their worldly goods. Of the inconveniences which this year brought to England, we have thought it worth while to make mention in this book. The privileges and indulgences of the saints, to their injury, were violated, and no regard wae paid to them. According to Robert of Lincoln, the pope has power in matters which tend to the building up, but not in those which tend to bring destruction. With regard to the promise of the tithe, three years was suddenly and secretly changed to five, whereas the promise was given for three years; a new event upon the earth. Always hitherto the laity were accustomed to pay tithes to the prelates, but now the prelates were compelled to pay tithes to laymen. The tithe was granted for the succour of the Holy Land; we were compelled to transfer it to the aid of Apulia against Christians. The tithe was granted to obtain the observance of the charter which the aforesaid King Henry was bound to observe; yet the terms of it were not observed. The tithe was granted to be expended, portion by portion, and on certain terms, in aid of the king when going on a pilgrimage, and not that we might be compelled, as we now are by a most unjust compulsion, to endure worse burdens, lie in various and manifold ways, and even perjure ourselves, which is prohibited by divine commamd in both testaments. We were compelled to fix periods of payment, which we could not in any way keep, that we might fall into the snares of their usurers, whom we know to be their allies and accomplices. Persons utterly unworthy are endowed with power over noble churches and their excellent prelates. Prelates are sold like oxen and asses; and this is a state of the vilest slavery. These are the sellers that ought to be ejected from the temple and scourged. But as it is more ignominious to commit an injury with violence than to submit to one, we may innocently believe that the complaints in this matter will reach the Lord God of vengeance. This year, I say, though not in accordance with our deserts, was throughout so productive in corn and fruit, that a measure of wheat fell in price to two shillings, and the same quantity

156 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1256.

of oats to twelvepence. In this year, too, the inveterate hatred aroused by that second Medea, the ill-omened countess of Flanders, gave rise to a great accumulation of evils, and caused immense human slaughter. In fact, the ever-to-be-deplored slaughter of Christians a short time previously, of French as well as Germans, provoked those who had suffered injury to vengeance. In fact, Saturn, the most gloomy of all the planets, reigned predominant in his domicile. This planet is called by Ovid the "Scythe-bearer", because he cuts down all that is flourishing, and causes death to all that has life. To the Holy Land this year proved tolerably favourable on account of the truce and terms of peace, which, though suspicious, was made for ten years. To the Jews it was fraught with bloodshed.

How the king kept Christmas at Winchester.

Anno Domini 1256, which was the fortieth year of the reign of king Henry the Third, the said king spent Christmas at Winchester, where his brother the bishop elect supplied him with all necessaries, besides making him rich presents, and entertained him at his table. In the course of conversation, the king spoke to his brother on behalf of the monks who had been driven from the convent and dispersed, urging him not to incur the stain of ingratitude to those who had advanced him to his high dignity, and that, too, on the entreaty of himself (the king); but the bishop elect replied: "Do you in your innocence not know the oft-proved dropsical thirst of the Roman court"? "I know", answered the king, "that it will never be quenched". To which the bishop elect subjoined: "Nor will the fountain of my money be ever dry, but it shall be employed in stuffing to repletion the bellows-jaws and sponge-like bellies of those Romans, until my wishes are fulfilled in the matter of these monks, who set themselves to oppose me". At this same time also a dispute arose between the king's agents of customs and the Gascon wine-merchants, who had as usual suffered much loss and injury through the purchasers employed by the king; and in reply to the king's purveyors the Gascons said, "We have a new lord, from whom we hope to derive great benefits; and we believe that you will change your evil acts of robbery, which you call customs, into good, or at least tolerable, laws.

A.D. 1256.] ECLIPSE OF THE SUN. 157

Our lord is young, and it is expedient for him to take beneficial counsel and to treat us in his new position with all kindness and justice, that he, who is, as it were, a young and tender plant, may grow and develop himself, so as on gaining strength to give forth good fruit". As the king's agents would not listen to them, but, as usual, seized on their wine by force without payment, the Gascons went to their lord, that is to say, Edward, and laid a heavy complaint before him of the aforesaid proceedings, adding that they had greater liberty as merchants to land amongst the Saracens, and offer their goods for sale, for which they would receive the proper prices without any hindrance. Thereupon the king's bailiffs went to him in anger, saying, "Your majesty, there is only one king in England who has power to administer justice; but the Gascon wine-merchants have complained to another than you of an injury which they falsely assert to have been done to them, which proceeding evidently redounds to your prejudice and to the injury of the kingdom". Whilst the king was in the midst of his vexation at hearing this, Edward came to him with a heavy complaint of the injuries done to his subjects, and declared that he would not tolerate such proceedings on any account. At hearing this speech, the king with a deep sigh said, "My own flesh and blood attack me; already has my brother Earl Richard been excited against me, as also is my first-born son. Now are renewed the times of my grandfather Henry the Second, against whom his dearest children audaciously rebelled". Many people auguring ill from this matter, expressed fears that worse events would ensue; but the king listening to prudent counsel, passed over all these matters quietly, and ordered amends to be made for the injuries committed. But Edward, as if taking precautions in his own behalf, increased his domestic retainers, and rode out in public attended by two hundred horsemen.

Of an eclipse of the sun.

Whilst the festivities of Christmas were still being kept up, on the sixth day after Christmas-day, and the third before New Year's day, which was the eve of St. Sylvester, the sun underwent a partial eclipse. At Toledo the eclipse was total; and on the third day following, which was the

158 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 12d6

Circumcision, the moon, according to the calendar, was one day old.

Of the fear of the prelates of England, who dared not grumble against Rustand.

At the festival of St. Hilary, the bishops and archdeacons of England, who were overwhelmed with grief on all sides, assembled at London to give a reply to Master Rustand, the clerk of the pope and the king conjointly, the pope's nuncio, and the king's proctor. On coming before him, Master Leonard, of whom previous mention has been made, as advocate of the clergy and spokesman of the community, made a speech on behalf of the bishops, and amongst other things, in reply to Master Rustand (who stood up to oppose Master Leonard, and said that "all the churches belonged to the pope"), he said with great moderation, "That is true, if it is for their defence and protection, but not if to enjoy or appropriate the fruits of them; as we say all belongs to the prince; whereby we understand, for their protection, not for their destruction. And such was the intention of the founders". To this speech Master Rustand replied in anger: "In future, let each one speak for himself, that the pope, as well as the king, may know what each says in a matter concerning them". At hearing this announcement, all were struck with amazement, because they either did not dare, or knew not how, to give utterance to their dissatisfaction; for it was now as clear as the day, that the pope and the king were confederated for the oppression of the Church and the clergy. They therefore appealed against the demands made; for Master Rustand would not alter one iota of what he had committed to writing, which was to the effect, that the prelates avowed that they had borrowed a large sum of money as aforesaid from the transalpine merchants, and that it had been converted to the use of their churches; which was evident to all to be a falsehood. Therefore they asserted, and not without reason, that to die in this cause would be a more direct road to martyrdom than in the case of St. Thomas the Martyr. When Master Rustand saw that they were all overcome with sorrow and bitterness of spirit, he had recourse to dissimulation, and becoming more gentle, he said he wished to have an interview with the pope on the matter. However, the


dean of St. Paul's, at London, and some others, were sent to Rome on behalf of the community of the English church. Above all, fears were entertained that the prelates would succumb to the duplicity and impetuosity of such powerful adversaries as the king and the pope, and this detestable slavery, this expression of the clergy and Church, would become a custom in consequence, which would be to be deplored for ages.

Of the provision for observing the charters of liberties granted, etc.

And it was beneficially provided that strict observance should be maintained, under penalty of an awful anathema, of the great charters of King John, which he had of his own accord promised to his barons, and which this present king had afterwards, and now again lately, freely and voluntarily granted in the great hall of Westminster: also that, on account of the king's tyranny, which he did not desist from practising in vacant churches, another charter, which the aforesaid King John had granted to the kingdom, should be presented to the pope for his inspection. This charter, on account of the advantages to be derived from an inviolate observance of it, we have thought proper to insert in this volume.

The confirmation of King John's charter by Pope Innocent the Third.

"Innocent the Third, etc., to his venerable brethren and beloved children, and to all the ordained prelates of churches throughout England, greeting, with the apostolic blessing.- With fitting praises we extol the magnificence of the Creator, of Him who, wonderful and terrible in his counsels, has for some time allowed the tempest of his breath to blow upon the sons of men, as if by thus sporting with the world he might show us our weakness and insufficiency; of Him who, at will, says to the north wind, 'Blow', and to the south wind, 'Forbid it not', and who commanded the winds and sea, and stilled the storm in the heavens, that the sailors might reach the wished-for port. Whereas a grievous dissension, which is attended with great peril and loss, has arisen and long existed between the king and the priesthood of England concerning the election of prelates; yet, by the wonderful agency of Him to whom nothing is impossible, and who blows where he wills, our well-beloved son in Christ,

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John, the illustrious king of England, has of his own free and spontaneous will, and with the common consent of his barons, for the salvation of his own soul and those of his predecessors and successors, liberally granted and confirmed by his letters the grant, to the effect that henceforth, in each and all the churches and monasteries, cathedral and conventual, throughout the whole kingdom of England, the elections of prelates of all kinds, high or low, shall be free for ever: We, therefore, taking this as granted and ratified, by virtue of our apostolic authority confirm this grant made to you, and through you to your churches and your successors, according to the contents of the said letters of the king as seen by us: and we fortify you with the protection of this our letter". And for further confirmation of this grant, and to perpetuate the memory thereof, we have inserted in this book the aforesaid letters of the king granted in this matter, the purport of which is as follows:-

The charter of the grant made by King John.

"John, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, knights, bailiffs, and all to whom these letters shall come, greeting,- Whereas between us and our venerable fathers, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy church of Rome, and the bishops William of London, Eustace of Ely, Giles of Hereford, Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, and Hugh of Lincoln, by the grace of Ood and of the free-will of both parties, peace has been fully established in the matter of the damages and losses suffered by them at the time of the interdict, we wish not only to satisfy them as far as we can by God's help, but also to make wholesome and beneficial provision for the whole church of England for ever. Therefore, whatever custom has hitherto been observed during our times and in those of our predecessors, in the church of England, and whatever right we have hitherto claimed to ourselves in the elections of any prelates soever, we, on their petition, of our own free and spontaneous will, and with the common consent of our barons, have, for the salvation of our own soul and those of our predecessors and successors in the kingdom of England,


granted and decreed, and by this present charter of ours do confirm the grant, that henceforth, in each and all the churches and monasteries, cathedral and conventual, throughout the whole kingdom of England, the elections of all prelates, both high and low, shall be free for ever, saving to us and our heirs the guardianship of vacant churches and monasteries when they belong to us. We moreover promise, that we will not hinder, nor allow our agents to hinder, the said elections, nor will we act so as to prevent the electors in each and all of the churches and monasteries, whenever the prelacies shall be vacant, from freely appointing a pastor over themselves whenever they choose, on condition, however, of their previously asking permission to do so of us and our heirs, which we will not refuse nor delay in giving. And if perchance (which God forbid) we should refuse or delay our consent, the electors, notwithstanding, may proceed to a canonical election; and likewise after making the election, our assent thereto shall be asked, which we will not refuse, unless we shall give any reasonable grounds of refusal, or legitimate proof why we ought not to consent. Wherefore it is our will and strict order, that, in the case of churches and monasteries becoming vacant, no one shall presume to contravene this our grant and decree in any way. And if any one shall at any time so contravene it, he will incur the malediction of God the Omnipotent, and of us. As witness Peter bishop of Winchester, W. Marshall earl of Pembroke, W. Earl Warrenne, R. earl of Chester, S. earl of Winchester, G. de Mandeville earl of Gloucester and Essex, W. Earl Ferrars, W. Bruere, W. Fitzgerald, W. de Canteloup, H. de Neville, R. de Vere, and W. de Huntingfield. Done at the New Temple at London, by the hand of Master R de Marsh, our chancellor, this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord 1216, the sixteenth year of our reign. Let no one at all, therefore, take on himself to infringe this ordinance confirmed by us, or rashly to contravene it in any way. For whosoever in his presumption attempts the same, may rest assured that he will incur the anger of God and of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Given at the Lateran, this thirtieth day of March, in the eighteenth year of our pontificate".

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Many waver in their pious resolutions.

Such were the charters and other documents which it was arranged should be sent to Rome to be considered of by the supreme pontiff. But what good would it do? That detestable addition [notwithstanding] weakened all. Prevaricators, evil advisors, and flatterers of great men, pervert all things, and put evil interpretations on all things; and those who make complaints frequently receive from the Roman court, that is, from the pope and his brethren, some such reply as follows: "We do not wish in these tones to offend princes"; and they add, "We must conceal much, and pass over much with the eyes of connivance" (however mnch harm it may do). And thus, to our sorrow, the strictness of justice, owing to the fears of timid people, was seen to waver, especially in that court.

The death of John the Roman; archdeacon of Richmond.

And at this same time died John the Roman, archdeacon of Richmond, a most avaricious man, who was possessed of an immense amount of money. For nearly fifty years he had employed himself in amassing wealth; and though one of the higher order of canons of the church of York, he was the first, or one of the first, like a base spy, to disclose the secrets of England, and to stimulate the Romans to grasp more greedily than usual, and by means either right or wrong, at the revenues of that country. At his death, the king, by reason of the vacancy of the archbishopric, seized on his prebend and all his other possessions that he could lay hands on, and disposed of them at his own pleasure.

Of the death of W. of York, bishop of Salisbury.

About the same time of the year died William of York, bishop of Salisbury, who had from his youth been a protege of the court, and been promoted by it to his bishopric. Amongst other worldly acts to which he was much addicted, he introduced as a law in the kingdom a most wicked custom, which was, that every tenant and subject, however small his tenement, should, even against his will, do court-service to his superior whose tenant he was, to the great loss and detriment of those subject, and with little or no benefit to the superiors; so that those who had never done this service


were astonished at being now compelled to do so. This bishop passed from these worldly cares and anxieties on the 1st of January, to meet those perils which worldly people and court-followers are believed to be subjected to; for their works follow them.

How the archbishop of Canterbury harassed the church of Rochester.

About this same time, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, oppressed the church of Rochester, and attacked the property of it; by which proceedings he incurred much reproach, and the church, of which he ought to have been the defender, was said to be harassed by him. The bishop of Rochestor having complained of the great injury to the king, the avenger of such acts, the latter with a downcast look replied, "I cannot compel him to act with justice and humility, lest I should cause offence or grief to his family, especially the queen, as he is of such high and noble birth".

Of the scandal originated by the Minors.

About this same time, some infamous Jews, to the number of seventy-one, who had been condemned to death by a jury of twenty-five knights, for the murder of the wretched boy crucified at Lincoln, were detained in prison at London to be hung, and as their enemies state, they sent messengers privately to the Minor brethren, begging them to intercede on their behalf, that they might be released from prison and saved from death, although they were deserving of a most disgraceful one. The brethren then (as the world reports, if in such a case the world in to be believed), influenced by bribes, interceded for these Jews, and by their prayers released them from prison and saved them from the death they had deserved; but I think that we ought in propriety to believe that they were influenced by the spirit of piety; for as long as any one is treading the path of life in this world he has a right to entertain his own opinion; he can be saved, and hopes ought to be entertained of him; but as for the devil, or those manifestly condemned, we cannot have hopes for them, nor need they be prayed for, as there is no hope for them. Death and a definitive sentence enshackled these Jews irrevocably; and this argument could not excuse the Minors, or prevent scandal from defaming them, guiltless, as they were; and the lower classes of people withheld their

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charity, and would not bestow alms on them as formerly. Thus the devotion of the London people towards the Minors grew lukewarm, in the same way as the charity of the Parisians had been chilled towards the Preacher brethren for having endeavoured to invalidate the ancient and approved customs of the community.

Of the capture and imprisonment of the Roman senator.

In this year, also, the Romans seized on and imprisoned their senator Brancaleone, as he proved himself to the magnates of the city, as well as to the people, to be most rigid in the execution of justice, and inexorable in the punishment of faults. On his imprisonment, his wife hastened to Bologna, to inform the people of that city, who held thirty hostages for his safety, what had been done to the apostolic senator, and thereupon the citizens of Bologna detained the hostages they held for Brancaleone in strict custody. The chief men of Rome then made a heavy complaint of this proceeding to the pope, and by the intervention of some cardinals of Roman origin, obtained from him a promise that, if the citizens of Bologna would not give up the hostages they held for Brancaleone's safety, the city should be laid under interdict; which was carried into effect. The people of Bologna, however, endured the consequences of the interdict, and would not give up the hostages to the Romans, as they knew, if they did so, that Brancaleone would soon be put to death.

Of the general parliament held by the French king.

On the day after the Purification of the blessed Mary, the French king held a general parliament, to which the king of England sent special messengers, as was believed, to demand his rights on the continent. In fact he thought himself an object of fear to the French; but he gained nothing but a flat refusal. He was also informed by his messengers, that the pope's armies were irremediably dispersed and destroyed, and that he need not trouble himself any more about Sicily or Apulia. On that account, his messenger, who was John Mansell, did not ask permission of the French king, for the king of England, and those who were appointed in his name, to pass at liberty through the French kingdom with his army and money, on his way to Apulia, which the


pope's munificence had given him for the benefit of his son Edmund. The messenger, therefore, returned without accomplishing anything, except that he brought back news of the destruction of the pope's army.

Of the war at Turin, in consequence of the imprisonment of Thomas of Savoy.

At this period of time, Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by Philip, bishop elect of Lyons, and Peter of Savoy, and attended by a large body of troops, set out for Italy to attack the city of Turin, in which their brother, Thomas of Savoy, late count of Flanders, was detained a prisoner. This said Thomas had proved himself severe and tyrannical to his subjects, treating them in a very improper way, and contrary to their usual customs. In consequence of this, the citizens of Turin and Asti, and others in allianoe with them, determining no longer to endure his injurious violence, resisted him openly to his face, notwithstanding his illustrious birth, in which he put his trust more than was right, and practised his tyranny on innocent people; and for this, as before stated, they thrust him into prison. The Savoyards thereupon came with the rapidity of a tempest to his rescue, and met with a vigorous resistance from the citizens; but a numerous host of the former coming on them, compelled the citizens to retreat into their city, which was at once actively besieged. Peter possessed abundance of money, which Earl Richard had lent him on pledge; and the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop elect of Lyons also had large sums of sacred money belonging to the noble churches over which they presided; and from these sources they distributed large amounts in pay to their numerous army. Again, the king of England, and the queen, who was more bound to do so, transmitted to them the much-coveted money in abundance; whilst the pope, that he might appear an effective aider of the king and queen of England, and not a useless abettor, sent them not either gold or silver, but an eloquent consolatory and comforting letter, which may be seen in the book of Additaments.

How Brother John of Darlington was summoned to the king's councils.

About this same time the king summoned to his privy councils Brother John of Darlington, one of the Preacher

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order, who was distinguished for his learning, and well calculated for a counsellor. For the king now had need of prudent counsel and of spiritual comfort; for on being certified of the ruin of the pope and his army, whereby the kingdom was exposed to danger, he was in a state of great mental consternation.

The honour of kinghthood conferred on the king of Man by the king of England.

At Easter, the king of England conferred the honour of knighthood on the king of the Isle of Man, accompanying it with many honours and benefits ou his initiation. The name of the said king of Man was Magnus.

The death of W. of Holland, king of Germany.

In this same year, William of Holland, who had been created king by the pope, and exalted by him to the high position he held over the kingdom of Germany, and who had preconceived the means and opportunity of obtaining the Roman empire, after an endless expenditure of the pope's money on him and by him, now on the offering of a slight opportunity, began to make war against the Frieslanders, a rude, uncivilized, and untameable nation of people. These Frieslanders inhabit a northern country, are skilled in naval warfare, and fight with great vigour and courage on the ice. It is of the cold regions of these Frieslanders, and their neighbours the Sarmatians, that Juvenal says, "One had better fly hence beyond the Sarmatians and the icy ocean", etc. The Frieslanders, therefore, having laid ambuscades along the sea-coast, amongst the rush-beds, as well as along the country, which is marshy (the winter season was coming on about the festival of the Purification of the blessed Virgin), went in pursuit of the said William, armed with javelins, which they call "gaveloches", in the use of which they are well skilled, and with Danish axes and pikes, and clad in linen dresses covered with light armour. On reaching a certain marsh they met with William, helmeted and wearing armour, and mounted on a large war-horse, covered with mail; but as he rode along, the ice broke, although it was more than half a foot thick, and the horse sunk up to his flank, and became fixed deep in the mud of the marsh. The enraged rider dug his sharp spurs into the animal's sides till


they reached his entrails, and the noble, fiery beast struggled to rise and free himself, but without success; crushed and braised, he only sunk the deeper, and at length by his efforts he threw his rider amongst the slippery rough fragments of ice. The Friedlanders then rushed on William, who had no one to help him from his position, all his companions in arms having fled to avoid a similar accident, and attacking him on all sides with their javelins, despite his calls for mercy, pierced his body through and through, which was already stiffened with wet and cold. He offered his murderers an immense sum of money, by way of ransom, if they would spare him and allow him to escape alive; but these inhuman men showing no mercy, cut him to pieces. And thus, just as he had had a taste of empire, was the flower of chivalry, William, king of Germany and count of Holland, the creature and pupil of the pope, hurled, at the will of his enemies, from the pinnacle of his high dignity to the depths of confusion and ruin. But "to die at the option of enemies", says the philosopher, "is to die twice". When this intelligence reached the pope, his grief was, at having thrown into Charybdis such an amount of money which had been gathered in all quarters, and by all kinds of means.

The death of Etesia, Countess Warrenne.

In this same year died Etesia, Countess Warrenne, the uterine sister of the king, in the flower of her youth and prosperity, to the extreme grief of the king and of her husband, John, the young Earl Warrenne.

Of the mission of W. of Hort. and William of St. Edward's, monks of St. Alban's, to Rome.

And about the same time, a certain transalpine clerk, named John of Camezan, having done injury and caused some loss to the church of St. Alban's, one of the brethren of the same church was sent to the Roman court to obtain justice against the said clerk. The said brother, then, whose name was William de Horton (?), the cellarer of the said church, accompanied by Master William, of St. Edward's, set out on Palm-Sunday to cross the Alps. He was the bearer of a most eloquent letter from the king, addressed to the pope, as also to the cardinals, interceding for him; which letter, as it was composed and written in the best style of

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rhetoric, this John, caviller as he was, asserted to be a forgery, declaring that a person of such high rank never interceded by letter with the pope, and other persons of influence and authority, so specially and so familiarly, for a simple monk. But this accusation was afterwards refuted and disproved by the testimony of the king. If any one is desirous of seeing that letter, it can be found in the book of Additaments.

Of the pope's letter to the abbat of St. Alban's.

And on the same day a letter was sent by the pope to the abbat and convent of the said church of St. Alban's, ordering them, within a month, to pay to certain merchants the sum of five hundred marks, in which they were indebted to the same merchants, and giving them to understand that if they exceeded that term of time in paying the money, they would forthwith be suspended. Such was the purport of the letter, although they never knew that they were bound by debt to any one. The same occurred in the case of many other convents, which were likewise compelled to endure the yoke of these merchant usurers. And in order the more effectually to extort money, these extortioners stated that it was all required for the use of the king; who was ready to set out on his pilgrimage.

Of the release of the Jewish prisoners.

On the 15th of May in this year, thirty-five of the Jews accused of the crucifixion of St. Hugh, the Lincoln boy, and who had been detained prisoners in the Tower of London, were dismissed from that prison and set at liberty. But these Jews, I say, were found guilty on their trial by jury, from the statement made by the Jew who was hung at Lincoln, in the first place.

Of the meeting of the bishops of England at London.

Harassed by divers troubles, the bishops of England met at London, in the fortnight of Easter, to give a definite reply to Rustand, on the demands made by him. At first they were disunited, and disagreed amongst themselves, and were on the point of going away again; but afterwards, being encouraged by the barons, they refused to contribute anything from their baronies for the king.


How the abbats of the Cistercian order were summoned to appear before Rustand, at Reading.

About the same time Master Rustand, on the apostolic authority, summoned all the abbats of the Cistercian order in England to appear before him on the fourth Sunday after Easter, to hear a message from the pope. When they had all assembled at the time and place named in his summons, Rustand, after a long preamble, demanded of them, for the use of the pope and of the king, a large sum of money, as much in fact as the cost of their wool amounted to; and the world knows that all their means of profit, and even of supporting life, depended on their wool. At hearing this demand, they took counsel together, and being unanimous in their determination, they firmly replied that they were not allowed to give a positive answer to such a heavy demand without asking the consent and advice of the abbat and chapter of the Cistercians, of which they were the limbs and the children; and thus they returned to their convents, leaving Master Rustand in a state of great anger. That, person, then, like a hurt child fleeing for refuge to its mother's bosom, hastened with all speed to the king, complaining of what had passed, and stating that the abbats of the Cistercian order, animated as it were by one haughty and froward spirit, had replied that they would not in any way help him in his necessity. The king, in his anger at this, swore that he would injure and persecute them singly, as he could not bend them to consent to his wishes when united; and because they had said that it would be more becoming for the king to ask their prayers of them than their money, he swore that he would both have their prayers, and that he would not be balked of their money. At that time there happened to be at the court the abbat of Bildewas, of the Cistercian order, and the king, ordering him to be sent for to him, said on his arrival, in a tone of reproach, "How is it, abbat, that you have refused me pecuniary assistance when I am in need of it, and humbly ask it of you? Am I not your patron"? To which the abbat replied, "Would that you were a patron, a father, and a defender; but it is not proper for you to injure us by extorting our money from us, but rather ought you to ask the

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aid of our prayers, and follow the example of the pious king of the French". Then added thb king, "I require both: your money and your prayers". "This", replied the abbat, "I think, cannot be; you most be without the one or the other. For if you extort our small substances from us by force, how can we pray for you devoutly and with sincerity of heart? for prayer, without true devotion, will be of little or no benefit to you". But the king, although the abbat had answered him wisely, laid plans in secret against all the Cistercian abbats.

How the abbat of Waredon begged mercy of the king.

At that time there was a rich knight named William Beauchamp, who had a wife named Ida, a woman of noble family, but degenerate and vile in her morals. This woman was an indefatigable persecutor of religious people of both sexes living around her, and now finding a favourable opportunity, in consequence of the king's anger, of injuring the abbat of Waredon, she laid her plans with woman's cunning, and made a serious accusation against the said abbat, in the king's court, knowing that the king, in his anger, would condemn him, whether justly or unjustly. On frivolous grounds, or rather on no grounds at all, the abbat was left at the mercy of the king, and as he (the king) had stopped all other ways of obtaining mercy, except by application to himself, the abbat was obliged to appeal with all humility to the king for mercy, and on his so doing, the latter, with a stern look and a dreadful oath, replied, "How can you have the front, abbat, to ask me for mercy? You who, with your brother abbats, so lately refused mercy to me in my necessity"? And he fined him a large sum of money at the option and will of his persecutors. In like manner, also, the abbat of Rufore, of the Cistercian order, was obliged to pay a large sum of money, although unjustly and on some groundless pretext, originated and promoted by two low persons, called pages. Other abbats of the Cistercian order were likewise compelled to suffer manifold losses and injuries.

The pope's letter of behalf of the Cistercian order.

In consequence of these proceedings, some prudent men of the Cistercian order were sent to the court of Rome to

A.D. 1256.] THE POPE'S LETTER. 171

obtain relief from this kind of oppresion, whilst the king sent William Boncoque, a knight skilled in the law, to the same court on his behalf, to oppose them, and on some other business. The following is the letter obtained by the Cistercians.

"Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his well-beloved sons the abbats and convents of the Cistercian order in the kingdom of England, and in those places which are subject to the dominion of the said sovereignty, greeting, with the apostolic benediction,- The more exalted the stage of religion which your order has, by divine grace, attained, and the higher the position it has gained by its conduct and holiness, so much the more has its affectionate mother, the Apostolic See, always promoted its advantage and welfare, and strengthened it by spiritual favours. We, therefore, who entertain feelings of the greatest affection for the same order, taking into consideration that the monasteries of the said order, in the kingdom of France, were exempted from paying tithes to the ecclesiastical revenues, which tithes were granted by our predecessor Pope Innocent, of happy memory, to our well-beloved son in Christ the illustrious king of the French, for the succour of the Holy Land, as that king considered that the devout prayers of that order would be of more benefit than worldly assistance. And whereas we wish to provide for your repose, and as far as we can consistently with our duty to God, to do you a special favour, we, by virtue of these presents, do grant you exemption from paying to our well-beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of England, or to any other person, or from being compelled to pay to him the tithe of your revenues and incomes, on the plea of the grant made from that time to him by the Apostolic See of the tithes of the ecclesiastical revenues of his kingdom and of the places subject to his dominion, for the succour of the Holy Land. We nevertheless decree, that you shall be entirely free and exempt from the payment of these tithes, and from any kind of exactions or obligation on your property or possessions; and we entirely revoke and annul all indulgences, letters, and processes whatsoever, detrimental to you and your monasteries, which have been granted by the said see in this matter. And we moreover decree that all indulgences and letters, hereafter to be

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granted, whatever maybe their purport, shall have no power against you and your monasteries, unless they make full and especial mention, word for word, of this one. Let no one, therefore, on any account, dare to infringe or act in opposition to this document, containing our revocation and decree. And if any one shall presume to attempt so to do, he may rest assured that he will incur the anger of Almighty God and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Done at Naples, the 25th of May, in the first year of our pontificate".

The closing of the ports.

About St. Dunstan's day, the king, we know not for what reason, closed the ports, in order to prevent any prelate, knight, or clerk, from crossing the sea, although the bishops of Bath and Rochester had already done so.

Of the tournament held at Blithe.

About Whitsuntide, a general tournament was held at Blithe, according to the laws and discipline of chivalry, at which the king's eldest son Edward attended in linen clothing and light armour, to be instructed in the laws of chivalry. Many nobles who endeavoured to gain knightly renown there, were unhorsed, beaten, crushed, and trampled underfoot; of whom one was William Longsword, who never afterwards recovered from the effects of his injuries.

Of the letters of intercession on behalf of the Cistercian order.

About the same time, also, the pope sent a letter of entreaty to the king on behalf of the Cistercian order. Besides this, the cardinal White wrote most devoutly to the king in favour of the Cistercian order, begging him, for God's sake, not to harass that holy order by such exactions; and thus, for a time, the Cistercians breathed freely and enjoyed a sort of tranquillity, such as it was.

Of the pope's modification of his demands.

The persons who had been sent to the Roman court on behalf of the community of prelates, obtained a modification of the demands made by the pope, and some kind of relief from the intolerable severity of their late oppressions, as the following letter will show.

"Alexander, etc., to the prelates, etc.- The assistance afforded by our foresight, ought to provide that where you


have obtained no advantage you should feel but little injury. Whereas our venerable brother the bishop of Hereford, with our permission granted to him by our letters, has borrowed from our specially-beloved sons Oliver Rosa and his colleagues, citizens and merchants of Florence, the sum of five hundred marks sterling, to settle the affairs of our well-beloved son in Christ the illustrious king of England, although in those letters and in the public document prepared on account of this loan, it is expressly contained and mentioned that it was not on account of matters connected with you and your monastery that this money was borrowed, and for which the said bishop has pledged you and the said monastery and its possessions to the said merchants; we, wishing to arrange this matter in such a way that neither you nor the said monastery shall incur any injury from this proceeding, do, by authority of these presents, grant you free permission, in case the said king shall fail in the payment of the aforesaid money, and you shall be obliged to satisfy the aforesaid merchants for the same, to retain in your own absolute possession so much of the tithes of your ecclesiastical reventtes which has been granted to the king for the succour of the Holy Land, as shall amount to the sum you may pay to the said merchants, and the loss and expenses which you may incur on account of this matter, notwithstanding any letters either obtained or to be obtained from the Holy See, concerning the collection of the aforesaid tithes, however they may be worded, or to whatever judges or agents they may be directed. Moreover, if, on account of the retention of the aforesaid tithes, any sentences of suspension, excommunication, or interdict, shall be promulgated against you or any of you, by any parties soever, we, by virtue of these presents, decree them to be null and void, and that you are not bound to observe them".

Of the general lukewarmness of devotion entertained towards the pope.

About the same time, a lukewarmness came over the devotion which used to be felt towards the pope our father, and the Roman church our mother. For even from the time when, at his first creation, he asked of Christians the suffrages of their prayers, a great many considered it to be an act of hypocrisy to cloak his worldly proceedings, but

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their suspicions were lulled to rest on remembering the admonition of the saint, where he says, "When you commence any good action, earnestly pray God to complete it himself", etc. But as this kind of devotion was followed by works of a contrary nature, strange reports were spread about him, and the preconceived hopes of the pope's sanctity were extinguished. However, it was whispered in the ears of many as a fact, that the pope was deceived, and that manifold frauds were committed by means of the bull; but this reasoning, if reasoning it be, does not excuse the pope.

Of the election of Giles to the bishopric of Salisbury.

About the same time, the canons of Salisbury elected Master Giles of Bredelford as their bishop and pastor of their souls; who, on being presented to the king, was accepted of by him, as no grounds for his rejection could be found in him.

Of the election of R. of Norwich to the archbishopric of Dublin.

Master Ralph of Norwich, a liberal and eloquent man, bnt one who had from his early years been educated more at the king's court than in the schools of the liberal arts, was elected archbishop of Dublin; but, owing to the opposition made by some parties, the confirmation of his election was delayed. In fact, the electors were blamed for having chosen an entirely worldly man, and who was still in the service and under the rule of the king as customs receiver for Ireland; and thus his election was quashed.

Of the deptarture of the abbot of Westminster and Rustand.

The abbat of Westminster, Master Rustand, and the bishop elect of Salisbury, set sail at the request of the king to arrange some business for him,- of what nature was unknown, but on some secret plans, which it was to be hoped were good ones. The bishops of Bath and Rochester also set out secretly and hastily on a journey across the Alps, to exterminate the manifold seeds of worldly discords which were now revived. The abbat and his companions took their departure at the commencement of the month of June.

Of the king's new decree for the initiation of knights.

In this year a royal warrant was issued, and proclamation made throughout all England, that every one possessing


fifteen librates of land aad more should be initiated in the use of arms, and that those who would not or could not sustain the honour of knightly rank, should purchase their exemption. This was done that the chivalry of England might be strengthened, as amongst the Italians.

Of the establishment of peace between the Flemings, Germans, and French.

Peace was re-established between the French, Germans, and Flemings, but still it was viewed with suspicion; for so many on both sides, indeed on all sides, had suffered injury and loss, that the heaped-up ashes could not grow so entirely cold but that some spark of anger remained. The peace between the aforesaid nations was made on the day of Saint Cyriac and his mother.

Of a heavy storm.

On the third day after, an extraordinary storm, or succession of storms of wind and rain, accompanied by hail, thunder, and lightning; alarmed men's hearts, and caused irreparable damage. One might see the wheels of mills torn from their axles and carried by the violence of the wind to great distances, destroying in their course the neighbouring houses; and what the water did to the water-mills, the wind did not fail to do to the wind-mills. Piles of bridges, stacks of hay, the huts of fishermen with their nets and poles, and even children in their cradles, were suddenly carried away, so that the deluge of Deucalion seemed to be renewed. Not to mention other places, Bedford, which is watered by the Ouse, suffered incomputable damagee, as it had done a few years before. Indeed, in one place, six houses immediately adjoining each other were carried away by the rapidity of the torrents, their inhabitants having much difficulty in saving themselves; and other places contiguous to that river were exposed to similar perils.

Of the decree made at St. Alban's in memory of King Offa.

In this same year, on the anniversary of the decapitation of St. Alban, the chief martyr of England, on which day all the priors of the convents dependent on that of St. Alban's made a practioe of assembling at that place, it was decreed, in a chapter held there in the presence of the abbat and conventual assembly and of all the priors aforesaid, and by

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unanimous consent, that at the end of each canonical hour in the choir, after grace was said at dinner, and after the prayers and family prayers and psalms, in the infirmary as well as in the abbat's chamber, the words, "May the soul of King Offa repose in peace", should be repeated aloud and with one voice, and that this should be observed inviolably and for ever. This was never remembered to have been done before; for which neglect no excuse whatever could be made; and that the convent might no longer be reproached with such ingratitude, this decree, late as it was, was now made. For that noble king, who was king of the Mercians, was the munificent founder of that convent and the pious restorer of religion, and, although most humbly and religiously disposed, was most powerful and brave in war, like Charlemagne in France, who was a contemporary and great friend of Offa, and who subdued all who rebelled against him, the magnanimous Offa conquered, and drove out of England, all the petty princes who once vented their rage and fury there; so that he alone held almost the entire monarchy of the English kingdom. For he had obtained by force and kept possession of twenty-two districts, called by the English "Shires"; and I think it will not be foreign to our matter if I insert them in this book, that his mightiness may be fully proved by the extent of his rule, and his sanctity by his building the noble convent of St. Alban's.


Hereford and Worcester 1 2 Gloucester and Warwick 3 4 Chester and Stafford 5 6 Shrewsbary and Derby 7 8 Leicester and Lincoln 9 10 Northampton and Exeter 11 12 Buckingham and Bedford 13 14 Huntingdon and Cambridge 15 16 Hertford and Essex 17 18 Middlesex and Norfolk 19 20 Southampton and Rutland, or Nothingham 21 22

Of King Offa's attachment to the convent of St. Alban's.

Moreover, this king Offa, established the freedom in temporal matters, as far as any king could do, of the convent of St. Alban's, of which he was the noble founder; and in order to make it free also in spiritual matters, he went in person to Rome, and established a school there for English, besides conferring many benefits whilst on his journey. With justice, therefore, did this king's immortal memory

A.D. 1256.] BATTLE AT ST. BOTULPH. 177

obtain the spiritual benefit of a prayer for the absolution of his soul being pronounced for ever in the convent and elsewhere, as above stated, at the end of each canonical hour, and after grace at dinner.

Of the disturbances which took place at Rome on the capture of the senator.

About this same time disturbances broke out in the city of Rome, between the nobles and the people, in consequence of the capture and imprisonment of their senator, Brancaleone, for the strictness and rigour with which he administered justice (for he caused all who were convicted of homicide, theft, and other crimes, to be hung, mutilated, and punished in manifold ways). The senator's wife, too (who was called senatress), fled clandestinely, and with all speed, to Bologna, where thirty of the higher order of young men of the city were detained as hostages for Brancaleone's safety, and informed the inhabitants of that city of what had been done; whereupon they kept the hostages in close confinement. Some of the cardinals, who were natives of Rome, and descendants of noble families, excited the pope's anger against the citizens of Bologna; and hence the disturbances increased.

Of a battle which took place at the fair of St. Botulph.

In this year, too, at St. Botulph's fair, there arose a dispute, which brought on a quarrel, and ended in a bloody battle between the people of Peter of Savoy and those of Robert Tateshale, who shared in the receipts of certain emoluments arising from that fair. As the number of the combatants greatly increased, and threatened much bloodshed, the retainers of Earl Richard prudently interfered and appeased the tumult. It should be known, that when Peter was about to leave England, he had, by dint of entreaties and presents, prevailed on Earl Richard to become the protector of his possessions: and thus Peter was benefited more by being absent than he would have been if he had been present; for people said that it was a shame to injure a man in his absence, especially when, inspired by an affectionate and generous spirit, he was fighting for the rescue of his brother; and so the quarrel was put an end to for a time.

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How the pope wrote to the king and queen of England.

In the mean time Peter of Savoy, with the nobles of his family, the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop elect of Lyons, and other Savoyards, most vigorously besieged the city of Turin; and as the provisions in the city began to fail, and there seemed no chance of succour reaching them by way of the river Po, the citizens expelled from the place all who were unable to bear arms. But the more closely they were pressed, the more strictly they kept Count Thomas confined, in order that if they (the citizens) were captured and punished, the said count, who was the cause of their trouble from first to last, should be punished in the first place. The pope, in order to appear desirous of doing a good turn to the king and queen of England, under the circumstances, wrote a letter to them in terms of consolation and comfort, as follows:-

"Alexander, bishop, etc., to his well-beloved daughter in Christ the illustrious queen of England, greeting, with the apostolic blessing,- Bitter indeed and grievous are the injuries inflicted on the devout sons of the Church, and much is our heart disturbed at the offences committed against the faithful servants of the Apostolic See: but we grieve the more at the troubles of those whose devotion and sincerity towards the Apostolic See have shone more conspicuously, because they have, above all others, gained a title to purity, and deserve the greater favour and honour from the said see. For we feel the oppressions of these persons on ourselves, and when they are injured we taste the bitterness of their wounds. We have heard with bitterness of heart and tribulation of spirit that when the citizens of Asti went to destroy the castle of Montcallier, some time sinoe, our well-beloved son the noble count Thomas of Savoy, your uncle, who then lived in that castle, fled therefrom and betook himself to the city of Turin, hoping with the aid of the citizens of that place, who are his vassals, to recover possession of the aforesaid castle, which is known to belong to him; but that the aforesaid citizens of Turin, despising all godly fear, and careless of their own good name, rashly violated the oath by which they were bound to the said count, and at the instigation and with the assistance of the people of


Asti, basely seized and detained him a prisoner; thus bringing on themselves the stain of treachery. And this ill-omened rumour has wounded our heart with deep grief, and it is the more bitter to our eyes because the prisoner himself is dear to us. We grieve, therefore, and not without just reason, that our son, whom of all others we especially love, is so detained prisoner. We grieve, and no wonder, that the person of such a high noble, on whose sincere duty and service we relied, has fallen into the hands of traitors, and he is kept more closely a prisoner because, growing strong by assiduous devotion, he laboured with unwearied solicitude for the exaltation of the aforesaid see. And whereas we entertain feelings of especial goodwill towards the aforesaid earl and his family, and have always felt a particular affection for his house on account of his devotion to us, we feel, on that account, the anguish of his sufferings the more acutely, and taste the bitterness of his adversity more strongly. Moreover, his injuries touch us so nearly, that we compassionate him who suffers them; in the same way he cannot be struck with the scourge of adversity without our being immediately struck as well as he. Indeed he has given similar feelings to us, and imparts his griefs to us by a sort of bitter transfusion. We have therefore thought it right to earnestly beg and exhort your serene majesty to seize the persons and property of any of the citizens of Turin and Asti, who may be living in the countries subject to your rule and to detain them until the aforesaid count be restored to his former state of freedom". A similar letter also was sent to the king.

How the monks of the convent at Abingdon asked leave of the king to elect an abbat in the place of their present one, who was dying.

In this year the abbat of Abingdon was seized with palsy, and as he lay in a helpless state, expecting death, the monks of that house went to the king and humbly asked his permission, as their abbat was yielding to fate and was useless to others, to hold peaceable possession of their house in their own hands, in order to make beneficial provision for their wants; to obtain which favour they paid five hundred marks out of their abundant stock of money to the king. Within fifteen days after their return home, the paralytic abbat died,

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and the brethren at once made suitable provision for themselves by electing another abbat, as they were allowed to do by the charter which they had obtained from the king. The latter believed that the life of the abbat would have been prolonged for some time, for paralytic persons generally live a long time; and when he was informed of his death, he was greatly astonished, and exclaimed with grief, "By God's head" (to use his accustomed words), "how I am deceived and circumvented! I have only received five hundred marks from that rich house, so soon to become vacant, whereas, if I had but kept it in my own hands for a few days, I should have obtained from its woods alone, without any other emoluments, as much as would have added a thousand marks or more to my treasury". It was therefore clear as the day to all and every one, that the king's avaricious thirst increased more and more every day, even after he had sworn to observe and maintain the liberties and repose of the Church.

How John de Dia came to England by the pope's orders.

About the same time, Brother John de Diva, or Dia, a praiseworthy person, of the order of Minors, came to England with authority from the pope to carry all needful reforms into effect.

Confirmation of the intruding prior of Winchester.

Andrew, prior of Winchester, who had been thrust into that office by the bishop elect, was now, by the assistance of the same person, confirmed in it, in opposition to the general opinion of all (which proves the great power of bribes at Rome). [The old prior], who had expended so much money to obtain his rights, now returned to England, frustrated in his purpose, although he had preconceived hopes, from a most certain promise which he had received, not, however, without ample remuneration for the same, that he would be re-established as prior in his house, as justice demanded. However, some manors belonging to the house of Winchester were assigned to him, that he might have the means of subsistence as long as he lived, though the rest of his life was passed in trouble and disgrace. This circumstance proved to all how much bribes can effect at the court of Rome. The dispersed monks were now recalled, blushing with shame at their disgrace.


Of the fresh talliage imposed on the citizens of London.

The citizens of London were now again obliged to pay a talliage to the amount of five hundred marks. In order to give some colouring to reasons for these exactions, at one time it was stated to be for the use of the king, at another for the benefit of the queen, and now they expected to be taxed for the benefit of Edward; so that they were completely at the mercy of the king, "notwithstanding any liberty", and were reduced to a state of the vilest slavery.

Of the seizure of Robert de Ros's property.

Just now, too, the property of Robert de Ros was inhumanly seized, consisting of oxen, sheep, and stock of other kinds; in fact, all he possessed in the kingdom of England, which were all sold on good conditions, at the option of the purchasers. No benefit accrued to him from the humble atonement he offered to make, nor from his obedience to the orders which he had obtained from the king, not to allow the king and queen of Scotland to sleep together, on account of their youth, until a certain time should come, which was proved to have not yet arrived. Robert then persisted in asking pardon of the king, and was in hopes of obtaining it, but as yet had failed in obtaining his object. It was whispered in the ears of many, that this deprivation of the royal favour arose from the inveterate hatred of the king towards all the people of the north, who had formerly endeavoured [to dethrone] his father; and that he persecuted other people in the north, as well as this same Robert, on that account; for, with the exception of this Robert and John Baliol (whom he was now using his utmost endeavours to entrap), the king had deprived all the northern nobles of their former wealth, and had transferred their possessions to foreigners. Oh, wonderful king! from whose remembrance all duty and services rendered passed away like morning clouds, but in whose breast offences were so long treasured up. What rendered Robert deserving of blame was, his inconsiderate reply, when he offered to defend himself with his body, but would not clear himself of the charge laid against him by submitting to the judgment of his enemies, or rather fair-weather friends, who, when a man is falling, hasten his fall, but support him when exalted by prosperity.

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Of the establishment of peace between the abbats of St. Albans and Westminster.

In this year, after many altercations, peace was made between the abbat of St Alban's and the abbat of Westminster, in the matter of the quarrel concerning Aldenham. The termi of peace may be found in the book of Additaments.

Of the consecration of Sewal as archbishop of York.

Master Sewal, who was taken from the bosom of the church at York, he having been dean of the same, was consecrated archbishop of that church. St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, whose pupil and companion Sewal had once been, prognosticated much good of him.

Of the peace made between W., bishop of Ely, and H., abbat of Ramsey.

About the same time, peace was made between W., bishop of Ely, and Hugh, abbat of Ramsay, in the matter of the quarrel which had arisen concerning the fixing of the limits of the marshes. A wonderful circumstance took place on these marshes in our time, which was, that in places which from times out of mind had been pathless and inaccessible, where there were no means of travelling for men or cattle, and no habitation, but only sedge-bushes, deep mud, and marshy rush-beds, inhabited only by birds, not to mention evil spirits (of which we read in the life of St. Guthlace, who took up his habitation there of his own accord, as being a place of horrors, and a vast solitude) - those places, I say, were now converted into vast meadows, and even into arable land. And those parts of the same which did not produce corn or hay, supplied an abundance of sword-grass, turf, and other materials for burning, useful to the inhabitants. Hence disputes arose amongst those who inhabited the marshes from the first, concerning the boundaries of those places and portions of land, and these disputes led to quarrels and battles.

Of the scandal which originated at the Holy Trinity, at London.

On the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, a quarrel arose in the house of the Holy Trinity at London, between two canons of that house, who often had disputes about nothing but goats' wool. [1] This long rankling anger generated inexorable hatred;

[1] That is, "about nothing".


and hatred endeavoured to consummate vengeance by bloodshed and even murder, being urged on by the devil, who fanned the anger and hatred existing to a flame with his impious breath. One of the two, then, seizing a favourable opportunity for attempting that great crime, slew the other, and in order that it might appear that he, the murderer, was provoked to it, inflicted severe wounds on and horribly maimed himself. An outcry of lamentations then arose, and the perpetrator of the crime was seized, and punished according to the strict rules of justice. By the agency of the devil, who planned all this proceeding, the entire religious comnmnity, which it is his principal study to defame and blacken, to our sorrow and grief, incurred scandal, disgrace, and confusion. What could these two decanonized canons, who incurred the peril of damnation, say before the tribunal of the supreme judge to the accuser of the human race? Woe to them through whom a scandal arose which defiled religion in general. Let religious men, for whom the devil more particulariy lays his snares, beware and cautiously restrain their anger and hatred when quarrels and reproaches commence, for "Anger engenders strife, strife causes wars, and wars cause death". And such a death as this at first brings on a second, which is eternal.

How Manfred was acknowledged the legitimate son of the emperor Frederick.

About this same time, Manfred, who was so long believed to be only the natural son of Frederick, was found, on an examination into the truth of the matter, to be not merely a natural (that is to say illegitimate) son, but a legitimate son of that monarch; whereupon he was at once loved and honoured by all the Sicilians and Apulians, who had ere now begun to adhere to his cause. It happened about twenty years previously, that the mother of this same Manfred was taken seriously ill, and she sent for the emperor to her, begging him, for God's sake and in pity to her, to visit her, as she was believed to be at the point of death. To this request he acceded, and on going to her, the woman, with clasped hands and gushing tears, thus addressed him: "My lord, have pity on me and aid me, as I am about to die. I ought to be in great fear of my bodily danger, but I am in

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much greater concern at the imminent peril of my soul. You have a natural son, named Manfred, whom I bore you. May it please you to espouse me, that both he may be legitimatized, and that my soul may be released from peril". Yielding to her entreaties, the emperor married her; but the circumstance was kept a secret for many years. In this year, however, it was clearly proved a fact to all the Sicilians and Apulians; wherefore, from that time they firmly adhered to him and took his part against the pope and all who opposed him. Manfred, too, began to prosper in life, to triumph over all his enemies, and to lord it over them at pleasure; and as he was getting the best of the war which he had engaged in against the pope, the latter began to treat for peace; for Manfred had already taken Naples, Barletta, and other maritime cities, as well as Capua, and many other cities and towns, and, what was of more advantage to him, he had conciliated and gained over the hearts of the nobles and people. And alas! alas! there was not any one prelate of the Church who could condole with the pope, which I cannot utter or commit to paper without a flood of tears. The pope behaves in such a way towards the faithful followers of Christ, whom he is bound to cherish with paternal affection in the bosom of charity, that no one compassionates him in his adversities, but instead of that, if any one annoys or injures him, even though the aggressor be a wicked man and a reprobate, every one rejoices in the success of the persecutor.

Of the release of Brancaleone from prison.

Brancaleone, the Roman senator, whose good name ceased not to be spread abroad, and who suffered great persecution from the nobles of Rome for his strict performance of justice, was released, by the people's interference, from the prison, into which he had been thrust.

How the king and queen of Scots went to England.

At the beginning of the month of August, on a kind message from the king and queen of England, the king and queen of Scotland, attended by a numerous and honourable escort (who were believed to have about three hundred horses amongst them), came to England on a visit to the king and queen of that country; the queen of Scotland, to


see her father and mother, the king and queen of England; and the king of Scotland, to see the king of England, who loved him, and had adopted him, as a son, and the queen also; for they had an ardent longing to see the king and queen of England, as well as the kingdom itself, its churches, cities, and castles, its rivers and meadows, its woods and fields, and in fact all the pleasing sights, which are proved to exist in that kingdom above all others.

How the king of England went to meet the king and queen of Scotland.

When the king of England heard of their arrival, he went with great joy to meet them on the road, and after embracing them he entered into friendly and agreeable conversation. By the king's command a great number of nobles had assembled at the place of meeting, and when all had assembled together, there might have been counted many thousands of horses and a far more numerous body of men. No city, not even the royal manor of Woodstock, where they had met together, could hold them all; but the nobles and knights took up their quarters in pavilions erected in the woods and fields. The city of Oxford, too, and all the villages round, were filled with guests. From Oxford they set out for London by different routes, that provisions might not fall short, there being such a great multitude. The king had given orders for the city of London to be decorated with banners, chaplets, and manifold ornaments, in order that that city, as well as Westminster, might be distinguished by its demonstrations of joy. This was accordingly done; and after celebrating the anniversary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin with great splendour at Woodstock, both in the church and in the royal palace, the king and queen of Scotland and the king and queen of England set out towards London, as before stated, by different routes, on account of the number of those travelling in company with them.

How the king of England made costly offerings at St. Alban's.

On his way to London, the king went to St. Alban's, at which place his intended visit could not be known on the day preceding his arrival. There, according to his usual custom, he prayed devoutly to God and to St. Alban, the chief English martyr, and made offerings of four palls to the church, one of which he gave to St. Alban's altar, to be

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hung on the wall as on ornament; another, for the same purpose, at the altar of St. Amphibalus; another, for the altar of St. Wulstan; and another, for the altar of St. Mary, to be hung where the mass was chanted daily.

How Edward went to meet the king on his arrival at London.

When the king approached London, his eldest son, Edward, with many other nobles, went to meet him, and the city was decorated in honour of the arrival of the great personages expected; for there were present the king and queen of England, the king and queen of Scotland, Edward, and a large number of nobles and prelates. On the festival of St. Augustine the Teacher, John Mansell asked permission to entertain all the noble guests on the morrow; which request was granted to him. He therefore invited to a magnificent dinner, the kings of England and Scotland, and all the earls, barons, and knights, English as well as Scotch; also the bishop of London, and a great many of the citizens. So numerous, indeed, were his guests, that his house at Tothall was not capable of holding them all; but he caused some large and regal pavilions to be pitched for the accommodation of the guests. Those who partook of this feast were so many in number, that seven hundred dishes were scarcely sufficient for the first course of it; and never, at any time, was any prelate known to be able to provide such a rich and abundant feast; for all were supplied with an abundance of every kind of luxury.

Of the arrival in England of the king of Spain's brother, who was exiled from his own country.

At this same time there arrived in England a baron of high rank in Spain, the brother of the king of that country, who was a proscribed exile from his native land, having deservedly incurred the king's anger; and he now wanted the aid of the king of England, and came gaping after the money of others; for he had highly offended the king of Spain, and he now fled to the bosom of the king of England, and of Edward, begging them to intercede for him, that he might be restored to his former terms of friendship with the king his brother, for that he, the offender, was ready and willing to make amends for the faults he had committed.


The king of England then, in his usual way towards all foreigners, opened the bosom of consolation to him, and ordered an ample supply of all necessaries to be furnished for him. He also intrusted the care of him, and the Spaniards who had accompanied him, to William Boncoque, knight, who knew the Spaniards, and their manners and customs, as he had done several errands from the king of England to the king of Spain.

Of the grant of Huntingdon to the king of Scots.

On the morrow of St. Giles's day, the king of England made a grant of Huntingdon to the king of Scotland, and confirmed the grant by a charter, empowering that king to have and to hold the same, with the honours thereto pertaining, as some of his predecessors had done; and thus the king daily decreased his possessions and impoverished himself.

Of the presents made by the expelled prior of Winchester to the pope's table.

In this year, by the lavish generosity of the expelled prior of Winchester, the pope derived an increase of one silver mark each day in the year for ever, for the expenses of his table; and this gift the pope swallowed down with open jaws. There are three hundred and sixty-five days in the year; consequently this extorted revenue amounted to as many marks. Yet this same prior left the Roman court, amidst the laughter and jeers of the Romans, without completing his business, and entirely balked in his designs; for the gifts of his opponent, the bishop elect of Winchester, were said to have exceeded his own in their amount and value.

Of the dreadful crime perpetrated by the sheriff of Northampton.

There was at this time a certain rich knight, possessing much landed property, which was said to bring him in a revenue of a hundred and fifty pounds, who from being rich was desirous of becoming richer, and for this purpose procured his own appointment of sheriff of Northampton, after supplanting the former one. As soon as he had gained his position, he extorted money in all quarters, on pretence of some frivolous fault or other. This man (whose name was William de Lisle) was one day travelling through the country,

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and he happened to come upon a fine meadow, in which were some fat and handsome cattle feeding. At sight of them he was seized with feelings of envy and covetousness, and inventing a cause of cavilling and quarrel, he said to the herdsman, "Whose servant are you?" to which the man replied, "I am the servant of your friend", naming his master, "and these cattle are his". The sheriff had for a long time hated this man, and now studied more deeply how to entrap him, that he might gain possession of his goods, either by fair or foul means; for he was a man of note in the country, respectable, prudent, and rich. Looking severely on the herdsman, the sheriff then said, "You are a thief and the servant of a thief; or else how could he possess so many and such handsome cattle? You are a cattle-stealer in the night, and he without doubt is the receiver of them when stolen". This the herdsman denied, and declared that he and his master were honest men; whereupon the sheriff rejoined - "You lie: for you are a petty thief, and the servant of a thief. I arrest you and seize the cattle which your master, the receiver of stolen property, is fattening up for sale". The angry sheriff then, without any just cause, seized the oxen, or gave them in charge to some one, and making prisoner of the herdsman, took him away with him to his own house, asserting, with a horrible oath, that he would (to use a common and vulgar phrase) make him sing, and in singing of his master as well as himself, he would make him confess the truth concerning the thefts committed. He then imprisoned the herdsman, and tortured him by so many and such ingenious plans of torture, that he was brought to the point of death. At length, that the executioner might cease his merciless torments, which he accompanied with injunctions to confess, saying, "Confess, confess that you are a thief", the wretched half-dead man confessed himself to be a thief, although he was not one. The sheriff then ordered the man to be brought before him, and he thus addressed him: "Now that you have openly confessed that you are a thief and the servant of a thief in the hearing of some who are able and willing to give testimony against you thereupon, you will be condemned to be hung, and the gibbet is the only thing which remains for you. But I have the power to hang you, and also to set you at liberty: do then boldly what I advise


you, and you shall be free. Accuse your master of theft, and assert unhesitatingly before the justiciaries that you are a thief and the servant of a thief; that you are the agent, but that he is the abettor and receiver". The trembling servant, fearing that he would be again thrust into the place where he had experienced his torments, agreed to all this; whereon the sheriff ordered him still to be detained in custody, though with more liberty than before, till the arrival of the justiciaries, who would come in a short time. When intelligence of these proceedings reached the herdsman's master, who was then suffering from fever, he sent some well-meaning messengers and humbly begged mercy of the sheriff as he was in such a critical position, for he was oppressed almost to death with two troubles. At length, after some difficulty, and by means of large bribes, the sick man obtained a respite until the dangerous crisis of his disorder was past, and he had somewhat recovered from his illness. As he grew convalescent, he diligently and carefully consulted able lawyers on the means of escaping from the trap laid for him, and receiving full instructions from them, he was comforted and recovered his health. The sheriff in the mean time continued his persecution of the innocent, and persisted in the malicious design he had conceited, although he was entreated in gentle and friendly terms, and was urged by the offering of rich presents, to desist from his purpose, if only to quiet the scandal which had arisen. On the arrival of the justiciaries, the sheriff placed the herdsman before them, believing that he was prepared to accuse his master of the theft; and whilst all present were lost in astonishment at such proceedings amongst such illustrious persons, silence was proclaimed for the herdsman to give his evidence, which he did as follows: "My lords justiciaries, indeed I am not a thief, nor am I the companion or servant of a thief. But this sheriff, in order to procure the death of my master, has daily subjected me to such excruciating tortures that my cries disturbed the whole neighbourhood, and I was obliged to confess whatever he wished me to. And even after I had confessed myself a thief (which I was not), he said to me, 'Now you have confessed that you are a thief, the gibbet is all that remains for you; but I will release you if you will turn king's evidence, and accuse your master of

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being a thief'! Whatever I then promised, having lost my senses through his tortures, I now openly protest, declare, and affirm, that I am a faithful servant of my master, and that I state the true particulars of the matter, to you. And if any one contradicts me, and accuses me or him of theft or of any other crime, we will defend ourselves properly, according to the laws and customs of the kingdom". The master of the herdsman also being present, and flatly denying the crime imputed to him, the justiciaries paid strict attention and consideration to the herdsman's narrative, as it rendered the sheriff an object of suspicion; and the whole county and some of the justiciaries even knew the sheriff to be quarrelsome, avaricious, and mercenary. The master of the herdsman, too, had often, at full county-meetings, opposed the unjust judgments and violent sentences of the sheriff being a just and prudent man; and on this account the sheriff hated and persecuted him. Moreover, the herdsman's master as well as himself were of good and unstained repute, and were never branded with theft or any other crime. All these facts had weight with the justiciaries, and with good reason; but as the sheriff was a man in authority, of noble birth, and the king's high bailiff, they did not choose to be precipitate in fulminating sentence of death against him, although he had deserved it on manifold accounts. The outcry of complaint on this matter reached the ears of the king and his court, who were all greatly astonished at the enormity of the crime; and in accordance with what is written, "I will go down and see whether the outcry is justified by the proceedings" the king sent some wise and clever men of rank, who would not be corrupted either through fear, by entreaties, or bribes, to make an inquiry into this matter, in order that when the truth was found out, the guilty might meet with condign punishment, and that others, being warned thereby, might fear to act in a similar way. The parties sent on this mission were the earl of Gloucester, the earl of Leicester, and H. of Bath and Robert Walerann, knights, all of whom were well versed in the laws of the kingdom. These parties, after making a most strict and diligent inquiry by means of the knights of the county, found still worse offences laid to the charge of the sheriff and informed the king thereof, who was astounded at the fact, as were, indeed.


all who heard of the iniqiutous proceeding. As an ignominious death on the gibbet was now impending over the sheriff his wife hurried in great anxiety to the king and queen of Scots, and with tears and lamentations besought them to intercede with the king of England to prevent such a great evil falling on her. Moreover, John [Mansell], pitying her great misfortunes, spoke in behalf of the wretched woman. As the king and queen of Scotland had interfered for the sheriff, although he was clearly guilty, the king did not choose to grieve intercessors of such high rank, and granted life and limb to the sheriff although against his will, and as it were on compulsion, for he was much offended, and justly so. And thus, as the apostle says, "By a faithful wife a faithless husband is saved". We have thought it worth while to insert a full account of this matter in this book, that the reader may know how displeased God is at tyrannical malignity and the performance of acts to the injury to others. For, as the poet says, "It is sufficient to have done injury to be able to do it". "Do nothing which you would afterwards wish not to have been done, but let your mind cautiously reflect on an act previous to doing it".

Of the origin of the detestable obligation [imposed on the prelates].

In order that each of our readers may clearly understand that this noxious obligation, which emanated from the bishop of Hereford, originated in the first place with the pope, and that the bull was not a forgery, we have thought it worth while to insert the following letter in this book, to perpertuate the memory of the slavery to which the Church and modern prelates were subjected.

The pope's nefarious letter.

"Alexander, etc., to his well-beloved son master Rustand, etc.- Whereas we formerly ordered that two thousand ounces of gold should be paid to Berthold, marquis of Cambridge, our proctor for managing the affairs of the kingdom of Sicily, by our well-beloved sons Reinald, Reimer, Pervis, Scott, and Christopher Colon, and their colleagues, merchants and citizens of Sienna; and whereas, by our orders also, certain monasteries of the kingdom of England were bound to the same merchants in the sum of two thousand marks sterlings new; and whereas the aforesaid marquis and his

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brothers, unmindful of the many benefits which they had received from us and the church of Rome, have committed open treason against us and the same church, and our well-beloved son in Christ the illustrious king of England, in the aforesaid kingdom of Sicily, for which they ought in justice to be deprived of all the benefits and favours conferred on them by us; and whereas, of this money, only three hundred ounces have been paid by the said merchants to the marquis and his brothers aforesaid, we, by these apostolic letters, command you, by virtue of your obedience, to collect, or cause to be collected by some one else, from the monasteries and churches, and this by our well-beloved son Master Bernard, of Sienna, our chaplain and nuncio, or by some other person, a colleague of his, the aforesaid two thousand marks which are assigned to the aforesaid merchants, remitting to the merchants aforesaid the value of the aforesaid three hundred marks; and to cause the residue to be furnished to you by the detainers. And we furthermore order that you check all opposers and detainers of this money by ecclesiastical censure, postponing all appeal, notwithstanding any apostolic letters or indulgences obtained, or hereafter to be obtained, whatever their purport, by which the payment of this money may be impeded or delayed; and notwithstanding that the Apostolic See may, by any apostolic letter, have granted indulgence to any one, and exemption from being suspended, excommunicated, or laid under interdict. And after you have collected or received the aforesaid money from the detainers, whoever they may be, you will by the apostolic authority absolve those monasteries and churches aforesaid from the obligation by which they were bound for the payment of the aforesaid money to the aforesaid merchants; and you will make a declaration that the letters and public documents issued concerning this obligation, will be invalid for the future. And you will also, as you regard our favour, deliver over whatever money you have received from the monasteries and churches, or from Master Bernard and the aforesaid merchants and other detainers, whoever they be, to our well-beloved sons Carbuco and James de Last, or either of them, to J. Remeir, Gilbert of Cremona, and the Florentine merchants, who have liberally lent to us the sum of two thousand marks sterling, for the purpose of fortifying


the cities, castles, and other places in the kingdom of Sicily, and for the payment of which by a certain period we and the church of Rome had bound ourselves. Notwithstanding, also, that we have sent you other letters relative to the payment of certain sums of money, as well as these said sums, and some other contributions to be made in common. And you will inform us by your letters patent of the amount of money which you have thought proper to assign to them. And when this amount of money is paid, in our name and in that of the church of Rome, to the said Carbuc and James, or to one of them, we shall think that full satisfaction has been given to us and the aforesaid church. You will, moreover, endeavour so to fulfil our order, that they, the said Carbuc and James, will not be obliged to have recourse to us again; and will, also, intimate to the king that all this proceeds from our good-will towards him. As regards the abbats, priors, and brethren of the monasteries and churches which have been laid under obligation in this matter, we have in these presents made known to them the amount of money in which each of those monasteries, and each of those churches, is bound by this obligation. The prior and convent of Durham were, by authority of the Apostolic See, bound in the sum of five hundred marks; that of Bath in four hundred marks; the abbat and convent of Thorney in four hundred; the abbat and convent of Croyland in four hundred; the prior and convent of Gisburne, of the order of St. Augustin, in three hundred. Done at Agnano, the 22nd June, in the second year of our pontificate".

Of the refusal of the priors and conventual brethren of Durham and Gisburne to submit to the aforesaid obligation.

When the prelates of England heard that the pope and the king were in a confederacy, as we have stated above, for the subversion of the English church, which can be understood from the above letter, they were in such a state of doubt that they seemed as if they were being crushed between two millstones, and like blind men they knew not what was to be done. However, the prior and conventual assembly of Durham, and the prior and brethren of Gisburne, would not on any account consent or submit to this noxious obligation, and to subject their churches to such

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abject slavery, although almost all the others bowed the knee to Baal. They, however, stood firm, and, fighting for the liberty of their church, willingly and courageously endured a prolonged suspension, and the persecution of the Roman court, as well as the insults, reproaches, and threats of the merchants, or rather usurers. But if they grieved at having no companions in such a struggle, the pope and his party feared that others would afford them assistance in their trouble out of compassion, and would act in a similarly aggressive spirit with their brethren; but timid and pusillanimous, they bent their necks to the yoke and were trodden underfoot by their enemies. Thus there was no one to comfort them or to give them succour, but divided and tossed about as it were by the wind, and devoid of charity, each party defended what belonged to them, and succumbed in their defence; and this raised the horns of their enemies.

How the king of Castile threatened to invade Gascony.

About this same time the king, who was moneyless and in need, in his neediness for money began to seize the wines of the Gascons without making them any payment, so that wine merchants and others returned home with empty pockets, and made heavy complaints of this proceeding to the nobles of their country, and especially to the king of Castile, who had been the mediator and peacemaker between them and the king of England, and who had committed the terms of peace to writing, in a charter which may be found in the book of Additaments, at the sign of the crossed (?) swords. When the king of Castile heard of these proceedings, he was much vexed and excited, and bursting forth in reproaches, he said, "I am sorry that I entered into an alliance with the king of England, who keeps neither his word nor his charters inviolate, and who blushes not to break his oath, nor fears to incur the sentence of canonical excommimication promulgated. However, I am allowed, and it is proper for me not to abide by terms I have made with one who does not keep faith himself"; and with a dreadful oath he threatened to invade Gascony, and to place it under his own rule. The king of France, moreover, as the truce had expired, announced a no less menacing intention. Alarmed at such mpending evils, and not without reason, the English king


sent John Gatesden, knight, and some other special messengers to the king of Castile, to appease that monarch's anger. Amongst other eloquent and moderate speeches, the prudent and learned ambassador is reported to have spoken to the following effect: "Most gracious lord, what greater kindness or liberality could Almighty God have shown to man than to have given his son for the release and redemption of each one"? to which the king replied, "I know not, for that is the greatest of all benefits". "Then", added John, "This has my lord the king of England done to you, for he has given you his eldest son, a youth handsome in person, and heir to all he possesses. Let not your majesty, therefore, be angry with such a friend, who confides in you as in his own brother". Thus the anger of that king was appeased; but Gaston, and other traitors to the king of England, relying on the protection of the king of Castile, exalted their heads and persevered in some contests in which they had engaged.

Of the fraudulent occupation of the deanery of York.

About the same time, some unknown persons came to the church at York, and clandestinely entering it whilst the people were seated at table intent on their meal, asked of some one who was praying there, which was the dean's stall. On receiving a reply, and the dean's stall being pointed out to them, two of them conducted a third to the stall, and said to him, "Brother, by the pope's authority, we instal thee". When this reached the ears of the newly-created archbishop Sewal, who was formerly dean of that church, he was overcome with grief at the perpetration of such a deceitful act, and used all the means in his power to invalidate this underhanded installation, but the agents in this fraudulent proceeding went to the court of Rome, whence they had come, and so managed matters that this good and modest man the archbishop was laid under interdict, and incurred immense loss and expense; all of which the holy prelate endured with patience, that he might really appear to be suffering the tribulation which his master, friend, and companion of old, St. Edmund, had foretold would happen to him. This presumptuous piece of fraud so astonished all the canons, that they knew not at all what was to be done. For it

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seemed to them to be absurd, dissonant from reason, and in fact detestable, to allow such a noble prebend, an office of such importance, to be bestowed on a despicable and unknown person, who had been thrust into the office in such a way, and to suffer him to hold such a position in that noble church that he was second only to the archbishop; but they were in great awe of the tyrannical authority of the pope; to whom the king yielded, or to speak more fitly, bent the knee.

How the Cistercian monks were compelled to pay a tax.

The king gave orders that no favour should be shown to the Cistercians, but that the sheriffs and other royal agents should harass them, and that only common justice should be shown them. Being, moreover, enraged because they procured intercessors in their behalf, he gave his permission that a customs-duty, commonly called a passage-duty, should be levied on, and extorted from them on their return from their general chapter, a proceeding in direct opposition to their liberties and an old and approved custom of theirs. In consequence of this, many who were not forewarned were obliged to sell their cowls and cloaks.

Of the deaths of certain bishops.

In this same year, the archbishop of Bordeaux, who was old and infirm, was taken mortally ill, and when he was believed to be dead, although he was still half living, the bishop of Hereford (who had a most eager longing for that archbishopric) obtained a letter from the king, who favoured him in his projects as being his tax collector; [and set out for that arch-diocese] but when the fact of the archbishop being alive was proved, he lost his labour and his money, and was subjected to ridicule besides; the same as was said to have been the case with one Master Lambin, of whom two verses were composed, which, although slightly digressive from my subject, I will here insert: "By the payment of a large sum of money, Lambin aims at attaining the pontificate, although the pastor is not yet buried". And about the same time the bishop of Llandaff died, and another was appointed in his stead. At the beginning of the month of October in this same year, Master Thomas, bishop of Carlisle, who, like the bishop of Ely, had only held his prelacy for one year, was


taken from amongst us, by whose fate is clearly shown how transitory is the tottering glory of worldly dignities. William, bishop of Ely, yielded to his fate in a foreign country, being on a journey in Spain, and whilst doing the will of his earthly king, was dragged before the tribunal of the supreme king. His heart was brought to his church at Ely to be buried with all due solemnity. On All Saints' day, too, Master Roger de Westham, bishop of Chester, gave up his bishopric of his own accord. And at the same time, also, died John the canon, prior of Newbury, who, as well as William, bishop of Ely, of whom we have spoken above, was a familiar and special adviser of the king.

Of the demand made by the king when the nobles were sitting in the exchequer.

On the fourth day preceding St. Edward's day in this year, the king went to the exchequer when the barons were sitting there, and with his own mouth declared that every sheriff who did not appear in the octaves of Michaelmas in each and every year, and produce the king's money arising from forms, fines, and other sources, should be fined for his non-appearance, on the first day five marks, on the second, ten, on the third, fifteen; and if absent on the fourth day, that he should ransom himself. A similar declaration was also made by the king against the cities which hold liberties, and which render an account to the exchequer by their own bailiffs, to the effect that they should lose their liberties if they did not appear on the fourth day in the same way as the sheriffs ought to appear. It should be known also that on the same day all the sheriffs of England were fined, each in the sum of five marks, because they had not compelled every man in their counties who held ten librates of land to become a knight, or to ask a delay from the king, as he had enjoined on them by his royal letter directed to the sheriffs.

Of the election of the sub-prior of Ely to the bishopric.

The king, who wished to promote the cause of Henry of Wengham, his seal-keeper, sent special messengers and letters of entreaty to the convent of Ely, earnestly begging them to elect the said Henry as their bishop and pastor of their souls. But the brethren, taking into consideration their

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knowledge of their sub-prior, and in accordance with the heathen precept, "Do not prefer an unknown person to those known to you", elected the said sub-prior Hugh de Belesale as their bishop. The king, enraged at his repulse, would not accept of the elected bishop, but on some cavilling pretexts rejected him; and either ordered or connivingly allowed John Walerann, to whom he had intrusted the guardianship of that bishopric, to fell the trees, to devastate all the possessions, and to pillage the effects belonging to it. This was carried into effect more fully than was either granted or allowed, so that it might have elicited the tears even of the enemies of the bishopric, and provoked St. Ethelred to vengeance.

How the church of St. Alban's was laid under an interdict.

About the festival of St. Simon and St. Jude in this same year, owing to the severity of the papal extortioners, the church of St. Alban's was laid under an interdict for fifteen days; not because it had been deprived of its honourable privileges, but because that detestable additional clause, "Notwithstanding" weakened the pious grants and annulled the authority of the holy fathers. The conventual assembly, therefore, chose rather to observe this unjust and violent sentence with proper respect, than rashly to pay no attention to it, lest such an act of contempt should bring trouble upon them; therefore, they desisted from ringing bells and the performance of divine services, and during the time of the sentence, performed the canonical hours and the matins in a low voice. Being encouraged, however, by John de Dia, who then discharged the functions of legate in England, they again performed divine service in the usual way.

Of the scandal which arose in the convent of Glastonbury.

In this year some disputes having arisen between the bishop of Bath and the conventual brethren of Glastonbury, a certain person was, on the king's authority, forcibly and against the will of the bishop intruded into that convent, and he at once began with rash presumption to arrange everything at his pleasure, and made a false seal for himself; and whilst the bishop went to Rome to prosecute his claim and gain his rights, a general pillage of the property of the convent took place. This intruded person, in order to strengthen his


party against the bishop, assembled together all the good-for-nothing vagabonds he could, and, to the great injury of the monastic honour, initiated eighteen of them, unfit as they were, and on the third day afterwards, made them give their profession as monks, showing no fear of that threat, or rather malediction, of our Lord, "Woe to that man through whom the scandal arises". The noble church of Winchester was also disgraced by a similar schism. Like the pretenders whom the bishop elect of Winchester had collected and made monks of in derision of the prior, these at Glastonbury apostatized and went away; and nothing else could be hoped from them.

Of the confirmation of the archbishops of Dublin and York in their archbishoprics.

About this time, by the Lord's help, after much irreparable damage had been done to their dioceses, Master Faulk Basset, archbishop of Dublin, and Master Sewal, archbishop of York, were firmly established in their respective positions. And thus the king's authority, by his own fault, daily decreased, as well as the dignity of the kingdom.

Of the collection of tithes by the bishop of Hereford.

The bishop of Hereford, paying no regard to the advantage of the state, but looking only to what might tend to his own benefit, collected tithes for himself in Ireland and the neighbouring countries, by permission of the pope and the king. This money, which amounted to a large sum, he considered a remuneration for his labours and the reward of his treachery, and he collected these tithes with such strictness, that shame prohibits us from mentioning the mode of extortion practised. And as fraud is seldom without fear, he went about in alarm, surrounded by armed attendants.

How Andrew, the intruded prior of Winchester, was established in his office.

In this year, the intruder Andrew was confirmed in the office of prior of Winchester, owing to the lavish dispersion of presents at the court of Rome by the bishop elect of that place, and to the simoniacal rewards and entreaties of the intruding prior himself who owed his creation to the bishop elect. The former prior, after enduring much toil on his transalpine journey, after expending much money, and seeing

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the enormous injury done to his priory, was provided with some manor for his support. The conventual brethren, who had dispersed, were imperiously called together again by the bishop elect, on pain of incurring the anathema; and thus by such schisms was opprobrium daily brought on the noble conventual churches of England. These schisms, owing to the disputes and the ambition of the rival parties, supplied food for the Roman court, and by the one dispute alone, an additional annual income of one silver mark daily was gained for the supply of the pope's table.

Of the return of the archbishop of Canterbury to England from Italy.

About the time of the feast of St. Catherine, the archbishop of Canterbury arrived from Italy, after much useless expenditure of English money, and fruitless toil and trouble. He had gained but little advantage in the war against the city of Turin; neither was his brother Thomas, formerly count [of Flanders], released from his imprisonment in that city, although the Savoyards had put forth all their strength to release him, and notwithstanding that the pope also used his endeavours for his release, and wrote to the queen of England against the citizens, to their injury. This said Thomas had, by his injustice, much injured the said citizens.

How the Welsh, finding themselves oppressed, endeavoured to recover the liberty of their country.

About All Saints' day, the Welsh, who had been oppressed in manifold ways, and often sold to the highest bidder, were at last so immeasurably and tyrannically oppressed by the king's agent, Geoffrey Langley, knight, that they roused themselves for the defence of their country and the observance of their laws. Entering into a confederacy, they invaded the provinces of England adjoining Wales, and attacked the subjects of Edward, their lord, whom, however, they did not then acknowledge as such; and they succeeded so well in their warlike expedition, that it was believed they met with the good-will of the neighbouring people. On hearing of this, Edward flew to the bosom of his uncle Richard, and as the king was become inglorious and poor, borrowed four thousand marks from him, being determined to check the impetuous rashness of the Welsh, to punish their presumption, and to wage war against them to their extermination.


But the whole of the winter of that year was so wet and stormy, that the entire country of Wales, which was without roads, and of a marshy nature, was utterly inaccessible to the English, and thus Edward's labour and expenditiire of money were fruitless and of no avail. The aforesaid Geoffrey then repented, but too late, of having provoked a war, and of his cruelty in plundering the Welsh, as he had some few years before done to the people in the north of England. There were some who said that the aforesaid Greoffrey, whether willingly or unwillingly, would make good the losses of Edward as far as he was able.

Of the deeds of violence committed by Edward's followers.

Edward's retainers and followers disturbed the peace of the inhabitants of the country through which they passed, by plundering their possessions as well as abusing their persons, and that by his permission, to such a degree that the injuries perpetrated by the king his father, were considered trivial when compared with those committed by him. For the ruffians and robbers whom he kept in his court spread themselves far and wide, and forcibly seized and carried off the horses and carts of traders and the provisions of the inhabitants; and out of the many acts of injustice perpetrated by his agents, I have thought it worth while to mention the particulars of one to the readers. When the said Edward went to Earl Richard, as before stated, he found him at Wallingford, where he was received with civility, and entertained as a guest in the castle. His retainers, in the mean time, forced their way into the priory adjacent to the castle, rudely and by force, and not asking hospitality, as was the custom; then, irreverently pushing the monks aside, they seized on all that was necessary for supplying their table, fuel, and fodder for their horses, broke the doors, windows, and seats; insulted, abused, and beat the servants of the monks, as though they had been slaves, or convicted thieves, and drove them from the place; and scarcely allowed the monks themselves the use of the refectory, the parlour being filled with those eating, and the dormitory with those drinking. Edward's friends, indeed, wished to palliate this offence, and attributed it, not to maliciousness, but to the folly of youths not considering the prognostic of Lucan,-

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"The age of the tyrant of the Nile is much suspected, for good faith, to be firm, requires maturity of years".

The Welsh, in the mean time, paying no heed to, and not fearing the tyranny of Edward and his followers, made their way as far as Chester, overcoming all obstacles and carrying everything before them; and these greedy freebooters were never equalled, even by those whom Louis had once brought into England with him.

Of the king's new mandate.

About the same time, too, the king gave a strict order that no brief, sealed with the royal seal, should, on any cause soever, be issued from the court of chancery, which could be productive of injury or loss to Richard his brother, Richard earl of Gloucester, Peter of Savoy, or any one of his brothers; which decree was clearly opposed to all right and to the peace of the kingdom.

Of the strict inquisition of measures.

At this time the king ordered his satellites to make a strict inspection of the wine and beer measures, which we call flagons, or gallons, of the corn measures, which we call bushels, and of the weights and scales, thus beating about the bush to inflict fines on the innocent as well as the guilty, and so to add to his treasury even though by punishing delinquents beyond their deserts; and thus some specious pretexts for extorting money were daily invented. Everywhere the small possessions of tradesmen were seized on, and no remuneration was made for what was taken away, the pillaged party even rejoicing if they managed to escape without insults and blows. Thus, as lately, in the matter of the vassalage, commonly called serjeantry, a reason for extorting money sprung up, so now from the court service, the compulsion to become knights, the inspection of measures, and many other inventions of a wolf-like rapacity, these acts of rapine and robbery increased, devastating the kingdom and enslaving the Church. And there were such tyrants in England that the times of old seemed to be renewed, when so many petty kings held sway there.

Of the daily multiplied oppressions of the Church.

About the same time, the king, listening to the worst of


counsel, accepted a loan of so mnch money from the pope's agents, for the purpose of advancing his son Edmund to the sovereignty of Sicily, that he was enshackled by the bonds of the most absolute poverty. And the pope, who ought neither to deceive nor be deceived, put faith in the king's assertions, which he could clearly see, if he chose, were utterly deceitful and false; for the king, in his messages to the pope, gave him to understand that England was a mine of wealth which nobody could exhaust, and also that there had never before existed in England a king so beloved or so rich as he was, although the pope could have learned the contrary by the many intimate friends of his then at Rome. The interest on this money, and the penalties incurred by the king thereon, amounted to more than a hundred pounds daily, so that desolation and ruin were impending closely over the clergy and people of England.

Of the deposition of Stephen, abbat of Clairvaux.

In this same year, Stephen, abbat of Clairvaux, the builder of the noble house of Chardenay, at Paris, after following step by step in the track of his predecessor St. Bernard, was deposed at the last general chapter of the Cistercians; but like Joseph, he patiently endured the envy and taunts of his brethren, for hatred generally attacks men of eminence. He was accused of having, contrary to the statutes of the Cistercians, obtained from the pope a privilege that he should never be deprived of his station and dignity, but should for ever continue abbat of Clairvaux; but this accusation was false, as was afterwards clearly proved. When the pope was informed of the truth of the matter, he ordered him to be reinstated in his office, and at the same time severely punished his accusers; but the king of France, although a zealous friend and protector of the Cistercian order, replied that it would cause a great scandal on that order, if an act of such influential persons were to be annulled, and any one deposed at their general chapter were to be reinstated, and he wrote to that effect to the pope and obtained what he asked. Stephen, too, in order that the influence of his order might not be injured, refused to be reinstated, declaring that he was released from a burden rather than dishonoured, that he was now more at liberty than when he presided over a

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community as formerly, and that it was more to his advantage: thus from being great, as he was before, he became justly greater still.

Of the refusal of the Welsh to desist from warlike proceedings.

Although the king himself, as well as Earl Richard, to prevent any hinderance to a settlement of their matters of difficulty, had humbly begged of the Welsh to desist, at least for a time, from their acts of hostility and aggression, they would not remain peaceable and quiet, as they saw that the wet wintry season was favourable to them, and that their usual lurking-places, though easy of access to them, were impracticable and pathless to the English. They therefore continued to carry on the war, and attacked Griffin de Brunet for having sought the king's protection, and on his taking flight to join the king they followed in close pursuit. As they could not catch him, they ravaged his lands with fire and sword, and also those of some neighbouring barons. There were of these Welsh ten thousand armed horsemen, and a great many more foot soldiers, who had entered into a confederacy and sworn on the gospels boldly and faithfully to fight to the death for the liberty of their country and the laws of their ancestors, declaring that they would rather die with honour than drag on an unhappy life in disgrace. This manly and brave determination might justly shame the English, who lazily bent their necks to foreigners, and to every one who trampled on them, like vile and timid rabble, the scum of the human race.

Of the insolence of Edward and his followers.

Edward was not a little ashamed and injured by the rebellion of the Welsh as well as by their bravery, for he was called the lord of the Welsh, and yet could not check their rebellious proceedings. The son, therefore, went again to his father and mother as well as to his uncle, begging effective assistance from them, but the king was so burdened by debts in the transalpine provinces, the earl had lent so much of his money, having lately advanced four thousand marks, and the queen had been so profuse in her expenditure of money in the useless war against Turin, and their stock of money was so diminished that they could not assist Edward in any way. And because the king his father, as was reported everywhere,


endeavoured to crush the English, some of the Marsh people secretly favoured and counselled the Welsh, chiefly because the said Edward kept in his service men who did injury to the Church and the kingdom, and it was in fact asserted that amongst the followers of Louis, the invader of England, there were never such daring and rapacious freebooters as those whom he, the said Edward, retained in his service and kept at his court. Of their many deeds of wickedness, we think it worth while to mention in this book one piece of tyranny on the part of Edward (besides the one I have mentioned previously), that our readers may see into what an abyss of despair England had sunk. As he was passing through a peaceful part of the country at a time of peace, a young man met him, and Edward, without any pretext for killing or maiming the young man being given him, ordered one of his ears to be cut off, and one of his eyes to be pulled out, which was done, though contrary to every rule of justice. Many who saw this, and still more, who recalled to memory an enormous and sanguinary injury he had done to a certain noble when younger than he now was, began to despair of him remarking, "If this occurs when the tree is green, what is to be hoped for when it is old and dry"? His followers, moreover, as before stated, seized on all articles for sale without making any payment for them, took forcible possession of horses, carts, and their drivers, and mercilessly oppressed the inhabitants; and thus evils were daily heaped upon evils, and losses on losses.

How a deputation was sent from the university of Paris to Rome.

As scandal and hatred daily increased between the Parisian masters and the Preacher brethren, a selection was made, after great deliberation, of some of the most celebrated master lecturers; and these were Master William de Saint-Amour and Master Odo of Douai, who had been regents in the arts, in the decretals, and latterly in theology; Master Christian, canon of Beauvais, who was deservedly considered the chief of philosophers, and who, after having been a regent in arts, lectured in theology; Master Nicholas of Bar-sur-Aube, who had been a regent in arts, laws, and decrees, and was preparing to lecture in theology; Master John de Gectaville, an Englishman, rhetorician of the university, and Master John Bealin, a

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Frenchman, philosopbers of great repute, and regents in the arts. All of these, men of illustrious family, were selected after deep deliberation and consultation (for confidence was diminished) to go to Rome, and to consult the pope on the means of preserving the tranquillity of the university of Paris, and the restoration of confidence, especially as this evil threatened to give rise to a greater; and the money to defray the expenses of their journey was collected from the university. The Preacher brethren, as was stated, read, preached, and taught some new and absurd doctrines, which they had taken from the book of the Abbat Joachim, whose writings had been condemned by Pope Gregory. They also composed a book which they chose to entitle thus, "Here begins the Eternal Gospel", and containing some other doctrines which it is not expedient to mention. The Preachers also sent messengers to Rome in great haste to plead their cause against the university, and to oppose the deputation of masters to their face. The people ridiculed them, and withheld their accustomed alms, calling them hypocrites, successors of Anti-Christ, fulse preachers, flatterers, and evil-advisers of kings and princes, despisers and supplanters of ordinary preachers, clandestine intruders into the bedchambers of kings, and prevaricators of confessions; men who vagabondized through countries where they were unknown, and gave encouragement and boldness to sinners. The pope, after hearing the complaints on both sides, ordered the book which they called the "Eternal Gospel" to be burned privately, and if possible, without bringing scandal on the brethren; and also the other writings which were said to have emanated from the corrupt source of Joachim. By the vigilance and carefulness of Cardinal Hugh, and the bishop of Messina, who belonged to the order of Preachers, this was done cautiously and secretly, so that the disturbance was quieted for a time.

Of a sudden subterranean explosion.

About this same time, as some workmen were digging out the bed of an aqueduct at London, to clear the bed of mud (for the water had ceased to flow) a sudden explosion burst forth from the ground accompanied by a flame similar to the fire of hell, which in the twinkling of an eye suffocated several of the workmen, killing one of them on the spot, and so burning, maiming, and disfiguring others that they were


entirely useless to themselves ever afterwards. There were some who said that this explosion occurred as by a miracle, because these men were engaged in servile work at an improper hour in the evening.

The year's summary.

Thus then closed this year, which had been tolerably productive of fruit and corn. To the Church and the prelates it brought the vilest slavery, and to the French envy, in consequence of the promotion of Earl Richard. It was a year of pillage for England; barren, and rather injurious than otherwise, to the Holy Land; it brought war on Wales, and disquiet and turbulence to Scotland. It was beyond measure stormy and rainy, so that, indeed, the times of Deucalion seemed to be renewed. From the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin to the anniversary of her Purification, the rain ceased not to fall daily in deluges, which rendered the roads impassable and the fields barren. Hence at the end of autumn the corn was rotted in the ear.

How Earl Richard was elected king of Germany.

Anno Domini 1257, which was the forty-first year of the reign of King Henry the Third, that king was at London at Christmas, where Earl Richard and many of the nobles had assembled. Whilst there, some of the chief men of Germany came to him, and stated, in the presence of all there assembled, that they had, by unanimous consent, duly elected Earl Richard king of Germany, and they now demanded him as their king and lord, if he would acquiesce in their wishes. The archbishop of Cologne, high chancellor of the Holy Empire, and some other nobles of Germany, had, by these special messengers, sent testimonial letters, bearing evidence to the unanimity of the election, and as a ratification thereof; and they declared that no one had ever been elected to that dignity so spontaneously, so unanimously, and with such few obstacles. Whilst all present were in a state of hesitation and doubt as to what was to be done in the matter, because the earl's presence was necessary in the kingdom of England, the king addressed them, saying: "Do not, I advise and beg you, let pusillanimity appear, by refusing to accept this honour, which is granted and offered to you both by heaven and by man". Whilst some were expressing their fears, on the ground that during the space of a few years two

208 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

persons who had been elected and promoted to the sovereignty of Germany had come to their ends by sinister means, others addressed the earl with words of comfort. "Most wise and prudent earl", said they, "why do you hesitate, as though you were alarmed by the misfortune of the landgrave Henry, or by the sinister fate of Count William of Holland? It is not as if the pope thrust you into the position by force, promising you what is necessary from the spoils of the Church, and the pillage of those who have taken the cross, which would never be of any good to you. For these ill-acquired gains of the pope have excited men's feelings, not to mercy but to anger. A sum of money, which has been raised from the kingdom of Germany, is kept faithfully for your use: you have also abundance of money of your own, like a second Octavian, you are supported by friends, German as well as English; and you are surrounded by relatives as by a rampart. Do not let the torpor of diffidence or pusillanimity overcome you and render you indolent and timorous; but be encouraged and strengthened to God's service by the circumstances which once occurred to Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy, when fighting for God in the Holy Land, to whom a spontaneous and heaven-inspired offer was made of the kingdom of Jerusalem, that he might rule over the heritage of Christ. This offer he refused with obstinacy, and afterwards felt God's severe anger on that account, for he never met with any prosperity after". The king also and his brothers, especially the bishop elect of Winchester, gave him lively encouragement to accept the offer, declaring that that honour would exalt the English nation for ever. At this declaration the earl took courage as became a man, and, being in good hopes, said with a free and eager voice, "And I, trusting in God's mercy, incompetent and unworthy as I am, willingly take on myself this burden and honour, offered to me, as I hope, by heaven, that I may not be called timid and pusillanimous". And he added, turning his face towards the bishops, one of whom was Richard of Bangor (who related these facts to the writer of this book), "As for me, before I leave this chapel, may I be consumed by infernal fire, and die a sudaen death, if I do so from ambition or avarice, or for any other purpose than to ameliorate the condition of that kingdom, which may


God give me power to do, and to govern with all justice, moderation, and honour, those who have spontaneously chosen me as their lord". This speech, which drew tears from many, gave the greatest joy to the German messengers; who had till now been doubtful of obtaining his consent; but being now assured of his compliance and good-will towards them, they set off joyfully on their return home to carry word thereof to the nobles who had sent them, which they did within twenty days of Christmas day.

The reason why the nobles of Germany elected Earl Richard.

The nobles of Germany (the more eminent of whom are those mentioned in the next chapter) hated the pride of the French, and they annoyed one another. Thus they did not choose any Frenchman, or any one of that race, to reign over them, nor did they wish to have any one from amongst themselves, on account of their internal dissensions. For the Germans are impetuous and fierce, and "every proud man will be impatient of fellowship". Neither did they choose an Italian or Roman, far less a friend of the pope, on account of their insatiable avarice. They therefore, after careful and deliberate consultation, elected Earl Richard, as well on account of his speaking the English language, which is similar in sound to the German, as of their common origin, both ancient and modern. The ancient origin may be discovered in the chronicles, and the modern may be traced in our times from the birth of the duke of Brunswick, and the duke of Saxony, from the emperor Otho, who was the son of an Englishwoman, namely, the daughter of Henry, king of England. They elected Earl Richard, I say, on account of his fidelity, firmness, and wisdom, as also on account of his wealth; hence a certain satirist says with reason, "The money cries, It is for my sake that Cornwall is married to Rome".

A catalogue of the chiefs of Germany.

The following are the chief men of Germany on whose will depended the election to the sovereignty of that kingdom, which is, as it were, the pledge of the Roman empire. The archbishop of Cologne, whose title is "High chancellor of the Holy Empire", but this title is inferior to his honourable one of archbishop; the archbishop of Mayence; the

210 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

archbishop of Treves; the king of Bohemia; the count palatine of the Rhine; the duke of Austria; the duke of Swabia, also count of Bavaria; the duke of Poland; the marquis of Miche; the marquis of Brandenburg; the duke of Saxony; the duke of Brunswick; the duke of Carinthia; the duke of Melaye; the duke of Brabant and Louvaine; the landgrave of Thuringia; and the marquis of Mise. Amongst all these nobles the one holding the most distinguished position is the archbishop of Cologne, who is bound by ancient and approved custom to crown the king of Germany at Aix-la-Chapelle.

How Earl Richard sent some trusty persons to Germany to learn the dispositions of the nobles.

The earl of Gloucester and John Mansel, being wise, prudent, and influential men, were sent forward, in the name of the earl, to Germany, to discover the pure and unbiassed wishes of the nobles in the above matter. These deputies found all things favourable, and the hearts of the chief men of the country so well disposed and devoted to the earl, that they at once swore allegiance and fealty to him, and the keys of some of the cities and castles were delivered to these messengers.

How the French, who hated the Germans, laid plans to entrap the messengers.

The French, on being informed of these facts, began to entertain great fears that, if Earl Richard succeeded in attaining to the sovereignty of Germany, as the road was now open to him, he would do injury to their kingdom, by demanding and regaining possession of the rights of the king of England; they therefore laid plans to entrap Earl Richard and his messengers, and endeavoured to weaken the determination of some of the nobles of Germany to submit to the said earl, and thus either in part or entirely to impede his promotion to the dignity. But by the favour of the Lord, the Germans adhered still more firmly to the earl on that very account, for the hatred between the French and Germans was, as it were, innate, and what hurt or displeased one party, was believed and thought to be to the advantage of the other. On finding the result of their attempts, the French in their grief sought consolation of each other.


How the French consoled one another.

"The emperor Otho, a man of the greatest courage in war, enriched by the king of England's money, and sprung from English and German blood conjointly, on being confirmed in the sovereignty of Germany, and elevated to the Roman empire, threatened the noble kingdom of France, on account of which Paris was surrounded by a wall, and he did not succeed. Again, Frederick, the richest and most powerful emperor of the Romans, and the most cunning of all earthly princes, entered into an alliance with the king of England, having married his sister, and expended his money for the destruction of the French kingdom, but he did not succeed in the attempts he had promised to make in favour of the king of England; and how much less is the power of Earl Richard to be feared by us! he is timid, imbecile, and inexperienced in warfare. Hitherto, the Lord has aided us, and by the interceding aid of the saints of this kingdom, always cherishes us under the wings of his protection; and if in the Holy Land, where we lately fought for God in the service of the Church, we suffered manifold affliction for our sins, yet even though he be angry, he will remember mercy".

How the French king made a tour of Normandy and the frontier provinces.

The French king, however, took precautions for the future and made a tour of Normandy and the frontiers of his kingdom, to encourage the hearts of those wavering, and to strengthen and restore the defences of the cities and towns. He comforted and encouraged his nobles, especially those whom we usually call the twelve peers of France. And as a list has been given above of the chief men of Germany, on whom the king's election depended, I think it not alien to my subject, to insert briefly in this book the names of the French nobles, especially those to whose management all matters of difficulty connected with the kingdom are referred.

The ecclesiastical peers of France.

The archbishop of Rheims, who anoints the French king with the divine chrism (on which account the French king is considered the most eminent of all kings), is the chief

212 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

and most distinguished of all the peers of France; the bishop of Noyon, who is a count palatine; the bishop of Beauvais, who is a count palatine; the bishop of Chalons; the bishop of Langres, who, poor as he is, is held in high honour; the bishop of Laon, who is a duke and a count, by virtue of St. Remi, for to him that famous inheritance descended.

The lay peers.

Amongst the lay peers the first and highest is the duke of Normandy, also king of England; he is duke of Normandy by right and by descent, and king by conquest. It is, however, stated that St. Edward, being without an heir, bequeathed his kingdom to William the Bastard, duke of Normandy: but this legacy was invalid, because he made it on his deathbed, and without the consent of his barons. The duke of Aquitaine, the duke of Burgundy, the count of Flanders, the count of Champagne, and the count of Toulouse, also called count of St. Giles.

Of the extraordinary fall of rain, and the thunder during the winter.

On the Innocents' day in this year such a quantity of rain fell that it covered the surface of the ground, and the times of Deucalion seemed to be renewed. The furrows looked like caves or rivers, and the rivers covered the meadows and all the neighbouring country, so that it presented the appearance of a sea. That from one case other similar ones may be understood, I may mention, that one river alone in the northern parts of England carried away seven large bridges of wood and stone; the mills, too, and the neighbouring houses, were carried away by the violence of the torrent-swollen streams and destroyed. On the aforesaid day, too, a fierce whirlwind, accompanied by a violent hail-storm, disturbed the atmosphere and obscured the sky with darkness like that of night. The clouds collected together, and from them the lightning darted forth with fearful vividness, followed by claps of thunder. This thunder was clearly a bad omen, for it was mid-winter, and the cold was equal to that generally felt in February. This weather was followed by sickly unseasonable weather, which lasted about three months.


A calculation of Earl Richard's wealth.

At this same time a valuation was made of Earl Richard's wealth, and it was found to amount to such a large sum of money that he could furnish a hundred marks daily for ten years, without including his daily increasing profits arising from his revenues in England and Germany

The discovery of St. Alban's tomb.

In this year some crevices appeared in the eastern part of the church of St. Alban's, and as fears were felt that the walk would fall down, the abbat and conventual brethren decided on repairing the damaged parts in time for celebrating the festival of our Lord's advent. Whilst the mason's labourers were working with their spades on the pavement, they fancied, from the ringing sound of their tools, and the noise of their footsteps, that something unusual and unknown of was hidden under them. On examining deeper, down, they found under the earth, though not very deep, a stone tomb, handsomely built, in a spot between the altar of St. Oswin, where morning-mass was usually performed, and the altar of St. Wulstan, where was also placed an antique painted bier, and a tomb of marble, with marble pillars also, and this was said to be the ancient tomb and bunal-place of St. Alban. It was in this lately-discovered mausoleum that St. Alban was honourably buried, the same day as he was beheaded, by his friends, relatives, and disciples, although the ceremony was performed privately, and by night, for fear of the pagans. There the heavenly light descended, and angels appeared descending and ascending, singing these words of a hymn, "Alban, the illustrious martyr, is now in glory". In this tomb, also, was found a leaf of lead, on which, according to the custom of the ancients, was cut the following inscription, "In this tomb was found the venerable body of St. Alban, the chief martyr of England". This occurrence took place in the octaves of St. Stephen, in the presence of the lord bishop of Bangor, Abbat John, Philip of Chester, Earl Richard's chief counsellor, some nobles of the household of William de Valence, the king's uterine brother, the whole of the brethren of the convent, and a great

214 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

number of other Christians, to whom the discovery was solemnly announced. The bishop granted an indulgence of fifteen days to all who had honoured the discovery by their presence; and soon afterwards the archbishop of York came there to offer up his prayers.

The number of years which had elapsed since the suffering of St. Alban's.

It should be known that, when these occurrences took place, nine hundred and seventy years had elapsed, that is to say, it only wanted thirty of being a thousand years.

Of the deaths of certain nobles.

That the festivities of this world might not pass off unmingled with sorrow, about this time, that is at Christmas, the abbat of St. Edmund's died. There also died in the prime of life, and much to be regretted, Robert Quincy, William Longsword, and Alan de Watsand, king's clerk and justiciary. Also died John of Lexington; and Roger Bigod, earl mareschal, was seized with a mortal complaint. All of these had distinguished themselves at the tournament at Blie, and exerted themselves beyond their strength to such a degree that the joints of their nerves were relaxed, and they never afterwards entirely recovered their health. A great many died, and Earl Roger was with great difficulty rescued from the jaws of death. Simon of Luiton, the well-tried prior of St. Edmund's, was elected abbat of that house.

How the abbots of the Cistercian order were convoked by royal warrant.

At the Epiphany of our Lord, the king, little heeding the heavy rains, the violence of the winds, the turbid state of the rivers, or the trouble and fatigue that would be incurred, convoked the abbats of the Cistercian order to assemble at London, to hear his royal commands. They therefore came, as they were obliged so to do, although wretchedly harassed, and hopeless of mercy; and on their coming before the king he at once urgently demanded of them pecuniary assistance to a large amount. To this demand they all, as if animated by one spirit, unanimously replied that they would not and could not do so without the general consent of their chapter, or at least without the common consent of all the abbats of the Cistercian order in England, who were not then present.


As they all departed without fixing a day on which all could meet together, the king, with great rancour, gave orders that no favour should be shown to the Cistercian abbats; and thus he gave tacit permission to the sheriffs, foresters, and other royal agents (who were ready enough at extortion, without any order from the king), to injure and harass all the abbats of the Cistercian order in their vicinity, on any pretence they could devise.

Of the deaths of certain of the nobles.

About the feast of the Epiphany died Alan de Warsant, [1] a special clerk of the king's, and a justiciary, which latter office he happily gave up previous to his death. Also died John of Lexington, a handsome, eloquent, and learned knight, who, on account of his learning, was formerly seal-keeper, and a special adviser of the king. Also died John the canon, prior of Newbury, who was formerly chaplain to John [Mansel], and was promoted to such a high position, that not only was he prior of Newbury, a secret adviser of the king, and a messenger to neighbouring princes, but he now aspired to episcopal dignities. At this time, too, the abbat of Westminster and the bishop elect of Salisbury returned from the court of Rome, as also did some other persons of rank and influence; and all of these, as the result proved, had gone to the court of Rome on the fruitless errand concerning the kingdom of Apulia or Sicily, and had incurred much peril on the way, from the ambuscades of the French.

How the king refuted to accept of the elected bishop of Ely.

About this same time, the monks of Ely duly elected their sub-prior, a proper and irreproachable man, to the office of bishop of Ely and as pastor of their souls, refusing to comply with the wishes of the king, who had urged his entreaties, both by letter and by special messengers, in favour of another person. The king therefore, being highly incensed, gave the charge of that church to John Walerann, which was like intrusting a lamb to a famishing wolf; and he at once felled their woods, impoverished their dependants, and injured the monks themselves to such a degree, that all fear of God and reverence for the saints was laid aside, and everything was exposed to peril and ruin, and the church was reduced to

[1] So in the Latin; see the last page.

216 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

the most abject state of slavery, and was open to the attacks of invading plunderers.

How special messengers were sent to the French king.

On the festival of the conversion of St. Paul, the bishop elect of Winchester, John Gatesden, knight, and Peter d'Orivalles, were sent, in the king of England's name, to the French king to prorogue the truce made between the two, but what was done in the matter has not yet appeared.

How the bishop elect of Salisbury obtained leave to retain his former revenues.

Master Giles of Bridlesford, bishop elect of Salisbury, having returned from the court of Rome, made it publicly known that he had obtained permission at Rome to retain his former revenues, and also his deanery, of which he had snuffed up the sweet odour. This was considered to be a novelty, but having been so often allowed in consideration of a remuneration being made, it caused no surprise to any one.

Of the guardianships granted to the queen.

About this same time, the guardianship of the land late belonging to William Canteloup, which was formerly granted to Edward, was granted to the queen, as was also that of the land lately belonging to William Longsword. Hence the bailiffs who were appointed under William's brother, assumed the horns of audacity from being under the patronage of a lady of such high rank, and practised such oppression on all their neighbours that their sufferings might have drawn tears from the eyes even of their enemies.

Of a new order of monks.

A new and hitherto unknown order of brethren made their appearance at London, publicly showing a papal warrant; so that the great number of orders gave rise to confusion.

How a citizen of Breschia was appointed in the place of the senator Brancaleone.

The Roman senator Brancaleone having resigned his office, a citizen of Breschia was appointed in his stead, who creditably followed the track of his predecessor in the execution of justice, and performed the duties of his office with like vigour.


Of the election of Roger de Molend to the bishopric of Chester.

In this year, too, Bishop Roger of Westham having resigned his see in consequence of his old age and infirmities, the monks of Coventry elected as their bishop and pastor of their souls Master Roger de Molend, the king's nephew, whom the king accepted and approved of, as he ought, for he could not in honesty reject him, as he usually did in the case of others. Moreover, he had entreated the conventual brethren to elect his treasurer Philip Lovel as their pastor. Therefore, at the instigation of Earl Richard, they elected the aforesaid Master Roger, to whom the king was favourably inclined, and who was, moreover, his nephew.

How the Welsh increased in numbers and strength daily.

At this time, the Welsh carried fire and slaughter into the provinces of Wales bordering on England, and fortune favouring them they compelled the English to retreat. They also drove out of their country one Griffin de Brunet, a man of influence and noble birth, a Welshman by birth, family, and language, and ravaged the whole of his territory, which was rich and extensive, with fire and sword. All this irreparable injury was caused by the tyrannical cruelty and insatiable avarice of Geoffrey Langley, who had severely oppressed the Welsh, till at length they said that they would rather die honourably than prolong their lives disgracefully in such oppression and slavery. But the earl, on being elected king of Germany, wrote in friendly terms to Llewellyn, and the other chiefs of the Welsh army, begging them, for the sake of the kingdom's quiet, to desist from their hostile incursions, lest he should be disturbed in his proceedings, and should be prevented from leaving the kingdom. The Welsh, however, seeing that the rainy season suited their plans, and had already rendered the roads across the marshes impassable, would not desist from their aggressions, but harassed their enemies the more vigorously. They divided their army into two parts, on account of the numbers, that they might thus the more easily procure provisions. These two bodies together amounted to thirty thousand men, armed according to the custom of their native country, amongst whom were five hundred knights, well armed, and mounted on iron-clad

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horses. Edward, therefore, complained to his father of this act of presumption on the part of the Welsh, and the king was reported to have given him the following answer: "What is it to me? the land is yours by my gift. Exert your powers for the first time, and arouse fame in your youth, that your enemies may fear you for the future; as for me, I am occupied with other business". And thus was England oppressed by troubles of divers kinds on all sides.

Of the arrival of the archbishop of Messina, and of the powers with which he was invested.

In this year, on the approach of Lent, the archbishop of Messina was sent by the pope (for what reason it was not known), and arrived with a large retinue of brethren of the Preacher order, mounted on horses. As he had letters from the pope authorizing him to levy and receive procurations, and to inflict heavy punishment on all gainsayers and opposers, he sent an imperious letter to each of the prelates, ordering them to furnish him with procurations to the amount fixed on by him; and from the house of St. Alban's, and a monastery dependent on it, he extorted twenty-one marks. The monks of St. Alban's, too, having gone with all civility to visit him at his abode, he would not allow them to leave, bat detained them like prisoners, to force them to satisfy his avaricious demands; and on the monks modestly replying that they had not a penny with them, the enraged archbishop insolently replied, "Why are you so beggarly? send, then, for some merchant who will lend you some money". And this they did, as they were under compulsion; for these monks were not allowed to leave the house, although they were the select brethren of the convent; namely, the archdeacon of St. Alban's, and John, the abbat's seal-bearer and proctor. This archbishop of Messina was a brother of the order of Preachers, in whom we hoped to have found more humility than he showed, and he obtained from the pope the following letter, authorizing him to extort procurations.

"Brother John, by the Divine mercy archbishop of Messina, to his well-beloved brethren in Christ, the abbat and conventual assembly of the monastery of St. Alban's, in the diocese of Lincoln, greeting in the Lord. Know", etc.- (For the remainder of the letter see in the book of Additaments.) - At the


same time an eloquent letter was addressed in the pope's name to the king of England, urging him to correct his customary faults. This last was owing to the solicitations of Lawrence, bishop of Rochester, who had suffered much injury at the hands of Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury; for the latter, armed with secular power, had forcibly invaded and attacked the possessions of that church, which he was more bound to defend and protect. This archbishop showed the horns of audacity from being protected by the king and queen, and all the king's partisans, as he was uncle to the queen. The aforesaid bishop of Rochester, moreover, was vexed at the irreparable ruin brought on the archbishop of York, the bishopric of Ely, and at the extraordinary injuries done to other vacant churches by the king, who laid aside all reverence for Christ, and treated the keys of the Church with contempt. He, the said bishop, also saw that a similar peril was impending over his diocese, in the case of his resigning his see or dying. The contents of the letter obtained by this said bishop, who waited at Rome for a reply to it, were as follows.

"Alexander, bishop, etc. To the illustrious king of England, etc. Whereas, concerning your actions, well-beloved", etc.- (For the rest see in the book of Additaments, at the sign of the crossed arrows.)

Of the deaths of certain prelates and nobles.

On the 9th of February, in this year, died Robert of Hartford, dean of the church of Salisbury, of pious memory, who was well advanced in years, more advanced in morals, and above all advanced in knowledge; whom we believe, from his excelling merits, to have been a special friend of the Redeemer. There also died Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, the king's seneschal, and William de Mandeville, both distinguished nobles. Also died Richard, bishop of Exeter.

Of the marriage of B., earl of Devon, with a Savoyard.

At the instigation of the queen, Baldwin de Rivers married a foreign lady, a Savoyard, and a relation of the queen's. The county of Devon belonged to this Baldwin, and thus the noble possessions and heritages of the English daily devolved to foreigners; which fact the pusillanimous English either would not know or pretended not to know,

220 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

and their indolence and supine simplicity were rebuked by the bravery and manliness of the Welsh.

Of the numerous offerings made by the king of St. Alban's.

On the third of March in this year, the king went to St. Alban's and at the great altar there made an offering of a most handsome necklace with two clasps and a cross chain, as also of some costly rings; at the altar of St. Amphibalus at the same place, he also made offering of a silver-gilt cup to hold the dust lately found in the tomb mentioned above; also of six silken cloths, one of which he assigned to cover the aforesaid tomb, and another to cover the tombs of the hermits Roger and Sigard; and he also gave some money to repair the bier. He prolonged his stay at this place for a week, and as the writer of this book was his constant companion in the palace, at table, and in his chamber, he dictated to him with care and affability, and in the course of conversation mention being frequently made of his brother Earl Richard, he mentioned the nobles by name on whom the election depended, and who have been inserted in a preceding part of the work. He also named all the holy kings of England who had been canonized. And in order that such a great personage may not have taken the trouble to dictate these matters in vain, we have noted down these saints in this book.

The names of the sainted kings of England.

Albert, Edward the Martyr, Kenelm, Oswald, Oswin, Neithan, Wistan, Fromund, Edwulf, Edmund, Edward. The king also enumerated and mentioned by name all the baronies of England which recurred to his memory, and he discovered them to amount to two hundred and fifty. But let us return to our subject and continue our history.

Of the disturbances in the university of Oxford.

On the ninth of March in this year, nine masters of arts of Oxford went to St. Alban's, and in the chapel of St. Oswin made a complaint to the king of the bishop of Lincoln, who was endeavouring to infringe the liberties of the scholars, contrary to the old and approved statutes of the university. A day was therefore appointed for hearing the bishop in reply to these complaints at the approaching great


parliament, that the arguments on both sides might be heard, and peace might be established between the parties. On that same day, also, the brother who wrote this book said in private to the king, "Your majesty, in the name of the Lord, take care of the already tottering Church. For the university of Paris, the nurse and mistress of so many holy prelates, is disturbed in no slight degree, and if the university of Oxford, which is the second school of the Church, or rather the foundation of it, should be disturbed in like manner, and at the same time, it is greatly to be feared that "the whole Church would be ruined". To which speech the king replied, "God forbid that it should be so, least of all, in my time".

Of the return of the abbat of Westminster and his companions from the court of Rome.

On St. Prisca's day, in this year, the abbat of Westminster and the bishop elect of Salisbury returned from the court of Rome, after suffering much injury and running great risks from the wiles of their adversaries; for to cross the Alps, which they did on the king's business, they passed through France, where they suffered the most loss. On that journey one of the abbat's companions, Henry de Mer, a circuit justiciary of the king's, died and went to reap the fruits of his works. The abbat, also, lost others of his attendants on the journey.

How the possessions of the bishopric of Ely were pillaged.

In the mean time, the lands, woods, and towns in the bishopric of Ely were exposed to irremediable peril as it were. The forests were cut down, the lakes were drained out by canals, and the fishes taken away, and the beasts were carried off from the parks. All fear of the Lord and of St. Ethelred was laid aside, and the people of the diocese taxed and injured in divers ways by the ignoble agents and extortioners of the king. And whilst the bishop elect and the brethren of the convent were indulging in hopes of being heard by the king on the day appointed, he had become their declared enemy, preferring objections against the bishop elect, which were sufficient to excite wonder and scandal in any one. The chief of these charges was as follows: "The isles of Ely, from times of old, used to be a

222 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

fortress and place of refuge for a great many of those who suffered injury in time of war; and it would not be safe to intrust the guardianship of such a place, which was like a castle, to a simple denizen of the cloister, who was imbecile and inexperienced in warlike proceedings, and who had never learned the shrewdness and sagacity of the court".

How the bishop elect of Ely went to Rome.

After suffering great losses, the bishop elect suddenly went away with all haste to the papal court to prosecute his claim. The archbishop, meanwhile, obstinately persevered in his persecutions, to please the king, and the latter, although in the examination of the bishop elect previously made by him, he found no grounds of objection, wrote to his friends at the court of Rome against him, in order that he might be rejected, and brother Adam Marsh be appointed in his stead. Although this said Brother Adam, a brother of the order of Minors, advanced in years, and possessed of much learnings had abandoned all worldly greatness and large revenues to assume the habit of religion, yet he was reported to have given a willing consent to this substitution, according to the saying of Ovid, "Scarcely did I see any one in the reign of Saturn, to whose mind gain was not agreeable".

Vix ego Saturno quenquam regnante videbam,
Cujus non animo dulcia lucra forent.

[Scarce one I saw, in Saturn's reign,
Whose heart was not rejoiced by gain.]

Master Henry of Wengham, the chancellor, in whose behalf the king had urged his entreaties on the monks of Ely, endured with patience the thoughts of any one else being promoted to the said bishopric, and humbly declared that either of the two were more worthy of it than himself.

Of the miracles performed at St. Alban's tomb.

In this same year, and about this same time, miracles were of frequent occurrence in St. Alban's church, at the spot where the tomb of St. Alban was found. On St. Agnes' day, a boy was resuscitated from death, and afterwards another, the same; and at the same spot many paralytics and blind were cured; and all the miracles there performed, were proved to be well founded and true ones, by the evidence of credible persons, such as the priests, the parishioners, and

A.D. 1257.] DEATH OF MARGARET. 223

juries of the neighbourhood; for it is a no less offence to spread false reports in honour and praise of God, than it is to be silent on those which are true.

How messengers were sent to the king of France.

On the festival of the Conversion of St. Paul, the bishop elect of Winchester, John Gatesden, and Peter d'Orivalles, were sent to the French king, in the name of the king of England, on some secret business of the latter.

How the bishop of of Salisbury retained his former revenues.

About this same time, Master Giles of Bridlesford, bishop elect of Salisbury, returned from the Roman court, and showed a written warrant from the pope, by which he was allowed to retain his former revenues for some years, which was one of the novel prodigies which Rome gave birth to.

Of the increased number of guardianships granted to the queen.

At this same time, too, guardianship of the land of William Cantelupe (formerly granted to Edward) was granted to the queen, as also that of the land of William Longsword, which latter was at once handed over to her seneschal, Brother William of Tarentum, who gaped after money like a horseleech after blood. In consequence, the bailiffs who were appointed under the said Brother William, assumed the horns of audacity from being under the patronage and protection of a lady of such high rank, oppressed the neighbouring people, and thus they were impoverished on very slight grounds; and even without any pretext whatever. And thus, as in days of old, a great many kings tyranized in England.

Of a new order of monks.

At the same time, too, a new order of brethren, not before seen or known, made their appearance at London, and as they appeared abroad clad in sacks, they were called the sackcloth brethren.

Of the death of Margaret, sister of St. Edmund.

About the same time died Margaret, prioress of Katesby, and sister of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, a woman of great sanctity, whose distinguished virtues were rewarded by the working of miracles.

224 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

Of the great parliament, at which Earl Richard bade farewell to the English.

At Mid Lent of this same year, a great parliament was held, at which the masters of arts from Oxford appeared, by the king's command, that peace might be re-established between the university of Oxford and the bishop of Lincoln, who harassed them. There also came to this parliament Richard, earl of Gloucester, and John Mansel, who had gone to Germany to see how matters stood, and to prepare the way for Richard, earl of Cornwall, the lately elected king of Germany. These persons were ignorant of the fraudulent election of the king of Spain, who afterwards asserted that he had been elected first, as the ensuing narrative will show. Earl Richard, the newly-elected king of Germany, was also present at this parliament for the purpose of bidding farewell to the general community of England; in fact almost the whole of the nobility of England were present thereat. The said earl had appointed Fulke, bishop of London, chief agent of the possessions which he held in England. During the time of the sitting of this parliament, there were such numbers of people in the city of London that, capacious as was its bosom, that city could scarcely hold them.

How the archbishop of Canterbury was cited to Rome, to answer for the injuries done by him to the bishop of Rochester.

In the mean time, the bishop of Rochester, who had suffered intolerable injury at the hands of the archbishop of Canterbury, persisted in prosecuting the complaints he had made to the whole Roman court; and as his case called for condign vengeance (for it was a serious offence), after many admonitions had been addressed to the king, who encouraged the said archbishop in his audacity and offences, the latter was cited to appear in person before the pope to answer to the complaints made against him, and to give satisfaction for the injuries and losses caused by him.

Of the illness of the bishop of Hereford.

The bishop of Hereford, as a punishment for his manifold sins, was seized with a morphean polypus, or some sort of leprosy.


How the king asked assistance for his son Edmund.

Before the aforesaid parliament broke up, the king brought his son Edmund, dressed in the Apulian fashion, before the assembly, and pointing him out to them, said in the hearing of all, "You see, my faithful subjects, my son Edmund, whom the Lord, of his spontaneous favour, has called to the kingly dignity. How evidently worthy he is of the favour of all of you! and how inhuman, how tyrannical would he be, who could refuse him seasonable and effectual aid and counsel in this crisis"! and he added that, by the advice and good-will of the pope and the English church, he had, for the sake of obtaining the kingdom of Sicily, bound himself, under penalty of losing his kingdom, to the payment of a hundred and forty thousand marks, exclusive of interest, which daily increased, although without being apparent. Also, that he had obtained, for five ensuing years, the tithes to be levied from all the clergy in general, that is to say, from all their benefices, which were to be computed according to the new mode of taxation, without deducting any expenses save those which were incurred necessarily. Also, the profits of all ecclesiastical benefices vacated during the first year, and till the completion of the five years. This speech made the ears of all tingle, and struck fear to their hearts, especially as they knew that this tyranny took its rise from the pope. Although they set forth excuses and asked for time to be allowed them, they could not even obtain that favour, and were at length compelled to give a promise of relieving the king's pressing necessities, on the condition, however, that he would from that time forth observe inviolate the great charter, which he had so often promised to do, and which had been so often bought and rebought by them; and that he would refrain from injuring and impoverishing them on so many specious pretexts. On these conditions they promised the king fifty-two thousand marks, though to the irreparable injury of the English church; yet the king is said not to have accepted of such a rich gift even as this.

How the intruder into the deanery of York received the revenues of the same.

The Roman who had forced himself in such a fox-like way into the deanery of York, and had clandestinely taken

226 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

possession of the dean's stall in the choir at the hour of meals, being armed with the favour and protection of the pope, brought divers injuries and damages on the archbishop, and at length caused him to be suspended, although an innocent man, and one endowed with all sanctity. Finally, after much controversy, for the sake of peace this said Roman consented to rest satisfied with the receipt of a hundred marks annually from the church of York, until he was better provided for.

Of the arrival in England of the archbishop of Cologne.

Scarcely had the aforesaid council or parliament (which was very numerously attended) been dissolved, when the archbishop of Cologne arrived, attended by certain bishops, and having a duke in his train, for the purpose of encouraging Earl Richard to enter upon and take possession, without fear, of the kingdom of Germany (which was called the Roman kingdom, because it was, as it were, the pledge given for obtaining the Roman empire), which had been granted to him without opposition from any one, to be held in peace by him. But what was afterwards a source of astonishment to many was, that silence was observed regarding the fact that some of the nobles of Germany had, at the instigation of the French, consented to the election of Alphonso, king of Spain, to the aforesaid sovereignty. It should be known, that at the aforesaid general parliament there were six archbishops, namely, those of Canterbury, York, and Dublin, and the archbishop of Messina, who received rich procurations from each of the churches; and the archbishop of Tarentum in Apulia, who had come over to impose upon the king in the matter of Apulia. The earl of Gloucester and John Mansell also hastened from the continent to be present thereat, who, although they had made careful inquiries, were ignorant of the obstacle thrown in the way of Earl Richard of Cornwall, by the election of another than him.

Of the pope's order to the abbot of St. Alban's, to provide a rich benefice for a certain Italian.

At the end of March, the pope sent an imperious order to the abbat of St. Alban's to provide a suitable benefice for a certain Roman, as if he had not done enough already in the case of another Roman, who, a few days before, had brought


a letter as urgent, if not more so, as this present one. Thus miseries were heaped upon miseries in England, and the prelates longed to be released from their sojourn in this world; for we were considered not as the children of Sara, but as the bastards of Agar the slave, and were despoiled of the liberty by which Christ liberated us.

How some of the nobles of Germany did homage to Earl Richard.

At this time, too, Conrad, archbishop of Cologne, and some other nobles of Germany who had accompanied him to London, did homage and swore fealty and allegiance to Earl Richard; whereapon the earl at once gave the archbishop five hundred marks to defray the expenses he had incurred on his journey thither. He also gave him a most handsome mitre, ornamented with precious stones, and fastened with pieces of gold; and when the archbishop had fitted it on his head, he exclaimed, "Earl Richard has enriched me and my church with a handsome gift; and as he has placed a mitre on my head, so will I impose on his head the crown of the German or Roman kingdom. He has mitred me, and I will crown him". I have thought it worth while to insert this speech of the archbishop's in this book, that posterity may learn how cunningly foreigners found means of circumventing the simplicity of the English.

How the French king fortified the castles of Normandy.

The French king, on hearing of these proceedings, wisely added to the strength and fortifications of the castles on the borders of his kingdom, and garrisoned the cities and castles of Normandy especially with native Frenchmen. And he gave orders that the French should intermarry with the Normans, and vice versa, that they might thereby be united by the bonds of reciprocal friendship; and this plan was carried out. For they said, "The English were formerly encouraged in their audacity by the Roman emperor Otho, a most brave knight, and again by Frederick; the one of whom was a blood relation of their king, and the other a kinsman; on which account they were most hostile to the kingdom of France; yet, under the Lord's protection, it still continued strong in its dignity and power"; and thus they derived some sort of consolation.

228 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

How certain nobles of Germany did homage to Earl Richard.

Some other nobles of Germany, who had come with the archbishop of Cologne and had received some rich presents from Earl Richard, when about to take leave of him, did homage and took a strict oath of allegiance to him, that they might not be suspected.

A calculation of the money uselessly expended by the king.

At this time the clerks of the king's chamber examined all the finance registers, and having made a strict calculation of the amount expended, it was proved by them, and they were worthy of belief, that since the king had commenced plundering and wasting the wealth of his kingdom, he had expended nine hundred and fifty thousand marks, which it was dreadful to think of; for the kingdom of England had never felt the gain of such a large amount of money, much less the decrease. For would it not be better for you to lose your sword or your arrow by letting it fall to the bottom of the sea, than for your enemy to snatch it from you?

Of the departure of the archbishop of Cologne from England.

At Easter the archbishop of Cologne embarked at London, on board a large galley, which was lying in the river Thames, well manned, armed, and provisioned for a voyage; and hastened home to be ready to receive his newly-elected lord Earl Richard, and to prepare the way for him to reach his kingdom in safety.

Of the departure of Earl Richard from England.

On the third day in Easter week the earl of Cornwall, the newly-elected king of Germany, bade farewell to his friends, and, commending himself to the prayers of the religious orders, set out for the sea-coast, attended by a large retinue of nobles, intending to embark at Yarmouth. But as the wind was unfavourable, he waited for a long while on the coast, at a great and useless expense. However, whilst he was staying on the coast, he exercised a piece of tyranny upon the church of St. Alban's, which we have thought it better to pass over in silence than to mention in this work.

Of the dearness of provisions amongst Earl Richard's followers.

Whilst the earl was thus passing away his time on the coast,


attended by a numerous escort, in expectation of a favourable windy such scarcity prevailed, and provisions became so dear, that a measure of wheat was sold for fifteen shillings, and the same quantity of oats for six shillings: fowls and ducks were very scarce and extremely dear; and beef and mutton were sold at any price that the venders chose to fix. If the earl had not, as he usually did, willingly paid for what was purchased, a worse state of want would have oppressed all his followers, or would have driven them away from him altogether.

Of the cessation of the unjust judgment of Henry de Mara against the abbat of St. Alban's.

It should be recollected, also, that when the king was on the continent and Earl Richard was regent of the kingdom, the unjust judgment of Henry de Mara, the justiciary, was quashed by the persevering efforts of William Horton, the cellarer. By the decision of the said Henry, the abbat of St. Alban's was unjustly amerced in the sum of one hundred pounds, because his men would not (neither were they obliged so to do) go to Chesterhunt, which was beyond the liberty of the abbat. As a just punishment, and through the vengeance of the martyr Alban, this said Henry died in a despicable condition whilst on a journey across the Alps. Nor did the praiseworthy solicitude of the aforesaid cellarer rest until he obtained from the earl the following letter patent, by which the liberties of St. Alban's might be clearly demonstrated for the time to come to those who might wish to know them.

The letter obtained by the abbat of St. Alban's from Earl Richard.

"Henry, by the grace of God, etc.- Whereas it appears to us, by inspection of the charters of our predecessors the kings of England, which the abbat of St. Alban's holds, that the dependents of the said abbat ought not to go beyond their liberty, which is that of the said abbat, to appear to any summons, or on any occasion, before any justiciaries or inquisitors, we have remitted to the said abbat the hundred pounds, in which the town and liberty of St. Alban's were amerced, because the people belonging to that liberty did not appear before our beloved and faithful subjects Henry de Mara and William Wilton [at Chesterhunt], which in

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beyond the liberty aforesaid, at the inquisition held cocerning the violation of exchange, and for the purpose of amercing the violators of the said exchange". For the rest, see in the book of Additaments. Moreover, this was a letter patent.

Of the shameful profit sought to be derived from the exchange.

A few days before this, a shameful and inhuman mode of extortion had been introduced, and which still continued, and was put in practice on the innocent as well as the guilty, in the matter of the right of exchange which Earl Richard had obtained from the king. For if any one who was about to undertake a journey, or to do any piece of business however trifling, exchanged any money with a neighbour or friend, however small the sum, or however he might be driven to do so by necessity, he was accused of having kept an exchange, to the prejudice of the king; and thus he was severely punished, as if he had opened a money-changer's shop; and Earl Richard, by this means, to the impoverishment of many, amassed many thousand marks in his treasury.

Of the departure of Earl Richard from England for Germany.

After making over the castles, lands, and possessions which he held in England to the bishop of London, whom he appointed his absolute agent, the earl put to sea with a large fleet, which he had in the ports of England, consisting of ships collected and seized on in all parts of England and other countries. However, he did not make any atonement to St. Alban's for the injuries done by him, either in the case of Miclefeld, or in other matters, whereby an orphan boy was spoiled of his lands and reduced to a wretched state of poverty by the agency of John Gatesden, and despite all godly fear. The abbat of St. Alban's, touched with compassion, took charge of and brought up this destitute boy, who was named Roger. When the earl took his departure from England, there were carried away with him, never to return, seven hundred thousand pounds, which were bloodstained by many crimes, besides his daily increasing revenues in England, which were daily to be carried off. By such means was Enland despoiled of these and many other good things, especially money, and reduced to a state of pitiable want, whilst foreigners boasted in the spoils of her. It should be


known, that from the first day of February up to this time, which was the beginning of May, the air was disturbed by storms of wind and rain, which rendered England like a muddy marsh. The furrows bore the appearance of ditches; the ditches were like marshes; and the rivers seemed to be arms of the sea. Thus a period of three months rendered the earth barren and fruitless, so that many farmers sowed fresh seed in their land.

Of a dreadful fire, which consumed the temple of Mahomet.

At thds same time there came to St. Alban's a venerable man, a master of the brethren of St. Thomas's Church at Acre, who brought news to the abbat and monks, which he stated to be true. He stated that [their proctor] was safe and sound, and was diligently and effectively occupying himself on the difficult business of the church of St. Alban's, at the court of Rome, from which place he had himself come. He also stated that a sort of infernal lightning, which, however, descended from the skies, had suddenly set fire to and destroyed the temple of Mahomet, together with his statue; that again a second explosion, similar to the first, had reduced the said temple to small bits; and that a third had, as was believed, thrust the ruins into an abyss in the earth. After this, he said, this fire, which burned with a most devouring heat, though it did not give a bright light, crept along under the earth, like the fire of hell, consuming even rocks in its way, and could not even yet be extinguished. And thus the whole city of Mecca, and the country in its vicinity, were consumed with inextinguishable fire.

Of a burning river.

He also gave an account of a large devouring river, which, contrary to the nature of water, not being content with its own bounds, followed a strange course, and made its way up lofty mountains, taking by surprise those who had fled to the tops for refuge, and destroying them with its inflamed torrent, as though they were burnt with fire. Thus those who had escaped from the sulphureous fire below were swallowed up by this burning river.

How the brethren of Bethlehem obtained a settlement at Cambridge.

A place of abode was granted to the brethren of Bethlehem at Cambridge, in the street leading towards

232 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

Trumpington. The habit of these brethren is similar to that of the Preachers, but their cape bore on the breast part the symbol of a red star, emitting five rays, in the midst of which was a circle of the colour of the sky, which was in memory of the star which appeared in Bethlehem at the birth of our Lord. So many orders of brethren now made their appearance, in England that there was a most extraordinary confusion amongst them.

How the archbishop of Canterbury convoked the prelates of his diocese.

About the same time Archbishop Boniface of Canterbury convoked the bishops and archdeacons of his diocese to a meeting, that they might, after devoutly invoking the favour of the Holy Spirit, make some provision in aid of the now tottering church of England, which was oppressed in these modern times by new and more burdensome and intolerable oppressions than usual. For the king, influenced by the underhanded counsels of sycophants and enemies of the kingdom, allowed certain new and irregular customs to spring like thorn-bushes in the fruit or pleasure-garden, and to suffocate the fruit-trees. It was, therefore, most confidently hoped that at this convocation the archbishop might be gifted with strength from above to set himself up as a barrier before the house of the Lord, and, following in the footsteps of St. Thomas the Martyr, to do battle with those rebelling against the Church.

Of the death of the king's daughter Catherine.

Near about the festival of the Finding of the Holy Cross, died the king's daughter Catherine, who was dumb, and fit for nothing, though possessing great beauty. However, the queen was so overcome with grief that it brought on a disease, which was thought to be incurable, as she could obtain no relief either from medical skill or human consolation.

Of the complaint made by the bishop of Rochester at Rome.

Lawrence, bishop of Rochester, in the mean time, in his praiseworthy defence of the liberty of his church, firmly and urgently persisted, day after day, in prosecuting the complaint which he had laid before the pope and the cardinals against Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, who had unjustly invaded the possessions and property of his church; and the


archbishop was, in consequence, cited to appear in person, before the pope.

Of the vigorous attacks made by the Welsh on the English.

The Welsh, in the mean time, vented their fury incessantly, and actively employed themselves in pillage, slaughter, and incendiarism; neither could the neighbouring barons, although joined by the earl of Gloucester, give any succour to the English or to Edward. The Welsh only laughed at and ridiculed their efforts; and thus the hatred between the English and Welsh daily gained ground, like the murrain. As Edward threatened, with the help of the Irish, whom he had called upon to aid him, to crush them like a potter's vessel, the Welsh took precautions and provided some galleys well manned and armed, and supplied with a good stock of provisions, and put to sea with the intention of giving battle to the Irish there.

Of the finding of the body of Malcolm, king of Scots.

In this same year, also, whilst the foundations of some buildings were being laid at Tynemouth, a priory of St. Alban's, the bones of Malcolm, king of Scots, and his son Edward, were found. (Of the actions and the death of that king, an account is given in the book of Additaments.) A summary of the details is, that as he was with his whole army making a hostile incursion into England, he was attacked by Robert de Mowbray, the founder of the church at Tynemouth, who conquered and slew him, and afterwards, as he was a king, ordered him to be buried at Tynemouth.

Of the repairing of the walls of London.

In this same year, too, the king ordered the walls of London, which were in a dilapidated condition, and without ramparts, to be properly repaired at the cost of the city at large.

Of the disagreement between S., earl of Leicester, and W. de Valence.

About this same time, a disagreement took place, in the presence of the king and many of the nobles, at London, between Simon, earl of Leicester, and William de Valence. For this William, because he was the king's uterine brother, exercised his cruelty upon all his neighbours, and especially upon the religious orders, assuming boldness in his tyranny.

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like his brothers, from his fraternal relationship to the king, and had improperly intruded upon the possessions of the said earl, and carried off booty therefrom. The earl's seneschal having rescued this booty, William was enraged thereat, and heaped injuries on the earl, both by word and deed. These matters of complaint having been brought before the king, the two parties mutually reproached one another, and almost came to blows; for William, in the presence of the king and nobles, gave the earl the lie, to use a common expression, and afterwards accused him of treachery, which is a great offence to knights. At this the earl was highly excited, and, as was stated, endeavoured to rush on him (for "anger is a short madness"); but he was held back, although with difficulty, by the king, who threw himself between his brother-in-law and his brother, being alarmed lest the earl should kill his insulter. The dregs of enmity produced by this quarrel between the two parties, could never afterwards be entirely got rid of.

How the monks of Durham were released from the interdict.

After the lapse of a few days, the monks of Durham, who, with the canons of Gisburne, were the only ones to resist the dishonest proceedings of the papal agents, and had, in consequence of such resistance, endured the infliction of the interdict for a long time, at length, and after much discussion, obtained, by the full authority of the pope, a letter of absolution, whereby they were, to their great joy, enabled to perform their services and duties. Oh! if they had had companions in their trouble, and coadjutors in their constancy, how happily would the church of England have triumphed over her torturers and oppressors. The letter obtained by the monks aforesaid may be found in the book of Additaments.

Of the quashing of the election made in the matter of the bishopric of Ely.

On the feast of St. Gordian and St. Epimachus, the election of the bishop elect of Ely was quashed by the interference of the king and the archbishop of Canterbury, who endeavoured to appoint Master Adam Marsh, one of the order of Minors, in his stead. This proceeding excited the wonder of all, because neither the election nor the elected could be disapproved of with justice, nor could any fault be


found with the elect; but certain prevaricators, who must needs stumble upon plain ground, imputed it as a fault to him that he was only a simple monk, inexperienced in worldly matters, and totally incompetent to rule and protect the noble bishopric of Ely, and the isle thereof, which from times of old had been, and still was, a place of refuge for those who were oppressed in time of trouble. But the more general belief was, that the door of the royal favour was closed against the monks on account of the firmness and fidelity with which they refused to comply with the king's pressing request to them to elect his chancellor, Henry of Wengham, as their bishop. This request was made without the knowledge of the said Henry; and when he knew that the convent had elected a fit and proper person as their pastor, he said to the king: "Cease, your majesty, to impose upon these pious brethren, and no longer trouble them with your imperious and armed entreaties; for the monks have, after invoking the favour of the Holy Spirit, duly elected a fit and proper person, and one better than I am. God forbid that I should take possession of such a noble bishopric, or usurp such a high office of ministry, with a seared conscience". For this speech, the chancellor gained thanks from man, and favour with God; but the king's anger was not averted, nor did he cease from harassing the bishop elect and the bishopric. The bishop elect, however, strong in his right, went to Rome to obtain conscration and comfort from the pope in his great trouble.

How the king of France strengthened the fortifications of Normandy.

In the mean time, the French king ordered the castles of Normandy to be strongly fortified, and the care of them and the offices of magistracy to be taken away from suspected persons. These offices he then intrusted to native Frenchmen, and the Normans whom he did not wish to remove from their offices, he attached to himself by indissoluble ties, either of relationship or some other bond of union. He removed the houses of the religious orders which were near the frontiers, in the direction of Germany as well as Normandy, and established the brethren in other places, at the same time increasing their possessions. He then built castles in those places and supplied them with a stock of all

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necessaries; and these precautions he took, that neither the king of Germany, who claimed Poitou, nor the king of England, who claimed Normandy, might find a resting-place there, if they should make a hostile inroad into that country; for the French were much afraid that, between those two, their kingdom would be crushed as between two millstones; however, according to their custom, they comforted each other by such words as these: "The former emperor, Otho, the bravest of knights, and who was elevated to the Roman imperial dignity, seriously threatened France, but at the battle of Bovel he retreated with disgrace. The same man, a relation of the king of England, having entered into a league with Earl William, surnamed Longsword, a brother of the said king of England, Ferrand, count of Flanders, Reginald, count of Boulogne, Hugh de Boves, and other warriors of distinction, conceived the design of ravaging France with a powerful army in our times, but by the Lord's favour he was crushed. Moreover, at the same time, the English king John was besieging the castle of Roches-au-Moines, and being pursued by Louis, who was not then king; he thereupon raised the siege, and fled before his pursuer; although the French forces were divided into two parts; one of which was following his father, the French king, whilst the other remained with him. Again, Frederick, the emperor Frederick, the most powerful of all Christian monarchs, who had married the sister of the king of England, uttered terrible threats against France; but the Almighty has as yet preserved us under the wings of his affectionate protection". By such examples as these, they mutually comforted one another.

How the prelates of England promised a large sum of money to the king on certain conditions.

About this same time the prelates of England, who had become weak and timid (not imitating the constancy of the Cistercians, who gave a flat refusal to the king in person when he demanded a large sum of money), granted to the king the sum of forty-two thousand marks, to the enormous and irreparable injury of the Church and the kingdom; and this sum was granted to the king or to his son Edmund, for the purpose of obtaining possession of the kingdom of


Apulia; though the acquisition of that kingdom was more and more despaired of every day. The king, who was but little satisfied with this gift, promised that he would, as soon as possible, moderate the Church's oppressions, and restore her to her proper state of liberty. On these conditions, articles were drawn up to the number of about fifty, which the prelates committed to writing, in order that they might be executed and carried into effect at a proper time, in the presence of the king, the nobles, and the prelates. These articles, or chapters, were similar to those for which the martyr St. Thomas of Canterbury so gloriously fought and conquered; and they contain as much writing as it would take two or three nights to commit to paper. See in the book of Additaments.

Of the death of Walter, bishop of Norwich.

On St. Wulstan's day, which was the 20th of May, Walter de Suffield, bishop of Norwich, died at Colchester, and his body was carried to his cathedral church of Norwich, to be buried with all honour there; and it was afterwards reported that miracles were performed at his tomb. This prelate had, during a time of famine, given all his cups and goblets of silver, as well as all his money, for the benefit of the poor.

Of the new decree made at Rome concerning those elected to exempted abbeys.

In this same year, too, a decree was made at Rome by the pope and the cardinal brethren, who vigilantly looked after their own temporal advantage and profit, without heeding that of others, that "each one who should from that time forth be elected to an exempted abbey, should go to Rome to be confirmed and receive the benediction". By this extraordinary decree religion was exposed to peril, and the Church was deprived of worldly prosperity; for it is not necessary for religious men to elect as their pastor a matured and religious person, but some half-secular man, who prefers equitation to equity; the law of Justinian to that of the Lord, "which converts souls". Moreover, grant that such a person be elected (for any other sort of man would be rejected by the king and his agents), it might happen, that, after wasting much time in a journey across the Alps, the person

238 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

elected would be disapproved of and the election quashed, or perhaps the bishop elect might die on the journey; in either of which cases the convent would languish, and the king, to whom all its possessions were confiscated, would plunder and swallow them up at will.

How the king of England made preparations for an expedition to Wales.

About the same time the king issued his warrants throughout all England, calling on each and every one who owed knightly service to their lord and king to be ready and prepared, provided with horses and arms, to follow him into Wales, on the feast of St Mary Magdalen, whither he was about to proceed on an expedition to check their violence; as they were roving about at will, seizing the castles of the frontier nobles, and even those of the English, with impunity, putting the garrisons to death, and spreading fire, slaughter, and incendiarism in all directions. The Welsh, thereon, learning that the king intended to take the field against them with his army, prudently sent away their wives, children, and flocks into the interior of the country, about Snowdon and other mountainous places inaccessible to the English, ploughed up their fields, destroyed the mills in the road which the English would take, carried away all kinds of provisions, broke down the bridges, and rendered the fords impassable by digging holes, in order that, if the enemy attempted to cross, they might be drowned. Fortune favoured them in this war; for their cause appeared, even to their enemies, to be just; and what chiefly supported and encouraged them was the thought that, like the Trojans (from whom they were descended), they were struggling, with a firmness worthy of their descent, for their ancestral laws and liberties. Woe to the wretched English, who, trodden underfoot by every foreigner, allowed the ancient liberties of their kingdom to be extinguished, and were not put to shame by the example of the Welsh. Far from showing obedience to the king's son Edward, they only ridiculed and heaped insults and derision upon him, and he, in consequence, conceived the idea of giving up Wales and the Welsh as untameable. Oh, England! justly art thou considered the handmaid of all nations, and as one in the


vilest state of slavery! Whatever the native inhabitants cherish, is seized on and earned away by foreigners.

Of the arrival of Earl R. in Germany.

About the same time, too, Earl Richard arrived safely in Germany, where he found an immense multitude of the people waiting to greet him on his arrival with the greatest demonstrations of joy and honour. As these people had incurred much expense, he ordered a large sum of money to be distributed amongst them, by way of reimbursing them; and in consequence of this he obtained the praise and good-will of all.

How Earl Richard was crowned king of Germany.

On our Lord's Ascension day, which fell on the 27th of May, Richard, earl of Cornwall, was crowned king of the Germans, or the Romans, the ceremony being performed by Conrad, archbishop of Cologne, at Aix-la-Chapelle, with great solemnity and splendour, in accordance with the custom handed down from times of old; and there was no one to gainsay or disturb the ceremony, a circumstance which had never happened before from time immemorial. The Countess Cynthia, his wife, was crowned queen at the same time with him. On the day following, which was Friday, the new king Richard conferred the honour of knighthood on Henry, his son by his former wife Isabella; and he celebrated the initiation of the said Henry, as well as his own coronation, by a banquet on each of those days, such as with good reason excited the amazement of the Germans. But a fuller account of these proceedings may he found in a letter sent by him to England, and which is inserted in the book of Additaments.

Of the appoinment of John of Avennes as seneschal of Germany.

King Richard now set to work at leisure to arrange the affairs of the kingdom, following the track of the nobles of the country, and acting on their counsel, especially, however, taking the advice of the archbishop of Cologne. He appointed John of Avennes, a man experienced in war, as his seneschal. There were still in the kingdom some who kicked against his authority; amongst others, the archbishop of Treves, a powerful and warlike man, who was encouraged in his temerity by the favour shown him by the French.

240 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

Of the quarrel betweem the monks of Winchester and those of Glastonbury.

In this same year, and a few days prior to the above events, the prior and monks of Winchester, and the abbat and conventual brethren of Glastonbury, by their ambition and disputes gave rise to a scandal which rebounded on the whole monastic order, and wasted the possessions of their noble and ancient churches, bringing injury and disgrace on them for ever. I have not thought it worth while to give the particulars of their fault in this book, as they would require to be stated especially and at length; in fact, I prefer to be silent on such schisms, which provide fuel for the court of Rome, rather than to bring them to recollection.

Of the death of Maurice, a knight of Ireland.

In this same year, and a few days previously, died Maurice Fitzgerald, a brave and agreeable knight, who had formerly held the office of justiciary in Ireland, and was inferior to none there. This man had lived all his life in a praiseworthy manner, but had gained an ill name, though perhaps wrongfully, for causing the death of Richard, the earl marshal.

Of the death of Robert of Sothindon.

In the same year, too, died Robert of Sothindon, a special clerk of the king's, and formerly a circuit justiciary: he was taken ill at Hertford, at which place he closed his life and was buried.

Of the capture by the Welsh of a cattle belonging to the earl of Gloucester.

In the octaves of St. Benedict, Llewellyn, the commander-in-chief of the Welsh, made a sudden attack upon the retainers of the earl of Gloucester, and seized by force on a castle belonging to that earl, putting the people he found in it to death.

Of the death of Alice, prioress of Katesby.

In this year also died the sister of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, the Lady Alice, prioress of Katesby, a recluse of remarkable holiness and innocence, at whose tomb miracles were reported to be performed.

Of the death of the good prior of Norwich.

At this same time also died the good prior of Norwich, a

A.D. 1257.] MURDER OF A SQUIRE. 241

man of great holiness and of distinguished learning, who, in addition to the masses, canonical hours, and secret and special prayers, chanted the whole of the Psalms daily. This man had been duly elected bishop of Norwich about ten years since, but the king, fascinated by the advice of evil counsellors, caused his election to be quashed on some frivolous pretexts.

How the king fell ill through grief.

About the same time, that is, about the end of May, the king was overcome with grief at the frequent successes of the Welsh, and at the slaughter of so many of his liege subjects on the confines of Wales, as also at the thought that he was defrauded of the kingdom of Apulia, for which he had expended so much money to no purpose; again, his grief was increased by the severe illness of the queen and the death of his daughter Catherine. This accumulation of sorrows brought on a tertian fever, which detained him for a long time at London, whilst at the same time the queen was confined to her bed at Windsor by an attack of pleurisy.

Of the murder of a squire of William de Valence by the people of London.

About the same time, a squire in the service of William de Valence, the king's brother, behaved with great insolence at London, and, drawing his dagger, swore he would dip it in the blood of the citizens. Putting his threats into execution, he wounded some of them without any reason, and after inflicting the wounds, he gave utterance to insults and threats, trusting to the usual protection of his lord. The lower orders of citizens, however, rushed on him in crowds, being neither able nor willing to put up with his arrogance, and attacking him with stones and staves, put him to death. Being carried into a house when just at the point of death, he said, "For God's sake let my lord be told that my death is not to be imputed to any one's fault, but is only attributable to myself and to my folly and insolence; for we, trusting to the protection of our lords and masters, have pitilessly trampled down the innocent as well as the guilty"; and with these words he expired. When William heard of this circumstance, he laid a complaint against the citizens of London before the king, and in order to arouse his anger, had the

242 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

dead body of the man brought before him. The mayor of the city was then sent for, and on being severely called to account, replied, "My lord king, I cannot check the violence of the lower orders of the citizens; but ask what the man lying dead said at the point of death". When the king learned the whole facts of the matter, he said, "The offender only received what he deserved". But the remnants of ill-feeling against the citizens were not entirely got rid of, as the following narrative will fully show.

Of the death R. of Westham, bishop of Chester.

About the same time, Master Roger of Westham, bishop of Chester, a most praiseworthy man, went the way of all flesh. He had long suffered from an attack of the palsy, and had resigned his bishopric. He was succeeded by Master Longsword.

Of the usual miracle performed at St. Alban's.

About this same time, that is to say at the commencement of the autumn, the abbat and brethren of St. Alban's, considering that the crops of hay and corn were in imminent danger of being spoiled by the excessive falls of rain, came to a determination in their chapter, as was the usual custom in cases of such danger, that a fast should be proclaimed through their archdeacon, to be observed by the public as well as the convent; and also that the bier of St. Alban should be carried in solemn procession to the church of St. Mary-in-the-Fields, the conventual brethren and the people following with bare feet and uttering devout prayers. Ihis was accordingly done, and on the same day, through the merits of the martyr, the destructive rain ceased.

Of the departure of the Parisian University.

About this same time, the university of Paris went away from that city, leaving it nearly empty, partly because harvest-time was near at hand, and partly owing to the persecutions of the Preacher brethren; for Brother Hugh, of the order of Preachers, who was a cardinal of the church of Rome, used the most energetic endeavours to weaken the cause of the scholars, and to strengthen that of the Preachers, who were opposed to them.


Of the destructive incursions of the Welsh.

The Welsh, finding that it was now a matter of life or death for them, entered into a firm alliance, those of the north joining those of the south of Wales, a circumstance never before known; for they were hitherto always hostile to one another. By common consent they then made a sudden and fierce attack on the king's army, having been induced to do so by information received from spies and traitors. The king's soldiers were in a position of difficulty, in a marshy place, near a castle of theirs, where they expected to find a place of refuge but when they retreated in the hope of obtaining protection there, they found enemies instead of friends, and were thus cut off. Crushed as it were between two millstones, and attacked in front and rear, they were defeated and put to the rout or slain at the will of the enemy. In that most sanguinary conflict some illustrious knights in the service of the king of England fell; amongst others, Stephen Bancan, a dear friend of the king, Robert of Norham, and many others, whose names we do not recollect. After this victory the Welsh admitted Griffin de Brun, by whose advice and information they had acted as they did, to an alliance with them. He was in fact a Welshman by birth, brave and of noble birth, but some days previously he had joined the king of England; whereupon the Welsh had destroyed all his lands and possessions, which were very extensive, and of which the king could not and would not guarantee the security.

Of the spirited address of Llewellyn, the Welsh chief.

From that time, Llewellyn, rejoicing in the victory gained by his Welsh followers, rich in the spoils of the vanquished, and strengthened by his alliance with the Welsh of the north and his reunion with the aforesaid Griffin, employed himself in inspiriting and comforting his followers. "Hitherto", said he, "the Lord God of Hosts has assisted us. It is evident to all that this victory is to be attributed, not to our bravery, but to the affection of God, who fights with the few as he does with the many. How could we, who are timid, unwarlike, and weak, when compared with the English, dare to kick against their king, were it not that

244 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

God gave us his protection? The Lord has seen our affliction, and how we have in our simplicity been imposed upon by Geoffrey Langley and other inexorable agents of the king, as well as of Edward. But you must know that now and henceforth we are fighting for our lives; if we are taken prisoners, we shall obtain no mercy at all. Let us then stand firm together; for if we remain inseparable, we shall be invincible. We see as clear as the day how the English king impoverishes, disinherits, and debases his natural subjects the English; how then would he spare us, who seek to injure him and provoke him to vengeance? He purposes to blot us out from the face of the earth; but a just cause protects us and confounds our adversaries. It is better for us to die and to depart to the Lord, than to live in oppression and to die in the end at the will of our enemies". Encouraged by this speech, the Welsh carried on the war with ardour, gave themselves up to slaughter, incendiarism, and pillage day and night, and reduced the whole country bordering on England and Wales to a desert.

Of the illness of the bishop of Hereford.

In this same year, the bishop of Hereford, who had drawn down so many curses on his head, was punished by the Lord in manifold ways,- it were to be hoped for his reformation. He became as it were a lurking fugitive, and his evil fortune had left no one in his diocese who cared to find out his hiding-places. By some it was said that he was hastening to Montpellier, to be cured of a disease under which he was labouring; for he had the morphean disease, or polypus, in his nose, which disfigured his whole face; for, according to the saying of physicians, the polypus is to the skin, what leprosy is to the flesh.

Of the accusation brought against Rustand before the pope.

About the same time, the pope's special clerk, Master Rustand, was accused before the pope of having forwarded his own interests without regard to justice, by amassing possessions, revenues, and money in England, so that, by bending the king and bishops to his wishes, he was become of some importance amongst the nobles of the kingdom, in consequence of his great wealth.


Of the approach of the king of England with his army, to Chester.

About the same time, which was harvest season, the king, accompanied by a large army, approached Chester, and to prevent the Welsh from finding food thereabouts, his followers laid waste the rich and abundant crops of corn and other produce of the earth, to the injury of themselves as well as others. In consequence of these proceedings, provisions became in a short time so dear amongst the army, that horses as well as men suffered great want. The king in the mean time, in order to plunge the Welsh, whom he called traitors and enemies to him, into an abyss of despair, sent to Scotland and Ireland, and to other countries, for a large body of troops, for the purpose of hedging in the Welsh and of crushing them like potters' vessels. Llewellyn then, by the advice of his nobles, sent special messengers to the king and begged for peace, on the condition, however, that "they should retain their ancestral laws and liberties in peace, as they were accustomed to, and that they should not be bound to give an account of their actions to Edward, or to any one else but the king"; for they plainly declared that "they would not on any account submit any longer to be given away or sold like oxen or asses". The king, however, would not listen to their humble entreaties and moderate message, but encouraged his soldiers to battle, and unfurling his royal standard, went forth day after day, attended by armed men: like a dragon which knows not how to spare any one, he threatened general extermination to the Welsh.

Of the confirmation of S. de Wanton as bishop of Norwich.

About the festival of St. Peter "ad Vincula", Master Simon de Wanton was confirmed as bishop of Norwich; and immediately after the monks had elected him he sent messengers in all haste to the court [of Rome], where, by means of profuse bribes, he obtained a dispensation authorizing him to retain his former revenues for four years, although his bishopric was well and sufficiently supplied with the goods of this world. This kind of concession was now become customary at the court of Rome

246 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

Of the estrangement of the king of Spain's affections from the king of England.

In this same year, also, the affections of the king of Spain were alienated from the king of England; for he said that the brother of the latter, the earl of Cornwall, had supplanted him in the German, or Roman, kingdom. Therefore he demanded assistance from him, the king of England, against his enemies, according to the terms of the charter made between them, by which "the one is bound to help the other". To this the king of England replied, "Therefore the king of Spain is bound to assist in the time of my brother's need, whom I cannot and will not fail in assisting. He was duly elected king of Germany, and was crowned without opposition from any one. If, however, any one had put in a claim on behalf of the king of Spain for his right, and had proved that he had been duly and previously elected, my brother Richard, earl of Cornwall, would never have consented to his own election; nor would I have supported him on any account". Thus the indiscreet anger of the king of Spain was appeased.

Of the king's inglorious return to England.

About the same time, the king, finding that the war went against him; that provisions begame dearer and more scarce every day; that those who had promised him assistance did not come; and also that the inclement weather of winter was coming on, made preparations to return to England as Michaelmas drew near, and directed his march ingloriously towards London, that he might be present at the feast of St. Edward, which occurred in the fortnight of Michaelmas.

How special messengers were sent to the French king to recover the rights of the king of England.

About the same time, Walter bishop of Worcester, Simon earl of Leicester, Roger Bigod earl marshal, Peter of Savoy, aad Robert Walerann, were sent on a special mission to the French king, to treat with him for the restitution of the possessions of the king of England, which he had so long unjustly retained possession of. The king of France replied to their demands with moderation, but his brothers and the French


nobles replied with rudeness and angrily, by giving a flat refusal. Thus the messengers returned without having effected their object, and reached home about the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.

Of the death of Nicholas of Farnham, once bishop of Durham.

At this same time died Master Nicholas of Farnham, formerly bishop of Durham, who had resigned his bishopric, in order the more quietly and leisurely to reap the fruits of contemplation. He died at Stockton, a noble manor of his, situated on the river Tees, which had fallen to his lot, when provision was made for him, with two other manors, namely those of Hovedon and Esington. When the news of his death reached the king, he extorted three hundred marks from the bishopric of Durham, on the ground that he had not had the guardianship of that bishopric entirely when it was vacant, during the time which elapsed from the resignation of the said Nicholas till the creation or institution of his successor, Walter. Walter, archbishop of York, and Fulk, bishop of London, as conservators, protected the portion belonging to the said Nicholas. And the king's advisers blushed not at having counselled their master to act as he did.

Of the quarrel between the kings of Denmark and Norway.

In this same year a serious quarrel broke out between the kings of Denmark and Norway, and several battles took place at sea between the ships of the two countries on their voyages; however, by the active interference of the bishops of the two kingdoms, peace was re-established between them. In this year, too, died Haco, the eldest son and heir of the king of Norway aforesaid, a young man of good appearance.

How the king returned from Wales without having performed any remarkable achievement.

At the decline of autumn, as the approaching winter had shortened the days and brought on cold, and as the greatest scarcity prevailed in his army, the king, by the advice of his especial counsellors, who could ill bear this state of want, took his departure from Chester, and returned towards London, to be present at the festival of the Translation of St. Edward. Llewellyn, on hearing of this, followed him in pursuit for a long time, for the purpose of attackin and

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slaying any stragglers from the king's army. Thus, after expending a great deal of money, the king returned ingloriousiy, and followed by the derisive sneers of the enemy to his own country, which was a place of greater safety for him; yet he marched handsomely armed in the midst of his army, with the royal standard unfurled, and encouraged his fellow-warriors to slaughter those dregs of the human race, the Welsh.

Of the deposition of S. of Lexington, abbat of Clairvaux.

Whilst time was thus passing, Stephen of Lexington, abbat of Clairvaux, was ignominiously deposed from his office, because he had obtained the privilege of holding that abbacy for ever, which was contrary to the statutes of the Cistercian order. But, as was reported, this was planned against him maliciously and through envy, because he had founded, and afterward supported at his own cost, a school at Chardenay, in Paris, and because he was distinguished by his virtues and the eminence of his learning, and moreover was an Englishman by birth. When the pope heard of this, he wished to absolve him, and to restore him to his former position; but the enemies of the said Stephen, by a profuse distribution of bribes at the court of Rome, obtained a confirmation of the sentence of deposition pronounced against him.

Of a new decree made at Rome, by which every bishop elect was compelled to go to Rome.

During all this time, the bishops elect of Ely, and of the church of St. Edmund's, had given away and promised so much money at the court of Rome, for the sake of obtaining their rights, that all prudent men were astonished and amazed. Having at length succeeded in their business, although involved in heavy debts, they returned home grieving at their being the cause of such peril to their churches. This is the effect of that most bloodsucking decree of Rome, whereby each bishop elect is obliged to cross the Alps, to his own injury, or rather ruin, to stuff the coffers of the Romans. When the aforesaid decree came to the knowledge of the king, who had drained the churches of the aforesaid prelates, he blushed, or ought to have blushed, at the thought that, to the ruin of his own dignity, the kingdom of England was assailed by so many scandals, and oppressed by so many


adversities. Mark these new troubles brought on the prelates; the pillage of the churches in the mean time under the power of the king and the king's agents, and the prolonged pitiable desolation of the convents. And if the bishop elect should die on the journey, or if he should be rejected and his election quashed, all these griefs would be renewed afresh. If for the future any incompetent person should be elected to a convent,- one who made no difficulty about riding or travelling about on worldly matters to distant places,- the convent would go to ruin under such a severe rule; and as the elect was obliged to involve himself, before his appointment, in debts which he could not pay, the temporal property of the convent would also perish.

Of the return to England of Henry, the son of Richard, king of Germany.

About Michaelmas, Henry, son of Richard, king of Germany, who had been knighted by his father on the day after his coronation, as before stated, returned to England, as did also some other English nobles who had stood by the aforesaid king; amongst whom were Hugh de Spencer, James Audeley, Stephen Cheinduit, and many more. The cause of their return was not known; but it was believed, and was asserted as a fact by credible persons, that the Germans would not, as the English did, allow the heart of their king to be bent, like a reed, by the counsels of foreigners.

Of the excommunication of the archbishop of York.

About the same time, the pope laid his heavy hand on the archbishop of York, and ordered him to be ignominiously excommunicated throughout all England, with tapers lighted and bells ringing, endeavouring to weaken his determination by these terrors. But the archbishop, strengthened in his determination by the example of St. Thomas the Martyr, and by the example and teaching of St. Edmund, formerly his master, as also by the firmness and faith of St. Robert, bishop of Lincoln, endured all this tyranny of the pope with patience, and did not despair of receiving consolation from heaven. Neither would he bestow the rich revenues of his church on unknown and unworthy persons from beyond the Alps, nor submit like a woman to be bent to the will of the pope, abandoning the strict rules of justice. On which

250 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

account, the more that he was cursed by orders of the pope, the more he was blessed by the people, although secretly, for fear of the Romans.

Of the arrival of the queen at St. Alban's.

On the 8th of October, the queen, accompanied by Edward's wife and several other ladies, went to St. Alban's to fulfil her vows, and to return thanks to the martyr, and also to make a handsome offering at his tomb. For while she was labouring under a very severe illness, she had promised the martyr that she would go thither, and would take with her a votive present. She therefore made an offering at the altar of a costly and handsome cloak, which we commonly call a baudkin.

Of the fecundity of Beatrice, countess of Provence.

I think I ought not to pass over in silence the under-mentioned facts which I learned when an opportunity offered, concerning the fruitfulness of the womb of the noble Countess Beatrice of Provence. She had already given birth to three illustrious queens,- those of France, England, and Germany; and two of these, namely the queen of France and the queen of England, had brought two queens into the world, namely the queen of Scotland and the queen of Navarre. And thus, by such propagation, which was a dispensation of the Deity, the aforesaid Countess Beatrice shed a halo of light over the whole extent of Christendom by giving five queens to the community. Besides these, the same fruitful Countess Beatrice gave birth to two other noble daaghters, both of whom were married to the sons of a king and queen; namely, the one to the count of Anjou, and the other to the count of Provence.

Of the tyranny of the Tartars.

In the midst of this general storm which disturbed the world, as in the western parts of it great commotion was excited by the wars between the Welsh and the English, so the hostibty and tyranny of the Tartars and Saracens raged in the East, and a great many nations were compelled to pay tribute to the Tartars, as well as soldans, emirs, princes and caliphs. Wishing to reduce the Christians to the same condition, the Tartars called on the Templars and Hospitallers,


and other inhabitants of the Holy Land, to submit to their insupportable yoke. They, however, after taking counsel by night, and after due and prolonged deliberation, unanimously replied to the messages of the Tartars, that "they had changed their habit and resigned themselves to the service of God, not for the purpose of living in luxury and pleasure, but rather that they might die for Christ, who in that very land had not refused to suffer death for the ransom of the human race. Let therefore", they said, "these Tartars - these demons of Tartarus - come on, and they will find the servants of Christ encamped and ready to do battle against them in defence of the Christian law".

Of the destruction of the Assassins by the Tartars.

In the course of this year, these detestable Tartars destroyed the Assassins, a race still more detestable, and who carry knives about them. If any one is desirous of learning the impurities of these Tartars, and their mode of life and customs, or to read of the superstitions and fury of the Assassins, he may obtain information by making diligent search at St. Alban's.

How, on the death of Hurtald, Peter d'Orivalles was appointed in his stead.

About Michaelmas, Hurtald, a special clerk and counsellor of the king, and treasurer of his chamber, died, and Peter d'Orivalles was appointed in his stead: thus a foreigner succeeded to a foreigner.

How the nobles of Scotland took on themselves to direct the proceedings of the king and queen.

About this time, Alexander, king of Scotland, from whose actions, when young, people were led to expect fruit highly profitable to the kingdom, gave himself up to acts of unbecoming folly, following the advice of foreigners promoting their welfare, and exalting them above his own natural subjects. The latter, then, indignant at this conduct, and to prevent his breaking out into worse proceedings, placed him and the queen under restraint, and moreover, wisely kept the queen apart from him, lest she should take after her father; thus following the example of the Germans, until they had got rid of all foreigners from the kingdom. From that time the nobles of Scotland managed the reins of

252 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

government of their kingdom with greater ease and safety. They, moreover, charged the queen with having excited her father's anger, and with having sent for him to come against them with his army to bring destruction on the country. It was, they said, through her complaints that Robert de Ros, the most eminent of the nobles of the north, was mercilessly and irreparably ruined, and all his vendible property confiscated and sold.

Of the battles between James Audeley and the Welsh.

At this same time, a powerful and rich noble, named James Audeley (one of those who had lately come from Germany), and who held lands, castles, and other property in Wales, which the Welsh had attacked, burned, and destroyed during his absence, commenced hostilities, in his turn, against those evil-doers, and sent a great many of them to the shades below, demanding at their hands a reckoning for the blood of his brethren. But the Welsh, suddenly bursting forth from their fox-like retreats and burrows, made their way through the marshes, and repelled the attacks of their invading enemies by all the means in their power: thus a great slaughter took place, and houses and castles were reduced to ashes, on both sides. Thus England decreased in strength daily; for there was generally a trade carried on, in the importation from Wales to England of horses, oxen, and merchandise of other kinds, which was profitable to the inhabitants of both countries.

How the king of Spain asserted that he was elected king of Germany prior to Earl Richard.

And at this time rumours gained ground, which gave dissatisfaction to many, to the effect that the king of Spain asserted that he had been duly elected king of the Romans prior to Earl Richard's election; in proof of which, the archbishop of Treves, and some other nobles of Germany, stood firm and unchangeable in their adherence to the said king of Spain, whilst the French king promised his counsel and assistance to that party; for the French were vexed at the honour paid to Earl Richard, and the advantages which would accrue from his election to the Germans, between whom and themselves there existed from times of old an innate and unquenchable hatred, which had been increased

A.D. 1257.] THir KING OF SPAIN'S LETTER. 253

by the great battle which lately took place between the Germans and themselves, the French, assisted by their allies the Flemings. The election of Richard, the new king of Germany, was, however, determinate, regular, and unalterable; for when, in the year before, the announcement of his election was made at London to the king and the nobles of England by the nobles of Germany, not the least shadow of opposition was apparent; nor was there afterwards, when the archbishop of Cologne, who was the high chancellor of the empire, came to England accompanied by a great many of the chief men of Germany, and they made no mention of the king of Spain or his election; neither did the prudent persons who had been sent to make inquiry into matters in Germany. The king of Germany, therefore, being established in quiet possession, treated the threats of the king of Spain with contempt, although the latter threatened to attack him with the united forces of the kings of France, Arragon, and Navarre. The king of Spain, moreover, inserted a clause in his letters, entitling himself the "elected king of the Romans, or of Germany". When Richard, king of Germany, heard of these threats, he undauntedly replied, "Let him come with all his strength and do his worst; I will meet him outside the limits of my kingdom".

Of the king of Spain's letter to the king of England.

During this time the king of Spain wrote to the king of England, earnestly begging him "to give him effective assistance, as he ought to do, against Richard, earl of Cornwall, who had audaciously usurped the crown of Germany, and had deceitfully supplanted him, the king of Spain, when little expecting such a proceeding". He urged the king of England to aid him, in accordance with the conditions of the charter made between them; by which each of them was bound to help the other against every and any enemy; and this compact was made when peace was re-established between them in Gascony. On receipt of this, the king replied, "As for me, I more urgently demand assistance from him for myself and my brother against our rebellious enemies; for whosoever is opposed to my brother, is with good reason to be considered an enemy of my own; for 'he who is not with me is against me'". It should be mentioned that

254 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1257.

Gascony was granted by the English king Henry, together with his daughter, to Alphonso, king of Spain, who held seisin of it by a charter which was confirmed by kings Richard and John. In consequence of this, the king of Spain covenanted with the present king Henry the Third, that the son of the latter should espouse his sister, that each should assist the other in case of need, and that the king of Spain should quit claim to Gascony in favour of the king of England and his heirs; and a charter made concerning these mutual agreements. The king of England also made a disgraceful charter, engaging to make amends to all the Gascons for the losses they had incurred through his coming. All these insults and losses the king of England had admitted to, because, when Simon, earl of Leicester, had almost completely subdued the rebelling Gascons, the king sent orders to the nobles of that country to do nothing for the earl, whose authority was thereby entirely annulled; and by this unfortunate bargain the king incurred immense loss, both in territory and money, and irremediable injury to his honour; and this act of the king was contrary to the charter which the earl held of him. However, that it might not appear a robbery, the king afterwards redeemed it for six thousand marks, and again, after that, as stated above, he crossed the Channel in person with a large army. All these proceedings were to his injury; but these events have been mentioned above.

How special messengers were sent to France.

Daring this time the bishop of Worcester, the bishop elect of Winchester, the abbat of Westminster, the earl of Leicester, Hugh Bigod earl marshal, Peter of Savoy, and Robert Walerann, were sent on a special message from the English king to the king of France, to make some arrangements, if it could be done any way with honour, with the latter, for the restoration by him to the king of England of the possessions and rights which belonged to him from time of old, so as to prevent the stirring up of enmity, which would result in wars and bloodshed; for it did not seem consonant with reason or religion, that the son should be condemned to bear the burden of the father's iniquity. Indeed, both had now been sufficiently injured and punished, as now,

A.D. 1257.] SUMMARY OF THE YEAR. 255

for about fifty years, the king of England had, to his sorrow, been deprived of his continental territories. But the deputies who had been sent to France returned home in silent sorrow, after meeting with harsh speeches and threats, and receiving flat refusal to comply with their requests. All the nobles whom the king had convoked to a parliament at London, were now countermanded; wherefore they were led to consider that the messengers had returned without accomplishing their errand, and had met with nothing but ridicule. Richard, king of Germany, also humbly entreated the French king to make restitution of what belonged to him; but this, as well as the other matter, was in the end put off till the French king had concluded his parliament, which would be held in the middle of Lent. Therefore the abbat of Westminster remained in France to obtain an answer on these matters, whilst the others returned home.

How the country on the borders of Wales was reduced, as it were, to a desert.

The frontiers of Wales, to our grief we say it, were reduced to an uninhabited desert; the inhabitants fell by the sword, the castles and houses were consumed by fire, the woods fell before the axe and spade, and the flocks and herds fell victims to the butcher, or died of starvation. Thus England was deprived of a great portion of herself.

The summary of the year.

This year throughout was barren and meagre; for whatever had been sown in winter, had budded in spring, and grown ripe in summer, was stifled and destroyed by the autumnal inundations. The scarcity of money, brought on by the spoliation practised by the king and the pope in England, brought on unusual poverty. The land lay uncultivated, and great numbers of people died from starvation. About Christmas, the price of a measure of wheat rose to ten shillings. Apples were scarce, pears more so; figs, beech-nuts, cherries, plums - in short, all fruits which are preserved in jars were completely spoiled. This pestiferous year, moreover, gave rise to mortal fevers, which raged to such an extent that, not to mention other cases, at St. Edmund's alone more than two thousand dead bodies were placed in the large cemetery during the summer, the largest portion of

256 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

them during the dog-days. There were old men, who had formerly seen a measure of wheat sold for a mark, and even twenty shillings, without the people being starved to death. To add to the misery, Richard, king of Germany, had stripped the kingdom of England of many thousand marks, which he had ordered to be raised from his lands in England. The Holy Land languished in desolation and in fear of the Tartars; for the king of the latter had four million of fighting men in his train; and, as we have heard from learned and credible persons, they had already reduced half the world to subjection to them by their ferocity. Any one making a careful search and inquiry at St. Alban's, may find there an account of their most filthy mode of life. This year, too, generated chronic complaints, which scarcely allowed free power of breathing to any one labouring under them. Not a single frosty or fine day occurred, nor was the surface of the lakes at all hardened by the frost, as was usual; neither did icicles hang from the ledges of houses; but uninterrupted heavy falls of rain and mist obscured the sky until the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.

How the king of England kept Christmas at London.

Anno Domini 1258, which was the forty-second year of the reign of king Henry the Third, the said king spent Christmas at London, where he was awaiting the arrival of the messengers he had sent to France; and there he celebrated that festival with great solemnity and splendour, in company with many of the nobles. The said king was also present at the feast in honour of St. Edward.

Of the arrival of the bishop of Ely and the abbat of St. Edmund's.

About the same time, the bishop of Ely and the abbat of St. Edmund's arrived in England on their return from the court of Rome, where they had succeeded in obtaining from the pope a decree confirming them in their respective positions, despite the opposition and ill-will of the king and the archbishop of Canterbury. Thus daily did the king, on the worst of counsel, destroy his kingly dignity, and endeavour to injure the Church in manifold ways.

Of the disturbances at Rome.

At this time, and for some days previously, serious


disturbances were occurring in the city of Rome, in consequence of the proceedings of the senator M., a citizen of Brescia, who, deviating from the paths of justice, impoverished and oppressed the people of Rome in various ways, at the instigation of the nobles, and made it his only business to please the said nobles, especially the Annibaldi. The people, then, by the advice of one Matthew of Belvoir, an Englishman and fellow-citizen of theirs, a master baker by trade, assembled together in crowds, and making a violent attack on the prison where their former senator, Brancaleone, was imprisoned, succeeded in breaking it open and releasing him: this done, they appointed him senator, and, according to the old custom of the city, swore allegiance and fealty to him. Thus supported, Brancaleone drove his enemies from the city, and, laying aside all reverence for the pope, hung on a gibbet two of the Annibaldi, who were relations of one of the cardinals. The pope having excommunicated Brancaleone and his partisans in consequence, they declared that they had a privilege which prevennted the pope from excommunicating them; therefore, they not only ridiculed him, but threatened to injure and persecute the pope and his cardinals to the death. This excited the fears of the pope for his own safety, and he said to his brethren, "When fury is in its course, yield to its torrent". And in order that worse evils might not ensue, he suddenly withdrew to Viterbo, intending a further removal to Assisio.

Of the death of William Heron, sheriff of Northumberland.

At this same time died William Heron, sheriff of Northumberland, a most avaricious man, a hammer of cruelty to the poor, and a persecutor of the religious orders. From worldly avarice and thirst for wealth, he passed, as is believed, to the infernal regions, to experience the thirst of Tantalus.

About the Epiphany of Our Lord, the deputation of nobles from the king of England appeared before the French king, who treated them with civility and honour, and answered them with kindness on the matter which had brought them there, namely, the demand for the restoration of Normandy and other possessions on the continent. But his brothers, and some other nobles, flatly refused to accede to

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their demands; so that the messengers returned home without accomplishing their errand.

Of the accusation made against certain citizens of London.

At the same time, too, the citizens of London, of the middle and lower orders, made a serious complaint to the king, that those appointed to collect the money for rebuilding the walls of the city, as the king had ordered for their honour, had fraudulently kept the greatest part of this money in their own purses, to the injury of the lower order of citizens; in fact, that they had done the same in all the collections and talliages they had made. Of this they were accused and proved guilty: however, their lives were spared after great difficulty, on the intercession of John Mansell; but they were obliged to pay a ransom for themselves.

Of the death of John of Avennes.

About this same time, died John of Avennes, seneschal of the king of Germany, in whom reposed all the hopes of that king.

At this time, too, the Welsh, who now entirely despaired of making their peace with the king, and of obtaining mercy from him, seized on some borough towns on the confines of Wales, which belonged to Edward and to some other nobles, carried off all the stores with which they were provided, destroyed and burned all the rest, and cut off the heads of all the men found in the said towns, without mercy, and without allowing them to ransom themselves.

How the pope humbled himself to the senator Brancaleone.

About the same time, like London, which was the scene of great excitement and disturbance, Rome was agitated by a serious schism amongst the citizens; for when the Roman nobles complained to the pope, and urged him to excommunicate the Roman people, and Brancaleone their senator, and all his partisans, the latter only laughed at them, and treated their threats with contempt, and thus, not only did they pay but little heed to the power to be enforced against them, but even vilified and treated it with contempt. The senator Brancaleone, thus lately elevated to that dignity, being beloved by all the people, now boldly exerted his authorily to punish all the malefactors of the city, and especially revenged himself on those who had brought about his


imprisonment, whom he now consigned to the gibbet; neither did he spare the friends or relations of the pope, nor was he to be corrupted by the entreaties, threats, or bribes of any. What was more, he issued a general edict, ordering all the people of the city, under penalty of disinheritance and perpetual exile, to provide themselves with arms, and to sally forth as one man on an expedition against Agnano, the birthplace of the pope. The people of that place, on hearing of this order, especially the pope's relatives and friends, went to him, and gave vent to their grief, saying: "Your holiness, at least have pity on your friends and relations, and on the whole city of Agnano, which is your birthplace; for an edict has been issued by the senator Brancaleone to the Roman people, ordering them all to take arms, to lay siege to our city. In their anger they will come as one man, will destroy the city, demolish the castles, rase the houses to the ground, seize on the property of the besieged, and slay them all without mercy". On hearing this address, the pope, although enraged, and though he hated the senator Brancaleone, sent special messengers, whether willingly or unwillingly, to him, and entreated him most humbly to curb his anger, and to spare Agnano, the city of his nativity, lest he should become a lasting object of reproach to all mankind. The senator therefore took compassion, and acceded to the entreaties of the humbled pope, although he had great difficulty in restraining the people from destroying all obstacles they met with. This matter gave the greatest joy to Manfred, who hated the pope, and had a heartfelt affection for the senator; for he was delighted at seeing him, who a little before was throwing ont threats of thundering forth sentence of excommunication, now so humbled, that he was compelled to ask for peace. Prince Manfred, too, promised the senator Brancaleone that he would assist him in all cases of necessity. To such a desolate state was the friend of King Henry reduced, he to whom that king usually gave such powerful aid and succour; and all that immense sum of money, which he had laid out and sent thither for the sake of acquiring possession of the kingdom of Apulia, was insufficient to pay off the interest, which, silently creeping on, had enshackled the unwary and imprudent king. Moreover, the pope accused him of having deceived and imposed upon the Church; and he fell into very ill repute with all nations in consequence.

260 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

Of the pope's anger against the king of England.

About the same time, the pope's anger broke forth against the king of England, because he did not abide by his oft-reiterated promises that he would, on pain of losing his kingdom, amend his usual faults. At the pressing entreaties, therefore, of Lawrence bishop of Rochester, and many others, the pope, after many fruitless admonitions, conceived the idea of thundering forth sentence of excommunication against the king, of laying the kingdom under an interdict, and of inflicting repeated chastisement upon him, increasing the severity of the punishment by degrees. The king, being in a state of mental confusion, paid down five thousand marks to the pope to appease his anger, and to put off the sentence for a time; and the pope, under the influence of his entreaties and bribes, acceded to his request. Thus was England impoverished and stripped of its wealth on all sides, whilst all hopes of acquiring possession of the kingdom of Apulia were extinguished, with the exception of a very slight one which rested on the influence of Richard, the new king of Germany; and this hope was very slight indeed, for he had not yet attained to the imperial dignity.

Of the return of Rustand to England.

About this time, too, Master Rustand, a clerk of the pope's, came to England; for what reason it was unknown, except that it was to pay a visit and to collect his revenues, for he was possessed of abundance of wealth in England, which he had acquired, and had been conferred on him in a very short time. On that account, when he had last gone to Rome he incurred the indignation of many, and even of the pope himself; but by the application of the usual remedy to that complaint, he escaped impending punishment.

Of the consecration of three bishops at Canterbury.

On the Sunday of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, three bishops were consecrated at Canterbury; namely. Master Simon of Wanton, to the diocese of Norwich; Master Roger of Meulan, to that of Chester; and Master Walter of Exeter, to that of Exeter. These were all elected in one fortnight, and were confirmed and consecrated bishops with due solemnity by Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury.


Of the arrangement made as to provisions between the abbot and brethren of St. Alban's.

In this same year, too, as the brethren of the convent of St. Alban's had frequently complained to their abbat, John (and not without good reason), that they were not furnished properly or advantageously with bread and beer for their own use, and for distribution amongst their guests, religious and secular, as that monastery was founded for the purpose of providing sufficient means of support for the aforesaid persons, the abbat aforesaid devoted his attention to provide a proper remedy for this want. The following arrangement was, in consequence, made between the abbat and brethren; to wit, that the convent should from that time forth receive a certain and fixed allowance of bread and beer, such as would suffice to provide proper and decent refreshment for themselves and for guests, as is fully set forth in the charter of the above arrangement, sealed with the seals of both parties and confirmed by the king. In return for this arrangement and the kindness done to them, the convent, by way of thanks, discharged, by themselves and by means of the priors of the monasteries dependent on St. Alban's, certain debts to the amount of ... [1] marks, due from the aforesaid abbat to certain merchants on the continent. But there still remained to be discharged some heavy debts owing by the said abbat. And in order that the particulars of this liberal and gratuitous act of kindness may be known to all who wish it, we have thought proper to insert in this book the king's charter in confirmation of the above arrangement.

The charter in confirmation of the foregoing.

"Henry, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou; to the archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, earls, barons, justiciaries, sheriffs, provosts, ministers, bailiffs, and all others his faithful subjects, greeting.- We have examined a provision and arrangement made between John of Hartford, abbat of St. Alban's, and the conventual brethren of the same place, as follows: 'John of Hartford, by the grace of God, abbat of St. Alban's, to all the faithful followers of Christ, greeting in the Lord,- It is right and proper for us to afford

[1] The number of marks is wanting in the text.

262 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

a willing consent to the just requests of petitioners, and to carry their wishes into full effect, so long as they do not stray from the path of reason. Therefore we have thought proper to make it known to your community, that we, as well as the abbats of St. Alban's, our predecessors, have made it a custom in times past to find a supply of provisions, as far as regards bread and beer, for the common use of the brethren of our said monastery, as well as of guests who may happen to come, such supply to be raised fiom the proceeds of our barony, as well as from our churches in which we have pontifical rights, and from the other churches in which we have not pontifical rights, and also from our farms and from rerenues pertaining to the said monastery. We, instigated by a twofold motive of charity, and wishing to increase the honour and improve the condition of the said convent as far as regards the said provisions, that the brethren may henceforth remain in peace and tranquillity for ever, and also wishing to release the abbats, our successors, from supplying the said provisions for the support of the said convent, have determined, with the fear of God before our eyes, and by the common wish, advice, and connivance of our brethren, to assign the undermentioned portions to the aforesaid convent: that is to say, the churches of Hertburn and Eglingham, in the diocese of Durham, and the churches of Norton and Waldon, with forty shillings which the vicar of Waldon for the time being shall pay annually: also the tithes, together with the hay, which we usually receive in the parish of Watford, with ten marks from the vicar of Watford for the time being: also the church of Honton, with six marks annually from the vicar of Potsgrave; with two marks and a half from the church of Hertburn, in the diocese of Lincoln; and with six marks annually from the vicar of Appleton, in the diocese of York: also all offerings proceeding from the two festivals of St. Alban's: and also the manor of Kingsbury, with all its appurtenances: and also with five men in the town of Westwick, together with the manure of the court of St. Alban's, to improve the condition of the said manor when they shall see fit. It should be known, too, that the corn and malt of the aforesaid convent must be ground at our mills within, as well as beyond, the court of St. Alban's, as free of expense as if it were our own corn, without any charge being made on the said convent for the repairs of


millstones, mills, or waters, or on any other grounds soever. And we will find for the said convent the proper houses which may be necessary for brewing and baking, and for making malt; as also for storing up corn, and for stabling of their horses, together with all utensils necessary for all the above matters. As regards our manors where the aforesaid tithes are placed, we will find proper houses for storing the corn and hay, for lodging their men and horses, and all utensils necessary for cooking their food, as well as wood for fuel in sufficient quantities, both within and without the court of St. Alban's, and materials, also, for repairing the aforesaid houses as often as it shall be necessary. And we and all our successors will guarantee, acquit, and defend at our own expense, on behalf of the said convent, and against all men, the aforesaid portions, with all their appurtenances, easements, and liberties aforesaid; and we will bear, for ever, all ordinary and extraordinary burdens in the aforesaid churches and pensions, whenever such shall occur. And for the further security of this arrangement, we have determined to pronounce sentence of excommunication against all who, whether at the instigation of the king or of the pope, or of their own free will, shall invalidate, or cause to be invalidated, the aforesaid ordinance, unless it happens that such alteration shall take place by the common consent and wish of the abbat as well as the whole of the brethren of the convent, for the greater good and benefit of the convent and its church. And we, furthermore, of our own free will and by the common consent of our conventual brethren aforesaid, pledge ourselves both to the king (who is our patron) and to his heirs for the time being, and to the pope and his successors, as follows; that is to say, that if we or our successors shall at any time rashly dare to contravene the aforesaid ordinance, either wholly or in part (which God forbid!), and without the common consent of the said convent, as above stated, he the said king and his heirs may by seizure of our barony, and the pope and his successors may by ecclesiastical censure, effectually compel us to a strict observance of the aforesaid ordinance by all the means which they may deem expedient, and by all the lawful means in their power. And that all the aforesaid articles may have full force for ever, we have affixed our seal, as well as the seal of our convent, to this deed in writing. Given at St. Alban's, in our full

264 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

chapter, on the Friday next after the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle, in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and fifty-seven'.

The confirmation of the above by the king.

"And whereas, by the examination we have caused to be made, we have learned that the aforesaid proviso and ordinance will tend to the exoneration and advantage of us and our heirs, we ratify, grant, and confirm the same for ourselves and our heirs, as the aforesaid written document, made between us, testifies. In further proof whereof, it is our will, and we, in our own name and in that of our heirs, grant authority to the prior and conventual brethren of the same place, in case of the resignation or decease of the aforesaid abbat or of the abbats his successors, in the aforesaid church of St. Alban's, to have and to hold free and peaceable possession for ever, during the time of the vacancy of the said abbacy, as well as at other times, of all the aforesaid portions for the uses above stated, and to dispose of them at their pleasure, without any hindrance on our part, or on the part of our heirs, or any of our bailiffs or other officers. Nor will we allow the aforesaid ordinance concerning the said abbey to be altered or infringed in any way by any of our bailiffs or other officers".

The names of the special witnesses.

"As witness, Geoffrey of Lusignan and William de Valence, our brothers; Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester; Richard Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford; Roger Bigod, earl of Northumberland and marshal of England; Peter of Savoy; Hugh Bigod; John Mansell, treasurer of York; Philip Lovel; Henry of Bath; Robert Walerann; William de Gray; Walter of Mereton, Hubert [Pogeys,] and others, all present. Given under our hand at Westminster, this eighth day of March, in the forty-second year of our reign".

Who it was that brought about the aforesaid arrangement.

These arrangements were brought to the wished-for effect oy the aforesaid abbat, through the diligence and skill of William of Horton, the chamberlain, and John of Bulum, the seal-bearer, who were possessed with zeal in God's service and affection towards their brethren. Master William of Huntingdon was appointed, in the name of the convent,


master of the guests, guardian of the aforesaid possessions, and provincial proctor.

Of the return of Rustand from the court of Rome.

About the middle of Lent, Master Rustand returned from the court of Rome, shorn of his former power; for he had been accused before the pope by his enemies, of thirsting after money in a greedy and unbecoming way, and, laying aside all godly fear, of having clutched hold of a great many rich revenues, thus exalting himself above himself In acquiring these he had, in order to obtain greater favour with the king, asserted that he was a native of Bordeaux, and had promised, as being consequently a natural subject of the king, to give him unceasing and effectual assistance at the court of Rome and elsewhere, in obtaining the sovereignty of Apulia, and in arranging other business of the king's. By such promises and soft speeches he imposed on the king's simplicity, and was enriched by the gifts of many revenues; but at length, at the instance of some of his enemies, he was summoned to return to Rome. There he was severely reproached by the pope for his conduct, and had great difficulty in regaining his favour as formerly; however, he was deprived of his former dignity and power, and disgraced.

Of the arrival of Herlot, the pope's nuncio, in England.

Soon afterwards, that is to say, in the week next before Easter, Master Herlot, a notary and special clerk of the pope's, came to England; who, although he was not called a legate, displayed all the pomp and splendour of one. For he came to London attended by twenty mounted followers; and the persons in close attendance on him were richly clothed with eight (?) capes; namely, five close ones, and five with sleeves. The king, as usual, greeted him with rapture on his arrival, for he was invested with the greatest powers and authority.

Of the arrival in England of some ships laden with wheat.

At this same time, too, whilst an extraordinary famine was prevailing to such a degree that numbers pined away in themselves and died, a measure of corn being sold at London for nine shillings or more, about fifty large ships arrived there from the continent, having been sent by Richard, king

266 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

of Germany, laden with corn, wheat, and bread. A proclamation was then made by royal authority, forbidding any of the citizens of London to buy any corn for storing up, with the view of selling it at a dearer price to those wanting it, as they made a general practice of doing. Indeed, the said citizens were notorious for having, in time of want, either treacherously sent away ships laden with provisions, or for having purchased their cargoes entirely, in order to sell them at pleasure to those requiring such articles of consumption. It was stated as a positive fact, that any three counties of England united had not produced so much corn as was brought by these vessels; but, owing to the scarcity of money, although it in some slight degree mitigated the effects of the famine, which was general throughout England, did not entirely do away with them. For the king, to the injury of his own kingdom, which was despoiled of its wealth by him, exalted and enriched all strangers who chose to come there.

Of the remarkable nature of the season.

In this same year, the calm temperature of autumn lasted to the end of January, so that the surface of the water was not frozen in any place during that time. But from about that time, that is to say, from the Purification of the Blessed Virgin till the end of March, the north wind blew without intermission, a continued frost prevailed, accompanied by snow and such unendurable cold, that it bound up the face of the earth, sorely afflicted the poor, suspended all cultivation, and killed the young of the cattle to such an extent that it seemed as if a general plague was raging amongst the sheep and lambs.

Of the prosperous condition of Richard, king of Germany.

Richard, king of Germany, subdued his enemies, and enticed and attached them to his cause with such prudence, that the people of the noble cities of Italy offered him the right hand of friendship. The threats of his enemies, namely, the French, Spanish, the people of Treves and the neighbouring countries, were also silenced, although they had designed injury to him.

Of the arrival of Thomas of Savoy in England.

In the fortnight of Easter, Thomas, formerly count of


Flanders, came to London, carried on a litter, being in an ill state of health. He had been released from prison at Turin, and set at liberty in exchange for some merchants of Asti, who were ransomed for a large amount. The French king had, at the pope's request, made many of these merchants prisoners, and compelled them to ransom themselves, until the aforesaid Thomas should be at liberty to return to England, where he would receive abundant presents.

Of the heavy fine imposed on the citizens of London.

The citizens of London having been accused to the king of some irregularities, were punished in manifold ways, and compelled to ransom themselves; yet, even after so doing, they had great difficulty in regaining the king's favour. The chief amongst them, Ralph Hurdel, who was mayor of the city, died of grief.

Of the expiration of the truce between the English and Welsh.

At this tune the truce between the English and Welsh expired. The king's adherents oppressed them so ruthlessly that they could not procure salt, corn, or any other necessaries. However, trusting to the king's attention being engaged by his quarrel with the nobles of Scotland, who were raising their heads against him, and with the bishop of Durham, who when summoned to appear at the king's court, contumaciously refused to attend there, and heaped injury upon injury, the Welsh increased their ravages, roving through the Welsh borders, to provide for their wants.

How the knights of England were convoked against the Welsh.

About the same time, the king summoned all the knights of England by royal warrant, ordering them to be ready with horses and arms, for the purpose of making a general invasion of Wales, crushing the Welsh, and of ravaging the country to its utter ruin. The knights when summoned expressed their grief at being so often subjected to loss, and oppressed by useless expense.

Of the parliament held at London.

On the day after the Tuesday which is commonly called Hokeday, a parliament was held at London; for the king was oppressed with anxiety on many matters of difficulty; amongst others, that of the kingdom of Apulia, concerning

268 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

which Master Herlot was now sent on a special errand, to obtain a positive and definite reply on the matter. The king, moreover, demanded a large sum of money, for the payment of which the pope had bound himself to certain merchants, on behalf of and at the urgent request of the king, who was enshackled by heavy penalties, such as I think it dishonourable to mention. The amount required was so immense, that it would cause astonishment and horror to all who heard it named; and the nobility of the kingdom grieved at being reduced to such ruin by the supine simplicity of one man. The king was moreover greatly vexed by the Welsh, who boasted that they had so often injured him, and repulsed him and his whole army so often, and that they had often gained the best of the battle when opposed to the whole of the nobility of England. To add to his anger and vexation, he had heard, that at the expiration of the truce, about the feast of St. Elphege, they had recommenced their system of pillage, slaughter, and incendiarism, and had made incursions into the county of Pembroke, slaughtering great numbers of the inhabitants with great ferocity, and heaping insults and ill-treatment on those whom they allowed to escape with their lives. Of these proceedings Bishop [1] William complained heavily to the king, to which the latter replied, "Expend, my well-beloved brother, some of the money of which you have such an abundance, to avenge our injuries". But William only heaped threats on threats, and added insult to insult, and declared that all these things occurred with the consent and connivance of the English traitors; and a little while afterwards he particularized what he had before uttered in confusion, and as a general remark. At this charge the earl of Gloucester and the earl of Leicester were much ashamed and angered; but William continued to utter reproaches against the earl of Leicester, and with more earnestness, and dared openly, and in the presence of the king and the nobles, to assert that the earl was an old traitor, and had lied. To this the earl, inflamed with anger and vexation, replied, "No, no, William, I am not the son of a traitor, nor a traitor myself; our fathers were not alike". Then wishing to take instant vengeance for such a great injury, he endeavoured to rush on William, but was

[1] A mistake of the copyist: it should be William de Valence.


prevented by the king himself, who interposed between them, although with great difficulty; and thus the earl's anger was appeased for a time. It would be no easy matter to recount the injuries done in South Wales during the late struggle against the Welsh; suffice it to say, that those who were victorious wisely laid in a stock of salt, corn, and other necessaries, of which they were formerly in need.

Of the assembling of the knights to proceed against the Welsh.

On the morrow and the succeeding days, the king and the nobles held careful deliberation as to how they should crush the insolence of the Welsh, and check their frequent irruptions. The whole community of knighthood was therefore summoned, in order that all those who were bound to render knightly service to the king, might equip themselves with horses and arms, and be ready at Chester, to follow the king on an expedition into Wales, on the Monday before the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. In consequence of this, manifold murmurs and complaints were heard amongst the people, because the king so often impoverished and harassed his nobles without honour or profit, by so often requiring scutage of them, and disturbed them on the approach of harvest-time, especially when such an unusual famine had destroyed so many people. The king, however, paying little heed to the peril of the kingdom, and utterly destitute of money as he was, and although about to engage in a war immediately, now with the most haste gave a thousand marks to Thomas of Savoy, formerly count of Flanders, who had lately arrived, borne on a litter, being in an infirm state of health. He also gave two hundred marks to a certain Poitevin, who generally waited at the royal table and carved his meat for him; and they, not heeding the imminent peril to which the kingdom was exposed, received all his gifts with open hands. Thomas, as soon as his purse was well filled, took leave of the queen (whose gifts he did not refuse any more than he did the king's), and returned at once to the continent, for the purpose of destroying the city of Turin, paying no regard to the hostages detained there. The name of the aforesaid Poitevin was William de St. Hermes, who would not take his departure just at present, but remained in expectation of still richer presents.

270 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

Of the consecration of R. de Chause as bishop of Carlisle.

On the festival of St. Tiburtius and his Companions, Master Robert de Chause, a clerk of the queen's, was consecrated as bishop of Carlisle, by the bishops of Bath and Salisbury, at Bermondsey, in London.

Of the death of the archbishop of Armagh.

And in the same week died, at London, the archbishop of Armagh, who had formerly been dean of St. Paul's Church.

Of the troubles of the archbishop of York.

About the same time, too, the pope laid his heavy hand on the archbishop of York, whose position, as far as regarded the world, was much injured, but improved in the sight of God; for his patience increased in proportion to his manifold persecutions. Thus, in fulfilment of the prophecy of St. Edmund of Canterbury, he was prepared for martyrdom; in fact, we read that many have received the crown of martyrdom without shedding their blood. For besides many offences which had preceded this one, they now deprived him of the privilege of having the cross carried before him by his chief clerk, as was customary. However, he still refused to bow the knee to Baal, and to give away the rich benefices of his church to unworthy, nay, to unclean foreigners, like throwing pearls to swine.

How the bishop of Hereford was attacked by polypus.

The bishop of Hereford, who had by his treachery injured the whole kingdom of England, was, by a visitation of the Lord, disfigured by a most foul disease, called the polypus.

How Edward gave up his manors in W. de Valence.

The king's eldest son, Edward, gave up his lands and rich manors, which he had received as a gift from his father, namely, those of Stanford, Braham, and many others, letting them out as it were to farm to the charge of William de Valence, who possessed abundance of money, that he, Edward, might thus obtain assistance in his need, and satisfy his avarice from the superfluous money of his uncle. This proceeding gave a sad presage of the future for both; for in the case of the young man it showed, that when he came to the full possession of the kingdom, he would waste and


squander its wealth; and in the case of William, that he would be despoiled of his superfluous wealth.

Of the arrival of Brother Mansuetus, a Minorite, on a mission from the pope.

About the same time, there arrived in England, at the instance of the king, a brother of the Minorite order, named Mansuetus, who was sent by the pope, invested with great powers, and following in the footsteps of Master Herlot. His power, indeed, was such that, as it was stated, he absolved the partisans of the king, whoever they might be, when changing their vows [of making a crusade], or when excommunicated, and even justified false-speakers and perjurers; in consequence of which, many assumed boldness in sinning. For the facility of obtaining pardon gave reason for sinning; but among wise and prudent persons this only gave rise to ridicule and derision, as the following narrative will fully show.

Of the reply given to the king at the parliament.

At the aforesaid parliament, held at this time, the king having urgently demanded a large sum of money for the purpose of expediting his business in Apulia, and for prosecuting other matters of difficulty, the nobles at once firmly and unanimously replied, that they could not in any way, without irreparable ruin to themselves, so often drain themselves, and expend their small substance so often and so uselessly: that if he had obtained the kingdom of Apulia from the pope for his son Edmund in an unadvised and improper way, he must attribute it to his own simplicity, and must bring the matter to the best conclusion he could, because he had acted imprudently and without taking the advice of his nobles, alike rejecting all deliberation and prudence, which generally look to the results of actions beforehand: that he ought at once to have learned wisdom, and taken pattern by his brother Richard, king of Germany, who, when the said kingdom of Apulia was offered to him as a gift from the pope, and Master Albert was sent to announce it to him, at once refused it with contempt; especially as England was separated from Apulia by so many unknown kingdoms using various languages, by so many principalities, by so many cities well provided with soldiers and arms, by seas and

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mountains, and by an extent of country so toilsome to traverse. What Earl Richard most feared, and with good reason, was the cavilling conduct of the Roman court, and the manifold treacheries of the Apulians, who destroyed their allies and relations by poison. But that he might not appear insolent to the pope, who by reason of his office takes pre-eminence of all princes and prelates, and who had out of friendship selected him, the earl, for such a high dignity, he wrote in reply to the pope, stating that he would willingly acquiesce in his plan, if the pope would allow all the crusaders to assist him, which could well be arranged on account of the city of Nucera, in Apulia, which was inhabited by infidels, and would allow him half of the expenses to be incurred in that war, and would also give him possession of certain cities and castles which he, the pope, then had, together with good hostages, that he might on coming thither find a safe place of refuge and protection in them against rebels, if any should rise against him; and if, moreover, he would grant him the protection of valid documents in writing, sealed with the papal bull.

How the pope imposed upon the king of England.

When the pope was informed of all these demands, he would not agree to them in any way. He therefore privately sent messengers, who were well able to seduce the minds of their hearers by their cunning arguments, and imposed upon the supine and credulous simplicity of the king, offering him the kingdom of Apulia for his younger son Edmund, and promising him effective assistance and advice in bringing the matter to a conclusion. By this empty promise the king's heart was so elated and infatuated, that he lavished on the pope and his messengers whatever he had in his possession, and whatever he could obtain by any means, and confidently promised more. In consequence of this, the pope's messengers vied with one another, as it were, in coming to England to the king, for the purpose of carrying off his rich presents; for they smelled the sweet savour of his money from afar. First came the bishop of Bologna, who, in the pope's name, invested the said Edmund with the kingdom of Apulia, by means of a ring: then the archbishop of Messina, who went not back empty-handed: and he was followed in succession


by John of Diva, Master Bernard, Master [Bernard] of Sienna, Rustand, Herlot, and many others too numerous to mention, and each and all of whom the king received with the greatest reverence and honour, to the injury and ruin of his whole kingdom. The nobles, therefore, being justly provoked at the silence of the timid prelates, endeavoured to regulate the king's proceedings, if they could do so by any means.

Of the death of the archbishop of Treves.

About this same time died the archbishop of Treves, who had formed an alliance with the duke of Brabant, and was opposed to the king of Germany.

How the king was refused pecuniary aid.

As the nobles of the kingdom had given a decisive and unanimous reply to the king's urgent demand for pecuniary assistance, stating that they neither could nor would any longer submit to such extortions, the king betook himself in anger to other cunning devices to scrape up a large sum from the Church. He therefore addressed himself, in the first place, to the abbat of Westminster, and wheedled him over by deceitful promises to affix his zeal and that of his convent to a deed in writing, whereby he became surety for the king to the amount of two thousand five hundred marks, in order that this pernicious example might give him the means of extorting as much from other convents.

How Simon Passeleve was sent on a mission to the various abbats, to extort money from them.

The king then sent Simon [Passeleve] in all haste with these letters to the other convents, that their abbats might take on them the same burden: and by this proceeding the king injured his good fame in no slight degree; for the act itself clearly showed how eagerly he longed to oppress the Church without remedy. The crafty and lying Simon Passeleve, who was a clerk and counsellor of the king, in his desire to fulfil the king's orders, however improper and inexpedient, went with all haste to Waltham, and produced the king's letter, entreating the abbat and brethren of Waltham to take on them a similar obligation to that which the abbat of Westminster had freely imposed on himself; namely, by a deed in writing, under his hand and the hands of the brethren, to become surety for the king for the payment of

274 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

seven hundred marks on the king's behalf. He also showed the letters patent on this matter of the abbat and conventual assembly of Westminster, bearing their seal; at sight of which the abbat of Waltham was in great alarm, and inquired of him if he had similar letters addressed to other convents. Simon replied, "Indeed I have; to St. Alban's, to Reading, and elsewhere". The abbat then took counsel with the brethren of the convent in chapter, and at length gave Simon to understand, in reply to his demand, that, whatever might be done in this matter by the abbat and convent of Westminster (who of necessity showed favour to the king, and were bound to obey him in matters of difficulty, as being the restorer of their church), he would not on any account become security, or pledge himself in any way for the payment of so much money for the king: "that no prelate was allowed, according to what is written in the Decretals, in the chapter on Obligations, to subject his church to such great peril and risk". To this speech Simon replied, "The king will give you what security you wish, in writing, for the certain payment of your money". But, rejoined the abbat, "We do not wish to have any occasion for disputing or engaging in a lawsuit with the king; for we have not the means of contending with him on equal grounds, and we cannot bring him to justice or distrain on him for payment, if he should be weak enough to listen to perverse counsel". Then added Simon, "Pity, for God's sake, pity your lord, and especial protector. For his chapel will be laid under interdict immediately,- that is to say, within three or four days; and harsher measures will follow afterwards, unless you accede to his entreaties. As you well know, he is the most Christian and most pious of kings, and would not be obliged to desist from the observance of divine duties for an untold amount of the purest gold".

How Simon Passeleve went to the abbat and convent of St. Alban's.

As he could not succeed thus, or by any roundabout arguments and lies, he went away in anger, heaping threats upon threats, and took his way to St. Alban's, accompanied by a certain clerk of the king's, who was his companion on his errand, for the purpose of binding the abbat and convent or that place to accede to the king's wish by his deceitful


speeches, or by some means or other, whether right or wrong. But the abbat of Waltham sent word, privately and in all haste, to the abbat of St. Alban's of all that had taken place; how Simon Passeleve, by deceitful and perverted arguments endeavoured, at the king's urgent request, to bind over the church of Waltham to the payment of seven hundred marks for the king, and wished the abbat and brethren to become surety for him by a deed in writing. The aforesaid Simon (or more properly speaking "Sinon") reached St. Alban's before the hour of chapter, pretending to have come from London that day, and to have ridden nearly all night (although he had come direct from Waltham); and throwing himself into a seat, he leaned his head down on it and went to sleep. After this he went with all haste to the abbat, and said in a tone of sorrow: "My lord, I and my companion have been compelled by the greatest necessity to travel the distance between London and this place this last night"; and he produced the king's letter, which made mention of a different sum to what he had verbally stated, and he also openly exhibited the letter of the abbat and conventual assembly of Westminster, proving that they had promptly acceded to the king's request;- for by this example he hoped to bend the abbat and convent of St. Alban's to the king's will. He also promised, in the king's name, that any deed in writing which they chose should be prepared for securing the payment of the money, which he asked to be lent to him for a time, under a bond in writing; and the sum required, he stated, amounted to seven hundred marks. He added, that the abbat, if he refused, would incur the king's lasting anger; for his chapel was in danger of being suspended, which he would not on any account put up with. The abbat and convent, and indeed all who heard this message, were astounded at the tyranny and cunning of the king, especially as he had by his earnest entreaties obtained a writing of the abbat and brethren similar to that which he had obtained from the abbat and convent of Westminster. A council was therefore held in the chapter, and finally the reply was given decisively, that they could not in any way comply with the king's request, "because it would be contrary to the pope's prohibition, contrary to right, and contrary to honour". Simon was also shown instruments in writing, and one in

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particular, addressed to Warren, formerly abbat of St. Alban's, and his successors, in which said document was contained a clause, forbidding them to lay their church under obligation in any way, under penalty of suspension, interdiction, and excommunication. Thus, therefore, the abbat and convent of St. Alban's chose to incur the anger of an earthly king who made unjust demands, rather than to offend their heavenly king, and by violating the pope's prohibition to enshackle themselves with the bonds of the anathema. When Simon heard their reasons for refusal, he assumed a placid and kind look, and eagerly replied: "My well-beloved friends, do not disquiet yourselves at all about that; for our king has with him a most holy man, a brother of the Minorite order, named Mansuetus, who is sent by the pope as a protection, who has full power and a ready will to absolve all who violate their oaths for the sake of assisting the king in this his most pressing necessity. But if you will not assist the king at this crisis, I shall at once return to London and tell the bishop that you lay aside all respect for the king and despise his protection, and that you treat the kindness and power of the said brother with contempt". To this Simon received for answer: "It would not appear sensible to wish to be excommunicated and to be absolved at the same time; in the same way as we should not attend to the orders of a quack who might say, 'Fearlessly break your leg, or some other limb, and I will find you a good surgeon, who will heal and reset the broken limb'. Besides, if we were to do this, we should sin in manifold ways: in the first place, we should knowingly lie: in the next, if we were to afix our seals, which are pledges of our faith, to such a document, they would cry out against us that we had acted iniquitously; but this we will not do on any account". Simon rejoined: "What does this mean? Am I to go away empty-handed? My lord the king will believe that I have awakened some quarrel between you and him, and thus all the blame will recoil on my head, although I am innocent. Why should my lord meet with such a repulse at your hands? You have nothing but what my lord the king or his ancestors have given you; therefore you are bound in justice to assist him in such a pressing emergency, since everything belongs to the prince". To these arguments the abbat and brethren replied: "It is true all belongs


to the prince; but it is for 'protection', and not for 'destruction'. This is what the king swore at his coronation and many times since; therefore we pay no attention to these cavilling arguments of yours". Simon, on hearing this, had recourse to another kind of deceit: "If", said he, "you will do nothing else for the king, at least do this: draw up a writing favourable to the king's demand, in accordance with his request and desire, seal the same, and keep it in your possession in your treasury, so that if at any time your hearts are softened and humbled, the king or his deputy may find it ready, and take it away when the proper time comes. Do this, that your contempt and audacity may not be too apparent". To this also the abbat and brethren replied: "No, Simon, no; for you would then say, and could with reason say, that we had consented, and had drawn up a written statement of our consent to his wishes, as is now the case with the letter of the abbat of Westminster which you are showing about. And thus we should afford a pernicious example to others, whom you are desirous of assailing and bending to your will, which we will never do". Thus the, tempter went away in confusion, without accomplishing his object.

Of the deceits put in practice by the aforesaid Simon to impose upon certain abbots.

I have inserted these particulars in full, that the reader of this book may learn how dangerous domestic enemies are, and how much injury this degenerate Englishman, Simon, endeavoured to inflict on the kingdom and on the Church. The aforesaid abbat and brethren, by writing in terms of moderation and friendship, and excusing themselves on just grounds, escaped the danger which threatened them. Simon, in the mean time, although he had declared with an oath that he would go at once to the king at London, and not being ashamed at being charged with another lie, altered his course and went full speed to Reading, to entrap the abbat and conventual brethren of that place with his usual deceits and falsehoods; but they having been forewarned of his coming and informed of his proceedings, boldly opposed him to his face. Thus iniquity, which was false to itself, failed in its purpose. In what I have written above, I have stated

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the whole sum of money in full, because the king's written demand was to the effect that each of the four houses, namely, Westminster, St. Alban's, Reading, and Waltham, should become security, each for the other, for the full amount; so that each house would be responsible for itself and for each of the others, to the amount of five hundred marks; that is, for two thousand marks, and five hundred marks for interest. And the king wanted to have this money with all haste, so that he would be obliged to borrow it from the merchant Caursins.

How the Minorite brethren forced their way into the city of St. Edmund^s.

About this same time, the Minorite brethren, by virtue of authority from the pope, forced themselves into the city of St. Edmund's, against the will and despite the opposition of the abbat and brethren of that place. They were introduced and established there by force, by the agency of laymen; namely, the earl of Gloucester, who was a declared enemy of the said abbat and convent, and Gilbert of Preston. A few days previously, that abbat had come from the Roman court, where he had been taking precautions for the future against the violence of the said brethren, and had forearmed himself with a pope's letter; but immediately afterwards, these brethren obtained another, directly to a contrary purport, by means of that additional clause, "Notwithstanding". At hearing of this proceeding, people could hardly express their astonishment, that such holy men - men who had voluntarily chosen poverty for their lot - should thus, laying aside all fear of God, despising the anger of the reverend martyr and of men, and heedless of the protection of privileges, violently disturb the peaceful state of that noble church, which was well known to be of great dignity and antiquity. The abbat was not so much harassed by his toilsome journey across the Alps, or by the immense debts in which he was involved, as he was by this proceeding. To add to his griefs, he was much worried by the law process instituted by the earl of Gloucester; and, conscious of his weak state of health, he agreed to delay the matter.

The continuation of the parliament lately commenced.

The altercation between the king and the nobles of the


kingdom at the above-mentioned parliament, continued until the Sunday next after the Ascension-day, and day by day complaints increased and multiplied against the king, to the effect that he did not observe his promises, that he treated the keys of the Church with contempt, and violated the conditions of the great charter so often redeemed from him. Another cause of complaint was, that he exalted his uterine brothers, as though they had been naturalized in this country, in a most intolerable manner, contrary to all right and to the law of the kingdom, and would not allow any process to be issued against them from the court of Chancery. And although the insolence of all the said brothers of the king, and the other Poitevins, was intolerable, yet William de Valence exceeded them all in insolence and audacity. The earl of Leicester, above all, complained bitterly of this, not only to the king, but also to the community at large, and urgently demanded that justice should be done to him. Moreover, the king was reproached with enriching and advancing the interests of all foreigners, and with despising and pillaging his own natural subjects, to the ruin of the whole kingdom. It was also thrown in his teeth, that he was so needy, whilst others possessed money in abundance, that he could not, for want of money, reclaim the rights of his kingdom, nay, that he could not even check the injurious incursions of the Welsh, who were the very scum of mankind. To sum up briefly, the excesses of the king require to be treated of especially by themselves. The king, on reflection, acknowledged the truth of the accusations, although late, and humbled himself, declaring that he had been too often imposed upon by evil advice, and he promised and made oath at the altar and shrine of St. Edward, that he would fully and properly amend his old errors, and show favour and kindness to his natural subjects. But his frequent transgressions previously rendered him entirely unworthy of belief, and as the nobles had not yet learned how to keep their Proteus in check (for it was an arduous and difficult matter), the parliament was prorogued to the feast of St. Barnabas, when it would meet at Oxford. In the mean time, the nobles of England,- for instance, the earls of Gloucester, Leicester, and Hereford, the earl marshal, and other men of distinction, leagued themselves together to take

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precautions; and as they entertained great fears of the crafty plots of the foreigners, and some suspicions, too, of the king's underhanded proceedings, they went under the protection of a numerous retinue of knights and armed followers.

Of the unseasonableness of the atmosphere.

In this year the north wind blew incessantly for several months, when April, May, and the principal part of June, had passed, and scarcely were there visible any of the small and rare plants, or any shooting buds of flowers; and, in consequence, but small hopes were entertained of the fruit crops. Owing to the scarcity of wheat, a very large number of poor people died; and dead bodies were found in all directions, swollen and livid, lying by fives and sixes in pigsties, on dunghills, and in the muddy streets. Those who had houses did not dare, in their own state of need, to provide house-room for the dying, for fear of contagion. When several corpses were found, large and spacious holes were dug in the cemeteries, and a great many bodies were laid in them together.

Of the special mission to the French king.

During the time which elapsed previous to the holding of the parliament at Oxford, special messengers, selected from the earls and barons of England, were sent to the French king, to obtain some consolation from him, or at least to prevent any impediment from being thrown in the way to hinder them in their designs. For they were endeavouring, for their own benefit, and for that of neighbouring countries, to arrange and appease the excitement which had arisen in England, in consequence of the long-continued supine simplicity of the king.

Of the founding of a religious house by John Mansell.

In this same year, too, John Mansell, provost of Beverley, a clerk and special counsellor of the king, and a wise and prudent man, founded at Romney, about two miles from the sea, a religious house of Regular Canons, and endowed it at his own expense, and established canons therein. This he was induced to do by consideration that a king's favour is not hereditary, and that the prosperity of the world will not last for ever. He was also influenced by the example of Peter Chaceport, who a short time previously had piously


and happily founded a house of the same order; and he thus hoped that, when he passed from the possession of temporal riches, he might not lose those which were eternal.

Of the death of Sewal, archbishop of York.

About the time of the Ascension, the archbishop of York, in order to ascend with the Lord, quitted the prison of this world and took flight to heaven. It was undoubtedly believed that he had exchanged this earthly life for the kingdom of heaven, and obtained the crown of victory, after boldly fighting to the utmost of his power for his church against the tyranny of the court of Rome, through his own merits and the many tribulations he had undergone. This said Archbishop Sewal followed step by step in the track of St. Edmund (whose discourses he had listened to, and of whom he had been a fellow-scholar and disciple), and endeavoured to assimilate himself in his actions and to conform in his morals to that saint. I think I ought not to omit mentioning that St. Edmund, when lecturing in theology at Oxford, used to say to this dearest friend and special pupil of his, "Oh Sewal! Sewal! you will pass from this world a martyr; you will be assailed and slain by the sword, or by heavy and insuperable tribulations in the world. However, let him be your comforter who inspired his Psalmist to say, 'Many are the tribulations of the just; but from all of these the Lord will one day release them'". It is an evident fact that many martyrs have passed from the world without their blood being shed, as for instance, St. John the Evangelist, and many others.

Of the sayings and doings of the aforesaid archbishop on the near approach of death.

This holy archbishop, when he foresaw that death was undoubtedly approaching, and that he was about to pass from this world, he raised himself up, and, with clasped hands and a tearful countenance turned towards heaven, gave utterance to the following prayer: "Oh Lord Jesus Christ, most just of judges, by thy infallible scrutiny thou knowest how in my innocence I have been harassed in manifold ways by the pope, whom thou hast permitted to be established as ruler of thy Church, because (as God knows, and as is no secret to the world) I refused to admit unknown

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and utterly unworthy persons to the ministry of the churches intrusted by thee to my care, unworthy as I am. However, lest by a contempt of the pope's sentence, unjust though it was, it should become a just one, I humbly beg to be absolved from the shackles of excommunication; but I appeal against the pope to the supreme and incorruptible Judge, and heaven and earth will be my witness as to how unjustly he has assailed, provoked, and scandalized me in manifold ways". In the bitterness of his soul, therefore, he wrote to the pope (influenced to do so by the example of Robert, bishop of Lincoln), expressing his inconsolable grief that the pope had so harassed him, because he refused, as above stated, to accept of inexperienced persons, ignorant of the English language, at one time by suspending him, at another by excluding him from the threshold of the Church, now by taking the cross from him, and again by publicly excommunicating him throughout the kingdom (the agents of such excommunication even performing their task unwillingly), and thus injuring his good name in divers ways, to his great temporal injury. He moreover complained bitterly that, although he did so with patience, he could ill endure the violent attacks of certain clerks priding themselves on having the pope's authority for their proceedings, especially of Master Jordan, who was gaping after the decanal office; he repeated, he bore all this with patience, that he might not be said to be ridiculing the disgrace of his father, like Ham, by revealing it, but to be anxious to hide and veil it like Shem, often recalling to memory the following brief precept: "In revealing the disgrace of thy father, thou art like Ham; like Shem in concealing it". In his letter, therefore, as the aforesaid Robert, bishop of Lincoln, had done, he humbly yet earnestly begged of the pope "to mitigate his usual tyranny, and to follow the example set by the humility of his predecessors. For the Lord said to Peter, 'Feed my sheep'; and not shear or flay them, nor disembowel, nor devour them". But the pope ridiculed his request, and treated it with contempt; and conceived the greatest indignation that they broke out into such great presumption as to trouble him, the pope, in any way whatever; and he refused to listen to the salutary warnings of either Archbishop Sewal, or the said Robert, bishop of Lincoln.

A.D. 1258.] FAMINE IN ENGLAND. 283

Of the miracle of the water turned into wine.

It happened one day, when the mortal disease under which he was suffering pressed heavily upon him, that he felt thirsty, and asked for some spring water; and on its being offered to him he devoutly blessed it, as he said it was of no benefit to his complaint. On tasting it, he found the flavour to be that of wine, not water, and reproached his attendant for having deceived him, saying, "Why have you deceived me with this drink? Where did you find this"? The servant replied, "At the spring, my lord, and I was not alone there"; then bringing forward two other attendants who stood by, he added, "Here are credible witnesses to the truth of what I say". The attendants then tasted the beverage, and declared it to be new wine. The archbishop, hearing what the man said, for fear his attendants should spread it abroad, drank all that was in the cup, and begged of his servants in mild terms (for he was a man of gentle speech) not to say anything about the matter. This took place just previous to his death.

Of the great famine which prevailed throughout the whole of England.

About the feast of the Trinity in this year, an awful and intolerable pestilence attacked the people, especially those of the lower orders, and spread death among them in a most lamentable degree. Not to mention others, I think it worth while to mention the following incident. In the city of London, fifteen thousand of the poor had already perished, and now a proclamation was made to this effect: "Go all you who are in want of it; and receive a portion of the bread of such and such a noble"; and the herald specified the person and place from whom and where they were to receive alms. In fact, famine prevailed in England to such a great extent, that many thousand human beings died of hunger; for the crops only arrived at maturity so late in the autumn, in consequence of the heavy rains, that the harvest was only got in by All Saints' day in several parts of the kingdom, and a measure of corn was sold for sixteen shillings. On the eve of St. John the Baptist, a heavy storm of rain, such as had never before been seen in our time, swelled the stream of the Severn, from Salisbury to Bristol, to such a degree,

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that the water burst forth (as some said, from the concealed gulfs of the infernal regions), and overflowed all the meadows and destroyed all the crops in the vicinity of that river. In this violent flood several men perished, a great many children, and animals of various kinds innumerable.

Of the king of Spain's letter to the king of Germany.

In this year, the king of Spain sent an importunate and insolent letter to the king of Germany, urging him with threats to "give up his kingdom of Germany, and to take his departure therefrom forthwith". To this demand the king of Germany replied undauntedly and cheerfully, "If he chooses to come and attack me, he will find me ready to meet him outside the boundaries of my kingdom, and to receive him at the sword's point". The king of Spain, then, the more provoked by this reply, combined his army with the forces of the kingdoms of Arragon and Navarre, and directed his march towards Italy; but whilst he was absent, the Saracens of Spain attempted to take possession of Cordova; on hearing of which he retraced his steps to check their incursions. He, however, sent some persons of distinction on a mission to the pope, to lay claim to his rights, and to call upon the Roman court not to admit any one else to the government of the empire than him, the most high and mighty king of Spain, who had extended the limits of Christendom more than any other Christian kings. In answer to this, the pope, on behalf of the king of Germany, replied: "My well-beloved children, you know, and are bound to know, that the proper order of proceeding, and the usual and approved custom from times of old has been and still is, for the kingdom of Germany to be considered as a pledge of the empire, a dignity to be previously held, and, as it were, a primitive possession of it. Let, therefore, your lord, the illustrious king of Spain first be duly elected king of Germany, at Aix-la-Chapelle, by the clergy and nobles of that country, with whom such election rests, as is the ancient custom; let him be solemnly consecrated and crowned king; after which we, as far as in our power lies, and with the fear of God before our eyes, will show ourselves favourable and agreeable to the advancement of the election of your lord, the said illustrious king of Spain, who is worthy of all


honour". The messengers, then, on careful consideration of the reply of the pope as well as of the king, announced to their king the strict rule of procedure, and advised him that it would be wise and beneficial to protect his own kingdom, against which the Saracens were plotting. This result being made known to the Italian nobles, many of them gave the right hand of friendship to the king of Germany, and spontaneously gave him their allegiance. The king received them kindly, and paid a very large sum of money to release certain cities of Germany from debts, in which his predecessors had involved them; by which proceeding he would have gained immense favour with men of power amongst the Germans, if he had been as vigorous in warlike proceedings as he was prudent and circumspect in his counsels.

Of the return of the abbat of St. Edmund's from the Roman court.

About this same time, the abbat of St. Edmund's, the king and martyr, after a prolonged and expensive sojourn at the court of Rome, returned home involved in heavy debts. Moreover, the Minor brethren had, as before stated, built themselves a house, in spite of the opposition of the said abbat and his convent. He had, during his late visit at Rome, obtained a privilege, whereby the said brethren were forbidden to attempt such a proceeding on any account; but they invalidated all that he had gained by means of the additional clause, "Notwithstanding".

Of the parliament held at Oxford.

As the feast of St. Barnabas drew near, the magnates and nobles of the country hastened to the parliament which was to be held at Oxford, and gave orders to all those who owed them knightly service, to accompany them, equipped and prepared as if to defend their persons against the attacks of enemies. This they accordingly carried into effect, concealing their real reasons for so doing under the pretence that their coming in such a way was to show themselves ready to set out with their united forces against the king's enemies in Wales. The fact was, they entertained no slight fears that, in consequence of the disagreement of parties, an intestine war should break out amongst themselves, and that the king and his Poitevin brethren would call on the foreigners to aid

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them against his own natural subjects. Moreover, the nobles took the further precautions of carefully guarding the seaports. At the commencement of the parliament, the proposed plan of the nobles was unalterably decided on; and they most expressly demanded that the king should faithfully keep and observe the conditions of the charter of the liberties of England, which his father, King John, had made and granted to his English subjects, and which he, the said John, had sworn to observe; which said charter, he, the present King Henry, had many times granted and sworn to observe, and against all violators of which he had ordered sentence of excommunication to be published by all the bishops of England, in the presence of himself and of his barons, he himself being one of the excommunicators. They moreover demanded that a justiciary should be appointed to render justice to those who suffered injuries, with equal impartiality towards the rich and the poor. They also made some other demands, in connection with the affairs of the kingdom, tending to promote the welfare, peace, and honour, as well of the king as of the kingdom; and they moreover insisted that the king should frequently consult them, and listen to their advice in making all necessary provisions; and they made oath, giving their right hands to one another as a pledge of faith, that they would prosecute their design, at the risk of losing their money, their lands, and even their lives, as well as those of their people. The king acknowledged the reasonableness of these remonstrances, and solemnly swore that he would give heed to their counsels; and his son Edward was bound down by a similar oath. This oath, however, was refused by John, Earl Warrenne, and the uterine brothers of the king, William de Valence, and others. Orders were, moreover, issued for the ports of England to be more strictly guarded, and for the gates of London to be carefully and more securely fastened by night; on which some one said: "Through the night the gates of London were shut, for fear the deceit of Frenchmen should break into the city".

After they had prolonged their stay at Oxford for some days, they met together at a house of the Preacher brethren, to deliberate as to what was to be done in the difficult matter of ameliorating the condition of the disturbed kingdom. There they renewed afresh their alliance, and reiterated their


oath, and confirmed their determination that they would not allow themselves, for life or death, or for their possessions, for hatred or love, or for any reason whatever, to be bent from, or weakened in, their design of purifying from ignoble foreigners the kingdom which gave birth to themselves and their ancestors, who were men of noble race, and of regaining proper and commendable laws; and they resolved that if any one, whosoever he might be, should oppose this determination, he should be compelled, even though against his will, to join them. Although the king and his eldest son, Edward, had taken the oath, the latter began, as far as he could, to draw back from it, as did also John, Earl Warrenne. Henry, the son of Richard, king of Germany, wavered, and said that he would on no account take such an oath without the advice and permission of his father; whereupon he was told plainly and publicly, that even if his father himself would not acquiesce in the plan of the barons, he should not keep possession of one furrow of land in England. The aforesaid brothers of the king had, moreover, sworn positively, by the death and wounds of Christ, that they would never, as long as they lived, give up the castles, revenues, or guardianships which their brother, the king, had freely given them, although Simon, earl of Leicester, had given up gratis to the king his castles of Kenilwithe and Odiham, which he had repaired and fortified a few days previously. When they made this declaration, affirming it by unmentionable oaths, Simon, earl of Leicester, addressing himself to William de Valence, who was blustering more than the others, replied: "You may rest assured that you will either give up the castles which you hold from the king, or you will undoubtedly lose your head"; and the other earls and barons said the same, and swore to it in a most determined manner. The Poitevins were, in consequence, in great alarm, and knew not what to do; for if they betook themselves for concealment to any castle, being destitute of all stores and means of defence, they would be besieged, and would perish of hunger; for even if the nobles did not do so, the whole community of the people at large would besiege them, and destroy their castles to the very foundations. They therefore suddenly and secretly took to fiight, whilst dinner was being prepared; and that their design might not be found out, they pretended that they wished to sit down to dinner. As they fled, they

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frequently looked behind them, and made some of their retainers ascend high towers to watch if the barons followed in pursait of them; nor did they spare their horses' sides till they reached Winchester, where, in their fear, they placed themselves, as it were, under the protecting wings of the bishop elect of Winchester, on whom all their hopes depended; and moreover, they had hopes of finding a safe place of refuge in the castles belonging to him, the said bishop elect. The nobles in the mean time became more firmly leagued together, and appointed as their justiciary, Hugh Bigod, brother of the earl marshal, an illustrious and high-born knight, of pure English blood, and well skilled in the laws of the country; and he fulfilled the duties of justiciary with vigour, and would not allow the rights of the kingdom to totter on any account. When the nobles were made aware of the certain flight of the Poitevins, as aforesaid, they feared that the fugitives might get near to the sea-coast and summon foreigners, Poitevins and others, from the continent, to their aid. Seeing, then, that delay brought on danger, they gave strict orders to their vassals, and to all their partisans, to fly to arms, and to mount their horses with all haste; and thus ended the parliament at Oxford, without any fixed and definite result.

Of the disagreement at Rome between the pope and the senator Brancaleone.

About this time, also, Richard, king of Germany, wisely released certain cities of Germany from the heavy debts and pledges in which they had been involved by the kings of Germany, his predecessors. The archbishop of Treves, also, who had been long ill, and was, in fact, believed to be dead many days before this, sent word to the said king, that "unless the king of Spain should, as he had positively promised to do, come to the aid of him, the said archbishop, and the duke of Brabant, who were both in a confederacy with the said king of Spain, they would both of them give in their firm and faithful adhesion and obedience to him, the said king of Germany". Moreover, the inhabitants of many of the cities of Italy gave the right hand of friendship to him, as they eagerly longed for his arrival, and his promotion to the empire. In the mean time, Brancaleone, the senator of Rome,


had been destroying the castles of the Roman nobles, and imprisoning their owners. He also hung or mutilated several relations and kinsmen of the cardinals, and would not act in any way so as to differ from the wishes and plans of the Roman people. This senator was in favour of Prince Manfred, who aspired to the empire, and cousequently, both of them hated the king of Germany, and laid plans in opposition to him; for that very reason, the pope, who hated the senator and Prince Manfred, showed favour to the aforesaid king of Germany.

How the abbot [of Ramsey] obtained the right to the fair of St. Ives.

In this same year, also, by the skilful management of Ralph, abbat of Ramsey, the church of that place regained its full right to the fair of St. Ives, which it had obtained by gift of King Edgar, confirmed by other kings of old; and in possession of which it had also been strengthened by authentic writings of St. Thomas, the archbishop and martyr. The said Abbat Ralph had, as was reported, paid five hundred marks of silver for the recovery of the right to the said fair, which had been lost, not by any fault of the said church, but by the cavillings of others, which it was evident to many were false and groundless.

Of the death of R., abbat of Westminster.

On the 18th of July in this year, near Winchester, died Richard, abbat of Westminster, a man of handsome appearance, eloquent, and well versed in both kinds of law, canonical and civil; he was also a most particular friend of the king's, in whose service he had willingly undergone great toil and incurred much expense, both on the continent and at home. This said Richard had, by his great prudence, for which he was much distinguished, increased the possessions of his abbey by twelve hides of land, and obtained a great many liberties for it; but as virtues are usually mixed up with some vices, this said Richard had affixed his seal and that of his convent to a document drawn up by the king, that the other abbats named therein might affix theirs also more willingly and more boldly. This document was drawn up at that time to induce some of the superior abbats in England to pledge themselves for the king, to some merchants on the continent, to the payment of a large sum of money;

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on the promise, however, of giving security to the said abbat and his successors for the payment of the said money by the king, and of preserving their churches indemnified; but as no confidence was placed in this promise, his consent alone was to no purpose, for all the other abbats vigorously and unanimously opposed it, adding, by divine inspiration as it were, that if such an obligation were commenced by them, the consent of others would be inferred from their example. The body of the deceased Richard was taken to Westminster, and buried with honours in his conventual church there.

How Philip, the abbat elect of Westminster, died before his election was confirmed.

Philip, the prior of the said monastery, was now elected abbat thereof; but when he heard of his election, he expressed great reluctance in giving his consent, through fear of that most oppressive decree of the pope, compelling every elected prelate to go to Rome in person; for he was fat and heavy in body. For he preferred, and it would have been better for him to have done so, to remain at home in his former mode of life, rather than to expose himself to such peril for the sake of worldly dignity. Being, however, overcome by the exhortations of the brethren, and by his legitimate election by the whole community, he at length acceded to their wishes, on condition, however, that they would send some other persons to the court to obtain a confirmation of his election. Some of the more eminent of the brethren, therefore, set out for that purpose, and pleaded the most urgent reasons and excuses for the non-attendance of the abbat elect; and after much difficulty, owing to the opposition of the cardinals, they at length obtained the required favour, though by the payment of a large sum of money. Whilst they were on their return, after settling their business with great difficulty, news reached them that their abbat elect was just dead, and that another person had been appointed in his stead as soon as possible. They, therefore, in great grief, again renewed their previous task of a journey to the court of Rome.

Of the election of G. de Kineton as archbishop of York.

At this same time, the canons of York assembled and elected their dean, Master Godfrey of Kineton, as their


archbishop, who went in person to the court of Rome, and after much trouble and expense brought his business to a satisfactoiy termination, and returned home safely.

Of the mortality caused by the famine amongst the people.

About the same time, such great famine and mortality prevailed in the country, that a measure of wheat rose in price to fifteen shillings and more, at a time when the country itself was drained of money, and numberless dead bodies were lying about the streets. No one, indeed, could remember ever having before beheld such misery and such a famine, although there were many who had seen prices rise higher than they now were. Unless corn had been brought for sale from the continent, the rich would scarcely have been able to escape death. Moreover, the dead lay about, swollen up and rotting, on dunghills, and in the dirt of the streets, and there was scarcely any one to bury them; nor did the citizens dare or choose to receive the dead into their houses, for fear of contagion. So great, too, was the scarcity of money, that if corn could have been sold for a small price per measure, scarcely any one could have been found with the means of buying it. But the Lord in his benign mercy supplied a speedy remedy, as above stated.

Of the departure of the king's uterine brothers from England.

In the octaves of the Translation of St. Benedict, namely, on the 18th of July, the aforesaid brothers of the king bade farewell to the English, and took their departure from England, accompanied by some other Poitevins. Amongst them were William de St. Hermes (who used to stand by the king at his meals with a finger-napkin, and to carve his meat for him), and many others who had oppressed the whole kingdom and pillaged it of its wealth, especially its coin. These Poitevins rested themselves first at Winchester, and afterwards at a house belonging to the bishop elect of Winchester at Southwark, in London: it was reported that many of the nobles of England were treacherously poisoned there and elsewhere; and the result proved such to be the fact. On their arrival at the sea-coast, the nobles who had conducted them thither consigned them to the care of Neptune. On their arrival at Boulogne, they wrote to the French king for leave to travel peaceably through his country, or to take up their abode

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there for a time, according to the old established liberty and custom of France; they also asked permission for the bishop elect of Winchester to remain for a while at Paris as a scholar. But the king of France refused, being exasperated by a complaint made against these Poitevins by the queen of France, to the effect that they had shamefully scandalized and defamed her sister, the queen of England, and the king added, that they had been driven from England "in disgrace on account of their crimes". On hearing of this, Henry, son of the earl of Leicester, suddenly crossed the Channel to attack them, either without the knowledge or against the will of his father, or it might have been with his connivance. On his way thither he met with several friends, who, out of respect and affection for his father, were ready and willing to avenge his injuries; for he had mentioned how William de Valence, relying on the favour of the king of England and the support of his other brothers who were present, had gone beyond all bounds with his blustering at the parliament at London, had publicly given the lie to his father, the earl, and called him an old traitor, to the great amazement of people on the continent, who wondered that men much less noble than he, and near relations, too, of the king, should wish or dare to reproach or defame, by thought, word, or deed, a man so noble in disposition, of such noble birth, and one preeminent amongst all, both at home and on the continent. Moreover, it was not proper, nor could it hardly be believed, that men connected with royalty should utter such dishonourable words. The friends of the earl, therefore, on learning the truth, prepared to join Henry in his attack on the Poitevins. The latter, finding how matters stood, secretly withdrew into Boulogne; but their pursuers kept watch over that place on all sides, by sea as well as land, and thus hemming them in, precluded all means of escape, and were thus at liberty to harass and annoy them according to their deserts.

How the chatelain of Dover intercepted a large sum of money.

Richard Gray, a brave and faithful man, who had been appointed chatelain of Dover on behalf of the barons, carefully examined all persons who passed or wanted to pass through that place. In his strict scrutiny into all that was


transported thither, he just about this time came upon a large sum of money which was about to be secretly carried off by the said Poitevins, all of which he seized upon and kept in the castle. At the new Temple in London, also, a very large sum was seized, the amount of which excited great astonishment in those who heard of it, and which had been hidden there by the said Poitevins, although the Hospitalers made an attempt to deny it. This money was taken possession of to be expended usefully, at the option of the king and the barons, for the benefit of the kingdom.

Of the desire of the Welsh to make amends to the king of England.

About this same time, the Welsh, who had quarrelled and gained ill repute with the king of England, offered him honourable terms of peace, and declared themselves ready to clear themselves by judicial trial from all the charges made against them, as well of murder as of robbery.

How the Londoners acquiesced in the resolutions of the barons.

On the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, special messengers were sent to London on behalf of the community of England at large. They there convoked all the citizens who were styled barons to meet at the Guildhall, and the question was then put to them, whether they would faithfully acquiesce in the resolutions of the barons, and adhere firmly to their cause, giving them effectual assistance in opposing their adversaries. To this they all gave a willing assent, and drew up a charter in confirmation of the same, and sealed it with the common seal of the city. But they did not intend yet to make public what the resolutions were; for the illness of the earl of Gloucester, which was caused by a dose of poison, as was commonly reported, seriously alarmed all of them; but they had hopes he would recover from his illness, because a gory matter emanated from numerous pustules which broke out on his body, and his hair, nails, and skin fell off, and his teeth dropped out. Thus shaven and purged, he was consigned to the care and medical treatment of Master John of St. Giles, a brother of the order of Preachers, who had formerly cured Robert, bishop of Lincoln, of a similar disease.

How several nobles were poisoned in England.

Many of the nobles of England, who had been poisoned at the same time, as was said, by the Poitevins, began now to

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pine away in themselves, and some of them departed this life, whilst others continued lingering betwixt life and death; some of them being laymen of rank and power, and others noblemen and men of learning. It was not as yet clear to the English that the Poitevins had given them the poisonous draughts, for they thought that this disease might proceed from some other calamity, and thus show itself openly. There were, moreover, some other evil-disposed poisoners left behind, who were engaged in evil designs and plots against the nobles; in consequence of which the latter entertained suspicions of their caterers, cooks, and butlers, lest they should be bribed to perpetrate similar crimes upon their masters.

Of the instability of Fulk, bishop of London.

During all this difficult and important affair, and this new and most happy arrangement of the affairs of the kingdom, Fulk, bishop of London, was most unbecomingly and uselessly remiss and lukewarm; and by thus acting, he injured his good name the more, because he was more exalted by birth than the rest. As the hopes of the barons rested on him, his weak conduct provoked their anger, as they relied on him to justify the king with the people.

Of the harsh speech of the king to the earl of Leicester.

The fears and anxieties of the barons were increased by the coming on of the month of July, which, with its plague-bearing lion and furiously-raging dog, generally disturbs the repose of the air. What more alarmed them than all the rest was the fickleness and inscrutable duplicity of the king, which they discovered to be existing from the following speech uttered by him. One day he had left his palace at Westminster, and embarked in a vessel to take his dinner, and to enjoy an excursion on the Thames, when the sky became obscured and a thunderstorm came on, attended with lightning and heavy rain; and the king, who feared a storm of that kind more than others, gave orders for landing him at once, the vessel being, at the time, opposite to the noble palace of the bishop of Durham, where the earl of Leicester was then staying. When the earl knew of the king's arrival, he went joyfully to meet him, and, by way of comforting him, said, "What do you fear? the storm has now passed


over". To this address the king replied, not jestingly, but seriously and with a severe look, "I fear thunder and lightning beyond measure; but, by God's head, I fear you more than all the thunder and lightning in the world". The earl mildly replied, "It is unjust and incredible, my lord, that you should fear me, your firm friend, who am always faithful to you and yours, and to the kingdom of England; rather ought you to fear your enemies, your destroyers, and false-speaking flatterers". Every one suspected that these astounding words broke forth from the king, because the earl of Leicester boldly and firmly persisted in carrying out the determination to compel the king and all opposed to it to adhere to their plans, and utterly to banish his brothers, who were corrupting the whole kingdom.

Of the finding, on the death of Berard, of a chest fitted with blank sheets sealed with the bull.

Master Berard de Nympha, a native of the suburbs of Rome, died suddenly about this same time. He was a crafty and wealthy man, had been a clerk of Richard, earl of Cornwall, and had extorted money from the Crusaders on various specious pretexts. Amongst his goods was found a coffer full of blank sheets sealed with the bull, which might be filled up at pleasure and applied to any misuse, such as fraudulently extorting money from the poor as if by authority of the pope.

Of the convocation of the prelates of England at Oxford.

About the same time, the prelates of England in general were convoked to assemble at Oxford, for the purpose of improving and reforming the condition of the tottering English Church, which, being driven about in manifold ways hither and thither, was in danger of falling altogether. To that place there came four bishops, deputed thither for a special purpose; namely, the bishops of Norwich and Chichester,; and two others, whose names I do not recollect. These bishops convoked all the exempt abbats, and others of the other order, or their competent proctors, as they wished to know if they would acquiesce in their statutes and resolutions of them, the said bishops, and unite with them in supporting and defending the same. But as some were absent on some excuse or other, and some hesitated to give their

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assent; they could not give a positive reply just then; so they all went away, leaving the business unfinished. The statutes are given in the book of Additaments.

Of the finding of poison.

After the lapse of a short time, a report was circulated and complaints were made, that deadly poison had been administered to different people in England, and especially to the nobles, and that its effects were spreading in all directions in a lamentable way; and the result of events, as above stated, proved this to be the fact very soon. For in certain most secret places were found some jars, commonly called "Costrells", which were filled with this poison and securely fastened. These fastenings having been opened, though with great difficulty, there was found in them, according to general report, a blue liquor, which was deadly poison; which being offered to some hungry dogs, they refused to taste it, but when mixed with their other food, and offered to them, they partook of it and soon died. This was said to be a plot of foreigners to cause death to the English.

Of the cruelty of the bishop elect of Winchester towards a certain clerk.

It happened that, some short time previously, John Fitz Geoffrey, justiciary of Ireland, a man of illustrious descent, rich and powerful, had given a church to one of his clerks. The bishop elect of Winchester, hearing of this, claimed the patronage of the same church, and in great anger ordered the said clerk to be ejected from it, and if he made any opposition, that he should be dragged from it in disgrace and by force, and thrust into any vile place. The agents of the said bishop elect accordingly ejected him from the church with great brutality, and, because he exclaimed against their proceedings, pushed their audacity so far as to kill him, and insulted, beat, and wounded some of his servants, driving them from their houses, and pillaging the church. Some of the servants of the said clerk were so inhumanly treated that they languished and died in a few days. Intelligence of his detestable deed was forwarded to the Roman pontiff by the barons, and when the aforesaid John heard of it, he was justly enraged, and complained of it to the king. He, however, as was his custom, palliated the fault of the bishop elect, and urged the complaining party not to scandalize the


bishop elect by accusing him of such a grievous sin, nor to institute any proceedings against him. The aforesaid John, therefore, passed it over in silence, and awaited more convenient time for vengeance. Finding at this present time that the pride of the Poitevins was falling away, he renewed his complaint, accusing certain Poitevins, who had been the servants of the bishop elect of Winchester, of the above enormous crime, and the bishop elect himself of ordering it to be done.

Of the convalescence of the earl of Gloucester.

The earl of Gloucester, who was staying at Sunning, a place near Reading, found himself now somewhat improved in health; though he did not dare, owing to the virulence of his disease, to disquiet himself, lest it should again regain its sway. For he was afflicted with pain both internally and externally; internally, for the death of his brother W., whose loss was deplored by the whole of England; externally, because, although convalescing, he was dreadfully disfigured, having lost his hair, as well as his complexion, whilst his teeth and nails were scabby and livid, and threatened to fall off from him.

How the senator Brancaleone destroyed the strongholds of some freebooters.

In this year, too, the Roman senator Brancaleone, finding that the insolence and pride of the Roman nobles could not be repressed in any other way than by the destruction of their castles, which were, as it were, a place of resort for brigands and freebooters, caused about one hundred and forty of the castles of the said nobles to be destroyed and razed to the ground. Thus peace and tranquillity was entirely restored, the freebooters, whom they call Birri, being dispersed, as well as all the malefactors, both in Rome itself and its environs.

Of the complaints instituted against the Poitevins.

Instructions were sent to many of those who had been so shamelessly injured and offended by the aforesaid Poitevins, to make their complaints upon the matter, and to give proofs of the injuries done to them by the said brothers of the king; and they were assured that, if they showed their complaints to be well grounded, and resolutely prosecuted them, every

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reparation would be made to them in accordance with the dictates of justice. But as harvest-time was near at hand, and as they thought of the inconveniences of such proceedings, and that perhaps their trouble would, after all, be to no purpose, they refused to follow up their complaints until they saw a better opportunity.

How the Poitevins were permitted to return home through France.

The aforesaid brothers of the king, being as it were closely besieged at Boulogne, as above stated, sent a trustworthy messenger to the king of France, humbly beseeching him not to abandon those who fled to his protecting bosom in their trouble, but rather, in accordance with the privilege of his kingdom (which is bound by it to receive and protect in peace all those who flee to it), to send them messengers of peace, and guides for their journey, and to allow them to pass through his kingdom on their way into Poitou. This request of theirs was willingly complied with by that most pious king; and no one can doubt that to show mercy to the wretched, though they be not deserving of it, is the perfection of charity.

Of the increase of the famine, owing to the harvest being spoiled by the heavy rains.

At this time, too, that is, at the end of July and beginning of August, owing to the failure of the present, as well as the past year's crops, such misery, want, and famine prevailed, that those who usually aided others were now amongst the unfortunates who perished from want. What alarmed the lower orders more than the nobles, was the continued heavy falls of rain, which threatened destruction to the rich crops which God had given hopes of previously. To sum up briefly, England would have failed in herself, had she not been restored to life by the arrival of some vessels, belonging to traders on the continent, which were laden with corn and bread for sale, brought from Germany and Holland; still, many who spent all their money, died of hunger and want. There might be seen persons of high rank, who formerly possessed abundance of all things, but whose wealth was entirely expended, now compelled to live on the charity of others, and to beg from door to door, overcome with shame, their faces pallid with hunger and want of rest, their nights


being passed sleeplessly, in sorrow and lamentation. At the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, when generally the barns are filled with the yearly crops of corn, scarcely even a single sheaf was ripe; and as the rain increased daily, the hired labourers and their cattle caused a great expense daily, without being able to leave their houses, or to do any good in the fields. In consequence, a circumstance hitherto unknown, at the feast of All Saints, the corn was standing about the country ready to be cut down, but useless and spoiled almost. In some places, indeed, although late, and the crop of little use, it was cut and carried, whilst in many others it was left altogether in the fields to be used as manure to enrich the soil. It should be known also, that in that year the land produced such an abundant crop, that, had it all been saved, it would have been sufficient for nearly two years' consumption.

Of the proclamation of a fast, and the procession in consequence, and for the preservation of the crops.

As all human means of consolation failed, recourse was now had to the divine Comforter. It was therefore decreed, at the chapter of St. Alban's, that a solemn and general fast should be proclaimed amongst the people, by the archdeacon; that in all the churches of that township the inhabitants should assemble in deep devotion on St. Oswald's day, which was the 9th of August, and should follow the brethren of the convent in procession, and barefooted, to the church of St. Mary-in-the-Fields, then and there humbly to beseech the Lord and his mother to have pity on the people, that the Lord might be moved by the entreaties and the merits of his mother there present to restore a seasonable atmosphere. On hearing this, the people of London reproached themselves for their tardiness, and, influenced by this example, resolved that a general fast should be imposed on their religious orders, and the citizens and people of that city; and that the people of both sexes, observing the due forms of contrition and repentance, should go in procession, and alternately with each other, to the church, and offer up devout prayers to the Lord, that he would preserve the fruits of the earth, of which he had given hopes, by giving them a calm and favourable season, and allow the people to gather the crops

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into their barns, by checking the fall of rain. For, they said, "We endure with more equanimity a failure unforeseen, than the withdrawal of a benefit after it has been promised". These resolutions were carried out freely and devoutly, and the result soon proved their efficacy; for within a short time, by the intercession of that most powerful advocate of ours [the Virgin Mary], the blessed martyr Alban, and other saints, the bad weather, which had lasted so long, ceased, or came more seldom, and the price of corn diminished from that time until it was sold for half what it previously cost; for the devout prayers of the people and the subsequent change in the atmosphere and temperature promised a speedy and abundant crop both of corn and fruit.

Of the death of H., of Lexington, bishop of Lincoln.

On the 8th of August, Henry of Lexington, bishop of Lincoln, died at Netlington, a manor of his near Lincoln, and his body was buried with all due respect in the cathedral church of Lincoln.

Of the departure of Herlot, the pope's nuncio, from England.

As the feast of the Assumption of the glorious Virgin drew near, Herlot, the pope's nuncio, left England. He was a notary and special counsellor of the pope, and had come to England armed with the greatest powers by the pope, but, seeing the disturbed state of the kingdom, he wisely took his departure quietly, until a gale of peace and unity, and more favourable for him, should blow.

Of the interception of some money belonging to the bishop elect of Winchester.

In the mean time, the governor of Dover kept a diligent watch over the coast, and made a strict scrutiny of all travellers, many of whom he found laden with the much-loved coin, which they were carrying away for the foreigners; and these persons he eased of their burdens, that they might travel more at their ease. And just at this time there were found a thousand marks, belonging to the bishop elect of Winchester, which he had deposited at Dover; and these were given to four knights by way of pay, and to provide necessaries for a journey, that they might go to Rome, in the name of the king and the nobles of England, to plead the cause of the barons without delay or dispute; to announce to


him the finding of some blank sheets sealed with the bull, in a chest belonging to Master Berard de Nympha, after his death; and at the same time to prove by these sealed blank sheets, and to show him the many and manifold devices by which the Romans endeavoured to defile the land; and these blank forms sealed with the bull, the deputies took with them just as they were discovered.

Of the anxiety of the king of France to establish a lasting peace with the English.

The most pious king of France was now diligently studying the means of establishing a lasting peace between the two kingdoms of France and England; for, said he, "the greatest efforts should be made to establish a firm and durable peace between my sons and those of the king of England, who are cousins, and who will, under God's favour, become kings, that the two kingdoms may no longer gnaw each other at the instigation of the enemy of the human race, nor the inhabitants reciprocally pillage and slay each other, and thus be thrust into hell". He therefore ordered a large sum of money to be raised to enable him to carry out the design he had conceived in his mind, promising his French subjects that great advantages would accrue to them from their contribution, and begging them not to be annoyed at a short-lived burden, from which they would derive lasting benefit for the future.

Of the appointment of four knights in each county to examine into the grievances of the lower orders.

About this time, a warrant was issued by the king to each county, addressed to four knights appointed in each county, who were to make faithful and strict inquiry into the nature and quality of the grievances and oppressions which the lower orders suffered at the hands of their more powerful neighbours, to carefully examine into each cause of complaint and injury, by whomsoever caused, and on whomsoever inflicted, for a long time past; and to bring the results of their examination, enclosed under their seals, with them before the barons, at a time stated in the warrant. Any one wishing to know the contents of these letters, may find them in the book of Additaments.

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Of the king's anger against Philip Lovel, on account of the injuries done to the forests.

At the commencement of harvest-time in this year, the king made a strict examination into the state of his forests in the vicinity of Stony Stratford, and it was intimated to him that Philip Lovel, a clerk and special counsellor of his, and his treasurer, had caused irreparable injury to the royal forests. The king, in fact, had, out of free and royal liberality, granted him a certain number of beasts for the storing of his parks, and for the use of his table; but he abused this favour, and shamelessly exceeded the number allowed him in a tenfold degree, as report stated. The king, much enraged at this, made an examination of the recesses of the forests, and finding them devoid of animals, and being told, as above stated, that Philip Lovel was the cause of it, he seized him roughly by the arm, saying, "Philip, by God's head, I arrest thee as the basest of my subjects". Philip, thereupon, being desirous of appeasing the king's anger, replied with moderation and humility, "My lord king, whom I have served faithfully for some time in your exchequer, there are many foresters, especially in Whittlewood, who tyrannise over their fellow-countrymen, and whose crimes render them unworthy of belief as the abbat and brethren of Beccles can prove. Do not, therefore, if it please you, so hastily listen to the underhanded statements of such accusers; for they endeavour to blacken the fame of the king, that his enemies may have reason to say, 'The king finishes, like the devil, by confounding and destroying those who serve him, even those who serve him best in their offices'". The king was still more excited by this speech, and consigned Philip to the custody of the mareschal, saying, with a loud and threatening voice, "If I have exalted you and some others, and, as a favour, appointed you to high and profitable offices, you are so much the more strictly bound to serve me with fidelity, and you ought to be more severely punished for faults and offences". These were the same words he had made use of frequently to Robert Passeleve, when that person was kicking against his authority some years since. But Philip, who had done good to a great many people, was not without friends, and on finding some persons of high rank as securities for him until


he could establifih his innooence, he was set at liberty for a time, with the hope of finally being released entirely.

Of the committal of the sheriff of Northampton to prison.

The sheriff of Northampton, following in the track of his predecessor, William de Lisle, the late sheriff, and stimulated by avarice, inflicted injuries on several innocent persons, and a complaint having been made of his proceedings to Hugh Bigod, the chief justiciary, he was found guilty of perpetrating several deeds of iniquity and injustice, and just at the approach of the feast of the Blessed Mary's Nativity, he was seized and committed to close confinement, narrowly escaping with his life.

Of the death of Roger of Wickham.

About this time died Roger of Wickham, a special clerk and counsellor of the king, who held the office of justiciary, and used his utmost endeavours to give satisfaction to the king by carrying out his orders.

Of the death of William of Tarentum.

About this same time, also, died William of Tarentum, a brother of the Cistercian order, and a proctor and sort of seneschal of the queen. This man strayed widely from the rule of St. Benedict, and, instigated by an insatiable avarice, either sold or pledged all the domains and manors for the benefit of the queen, whereby he largely increased her possessions, but, by augmenting the losses and risks of others, damaged his reputation irreparably; and although religious men, especially those of his order, were blamed for, and reproached with, the said William's fault, as it redounded and threw scandal on the whole community, the queen made excuses, and palliated his fault, and thus allowed his errors to go on increasing for many years.

How messengers were sent to the pope on behalf of the community of England.

Special messengers were sent to the pope on behalf of the kingdom and the community of England at large, with orders to deliver their messages at once, and to return as quickly as possible, without waiting to listen to any arguments or discussions. One of these, Peter Branche, a most eloquent and pious man, died at Paris, which spread alarm and grief to the rest; but they continued their journey.

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determined to persevere in carrying out the object of their mission. Any one who is desirous of learning the object of their journey, and of seeing a copy of the document drawn up by the barons, may find them in the book of Additaments.

Of the treachery perpetrated against the Welsh.

On a certain occasion, whilst the English were holding a peaceful parley with the Welsh, finding their party to be more numerous and stronger than the latter, one of the English knights said to Patrick, who was their chief, "My Lord Patrick, you are a high baron of the king's, and our illustrious chief and protector; see, the Lord God of Hosts, the avenger, has delivered our enemies into our hands, for we are stronger and more numerous than the Welsh. Let us attack them unawares, and send them as prisoners to our lord the king, to whom that triumph will be most acceptable; but if you do not accede to my request, I will accuse you to the king of treason". When the English heard this plan proposed, they, especially the frontier people, whom we call "Marshmen", rushed suddenly on the Welsh, and thus treacherously slew many of them; but after a while the weight of the battle fell on these same marshmen, and great numbers of those traitors fell slain in their turn, and amongst them the aforesaid Baron Patrick. The coward who had counselled the perpetration of this deed of treachery, escaped, having fled stealthily from the field whilst the others were fighting fiercely. The leader of the Welsh in that bloody conflict was David, the youngest of three brothers, the sons of the great Llewellyn, whose many triumphs require to be particularly made mention of; but much has been previously said of him in this book in the proper place. Another of Llewellyn's sons, the second, whose name was also Llewellyn, was present at this battle, and conducted himself with great bravery against the English, following his father's example in every way, and proving himself to be no degenerate son. The other son, the eldest of the three, was kept a close prisoner.

Of the consecration of Godfrey as archbishop of York.

Near about the anniversary of the Nativity aforesaid, Master Godfrey of Kineton was consecrated at Rome as archbishop of York, having been found by the pope and all


his examiners to be a fit and commendable person for that office; and when he had properly settled the affairs of his church, he returned in proper time to take the government of it.

Of the archbishop of Canterbury's wish to administer holy orders in the church of St. Alban's.

The church of Lincoln being at this time vacant, the archbishop of Canterbury sent word to the abbat of St. Alban's that he proposed to come there and confer orders (if it was agreeable to the abbat) in the conventual church there. On receiving this intelligence, the abbat was alarmed lest his church should be deprived of its liberties in any way, and after taking counsel, resolved to oppose his wish. The archbishop, therefore, was told in reply, that he would not be received to do this on any account, as it was evident that the convent of St. Alban's was from times of old exempt, which ought to be no secret to him, and because he at that time held the government of the church of Lincoln, which was vacant, and which, it was well known, was excluded altogether from the liberty of St. Alban's. On hearing this, the archbishop quietly gave way, as he found that a perseverance in this matter would be of no avail; and he therefore conferred holy orders at Dunstable. He however asked to be received as a guest at St. Alban's out of hospitality; and accordingly, both on his going and on his return, he was received with kindness and respect, and richly supplied with food whilst there, with which he was well satisfied, and thanked them, at the same time blessing both entertainers and entertainment, and leaving their church and all its possessions undisturbed and uninjured.

Of the election of B. of Gravesend as bishop of Lincoln.

On the Monday next before Michaelmas-day, Master Benedict of Gravesend, dean of the church of Lincoln, was elected bishop of Lincoln, by the consent of all parties, as he seemed to them to be a praiseworthy person, and one not likely to neglect the interests of any of those under him.

Of the dedication of the church of Salisbury.

On the day after Michaelmas-day, the church of Salisbury was dedicated by Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of the king and a numerous body of the prelates,

306 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1258.

the bishop providing entertainment for all whom he could get together at the ceremony.

Of the deposition from office of Philip Lovel and some others.

About the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist in this year, Philip Lovel, the king's treasurer, was deposed from his office by the judgment of the barons, for the offence above mentioned, and John de Crachal, archdeacon of Bedford, was appointed in his stead. Philip, who grieved not so much at his deposition in itself, as at the act which was the cause of it, and at his fall from such a high position, offered the king a large sum of money to obtain a re-establishment of his good name, and to become a friend of the king, at least in appearance. In like manner, by the advice of the barons, and especially of the chief justiciary, several others were dismissed from their offices in the Exchequer, and others were appointed in their stead. Thomas of Wymondham, precentor of Lichfield, was appointed treasurer of the Exchequer, where briefs are sealed with the green seal

How a check was put upon the rapacity of the sheriffs.

The rapacity of the sheriffs was prudently and with good reason checked; for, mercenary beyond measure, they hitherto made a practice of extorting gifts from the inhabitants by any means, whether right or wrong, and supplanted each other in increasing their farms. They rode about with large retinues, and oppressed all the country people by their exactions, on manifold frivolous and unreasonable grounds. It was therefore decreed, that if any one, from that time forth, should secretly or openly give presents to them, the sheriffs, or any of them, for the sake of obtaining justice, or of impeding the due course of justice, unless such presents should consist of a moderate supply of food and drink, both the briber and the bribed should be severely punished.

Of the deputation sent from England to the parliament held at Cambray.

About the feast of St. Leonard, the community of the barons, who were then assembled at London, came to the resolution to send special messengers to the great secret parliament appointed to be held at Cambray between the kingdoms of France, England, and Germany, the king, by the advice of his barons, remaining in England the while. Those elected for the purpose of proceeding thither on behalf


of the king and the kingdom of England, were the bishops of Worcester and Lincoln; Roger Bigod, earl marshal, and the earl of Leicester; who crossed the Channel for the purpose, but could not bring matters to any result, as the French king purposely absented himself owing to the absence of the other king.

Of the consecration of B. of Gravesend as bishop of Lincoln.

On the Sunday after All Saints' day, the bishop of Lincoln was consecrated at Cambridge, and immediately afterwards he crossed the Channel as above stated, on the king's business. Thus he abandoned the church of Lincoln, although he was made bishop of the same, and did not visit it for a long time afterwards.

How Joanna, wife of William de Valence, demanded her dowry.

About the same time, whilst the king was still at London, Joanna, the wife of William de Valence, came to him, and in the presence of Hugh Bigod, the chief justiciary, and the barons, urgently demanded that justice should be done her, and that she should be allowed the dowry which belonged to her. After due deliberation on the matter, a portion of the lands which had belonged to her before she was married to the aforesaid William, was granted to her, that is to say, to the value of five hundred marks, which was out of her inheritance, although the aforesaid lands were valued at more than a thousand marks; for they feared that if more was allowed her, she would send the greater part of it to her husband, who was a public enemy of the kingdom; and they did not wish to take it all away from her, lest an innocent woman should be punished for another's fault.

How Manfred was crowned king of Apulia.

At this same time, too, the Roman court began to fall into low repute, inasmuch as the prelates and nobles of Apulia, contrary to the pope's wish, elected and crowned as their king, the emperor Frederick's son Manfred, who, as well as his whole family, was held in great contempt by the pope and the whole court of Rome. Moreover, the king of Apulia created bishops and archbishops without asking the pope's consent, and even against his wish, and all of them were unanimous, despite the papal prohibition, in showing greater obedience, and in paying more honour and respect

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to the said king than to the pope. The nobles, also, made no mention of Edmund, son of the king of England (to whom the pope had given the kingdom of Apulia, and who had been invested with the same by a ring delivered him by the bishop of Boulogne), but had done homage and sworn allegiance to this same Manfred, and given him full seisin and possession of their cities and castles. In consequence of this, the king of England complained, and with good reason, of the pope, for having, in conjunction with his cardinals, so improperly, and by such cunning pretexts, dragged away so much money from his kingdom, for the sake of obtaining this kingdom of Apulia, but all to no purpose: yet he, the said king of England, had received with all honour the pope's messengers who were sent to England; for instance. Brother John of Diva, Master [Bernard] of Sienna, the bishop of Boulogne, the archbishop of Messina, and a great many others, who had come as proctors for the purpose of expediting the business of his son Edmund in the matter of the kingdom of Apulia, and whom he had allowed to extort rich procurations from the religious orders. Moreover, at this same time, the citizens of Florence razed to the ground a certain castle which Cardinal Octavian had built, and which was an object of suspicion to them.

How the uncle of Brancaleone was appointed senator of Rome.

The senator Brancaleone dying, the Roman citizens, not troubling to obtain the pope's consent (though he asserted that even if it was as a simple citizen, his assent ought to be asked in the election of a senator), unanimously elected as their senator the uncle of the aforesaid Brancaleone, who was hateful to the pope as being a relation of Brancaleone. The people superstitiously enclosed the head of Brancaleone in a costly vase, and placed it with great pomp, as a relic, on a marble pillar, in memory of his valour and probity; for he was, as it were, a hammer to the proud and powerful, an exterminator of malefactors, a protector and defender of the poor, and a lover of truth and justice. Following his advice, which he had handed down to them as a sort of inheritance, they listened with obedience to the commands of the new senator, whom they had elected by the advice of the aforesaid Brancaleone, with the same readiness as they did to


those of his predecessor. All these proceedings the pope considered to be insults to himself and to the court of Rome; for immediately after the death of Brancaleone, he had sent special messengers to the Romans, forbidding them to elect any one as senator without his consent; but they treated the pope's message with contempt and derision, and at once solemnly elected the uncle of Brancaleone as senator in his stead, as above stated.

Of the death of Philip, prior of Westminster, who was elected abbat of that place.

At the end of October, Philip, prior of Westminster, who had been elected abbat of that said church, and was in daily expectation of the return of his messengers from the court of Rome, went the way of all flesh, to the great disturbance of the church and convent of Westminster; and thus, being deprived of his wished-for earthly dignity, he was gathered to the heavenly host.

Of a violent thunderstorm.

In the following month, that is to say, on the first night of December, a violent and awful storm of thunder and lightning, wind, and heavy rain, occurred; which all interpreted as a sad and lamentable omen, as thunder in winter usually prognosticated some evil to come.

Of the announcement of the deaths of several people made to the king at St. Alban's.

On the feast-day of St. Cecilia the Virgin, which fell on a Friday, the king went to St. Alban's, and remained there for the three following days, and on St. Catherine's day he caused the [image of] the martyr to be carried in solemn procession round the cloister, the brethren of the convent being richly clad, and he himself with his attendants following in procession, and devoutly and reverently making offerings. Whilst he was staying there, messengers arrived, announcing to him that Walter Comyn, the most powerful earl in Scotland, had yielded to fate, having died from the effects of a fall from his horse, which, stumbling over some obstacle in the road, threw him and broke his legs. Another message, too, was brought to him, announcing that John Fitz Geoffrey had gone the way of all flesh near Guildford. For him the king, before his departure, caused a solemn mass to be performed.

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Further information was also conveyed to the king, to the effect, that the aforesaid Brancaleone, the Roman senator ahove mentioned, had been taken from amongst us, to the great injury [of the city of Rome], and that his uncle was appointed in his stead.

Of the return of the archbishop of York, after being consecrated by the pope.

When the king left St. Alban's, he went towards Ely and St. Edmund's. Just at that time, too, the archbishop of York arrived in England from beyond the Alps, where he had been consecrated by the pope. On his arrival at London he caused his cross to be carried publicly before him through the midst of the city; then he went to the king, and was received with due honour by him; after which he set off for the north of England, and was received in his archdiocese, as father and pastor of the people, with great joy. A short time afterwards he appointed as dean of York, Master Roger of Holdemess, a clerk of St. Alban's, as a reward for his merits, and because he was himself a fellow-countryman of St. Alban, and in conferring his benefits studied to remunerate all according to their deserts.

Of the proscription and banishment of Guy de Rochfort.

About this same time, Guy de Rochfort, a Poitevin by birth, to whom the king had two years since given the castle of Colchester by charter, with the honours pertaining thereto, incurred the anger of the king and the barons, and was condemned to exile, and to suffer confiscation of all his property: for many and reiterated complaints were made against him, that he had much oppressed and injured the country people, especially those subject to him; but the very fact of his being a Poitevin had aggravated his offence more than any other faults of his.

Of the accusation brought against W. of Scotenny, who absconded.

Walter of Scotenny, seneschal of the earl of Gloucester, withdrew from the said earl, and concealed himself with some friends of his in some out-of-the-way places: for he was accused of having basely and treacherously administered poison to the earl his master, and his brother William, from the effects of which the latter died, and the life of the former was endangered. The accusation against him had more


weight from the fact that the aforesaid William, when at the point of death, declared that the said Walter of Scotenny was guilty of that act of treachery; and one thing was certain, which was, that soon after making this statement he died suddenly. However, the aforesaid Walter oftentimes offered to clear himself of the crime imputed to him publicly and in due form.

Of the imprisonment of W. de Bussey.

At this same time, William de Bussey, seneschal of William de Valence, and a most wicked man, was seized and committed to close custody in the Tower of London, for his base and iniquitous offences and crimes.

Of the departure of Joanna, wife of W. de Valence.

During the Advent of our Lord, the wife of William de Valence crossed the Channel to share in her husband's exile, being incited to do so, either by love for him, and a desire of being in his company, or by anger at the distribution of her lands, whereby she seemed to be reduced to poverty, although she was to receive four [1] hundred marks.

Of the dispute amongst the scholars of Oxford.

At this time, also, there arose a serious quarrel between the scholars of Oxford, who were natives of different countries, there being amongst them Scotchmen, Welshmen, and men from the north as well as the south of England; and the quarrel rose to such a pitch that (sad prognostic as it was) they displayed hostile banners, and the different parties attacked each other, killing and injuring one another in various ways.

How the Welsh desired to make peace with the king.

In the same year, too, the Welsh, notwithstanding their frequent victories over their opponents, prudently began to weigh future events in their minds, and taking counsel amongst themselves, said, "We know that the kingdom of England is in a very disturbed state, but when peace is established - a result the nobles of the country are trying to bring about - we shall not be able to resist them, as they will all unite in falling upon us. Let us consider, above all, that Llewellyn's brother, the eldest son of our Lord Griffin, who died in prison at London, is detained a prisoner, and if he is

[1] It is fivew hundred in page 307.

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released, he will be provoked to take vengeance; and that his other brothers, David and Edric, will also incline the same way, and we shall be divided and desolate. In this helpless state, if the English attack us, they will demand an account at our hands of the blood of their brethren, and will blot us out from the face of the earth, and crush us irreparably, like a clay pitcher". By common consent, therefore, they offered four thousand marks to the king, three hundred to Edward, and two hundred to the queen, on condition that all cause of dispute, offence, and discord, should be entirely forgiven on both sides, and that they should be allowed to enjoy their accustomed peace, tranquillity, and liberty. The king, on hearing this proposition, trusting to evil counsel, replied with anger, "What means this? One good man is of more value than the amount they offer for the required peace". Thus the demand made by the Welsh for peace remained unanswered; however, they waited quietly for peace, always declaring that, as had ever been their custom, they would defend themselves, would resist the attacks of their enemies, and sustain their own cause, like men, to the utmost of their power

Of the general disposition of events during the whole year.

This year throughout was very dissimilar to all previous ones, bringing disease and death, and heavy storms of wind and rain. Although in the summer-time a fair promise of abundant crops of corn and fruit was given, yet in the autumn the continual heavy rains spoiled the corn, fruit, and all kinds of pulse; and at the Advent of our Lord, in some parts of England, as above stated, the barns remained empty, and the crops remained ready to be cut, but entirely spoiled: for as the corn shot up, the ear and the straw rotted together, and as men died from the want of corn, so the cattle died from want of fodder; and though England was drained empty of money on many pretexts, yet the people were obliged, at the instigation of hunger, to pay sixteen shillings for a measure of corn, whilst still moist and shooting; and consequently the poor pined away with hunger, and died. The dying staggered away into different by-places to yield their last wretched breath; and of these there was such a great number, that the gravediggers were overcome with


weariness, and threw several bodies into one grave. The people of the middle class, seeing their food failing them, sold their flocks, diminished the number of their household, and left their land uncultivated, whereby all hope of rising from this abyss, which hope generally consoles those despairing, was entirely extingipshed. Had not corn been brought for sale from the continent, there is no doubt but England would have perished in herself.

Of the vision of a certain holy woman.

At this time a most manifest and terrible vision appeared to a holy recluse at St. Alban's, which was proved, as the archdeacon of the place was told for a fact, to be, not a dream, but a sort of oracle or a fearful threat from Heaven. The said recluse saw a person of advanced age and venerable appearance, whose beard gave him a stern aspect, standing in his parlour; from which place he seemed to withdraw in anger and to ascend a tower, whence turning a severe look towards the town he thundered forth in a threatening voice, "Woe, woe, to the dwellers upon earth", and he repeated this several times over and over again.

How R., king of Germany, wished to revisit England.

Anno Domini 1259, which was the forty-second year of the reign of King Henry the Third, the said king was at London at Christmas, where the nobles were deeply engaged in deliberating how, abiding by their salutary determination, they could comply with the expressed wish of Richard, king of Germany, who ardently longed, as they were informed, to come to England to visit his relatives and friends and his native land, and to look after his property; for they suspected that on his coming he would vent his anger and indignation on the barons, accusing them of now persecuting, and showing their hatred to, his brother, King Henry, as they formerly did to his father, King John; and of lately condemning his uterine brothers to exile, as though they had been guilty of the greatest crimes, whilst at the same time they were innocent. They moreover feared that he would make these same brothers of his common enemies of the kingdom, and would either bring them back with him by stealth, or would at some future time effect a reconciliation, and treacherously exhort them to return to England to

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trample it under-foot, which would tend to the greater ruin of the inhabitants, and would give rise to a new error worse than the former one. They likewise feared that he would impede and oppose their salutary resolutions for the arrangement of the affairs of the kingdom, and that after balking them in their designs, he would re-establish the old order of things, and punish them, the barons, one after another, and would finally disinherit them.

How a Jew was convicted of treason, and escaped punishment by being baptized.

As the time drew near when our Lord was born in the flesh, one of his creatures was re-born in the spirit. Elias the Jew, of London, who was surnamed Bishop, fearing that he was in danger of being condemned for some crime, fled to the font for safety and protection; for, being purified by the wholesome process of baptism, in company with two others, he was snatched from the ranks of the devil, and saved from the punishment due for a most base crime formerly perpetrated by him: for report stated that it was in his house that the poisonous liquor was made which had brought danger and death to many of the nobles of England, and it was said that he willingly allowed the transaction to be carried on. But at that time he was a demon; but being now changed to a Christian, his works were altered in accordance with his condition.

How a large sum of money was sent abroad through the cunning of the wife of W.de Valence.

A rumour was now also spread through the kingdom, that the king's brothers, whom fame had aspersed, as above stated, had, to the great loss and detriment of the kingdom, been enriched by a large sum of money, thanks to a woman's skill, and perhaps to written instructions of the Poitevins, by Joanna, wife of William de Valence, who left England with a large amount of money, instigated by love for her husband to follow him. According to report, the aforesaid Joanna, with womanly ingenuity, procured a large quantity of wool, which she caused to be securely packed up in sacks, and amongst this wool she hid a large sum of money. Then placing the sacks in some strong carts, as though it was only pure wool, she sent it into Poitou at a convenient


opportunity. Therefore, although it was stated by many that the money belonging to the aforesaid William was confiscated wherever it was stored up, it was evident from this proceeding that no reliance could be placed on such statement.

Of the death of Philip Lovel.

Whilst the festivities of Christmas were being kept up, in order that the joys of this world might not come unalloyed to mortals, Philip Lovel, a special counsellor of the king's, and formerly his treasurer, died on St. Thomas's day, at his church of Hamestable, through grief, as was stated, and bitterness of spirit, at not having reconciled himself to the king, whom he had formerly served. The king demanded from him an immense sum for the offence committed by him, according to report, in his royal forests; and when informed of Philip's death, he ordered all the property that had belonged to him to be confiscated, until his demand was satisfied.

Of the marriage of the French king's son Philip.

About this same time, in the year following, the French king's son Philip married the daughter of the king of Arragon.

Of the canonization of R., bishop of Chichester.

At this time, in the year immediately ensuing, Pope Urban inserted Richard, bishop of Chichester, in the catalogue of saints.

Of the election of H. of Wengham as bishop of Winchester.

At this same time, too, the monks of Winchester, finding that the king would not accept of any one whom they elected as bishop unless it was a particular friend of his own, especially since the banishment of his brother Aylmar, elected Henry of Wengham, the king's chancellor, as their bishop and pastor of their souls. He, however, considering his election to be an uncertain matter, and likely to cause litigation, would not consent to the election made of himself although he had no doubt of finding the king in his favour; for he declared that he was incompetent for such a high dignity, and to undertake the charge of souls; neither had he acquired proper distinction in the study of theology, and the other divine writings. At length, however, he gave some sort of consent, and was willingly accepted of by the king.

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though on the following condition; namely, that his brother Aylmar, the former bishop elect, if he could obtain from the pope the favour of consecration, should have the precedence of all others in being installed in the said church of Winchester; but if not, he, the said Henry, should be appointed in his stead, saving to his brother the right of retaining the wherewithal for his maintenance.

How a deputation was sent to meet Richard, king of Germany.

After holding a general conncii, at which much discussion took place concerning the coming of King Richard of Germany to England, [the barons] sent a special deputation to meet him, consisting of the bishop of Worcester, the abbat of St. Edmund's, Peter of Savoy, and John Mansell, who were to satisfy themselves as to the cause of his sudden and unexpected visit to England, and as to the length of his proposed stay there. Earl Simon, to the wonder of many, was still staying on the continent, so that the council of the barons was in a great measure incomplete, and they had great fears of some concealed plots. Amongst other things they feared that the king, although he assumed a placid and calm look, would condole with his exiled brothers, and would complain to his aforesaid brother, the king of Germany, that the English, after following up his father King John to the death with their fatal hatred, now in the same way persecuted his sons and grandsons, as if the angry feeling was transmitted to them as an inheritance; and injuries done to the king of England ought to be equally resented by the king of Germany. The nobles of England therefore proposed to demand an oath from the king of Germany, before he landed, that he would not in any way do injury to the kingdom of England, nor impede the general arrangement of affairs. But of what benefit would this be? for he would perhaps say afterwards that he was compelled to take the oath against his will. But as it was unknown to the generality of the people whether this would come to pass, I do not venture to determine the matter in this book; but it was generally reported that he took the oath, as above arranged, and gave letters patent in accordance therewith.

How the king set out to meet his brother Richard.

The king, in the mean time, hastened towards the


sea-coast, and was accompanied by a numerous body of the nobles, who, by way of caution, were well armed and mounted; for it was reported that the said Richard purposed to bring with him one or more of his brothers, whom they had banished by common consent, in order that, by thus annulling the decision in that matter, he might be able to restore them to their former position, which the barons would ill bear. The king caused a proclamation to be made by herald, at London, ordering the city to be cleared of all mud and filth, all blocks of wood, and everything offensive to the eyes of beholders to be removed, and the city to be hung with banners, draperies, and all the novel decorations of a festival.

The reply of Richard, king of Germany, to the deputation from the community of England.

To the special messengers thus sent by the community of England, the king of Germany, who was waiting on the coast at the other side of the Channel, and collecting a strong and numerous army, replied with a stern look and threatening tone, swearing by God's throat, "I will neither make the oath which you require, nor will I fix the term of my stay in England at your request": and he added, "I have not my peer in England; for I am the son of the late king, and the brother of the present one, and am also earl of Cornwall. If, therefore, the nobles of England wished to reform the condition of the kingdom, they ought in the first place to have sent for me, and not have so hastily and presumptuously attempted such a difficult matter without my presence and connivance". One of the deputation, who wished to make some reply to this speech, was restrained by a colleague; and his reply would have been to the following effect: "We have often appointed you to be our leader in effecting a reform in the condition of the kingdom, but, instigated by avarice, you have always endeavoured to entrap us by your cunning devices, when we were little expecting any proceeding of such kind, and were making it our whole study to improve the condition of the king as well as the kingdom; in consequence of which, the king recoiled from his wholesome resolutions, and injured all he could thereafter". To prevent, however, a quarrel arising from such reproaches, the deputation returned as soon as they could, being well satisfied of the

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excited state of the feelings of the king of Germany; for a large number of people, equipped in various ways, were awaiting him. When the result of the mission was announced to the English nobles on this side the Channel, they ordered ships and galleys to be collected from the Cinque Ports, as well as from all other ports, and having taken the precaution, previously to their coming to the coast, to provide themselves with arms and equipments, they prepared to meet the enemy, being inspired with a most eager desire to attack him. They were also encouraged to this by the fact, that when Louis, the son of the king of France, some time before invaded England, a very small number of ships belonging to the English had, contrary to all expectations, attacked and destroyed a powerful and numerous French fleet. They also assembled a large army of horse and foot-soldiers on the English coast, in order that, if the enemy should gain the advantage in a naval conflict (of which result they had, however, no fear), they might give them a bold and firm reception at the sword's point on the coast. These proceedings having been made known to Richard, king of Germany, by means of spies, he yielded to the advice of common friends, calmed his angry feelings, and declared by a deed in writing to give the oath that was required of him by the barons in their zeal for the welfare of the state.

Of the return of King Richard of Germany to England.

King Richard of Germany, then, accompanied by his queen, set sail for England, and landed at Dover on St. Julian's day. He entered England with a small and private retinue, consisting of two counts of Germany, who had only three knights with them; the king himself having eight knights in his train, and being accompanied by his queen and his son Edmund. Although they had landed, they were not allowed to enter the fortress of Dover, nor even was the king of England, for the nobles of England were still afraid to allow any one who had not taken the oath required to enter that castle, which was the principal barrier of England. The king, however, went to meet him on his landing, and received him with the greatest joy. They then partook of a banquet with the archbishop of Canterbury, and celebrated their meeting with festivity and rejoicing.


How R., king of Germany, swore to assist the nobles of England.

On the following day the nobles of England went into the chapter-house at Canterbury, respectfully conducting the kings of England and Germany, and ordered the text of the Gospel to be placed on the pulpit there. Richard, earl of Gloucester, then stood forth in the midst of them, and in a loud though respectful voice called the earl of Cornwall to him, addressing him, not as king of Germany, but by name, "Richard, earl of Cornwall", who, in obedience to the call, approached him respectfully and pronounced loudly and distinctly the oath imposed upon him, which was to the following effect:

The oath of Richard, king of Germany.

"Hear all of you, that I here swear upon the holy Gospels, that I, Richard, earl of Cornwall, will faithfully and diligently join with you in reforming the kingdom of England, heretofore too often disturbed by evil counsellors; and I will also effectively aid you in expelling the enemies and disturbers of the kingdom from it. And this oath I will inviolably observe, on pain of losing all the lands which I hold in England". All present then said, "That is sufficient; he is sufficiently bound to keep faith with us"; but the aforesaid earl [of Gloucester] replied, "We have been often injured in a similar case; he who has been once excommunicated always dreads boiling water. I am by no means sure but that we have done too little; but may the Almighty God forbid such to be the case".

How the nobles of Germany took their departure on their king's arrival at London.

On the day of St. Mary's Purification, the two kings and their queens, accompanied by a great many of the nobles of England, reached the city of London, which, in accordance with the orders above mentioned, had been properly cleared of filth, and richly decorated for the arrived of such great princes; and they were met, on their approach, by a large number of citizens, uttering shouts of welcome. The city indeed was so full of people that the pavements of the streets were entirely covered by the crowds assembled; and as Richard's uterine brothers were not in his train, as was

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suspected and threatened (they having been left on the continent), they gave vent to their joy with still greater eagerness. But they wondered much that the Germans should give him so much liberty, and allow him to go to England in company with his queen and his son, the objects most dear to him; that they had not retained at least one of them as a sort of a hostage; and that he, their lord and prince, had left his German people behind him to come so willingly amongst the English. But in a short time his fame began to diminish, and his power as a king to be little or not at all feared amongst the English; and in consequence of this the German nobles, who had hitherto remained in attendance on their king in England, considering that he was not in such high favour in England, and treated with the reverence due to kingly dignity, took their departure in anger, and hastened home, saying to themselves, "If his fellow-countrymen do not respect him, how is it to be expected that we can treat him with honour? We have what we have elected: money, rather than a man who will make money; a treasure amassed, rather than one who will amass it. But if he will give us all the money that he has left, we will not trouble ourselves any more with his personal presence". For their object was, as they had in a great measure done, to drain him of all the rest of his money.

Of the parliament held at London.

In the octaves of the Purification, the nobles of England assembled at London, as they had previously arranged, and the earl of Leicester, whose lengthened absence was a source of regret to all the people of England, who knew not what could have happened to him on the continent, came to this present council. One of the French king's secret counsellors, the dean of Bourges, was also present thereat. At this parliament much discussion took place concerning the business which had been agitated between the two kings of France and England, and as to what had been done and approved of in the same matter on the continent. The result of the discussion was, that within a short space of time, that is to say, on St. Valentine's day, peace was made and confirmed between them at London, on the following conditions; namely, that each party should, without dispute, observe all that had been


pre-arranged and determined between their special and solemn messengers, as will be fully stated hereafter in its proper place.

Of the capture and imprisonment of W. Scotenny and William Bussey.

At the beginning of March in this year, Walter Scotenny, the special and chief adviser and seneschal of the earl of Gloucester, was taken prisoner at London, on suspicion of having administered poison to the said earl, and to his brother William, from the effects of which the earl had narrowly escaped with life, whilst the said William died of the same. He had been before under the custody of sureties, but he was now taken to the Tower of London and placed in the closest confinement there. William Bussey, the seneschal and principal counsellor of the king's uterine brother William de Valence, was also made prisoner; and it would require a special narrative, were a full statement of his crimes to be given. After having been for some time kept in the custody of his sureties, he was now brought up for judgment before the judges; and as he could not satifactorily answer the charges made against him (for he was implicated in many crimes), he wanted to undo the fastenings of his coif, to show publicly that he had the tonsure of a clerk. He was not allowed to do so, however, but by order of the judges he was cruelly and violently hurried away, to be thrown into a worse place of imprisonment. The official who took him away seized him, not by the fastenings of his coif, but by his throat, and whilst dragging him to prison, said derisively, "If I do you injustice, who will do you justice"? These were the words which the aforesaid William generally made use to parties who frequently appeared before him to complain of injuries they had suffered, and to demand justice of him; on many occasions, too, he would say, "My lord the king's will is exactly in accordance with the will of my master William de Valence, but not vice versa". Thus he deigned not to show respect to the king or to any one of the nobles, nor justice to any one of the people, asserting that his master had obtained a privilege from the king that no brief in Chancery should be granted against him, and that he should not be obliged to answer to any injured party, whatever the offence might be, except at his own pleasure. Whilst this William,

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then, was being taken off to prison, all the people derided and insulted him for his intolerable pride, his inexorable tyranny, and his acts of plunder and injustice. Although these are too numerous to be all stated, we think it worth while to mention one in this book, that the rest may be imagined.

Of a detestable action of W. Bussey.

A young man was one day passing a lane in Trumpington, when a dog barked at him, and wishing to stop this, the yonng man carelessly threw a stone at the dog. The stone, slanting off to one side, killed a hen belonging to some poor woman, who happening to come out of her house, saw the occurrence, and raising a cry of complaint, brought many of the neighbours together round her. The young man humbly declared upon his oath, that the occurrence was purely accidental, and offered to pay the price of the hen, and twice that amount as a compensation for the offence given; but the wicked woman refused all his offers, and insisted on a more profitable revenge. An insolent retainer of William de Valence, assuming boldness from the high rank of his master, seized the innocent young man, and placed him in close confinement, where, in a few days, he died from his intolerable sufferings. The priest of the place having called the neighbours together, and become assured of the young man's innocence, buried his corpse in the cemetery, and performed the burial services over it as well as he could, after it had lain two or three days on a dunghill, where it had been thrown, and had become putrid. Three days afterwards, William Bussey happened to be passing, and hearing of what had been done, he ordered the body, which had been rotting for four days, to be dragged from the tomb and hung on a gibbet. All these cruelties, and other similar ones, were perpetrated without any judgment, but not without drawing down vengeance from the Lord. The wife of the deceased having made a complaint of this act of cruelty, is now prosecuting the accusation, and the Most Just Judge now rewards this most iniquitous one for his actions, by sentencing him to eternal perdition.


[Of the return] of William Horton, who had been sent to Scotland by the king of England.

About the 1st of March in this year, William Horton, a monk and chamberlain of the church of St. Alban's, returned from a distant part of Scotland, whither he had, a long while ago, namely about the feast of St. Catherine in the same year, undertaken a toilsome journey by order of the king, at the suggestion of his counsellors, and with the permission of his abbat; for he had been intrusted by the king, queen, and nobles of England, with some difficult and private matters of business, which he was ordered to announce to the king, queen, and nobles of Scotland; and on his arrival there, he found the king, the queen, and the nobles of that country assembled at a parliament, according to his desire. He then explained the cause of his journey, and presnted his credentials; after which he, in the name of the king, queen, and barons of England, earnestly begged the king and queen of Scotland to go to England without fail, for the purpose of hearing and discussing some matters which required careful and secret deliberation. Although the assembly offered many objections, and threw many obstacles in the way, yet, after much discussion, William, by urgently pressing his request, induced them to give their consent to what he wished. They therefore gave William their letters patent, sealed with the king's seal, as well as that of all the nobles of Scotland, and addressed to the king and the whole community of England, whereby they freely consented to act according to their wish, provided that the king and nobles of England would give them security in the matter of the document in writing, faithfully promised to them previously. They moreover sent letters to the king, queen, and nobles of England, commendatory of the discreet and unwearied diligence of the said William in the business intrusted to him; and immediately after his departure, they sent a special and solemn deputation into England, comprised of the earl of Buchan, Master William the chancellor, and Lord Alan, porter [of the palace], to arrange the aforesaid matter more completely with the king of England and his council. These persons, on their arrival, had an interview with the aforesaid William,

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who had preceded them to England, but did not, when they returned home, leave any information in public concerning the arrangement of the matter in question between the king and the community of the kingdom.

Of the death of Thomas, formerly count of Flanders.

At this time also died Thomas, ex-count of Flanders, who had extorted from the simple-minded king and queen so many thousand marks, all of which money was wasted like seed sown on the seashore, as was also much of the other moneys, which was distributed amongst, and seized on by foreigners, to the injury and loss of the kingdom. He had also, without any cause, inflicted great injury on the church of St. Alban's, and had promoted discord between it and the king. He was poisoned, according to report, on the continent, and departed from this life to reap the reward of his ways.

How a deputation was sent to the French king's parliament.

About the 1st of April, by order of the king of England, on the advice of his barons, the earls of Clare and Leicester, John Mansel, Peter of Savoy, and Robert Walerann, set out for the continent, in order to be present at the great parliament to be held in France by the king of that country, and to arrange several matters of difficult concerning the two kingdoms of France and England. They took with them a charter from the king of England, relative to the giving up of Normandy, and also letters credential, authorizing them to make terms with the king of France and his council, concerning the matters so long in agitation between the two kings and their kingdoms, in order that the previous agreements made, as above stated, between skilful and specially appointed messengers, might be firm and infrangible. But as, owing to the dispersion of the said deputies, nothing was published as to what was done in this matter, no reliable statement can be made thereupon in this book.

How the Preacher brethren took possession of Dunstable.

At this same time, also, a house with the domain thereto adjoining, in Dunstable, having been given out of charity to the Preacher brethren, some of that sect eagerly, though


privately, forced their way into the same, to the great injury of the prior and convent of Dunstable. They were encouraged to this by the example of the Minor brethren, who obtained a place of abode at St. Edmund's, much against the will, and to the no small injury of that house, and had built such costly domiciles there, that all who beheld them were struck with amazement at the sudden expenditure of so much money by those poor brethren; persons who professed voluntary poverty. The aforesaid brethren having gained their entry into the place suddenly and by force, erected an altar, and without waiting for leave of any one, performed divine services there. They were, in fact, emboldened by the facility with which they obtained whatever privileges they wished, and by the protection afforded them by Cardinal Hugh, a brother of their order, which was of great weight. Day after day they erected buildings, and endeavoured to increase their possessions, to the great detriment of the house of Dunstable, by raising contributions amongst the neighbouring places, from which the prior and convent ought to receive revenues. The more the Preacher brethren increased their buildings and enlarged their possessions, so much the more were the possessions and rights of the prior and convent diminished; because the revenues which they had received from the messuages now given to the Preacher brethren, were now lost to them, and these newly-come brethren, by their urgent preachings, entirely usurped the offerings which had been usually given to them.

Of the death of the countess of Boulogne.

In the first week in Lent of this same year, died the countess of Boulogne, through whose tyranny so many thousand human beings were slain a few years back; and she now went to reap the fruits of her ways.

How two new senators were created at Rome, who commenced hostilities against the one lately appointed.

At this time, in consequence of the destruction of the fortifications of the city of Rome, the citizens assembled together in a state of furious anger, and created two new senators, who collecting a large force, composed of the

326 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1259.

middle classes of Rome, commenced hostilities against the lately-appointed senator, the uncle of Brancaleone, and besieged him in a castle of the city, with the determination of seizing him and cutting him to pieces. He, however, trusting to the oath of allegiance given to him, and relying on the hostages which he had in keeping in his native city of Bologna, defended himself with vigour, to prove that he did not degenerate from the noble spirit of his nephew and predecessor. Thus Rome was in a great measure worn away and consumed in itself internally.

Of the quarrels which arose in three universities.

In this same Lent a very serious quarrel broke out at Oxford and Cambridge, in consequence of a person convicted of murder having been released by force by the clerks, who had broken his prison open, and carried him off to a chturch for protection. The university of Paris also was greatly disturbed by the Preacher and Minor brethren; in fact, so many orders sprang up, that the one sect supplanted the other, and the people had not the means to support them by their alms.

Of the disagreement between the earls of Gloucester and Leicester.

At this time, also, whilst all were diligently employed, during the suspension of the parliament, in making beneficial statutes and ordinances, some angry words passed between the earls of Gloucester and Leicester, and the latter being enraged at the other earl wavering in his adherence to their proposed plans, gave utterance to the following speech: "I do not care to live or hold communicatian with people so fickle and deceitful. For we have all joined in promising and swearing to carry out the plans which we are discussing. And as for you, my lord earl of Gloucester, the higher your position is above us all, so much the more are you bound to carry these wholesome statutes into effect"; and soon after making this speech he left England. The earl of Hereford, and other nobles their compeers, on hearing this speech, intimated to the earl of Gloucester, that the earl of Leicester had gone away through him, and that he ought to be recalled and pacified as soon as possible, instead of being provoked by such injuries, in order that he might stand by his

A.D. 1259.] BATTLE AT ACRE. 327

colleagues; also, that he, the earl of Gloucester, ought faithfully to fulfil his oaths by acquiescing in their statutes and resolutions, and make reforms in his domains in accordance with them, otherwise they would punish him for his dissimulation. This frightened the said earl, who sent his seneschal Herwin throughout all his domains, with orders to see that justice was observed according to the statutes, and that everything should be arranged without delay, in accordance with the terms of his late promise. Thus the tempest was appeased in a great measure; and although the earl of Leicester still remained on the continent, yet, in consequence of this amendment, more confident hopes were entertained of his return.

Of the impediments in the way of establishing peace between the kings of France and England.

The above-mentioned arrangements for peace between the kings of France and England, which had been intrusted to the management of several special messengers of great influence, just now received an unexpected check, just as it was thought they were on the point of being brought to a satisfactory termination. For the countess of Leioester would not on any account give up quiet possession, of her portion of Normandy, which the king of England was to resign to the king of France, according to the terms of their agreement. It was in consequence of this that the earl of Gloucester hurled insulting speeches at the earl of Leicester, who repaid his offensive speeches by others as sharp and severe; and the matter was nearly terminating in bloodshed; but they were restrained by common friends, in order that the French might not have cause to rejoice from the circumstance. And thus the deputies returned, without accomplishing their object, amidst the ridicule of the French.

Of the battle between the Templars and Hospitallers.

About the same time, too, at Acre, the Templars, the brethren of St. Lazarus and St. Thomas, the Hospitallers and their partisans in that neighbourhood, besides some others, consisting of Genoese and Pisans, quarrelled among themselves in the Holy Land, and those who were usually considered the legitimate defenders of the Church, now proved

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themselves to be the most bloodthirsty destroyers of peace, of each other, and of the said Church. The Hospitallers, to a man, rose against the Templars, in consequence of some deadly feud between them, and, after losing a very large number of their own body, entirely destroyed them; indeed, on the side of the Templars scarcely one man escaped, whilst a great many of the Hospitallers still survived. Never, indeed, was such a pitiable slaughter mentioned to have occurred amongst Christians, especially religious men. In consequence of this calamity, all the Templars who remained in the Holy Land held counsel together in these urgent drcumstances, and, according to report, sent word in all haste to the whole of the brethren of their order, who were dwelling in the houses of the order in all countries, that they were to place those who were necessary for the purpose to take care of each house, and, laying aside all pretext for delay, to come with speed to the Holy Land, to repair, in some measure, the void their houses at Acre, occasioned by the destruction of so many of their brethren there, and also to take a fearful vengeance on the Hospitallers, by force of arms. Great fears were in consequence entertained throughout the world, that unless the Almighty should appease their anger, the peace and stability of Christendom would, in a great measure, be destroyed through their extreme fury.

How the pope secretly obtained the imperial dignity for Earl Richard, whilst the latter was in England.

In the mean time, whilst the king of Germany was peaceably dwelling in England, an easy road was being prepared for him to obtain the imperial dignity; and this was done by the pope himself, clandestinely and with deep cunning, that he might not openly show himself an opponent of the king of Spain. The king of Germany, however, remained quietly in England, in order to amass more money, and thus to guard against future times of necessity. The nobles of England in the mean time prudently devoted themselves to carrying into effect the resolutions they had come to, and troubled themselves little or nothing whether the aforesaid king stayed or went away, and unanimously gave their whole attention to destroy evil customs, and acts of injustice and corruption.


Of a severe pestilence, and the death of Fulk, bishop of London.

In the same [year], when the sun was entering the sign of Cancer, an unexpected pestilence and mortality fell upon mankind; and, to say nothing of the great numbers that, died in other places, in Paris alone more than a thousand human beings were consigned to the tomb. Oil, wine, and corn also were spoiled. As the two-handed sword of death, which spares no one, strikes sometimes one and sometimes another, and hurries from the world the rich and the poor alike, so Fulk, bishop of London, died during that deadly pestilence. That prelate was a man of noble disposition and of of high family; and had he not some little while previously wavered in giving his support to the general arrangements of the kingdom, he would have been considered the anchor of stability and the buckler of defence to the whole kingdom. Finally, he was buried with due solemnity, on St. Urban's day, in St Paul's church, at London, he being the father and pastor of that church.

Of the condemnation of W. Scotenny.

In the same week, Walter Scotenny, formerly chief seneschal of the earl of Gloucester, who was accused of poisonings and who had been made prisoner and committed to close confinement in three counties, especially at Winchester, offered to clear himself of the charge. But what was lamentable both to relate and to hear, was, that the very circumstance which gave him the greatest confidence in being set at liberty, was the cause of a verdict of condemnation on him; for those who were required to give true evidence in court as to what they knew in the matter, replied, "As we never knew or heard that the aforesaid William de Valence, or any one of his brethren, were indebted in any way to the said Walter; but as we are well and truly assured that the said Walter had lately received a very large amount of money from the aforesaid William; we, therefore, are more inclined to think that this money was paid to him for having administered the poison to his lord the earl, to William de Clare his brother, and to many others, as above mentioned, to satisfy the vengeance of the exiled parties, and not on account of any other debt previously contracted between

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them; and we are more confirmed in this opinion by the fact that William de Clare, when he found that he was poisoned, and approaching death, publicly said, 'Know all of you that it is Walter Scotenny who has oonsigned me to the jaws of death'". On this he was found guilty by his judges of this act of treachery, and was dragged to Winchester and hung on a gibbet.


It should be known that hereto this work has been written, by the venerable brother Matthew Paris, and although the handwriting may vary, yet as the same style of composition is observed, the whole is ascribed to him; but what is hereafter written and added, is to be attributed to another brother, who presumed to attempt, and unworthily to carry out, the work of his great predecessor, although he was not worthy to unloose the latchet of his shoe and his name even is not mentioned in this book.


[The author of the "Witnesses of the Truth" mentions this Supplement, and ascribes it to a brother of the same convent; Balaeus (pp. 326, 376, and 377) attributes it to William Rishanger, monk of St. Alban's.]

Of the arrangement between the kings of England and France for the restoration of the former king's continental territories, on his paying a sum of money.

In this same year, King Henry (the third of that name since the Conquest), being in the forty-third year of his reign, crossed over to France, and demanded from the French king the restitution of the territories unjustly taken from his father John, by Philip the grandfather, and Louis the father, of him the said king of France, and which he still unjustly detained possession of; but the French adduced many arguments against the king of England, and one especially was that the gift of Normandy in times of old was not a voluntary one, but had in the first place been extorted by force from the French king by Duke Rollo. As the king had not the courage to regain his lost territory by force of arms, nor money enough to collect an army, and above all, as he saw that his subjects were on the point of rising against him, he accepted of the following conditions of peace, being in some measure compelled to do so. These conditions were, that the duchy of Normandy and the county of Anjou should remain in the peaceable possession of the French king, for which he was to pay the king of England three hundred thousand small pounds of Tours; and in addition, he promised to restore some lands in Gascony producing twenty thousand pounds of yearly revenue. By this agreement, also, the king of England fully and unreservedly abandoned his claims to all the territory then in the French king's hands, and from that time forth he abbreviated his

332 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1259.

titles in his letters, no longer styling himself either duke of Normandy or count of Anjou.

Of the excommunication of Manfred.

At this same time, Manfred, son of Frederick, caused himself to be crowned king of Sicily, on receipt of the false report of the death of his nephew Conradin. Pope Alexander on this excommunicated him as an invader of the kingdom and a favourer of the Saracens, and by a judicial sentence deprived him of all honours and dignities.

Of the oppressive domination of foreigners in England.

At this time, through the infatuation and idleness of the king, England was oppressed in many ways by the domination of the Poitevins and Romans; especially of Aylmer, bishop elect of Winchester, William de Valence, the king's uterine brother, and Peter of Savoy, the queen's uncle, who treated the religious men of the kingdom, as well as seculars, with great disrespect and incivility. If any one who had suffered an injury went to the said William's seneschal to ask justice, he received some such answer as the following: "If I do you an injury, who will do you justice? The king's wish is in accordance with that of my master, but not the reverse". And thus they showed no respect either to the king or to any one of the nobles. In those days, too, the Romans and their legates lorded it in England, causing much injury to laymen as well as ecclesiastics in the matter of the advowsons of churches, providing their own friends with rich vacant benefices at pleasure, setting themselves up in opposition to bishops, abbats, and other religious men, and involving them in the sentence of excommunication. The nobles, in consequence, indignant at such acts of pride, bestirred themselves, late though it was, to apply a remedy, and compelled the foreigners to fly the kingdom, as will fully appear in the following pages. They did not, indeed, drive them all away, but took especial care to banish the Poitevins.

Of the death of Pope Alexander and the succession of Pope Urban the Fourth.

In the year of grace 1260, which was the forty-fourth year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the king was at London at Christmas with a host of


foreigners. In this year Pope Alexander died, and was succeeded by Urban the Fourth, who had formerly been patriarch of Jerusalem. After his coronation, he, with the aid of the Crusaders, put to flight an army of Romans, which Manfred had forcibly introduced into the patrimony of St. Peter. He gave the kingdom of Sicily to the French king's brother Charles, but on the condition that he should drive Manfred from the kingdom; and from that time the kings of Sicily began to bear the arms of the king of France.

Of the death of a Jew in a privy through superstition.

About this same time, at Tewkesbury, a Jew fell into a privy, and out of respect for his sabbath, on which day the accident happened, would not allow himself to be extricated till the following day, which was Sunday; and in consequence he died, being suffocated by the foul stench. In this year a disagreement arose between the king and the nobles of the kingdom, in consequence of the non-observance by the former of the provisions made at the parliament held at Oxford; and above all, because he, the king, imprudently exalted and prodigally enriched foreigners, who were neither useful nor faithful to the kingdom. In consequence of this, the nobles leagued themselves together, and ordered William de Valence and his fellows to leave England never to return, as will be more fully stated hereafter.

How the king was absolved from his oath by the pope.

The king, who, with his eldest son Edward and the barons, had sworn inviolably to observe the provisions made at Oxford, already repented having taken such an oath, and fearing that he should incur the charge of perjury, if he did not observe them, sent privately to the pope, begging him to absolve him from his oath; which favour he very easily obtained.

How the justiciaries met with a repulse at Hereford.

At this time, the justices in Eyre of the king of England were sent to Hereford to fulfil the duties of their office, but were not allowed to enter the city, the chief men of that part of the country alleging that their coming there was contrary to the terms of the provisions lately made at Oxford; and thus they returned without accomplishing their errand.

334 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1260.

Of the slaughter of the Florentines.

About the same time, the Florentines who had leagued together to destroy the city of Sienna, were defeated by the soldiers of Manfred and by Count Jordan, who favoured the cause of Manfred, their city being taken and partly destroyed; and they themselves compelled to submit to the domination of Manfred and the Siennese.

Of the war in Hungary.

About the same time, a severe battle was fought between the kings of Hungary and Bohemia, on account of certain territories. The Hungarians being defeated, took to flight, and numbers of them fell by the sword, but a far greater number were drowned in a river which they were obliged to cross in their flight. The king of Bohemia then entered the kingdom of Hungary, whereupon the king of that country restored the territory he had usurped, made peace, and by means of a matrimonial alliance, fnendship was firmly established between the two kings for the future.

Of the expulsion of the Poitevins from Ebgland.

At this time, Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, Richard Clare, earl of Gloucester, Nicholas Fitz John, John Fitz Geoffrey, and many nobles in league with them, assembled at Oxford, properly equipped with horses and arms, and fully and finally resolved in their minds either to die for the peace of the country, or to banish the disturbers of peace from the country. There had also come together at the above-mentioned place, Aylmar, bishop elect of Winchester, William de Valence, and other Poitevins and foreigners, who were attended by a great crowd of satellites and partisans. The nobles wished to call these latter to justice for their evil actions, and at the same time to join them in swearing to observe the provisions and statutes made for the benefit of the kingdom; but as the foreigners found themselves deficient in courage, and were affraid to submit to judgment, they fled by night to the castle of Winchelsea. Thither, however, they were pursued by the barons, who compelled them to give up the castle, and to leave the kingdom immediately.

Of the accusation made against the Poitevins before the pope.

The nobles, however, fearing that, if the bishop elect of


Winchester should go to Rome, and, by means of his money, advance his cause there, he would be more capable of doing harm, sent four knights of good eloquential powers to the Roman court These knights were ordered to deliver to the pope and cardinals a letter, sealed with their seals, in which was contained an account of the crimes perpetrated by the aforesaid bishop elect and his brethren, and a statement of the murders, acts of robbery, and various other injustice and oppressions by which they had crushed and injured the people of the country.

How England was released for a time from the Roman extortioners.

The aforesaid nobles, moreover, ordered the religious men who farmed the churches of the Romans, not to hold themselves responsible for their farms to the said Romans, but to give an account of the said farms and their revenues to the proctors of them, the barons, on a day and at a place previously appointed by them. They informed them also, that if they did otherwise, their goods would be consigned to the flames, and they would incur in their own persons the peril which was menacing the Romans. They gave the same order to the bishops, prohibiting any of them from interfering in the matter of the Romans or their revenues, on pain of punishment, as above mentioned. By this arrangement of the barons, England remained undisturbed by extortioners for nearly three years, until the above-mentioned Simon de Montfort succumbed to death, which he did, crowned with martyrdom, as was generally believed.

How the king shut himself up in the Tower of London.

In the year of grace 1261, which was the forty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the king was at Christmas in the Tower of London with the queen. He had, in fact, been led away by the evil counsels of certain persons from the fulfilment of the compact which he had made with the nobles, and now thought of openly manifesting his angry feelings. For that purpose he shut himself up in the Tower of London, broke open the fastenings of the places which contained treasure, long stored up there, and distributed the money wastefully. He also hired a number of workmen to repair and fortify the said tower in the parts most favourable for defence; and moreover, he

336 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1261.

ordered the gates round the city of London to be strengthened with locks and bars. He then convoked all the inhabitants of the city from twelve years old and upwards, and made them all swear fidelity to him, a herald at the same time proclaiming, that all who would fight for the king were to come at once, and they would be supported at his expense. The barons, on hearing this, flocked together from all quarters, with large bodies of troops, and took up their quarters outside the city, as they were absolutely refused permission to dwell in it.

Of the deputation from the barons to the king.

At this time a letter of absolution was obtained, releasing the king and his son Edward from the oaths they had made as we have mentioned above; but Edward refused to accept of or profit by this absolution, whilst the king persisted in his obstinacy. When the nobles heard that the king was thus absolved, they sent messengers to him, humbly begging him to preserve inviolate the oath he had taken in common with them, and stating that if anything displeased him, he was to point it out to them for amendment. The king, however, would not in any way accede to their request, but harshly and threateningly replied, that, as they had fallen off from their agreement, he would no longer yield to their wishes, but that henceforth each of them must provide for his own defence. At length, however, by the mediation of some persons, the matter was arranged, it being agreed that two parties should be chosen - the one on behalf of the king, the other on that of the barons - who should themselves select a third; and that these three parties should hear the complaints on both sides, and arrange a firmly-based peace between them. But the present matter was put off by agreement till the arrival of Edward, who was then on the continent.

Of the confederacy against the evil counsellors.

Edward, who heard of these occurrences in a distant country, immediately returned home, that the establishment of peace might not be delayed by his absence, and brought with him William de Valence, who had lately been expelled from the kingdom. Indeed he could not now obtain admission into the kingdom until he had taken an oath to obey the provisions


and statutes of the barons in all points, and, if necessary, to answer to the complaints which should be laid against him. When Edward, after his arrival, was informed of the frivolous plans of the king, he was much enraged, and did not present himself to his father, but joined the party of the barons in accordance with his oath. An agreement on oath was then made between them that they would find out these evil counsellors of the king and their abettors, and keep them at a distance from the king as far as lay in their power. The king becoming aware of this, immediately betook himself with his counsellors into the Tower of London, his son Edward remaining outside with the nobles.

Of the expulsion of the emperor Baldwin from Constantinople.

In this year, Baldwin, emperor of the Greeks, with the French and Latins, was expelled by the Greeks with the assistance of the Gonoese and Venetians. Thus having recovered their kingdom, the Greeks appointed as their emperor one from amongst themselves, named Palaeologus. Baldwin took to flight, and remained an exile in France.

Summary of the year.

This year throughout was one of fear to England, and of disquiet to the king and the barons; productive of joy to the Greeks, and hateful to the Latins. It was tolerably productive in fruit, and mild in temperature.

How the king of England left the Tower of London.

In the year of grace 1262, which was the forty-sixth year of the reign of King Henry, the said king, at Christmas, was in the Tower of London, in company with his queen and his counsellors, who were neither useful nor faithful to him, and who, fearing that violence would be attempted against them, took the precaution to keep within the walls. At length, however, by the intervention of the queen, they made their peace with some of the nobles, although with some difficulty, and the kiss of peace was exchanged. Upon this, the king showed himself with more confidence outside the Tower, and leaving John Mansell in charge of it, he hurried to Dover, and entered the castle there, without admission being either offered or denied him. Then, for the first time, the king, found out that he was imposed upon by falsehood and deceit, when he saw that castle, so carefully guarded

338 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1263.

by the barons, so readily open for his ingress. The custody of that castle the king intrusted to E. (?) Walerann, and hastened to the castle of Rochester, and then to some other fortresses, and in all them found free ingress and egress at his pleasure.

How the king, relying on the pope's absolution, publicly drew back from his oath.

The king now conceiving himself in security, determined openly to withdraw from the oath he had made, as he was absolved from it by the pope. He therefore boldly went the round of the cities and castles, as he wished to possess full authority over them and the whole kingdom; and this he was mostly encouraged to do by the fact that the king and his nobles had lately promised to aid him with a strong force. On coming to Winchester, he deprived of their offices the justiciary and chancellor lately appointed by the barons, and appointed new ones at his own pleasure. On hearing of this the barons hastened, well armed, and in great forces to Winchester; but John Mansell, foreseeing this, went privately to the king warned him of his danger, and compelled him to return in haste to the Tower of London.

This year was throughout tolerably productive of corn and fruit; and was fraught with deceit and falsehood to the English.

How the king. and the nobles of England submitted to the arbitration of the king of France.

In the year of grace 1263, which was the forty-seventh of the reign of King Henry, the Third of that name since the Conquest, the king spent Christmas in the Tower of London, with his queen and counsellors. At this time, endeavours were made by the prelates of England, as well as of France, to re-establish peace between the king of England and the barons, and the result was, that the king and the nobles submitted themselves to the arbitration of the king of France, both as regarded the aforesaid provisions made at Oxford, and also the acts of injury and depredation, committed on each other.

How the king of France gave his decision against the barons of England.

On the morrow of St. Vincent's day, an immense number of people assembled at Amiens, when Louis, king of France,


in the presence of the bishops, counts, and others of the French nobility, solemnly gave his decision in favour of the king of England against the barons - "Entirely annulling the statutes, provisions, ordinances, and obligations determined on at Oxford; excepting the one concerning the old charter of King John of England, which was granted to the community at large"; which he did not by such sentence intend to invalidate in any way. This exception confirmed the earl of Leicester and others who had a quick sense of perception in their purpose of firmly adhering to the statutes made at Oxford, which had that charter for their foundation.

At this time, too, the king's enemy Llewellyn, prince of Wales, carried slaughter and pillage into the territory of King Henry's son Edward.

Of the return of the king and his attendants from the French parliament.

At this time, those who had been present at the French king's parliament, returned home; and amongst the rest, Henry, king of England, and his queen, Eleanor; Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury; Peter, bishop of Hereford; and John Mansell; who continued unceasingly to plot all the mischief they could against the barons. From that time, indeed, arose a new error, worse than the former one; for many of the nobles perjured themselves, and withdrew from their allegiance to the earl of Leicester, who was contendingfor justice. Henry, the son of the king of Germany, having received the honour of Tikhel, which was conferred on him by the king's son Edward, went to the chief of the leagued barons and said, "My lord earl, I cannot any longer fight against my father, the king of Germany, my uncle, the king of England, and my other relatives: with your consent and permission, therefore, I leave you, but I will never bear arms against you". To this the chief replied cheerfully, "My lord Henry, it is not on account of your arms that I grieve, but for the inconstancy which I see in you. Go, therefore, and return with your arms, for I fear them not in any way". At that same time, too, Roger de Clifford, Roger Leyburne, John de Vaux, Aimon L'Estranges, and many others, blinded by presents, withdrew from the allegiance which they had sworn in common to the barons.

340 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1264.

How Roger Mortimer commenced hostilities against the barons.

At this time, Roger Mortimer, a partisan of the king's, rose against the earl of Leicester, and pillaged his lands and farms. The chief of the barons' party, however, having formed a friendship and alliance with Llewellyn, prince of Wales, sent a considerable army to that quarter, which invaded the territory of the said Roger, and destroyed and burned his property. At the same time, Edward besieged and took the castles of Haye and Huntingdon, held by Humphry de Bohun; he also took the castle of Brecknock, and delivered all of them to the custody of the said Roger. About the same time, Robert Ferrers, earl of Derby, who did not take part with either the king or the barons, and who, so to speak, was not included in the number of the barons, did much harm; for, at the head of a strong force, he took Worcester, entered that city, destroyed Judaism there, plundered religious men and seculars alike, wherever they were met with, destroyed the king's parks, and perpetrated many other offences, for which he was afterwards made prisoner, brought to trial, and committed to prison at London. Edward, the king's son, about this time, took the city and castle of Gloucester by a ruse, and out of hatred to the barons, compelled them to ransom the place by payment of a thousand pounds.

Of the proceedings of the barons.

In the year of grace 1264, which was the forty-eighth of the reign of King Henry, the Third of that name since the Conquest, the said king was at London at Christmas, in company with his queen, Richard king of Germany, and many others. About the same time, Simon de Montfort, the leader of the barons, plundered the property of the king's adherents, especially of those foreigners who were allied by blood to the queen, and were introduced into England by her. Some of the partisans of the barons took Peter, bishop of Hereford, a Burgundian by birth, in his cathedral church, and carried him away to the castle of Ordeley, (?) after making an equal division of his money amongst themselves. After this, an army under the command of Simon de Montfort proceeded to Gloucester, besieged the castle for four days, and made


prisoner, with but little trouble, of the governor of it, Matthew de Besille, a foreigner, but a bold and brave knight, who was taken to the same place of confinement as the bishop. They then marched to Worcester, and Burgh or Shrewsbury, which they entered and took possession of with slight difficulty. The earl then proceeded, with the army of the barons, to the eastern parts of England, entered the isle of Ely in great force, and reduced all that district to submission to him. The king and queen, all this time, were staying at London; and about this time, their special clerk and counsellor, John Mansell, the richest man in the world, according to report, clandestinely fled from the Tower of London, fearing the fury of the barons. At this time, too, Henry, the son of the king of Germany, who favoured the cause of the earl and the barons, was made prisoner by the agents of the king. In the mean time, the king's son Edward arrived from the continent, and garrisoned Windsor Castle with some foreign soldiers whom he had brought with him a short time previously.

Of the sudden breaking off of the peace.

The king, fearing that he woidd be close pressed in the Tower of London by the army of the barons, made peace for a time with them by the agency of some timid people, and promised to observe the provisions made at Oxford; but the queen, instigated by woman's malice, did all in her power to prevent his doing so. In consequence of this conduct, when, on one occasion, she wished to go to Windsor by way of the Thames, and had embarked in a vessel for the purpose, a mob of the lower orders of the city assembled on a bridge under which she would have to pass, received her on her approach with mingled insults and curses, and by throwing mud and stones into the vessel, compelled her to return to the Tower. A form of peace was concluded between the king and the earl and barons, on the following conditions, namely, that "in the first place, Henry, the son of the king of Germany, should be released from confinement; that all the king's castles throughout all England should be delivered into the charge of the barons; that the provisions made at Oxford should be inviolably observed; that within a certain time all foreigners should evacuate the kingdom, excepting

342 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1264.

only those who should be allowed by the common consent of the barons to stay in the kingdom, on giving a promise to observe good faith; and that henceforth, natives of the country, who would keep good faith, and look to the advantage of the kingdom, should dispose and arrange the business thereof, under the direction of the king.

Of the fortification of Windsor Castle.

A little while after the conclusion of this treaty, notwithstanding the agreements, promises, and oaths made, some knights of the king's party laid in a large stock of arms and provisions in Windsor Castle. The king's son Edward, just at this time, went to the castle of Bristol, where a quarrel arose between his knights and the people of the city, and the latter made preparations to besiege the castle. Edward, in alarm, sent for Walter, bishop of Worcester, who took part with the barons, in order that he might go in safety, under conduct of that prelate, to his father's court; and he promised to persuade his father and his counsellors to adopt peaceable measures. He thereupon set out with the bishop, but on approaching Windsor Castle, he entered it, which much chagrined the bishop, who had suspicions of him.

How Windsor Castle was given up to Earl Simon.

Earl Simon was just then approaching to lay siege to that castle, and was met near the town of Kingston by Edward, who offered to enter into an arrangement for peace with him; but the earl, by the advice of the aforesaid Bishop Walter, would not listen to Edward's proposal, and on his wishing to return to the castle, detained him a prisoner. In consequence of this, Windsor Castle was given up to the earl, free permission being given to the garrison to depart with all their property whither they chose. A safe conduct was also given to foreigners and those who wished to return to the continent. About this time, Llewellyn, prince of Wales, allied himself with Earl Simon, and during all this time ravaged the county of Chester and the marshes, and destroyed the two castles of Dysart and Gannock, belonging to Edward, razing them to the ground. Shortly afterwards, parliament was convoked at London, and at this meeting, many who had formerly adhered to the cause of the earl, went over to the king's side; the chief amongst whom was Henry of Germany, the son of the


king of Germany by a former wife; and the king's power began to gain ground in some measure. The king then went to Dover, and endeavoiured to wrest that castle from the hands of the earl, but failing in his purpose, he again took his departure.

How Pope Urban gave the kingdom of Sicily to Count Charles.

Count Charles was elected perpetual senator of the city of Rome, and Pope Urban gave him the kingdom of Sicily, to be held by his successors till the time of his fourth heir, on the understanding that he should take it away from Manfred. At this time, King Henry went to Oxford to offer up his prayers, and visited the tomb of St. Fredeswith, which none of the kings of England before him had ever dared to do; and thus he showed that he did not fear the superstitious opinion of those who think that it is unlawful for the English kings to enter that city, and that the Virgin visits them with her vengeance. His son Edward joined him at that place, and proposed, with their united forces, to drive the barons away by force of arms. He commenced by expelling the clergy from Oxford, but in the mean time, the citizens of London seized the king's justiciaries and the barons of the exchequer, and committed them to prison. The king at this time had with him the following illustrious princes and personages of note: Richard, king of Germany, his brother-in-law; his son Edward; William de Valence, his uterine brother; the distinguished knight John Comyn, of Scotland, with a host of Scots; John Balliol, lord of Galloway; Robert Bruce, lord of Annandale; Roger Clifford; Philip Marmion; John de Vaux; Roger Leyburne; Henry Percy; Philip Bassett, and Roger Mortimer. Accompanied by these, and followed by his army, he set out for Northampton, and laid siege to that place, and on the Sunday in Passion-week, having made a breach, he entered the town. He there made prisoners of fifteen knights bannerets; namely, Simon the younger; William Ferrers; Peter de Montfort; Baldwin Wake; Adam Newmarket; Roger Bertrand; Simon Fitz Simon, who had first raised the standard against the king; Berengere de Waterville; Hugh Gebion; Thomas Maunsel; Roger Boteveleyn; Nicholas Wake; Robert Newington; Philip Drieby, and Grimbald Paunsemont, all of whom he

344 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1264.

sent off to different fortresses to be kept in strict custody. Besides these, about forty knights of inferior grade were made prisoners, and several shield-bearers.

Of the proceedings of the king and the Barons.

From that place, the king proceeded towards Nottingham, ravaging the manors of the barons in all directions with fire and sword; and the number of his followers increased greatly. Earl Simon, on hearing of these proceedings, went to London, and having prepared engines of war for the purpose, he determined to besiege the city of Rochester, which was then held and defended by John de Warrenne. Simon and his army had already got possession of the first gate of the city and of the bridge, when news was brought to them that the king was marching on London, whereupon they raised the siege, and proceeded in all haste to meet him. The king, however, diverged from the city of London, took the castle of Kingston, belonging to the earl of Gloucester, and, marching on Rochester, put to flight those who were left to keep up a blockade of the town, after slaying great numbers of them. He next took the castle of Tunbridge, and in it he found the countess of Gloucester, whom, however, he allowed to depart at liberty. Leaving a sufficient body of soldiers to garrison the last-named castle, he proceeded to Winchelsea, where he allowed the people of the Ports to make their peace with him, and continuing his progress, he reached Lewes. At that place he was entertained in the priory, whilst his son took up his quarters in the castle; and whilst there, the barons wrote a letter to him as follows:-

The letter of the barons to the king of England.

"To his excellent majesty their lord Henry, by the grace of God, illustrious king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, his barons and others of his faithful subjects, who wish to observe their oath and fealty to God and to him, Greeting, with all due submission, honour, and respect.- Inasmuch as it is clear, from several proofs, that some people who are about your person have heaped lies upon lies concerning us to your majesty, and are attempting to do all the harm that lies in their power, not only to us, but also to you and to the whole of the kingdom: Your majesty may rest assured that it is our wish to preserve the health and safety of your person


with, all our strength, and with the fidelity that is due to you, and that it is our purpose to punish, as far as lies in our power, not only our own enemies, but yours, and those of the whole of your kingdom; and may it please your majesty not to believe their statements. As for us, we shall always be found faithful subjects of yours, and we, the earl of Leicester and Gilbert de Clare, have affixed our seals to this letter, at the request of the rest, both for them and for ourselves. Done", etc., etc. The king treated this letter with contempt, and longed with all his heart for a battle; he therefore replied by the following letter of defiance:-

The king's reply to the above letter.

"Henry, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, to Simon de Montfort, Gilbert de Clare, and their accomplices,- It is clearly evident, by the warlike proceedings and general commotion excited in our kingdom by you, as also by the acts of incendiarism, and other enormities perpetrated by you, that you do not observe towards us the fealty due to us, and that you do not care at all for the security of our person; for you have enormously injured the nobles and other faithful subjects of ours who firmly adhere to their allegiance to us, and, as you inform us in your letter, you purpose doing so as far as lies in your power. Now we consider their injuries to be injuries done to us, and their enemies to be our enemies; and as the aforesaid faithful subjects of ours, in observing their fidelity to us, boldly assist us against your lack of fidelity, we do not care either for your fidelity or your love, and we defy their enemies. Witness myself at Lewes, this 12th day of May, in the forty-eighth year of our reign".

The king of Germany, and the king's son Edward, wrote to the said earl and his accomplices, in their own names, and in the names of the others adhering to the king's cause, in the following terms:-

The letter of Richard, king of Germany, to the barons.

"Richard, by the grace of God the august king of the Romans; Edward, the eldest son of the illustrious king of England; and all the other barons and knights firmly adhering to their allegiance to the aforesaid king of England, in sincere good faith, and with all their possessions, to Simon de Montfort,

346 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1264.

Gilbert de Clare, and each and all the other accomplices in their perfidy.- From your letters which you have transmitted to our lord the illustrious king of England, we learn that we are defied by you; though this verbal defiance was not necessary, having long ere this been made manifest to us by your hostile acts, and been carried out by the burning of our property, and the decastation of our lands. We therefore would have you all know that we defy each and all of you as public enemies, and inform you that henceforth we will use all our endeavours to do you injury, both in person and property, wherever we can find the means to do so. As to what you falsely assert, namely, that we are not faithful to the king, and do not give him good counsel, you say what is not by any means true. And if you, my lord Simon de Montfort, or you Gilbert de Clare, will make this statement at the court of our lord the king, we are ready to procure you a safe conduct to come to the said court, where we will also be ready to prove our innocence, and the falsehood of both of you, perfidious traitors that you are, by some one who shall be your equal in birth and dignity. All of us are included under the seals of his majesty the king of the Romans, and of our lord Edward. Given as above".

Of the second rejection of the barons request for peace.

The barons, again, sent Henry, bishop of London, and William Cantelupe, bishop of Worcester, to the king as mediators to bring about a peace, and offered to pay thirty thousand pounds for the damage done throughout the kingdom by them, saving in all respects the statutes made at Oxford. But the king of Germany, who would not hear of peace in any way, and who was in a state of the greatest indignation because the barons had risen against him and plundered his property, cried out against it, and for the present prevented the arrangement; therefore the messengers returned to announce that the adverse party were fully and finally bent on war. Earl Simon, thereupon, passed the whole of that night without sleeping, and passed the time in prayer and holy duties, exhorting his companions and followers to make full confession. William Cantelupe, bishop of Worcester, also, gave absolution to all of them, and enjoined them, in order to obtain remission of their sins, to fight vigorously


and manfully for justice on that day and promising admission to the kingdom of heaven to all who died in such a cause. Being then assured that a battle was imminent, the army of the barons, before sunrise, left the village of Fleching, where a great portion of it had passed the night, which was about six miles distant from Lewes. Before starting on the expedition, Earl Simon conferred the honour of knighthood on Gilbert Clare.

Of Simon de Montfort's stratagem.

When they reached a place scarcely two miles distant from the town of Lewes, Simon with his friends ascended an eminence, and placed his car thereon in the midst of the baggage and sumpter horses. There he displayed his standard, fastening it securely to the car, and surrounded it with a large number of his soldiers. He himself with his army took possession of the ground on both sides of this place, and awaited the issue of events. In another car he had shut up four citizens of London, who had conspired to betray him a short time before, when he was passing the night at Southwork. This he did by way of precaution. He then prudently arranged his forces, and ordered his soldiers to fasten white crosses on their breasts and backs, above their armour, that they might be known by their enemies, and to show that they were fighting for justice. Early in the morning of that day, the army of the barons surprised the king's followers, who had gone out to seek food and fodder for their horses, and put a great many of them to death.

Of the battle between the barons of England and the king.

The king, being informed of the approach of the barons, soon set himself in motion with his army, and went forward to meet them with unfurled banners, preceded by the royal ensign, which bore on it a dragon, as if announcing itself the messenger of death. His army was divided into three bodies, the first division was under the command of his eldest son Edward, accompanied by William de Valence, earl of Pembroke, and John de Warrenne, earl of Surrey and Sussex. The second was commanded by the king of Germany and his son Henry; whilst King Henry himself commanded the third division. The army of the barons was in four divisions; the first of which was under the command of

348 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1264.

Henry de Montfort, and the earl of Hertford: the second under Gilbert Clare, John Fitz John, and William de Menchesnil: the third, composed of Londoners, was commanded by Nicholas Segrave; and Earl Simon and Thomas Pelvedon led the fourth division. Edward with his division rushed on the enemy with such impetuosity that he forced them to retreat, many of them - report stated the number of knights to amount to sixty - being drowned. The Londoners were soon put to flight, and Edward, who thirsted for their blood owing to the insult lately offered to his mother, pursued them for the distance of four miles, and made a dreadful slaughter of them; but by his absence, he much weakened the king's forces. In the mean time, some of the chiefs of the king's army, seeing the earl's standard on the hill, and thinking that the earl himself was there, hastened thither suddenly and slew the citizens of London who were shut up in the car there, not knowing that they were friendly to their cause. During all this time, however, the earl and Gilbert Clare were by no means idle, but struck down and slew all who opposed them, directing their utmost endeavours to take the king alive; and great numbers of the king's adherents fell before them. John Earl Warrenne, William de Valence, and Guy de Lusignan, all uterine brothers of the king, Hugh Bigod, and about three hundred armed knights, turned their backs, and fled before the fierce attacks of the barons. Richard, king of Germany, Robert Bruce, and John Comyn, who had brought a number of Scots with them, were made prisoners. King Henry, also, after having his horse killed under him, surrendered himself to Simon de Montfort, and was shortly afterwards placed in the priory under a guard. Many of the barons of Scotland were slain on the spot on that day, and the foot soldiers who had come with them were slaughtered in great numbers. There were, moreover, made prisoners, Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford; John Fitzallan, earl of Arundel; William Bardolf, Robert Tateshull, Roger Somerey, Henry Percy, and Philip Basset. On the side of the king were slain the justiciaries, William Wilton, and Fulke Fitz Warren, the one falling in battle, the other being drowned in the river. On the side of the barons there fell Ralph Hornigande, a baron, and William Blund,


the earl's standard bearer. It was stated that the loss on both sides put together amounted to five thousand men.

How the barons wished to make terms of peace with the king.

Edward on returning with his companions in arms from the slaughter of the Londoners, not knowing what had happened to his father, went round the outside of the town and reached the castle of Lewes; but not finding his father there, he entered the priory, where he met with him and learned what had passed. The barons, in the mean time, made an assault on the castle, but as the garrison made a vigorous defence they withdrew, and Edward, on hearing of the daring bravery of the garrison, was much inspirited, and reassembling his troops, wished to try his fortune in another battle. The barons, on learning his determination, sent persons to mediate for a peace, promising to come to some definite arrangement to that effect on the morrow. On the morrow, therefore, by the intervention of the Preacher and Minorite brethren, it was arranged that on the sixth day following, Edward and Henry should deliver themselves up to Earl Simon, in exchange for their fathers the kings of England and Germany, in the hope of obtaining peace and tranquillity, on condition that due deliberation should be taken as to which of the statutes and provisions ought to be observed to benefit the kingdom, and which ought to be annulled, and that the spoil taken on both sides should be given up without any ransom. On the Saturday following, the king gave permission to all who had joined his cause to return to their homes, and, at Earl Simon's wish, he wrote to those who were in garrison at Tunbridge, ordering them to return to their homes, and not to molest the barons. They, however, having heard that the Londoners who had fled from the battle had taken refuge at Croydon, notwithstanding this order armed themselves, and hurrying to that place, slew great numbers of them and carried off a quantity of booty. From that place they went to Bristol, where they remained in a state of defence until the release of Edward. As for Edward, he was sent to the castle of Wallingford for safety.

Of the miseries and calamities of England.

All this year, together with five months and two weeks of

350 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1265.

the preceding one, was passed amidst the horrors of war, and so each one endeavoured to defend his own castle, each one ravaged the adjacent country, laying waste the fields, carrying off cattle to supply his castle with provisions for its defenders, and did not spare either churches or cemeteries. Moreover, the houses of the poorest agricultural labourers were rummaged and plundered, even of the straw which served for beds. Although the earl had given orders that no one, on pain of decapitation, should dare to enter a sacred church or cemetery for the purpose of plunder, or lay violent hands on religious men or their servants, he gained nothing by this wise measure; for neither bishops, abbats, or any other religious men, could pass from town to town without being plundered by night robbers.

A description of the general features of the year.

This year throughout was tolerably productive of fruits, mild in temperature, and healthy; but in all events it was fraught with loss to England, owing to the general war, the capture of two kings, and the lamentable pillage of property, both public and private.

Of the proceedings of Simon de Montfort.

In the year of grace 1265, which was the forty-ninth of the reign of King Henry, the Third of that name from the Conquest, the said king was detained in the custody of Earl Simon, and  together with Richard, king of Germany, Edward his eldest son, and some others of the nobles. Both in the past and the present year, Earl Simon took the king of England and his son Edward, whom he had removed from the castle of Wallingford, with him wherever he went, until he had got possession of all the strongest castles in the kingdom. But from that time he showed himself less inclined to treat for peace according to the terms prearranged, because he had the king and the whole kingdom in his power. At length he placed the king of the Romans in the Tower of London, and Edward and Henry, the sons of the two kings, he placed under confinement in the castle of Dover, taking the king of England about with him always. But whatever place they went to, he was always received with honour, and as a king, and the earl showed him every kind of respect.


Of the proceedings in the marshes of Wales.

In the mean time, many brave and distinguished knights, qmongst whom were Roger Mortimer, James Andeley, Roger Leybourne, Roger de Clifford, Aymon L'Estrange, Hugh de Turbeville, and several others, indignant at this treatment of the king and his offspring, rose against the earl of Leicestar by unanimous consent. To check their audacity, Earl Simon took Llewellyn, prince of Wales, into an alliance with him, and entered the castle of Hereford, taking with him his prisoner Edward from Dover. He next recovered possession of thwe castle of Haye, belonging to the earl of Hereford, took the castle of Ludlow, and, after ravaging the lands of Roger Mortimer, proceeded towards Montgomery, and at that place peace was made between Earl Simon and the aforesaid nobles, the latter giving hostages. The earl, after this proceeded towards the southern parts of England for the purpose of meeting a body of troops which it was reported were coming to the assistance of the king.

How a legate was sent by the pope, who excommunicted the barons.

At this same time, Pope Urban, compassionating the disturbed state of England, sent the cardinal bishop of Sabino as a legate to that country; but as the fleet of the Cinque Ports was occupying and guarding the approaches to England by sea, he sent for some of the bishops to come to him, first to Amiens, and afterwards to Boulogne. To them he introsted the publication and carrying out of a sentence of excommunication and interdict, fulminated by papal authority against the city of London and the Cinque Ports, and also against all disturbers of the peace of the king of England. Nevertheless, the bishops dissembled the matter, and nothing certain was known, though different opinions were expressed in various ways as to the reasons for their conduct.

Of the disagreement between Earl Simon and G. de Clare.

In this year, whilst the king's son Edward was still detained in custody in the castle of Hereford, a disagreement arose between Simon earl of Leicester, and Gilbert de Clare, the cause of which was as follows: The earl of Leicester was not content with detaining the king of England in his own custody, but took the king's castles under his own

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authority, and arranged the affairs of the whole kingdom at his own will. And what was a principal ground of offence was, that he claimed entirely for himself alone, the proceeds and profits of the kingdom, the ransoms of prisoners, and other emoluments, which ought, according to the terms of their agreement, to be divided equally between them. He seemed also to be held in contempt by his sons, who had become proud, and had just at this time caused a proclamation to be made of a tournament to be held at Dunstable against the earl of Gloucester, to which the Londoners came, and a large number of knights and fighting men. When their father Simon heard of this, he rebuked them for their presumption, strictly enjoined them to desist from their proceedings, and threatened them that, unless they obeyed his orders he would put them where they should not have the benefit of seeing either the sun or the moon. When the earl of Gloucester heard of this prohibition, he was enraged beyond belief, and many who had made preparations for the aforesaid tournament could ill bear to see themselves balked of their purpose, and the greatest source of annoyance was the expense which they had incurred in the matter; and giving vent to their reproaches against the earl, they said that it was ridiculous for a foreigner to presume to hold the sovereignty of the whole kingdom in his hands. What increased Gilbert's anger was, that when he asked and begged of the said Simon to give up to him the king of Germany, and some other prisoners taken by him (Gilbert) and his followers, Simon had replied by a brief refusal to do so. On account of this, their former friendship was converted into hatred, and the quarrel rose to such a height that neither consideration for his oath, nor devotion to the cause, could thenceforth pacify Gilbert. Moreover, Gilbert defended all the noble knights of the marsh (of whom mention has been made above), whom Earl Simon had by a public edict ordered to evacuate the kingdom, and having sent for them to him, took them into an alliance with him. Their confederacy was increased by John de Warrenne, earl of Surrey and Sussex, and William de Valence, earl of Pembroke, who, on their way to the western provinces of Wales, landed at Pembroke. Earl Simon, then, taking the king with him, set out for Hereford, and collected a strong body of troops with the


intention of subduing the aforesaid knights by force of arms. In the mean time, endeavours were made by some of the prelates to bring the earls of Leicester and Gloucester to their former state of friendship and union, but without effect. About this time, whilst matters were in this state, the king's son Edward, who was detained in custody in the castle of Hereford, obtained permission from his guards to take exercise in a field outside the city, and to amuse himself with trying the speed of their horses. On one occasion, after trying several horses and tiring them out, he at length chose a good one, which he mounted, and urging him to speed with his spurs, he bade farewell to his guards, and crossing the river Wear, he directed his course, accompanied by two knights and four esquires, who were aware of his design, to the castle of Wigmore. His guards gave pursuit to him, but seeing the banners of Roger Mortimer and Roger de Clifford, who were come to assist Edward in his escape, they were out-manoeuvred, and so returned to Hereford. These occurrences took place on the eve of the Trinity, and were arranged with the counsel and assistance of the aforesaid knights.

Of the proceedings of Simon and of Edward.

Thus released from his imprisonment, Edward assembled a large army, as numbers flocked to join him, and the counties of Hereford, Worcester, Salop, and Chester, entered into an alliance with him, the towns and villages, cities and castles, pouring forth their inhabitants to join his standard. He at once besieged and took the city of Gloucester, which the earl had lately gained possession of, the garrison left therein taking flight to the castle; but after fifteen days they surrendered the castle also, and on giving their oath not to bear arms against Edward for the future, they were allowed to depart at liberty. The earl of Leicester in the mean time attacked the castle of Monmouth, which the earl of Gloucester had lately taken and fortified, and having compelled the garrison to surrender, razed the castle to the ground. He then entered Glamorganshire, the territory of the said earl of Gloucester, and being met by the prince of Wales with assistance, the two chiefs together ravaged the whole country with fire and sword. Edward, in the mean time, hearing that many of the partisans of Earl Simon had

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flocked together to the castle of Kenilworth, joined his forces with those of the earl of Gloucester, and setting forth from Worcester in the evening, reached that place by forced marches. Coming on the place suddenly, he made prisoner of the earl of Oxford, and about thirteen knights bannerets, before they could enter the castle, in which Simon, the son of Earl Simon, had already shut himself up. Simon, earl of Leicester, always keeping the king in his company, returned from the south of Wales, and on the festival of St. Peter ad Vincula, arrived at Kempsey, a manor of the bishop of Worcester, and stayed there on the day following. Edward then returned from Kenilworth to Worcester, which is only three miles distant from the above-named manor; and Simon, on hearing of his arrival there, went away with the king at nightfall, and took up his quarters in the town of Evesham, where he awaited his unhappy destiny. For on the morrow, which was the day of the Finding of St. Stephen, Edward moved from Worcester, crossed the river near the town of Claines, and cut off the approach of the earl to his son, who was in the castle of Kenilworth, and prevented all chance of the father and son meeting. On the following day he drew near the town of Evesham on one side, and the earl of Gloucester and Roger Mortimer came up with their respective forces in two other directions; and thus the earl of Leicester was hemmed in on all sides, and was under the necessity either of voluntarily surrendering, or of giving them battle. On the 5th of August, which fell on the third day of the week, both armies met in a large plain outside the town, where a most severe conflict ensued, till the partisans of the earl began to give way, and the whole weight of the battle falling upon him, he was slain on the field of battle. At the time of his death, a storm of thunder and lightning occurred, and darkness prevailed to such an extent, that all were struck with amazement. Besides the earl, there fell, in that battle, twelve knights bannerets; namely, Henry, his son; Peter de Montfort; Hugh Despenser, justiciary of England; William de Mandeville; Ralph Basset; Walter de Crespigny; William York; Robert Tregor; Thomas Hostelee; John Beauchamp; Guy Balliol; Roger de Roulee; and a great number of others of inferior rank, such as esquires and foot-soldiers; the greatest loss being anongst the Welsh.


Thus ended the labours of that noble man Earl Simon, who gave up not only his property, but also his person, to defend the poor from oppression, and for the maintenance of justice and the rights of the kingdom. He was distinguished for his learning; to him an assiduous attention to divine duties was a pleasure; he was moderate and frugal; and it was a usual practice of his to watch by night, in preference to sleeping. He was bold in speech, and of a severe aspect; he put great confidence in the prayers of religious men, and always paid great respect to ecclesiastics. He endeavoured to adhere to the counsels of St. Robert, surnamed Grosstete, bishop of Lincoln, and intrusted his children to him to be brought up, when very young. On that prelate's counsel he relied when arranging matters of difficulty, when attempting dubious enterprises, and in finishing what he had begun, especially in those matters by which he hoped to increase his merits. It was reported that the same bishop had enjoined on him, in order to obtain remission of his sins, to take up this cause, for which he fought even to the death; declaring that the peace of the church of England could not be firmly established except by the sword, and positively assuring him that all who died for it would be crowned with martyrdom. Some persons, moreover, stated, that on one occasion the bishop placed his hand on the head of the earl's eldest son, and said to him, "My well-beloved child, both thou and thy father shall die on one day, and by one kind of death; but it will be in the cause of justice and truth". Report goes, that Simon, after his death, was distinguished by the working of many miracles, which, however, were not made publicly known, for fear of kings.

How Edward gave orders for the burial of the dead.

After gaining this lamentable victory, Edward, after the battle, gave orders to the monks of that place to bury the bodies of the dead, especially those of the higher orders, with decency. He himself attended, in person, the obsequies of Henry de Montfort, whom the king his father had held at the font when he was baptized, and who had been brought up with, and beloved by, himself from boyhood. Before the above battle, as some say, Simon having gone out of the town of Evesham, and seen with what prudence and skill

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the ranks of his adversaries were drawn up, said to his companions, "By St. James's arm" (such was his usual oath), "they are approaching with wisdom, and they have learned this method from me, not of themselves. Let us, therefore, commend our souls to God, for our bodies are theirs". He also urged Hugh Despenser, Ralph Basset, and others, to fly and save themselves for better times; but they said that they would not live if he died. After he was killed, [his Enemies] cut off his head, feet, and hands, contrary to all the laws of the knightly order; and his head was presented to the wife of Roger Mortimer, who was staying in the castle of Worcester. In this battle the king was wounded by a spear inadvertently hurled at him, and was in danger of losing his life. By this victory over his enemies, the king was re-established in his royal authority, and by the advice of his victorious son he convoked a parliament at Winchester, on the Nativity of the glorious Virgin. At this parliament, after taking counsel, he deprived the city of London, on account of its rebellious proceedings, of its ancient liberties and privileges; and ordered the chiefs of the faction against his kingly authority to be committed to prison to await his pleasure. On the feast of St. Edward, he deprived of their inheritances all those who had stood by Earl Simon against their lord the king, and soon afterwards gave their lands to those who had faithfully adhered to the king, recompensing each one according to his deserts. The disinherited parties thereupon assembled together, and indulged in pillage and incendiarism in all directions. The chief amongst those who were disinherited, were Simon and Guy, the sons of Earl Simon de Montfort. The wife of the earl was allowed to depart at liberty, with all her property, and received safe-conduct from Edward; whereupon she returned to her native country, never to return.

Of the occurrences at St. Alban's.

About this time, the town of St. Alban's was so strongly defended, and the gates were so strongly secured by locks and bolts, both within and without, through fear inspired by the war, that all access was denied to travellers, especially to knights. Just then Gregory Stock, constable of Hertford, piqued at the courage of the people of St. Alban's, boasted that he would enter the town with only three youths,


notwithstanding the bolts and bars, and would seize and carry off with him to Hertford four of the bettermost order of citizens. To carry out his purpose, he entered the town, and ran about in all directions like one out of his senses, and casting his eyes hither and thither, as if he were about to carry out some great design. At length he said to the lads accompanying him, "How stands the wind"? Thereupon a butcher, who heard his words, thinking he wanted to burn the town, said, "I will teach you how the wind stands"; and immediately gave him a blow on the face with such force as to fell him to the ground. He and his lads were then seized and secured with shackles; and in the morning they were beheaded by the butchers, and their heads were fixed on four long posts, erected at the four corners of the town. When the king heard of these proceedings, he fined the town a hundred marks, which was immediately paid.

Of an extraordinary comet.

In this year a remarkable comet appeared, such as had never been seen before. It rose in the east with great brightness, and made its way towards the west to the middle of the sky, lighting up all parts of the heavens which it traversed in its course. Although it no doubt presaged many occurrences in different parts of the world, yet one thing is certain, namely, that when it first appeared Pope Urban was taken ill, and on the very night on which he died this comet disappeared, after lasting for more than three months. That pontiff died at Paris, and was buried there.

Of Pope Clement the Sixth.

He was succeeded by Pope Clement the Sixth, a Provencal by birth, who formerly had a wife and sons, and was a famous advocate, and a counsellor of the French king. On the death of his wife, he was, on account of his good life and his distinguished learning, in the first place made bishop of Puy, and afterwards archbishop of Narbonne. After a while he was raised to the dignity of cardinal, and became bishop of Sabino; and having been sent to England as a legate by Pope Urban to re-establish peace there, he was elected pope in his absence. About this time, Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura, two illustrious doctors, flourished at Paris; the former belonging to the order of the Preachers, the latter to that of the Minorites.

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Of the slaying of fifty robbers by the peasants.

Aboat this time, fifty daring men, armed with swords and bows and arrows, made their way into the nunnery of St. Giles du Bois, near St. Alban's, and after pillaging the property of the poor women residing there, and perpetrating other enormities, went away laden with booty. As they were making off towards Dunstable, a man followed them shouting and blowing a horn. At the sound of this all the people of the neighbourhood assembled, and they were told, "These fellows have robbed the priory of Du Bois, and have perpetrated many offences there". Wonderful to relate! all the thieves were at once struck as if speechless, and became incapable of defending themselves, nor was there one of them to be found who could raise his hand to draw his sword, or to bend his bow; to such a degree was the divine vengeance provoked against them. They were consequently struck down, and almost all of them slain by the rustics; some who escaped by hiding themselves in the hedges, afterwards died of hunger.

How the French king's brother Charles was crowned king of Sicily.

In this same year, Ottobon, cardinal deacon of the title of St. Adrian, was sent by Pope Clement to England as a legate. The French king's brother Charles made a voyage to Rome, and was crowned king of Sicily by Pope Clement. A large number of Frenchmen, who had taken the cross against Manfred, arrived at Rome, under the command of Guy, bishop of Auxerre; Robert, son of the count of Flanders; and Boucard, count of Vendome, to render assistance to Charles.

Of the slaughter of the Welsh.

In this year, on the Sunday before the battle of Evesham, a host of Welshmen, under the command of William Berkeley, a noble knight, though notorious for his evil deeds, landed at Minehead, near the castle of Dunster, for the purpose of pillaging Somersetshire. They were, however, met by the governor of that castle, Adam Gordon, who slew great numbers of them, and put the rest of them to flight, together with their chief, a great many being drowned in their flight.


How the king made preparations to attack Simon the younger.

About the feast of St. Lucia, the king assembled an army at Northampton, for the purpose of attacking Simon de Montfort the younger, and other nobles who adhered to him, who were lying concealed in the isle of Axholme. Then it was that the religious men who owed military service were most troubled and oppressed; and as it would take too much time to insert in this book an account of the troubles of each of them, we will say a few words about the afflictions of our own church of St. Alban's. The abbat of St. Alban's sent his knights to the above-mentioned place, under the orders of the archdeacon and chamberlain of the same place, who were to present them to the king. After they had stayed there with twenty horses for six weeks at great expense, the king exacted forty marks for each knight; and this he exacted not from our church alone, but from other religious communities, who owed him knightly service, and who were willing to pledge themselves for their knights.

A summary of the year.

This year throughout was fruitful, but notorious for the rapacious acts of robbers: it was fraught with destruction to England, on account of the slaughter of its nobles and other faithful subjects; unpropitious to the Scots, through the loss of their fellow-countrymen in England; and one of grief to the Welsh, who beheld their countrymen slaughtered like cattle.

Of the submission of Simon the younger to arbitration.

In the year 1266, which was the fiftieth year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the said king spent Christmas at London, in company with his queen, the king of Germany, and Ottobon the legate, and attended by a formidable army. There, through the interference of well-disposed persons, who were endeavouring to restore peace between the king and Simon the younger, the latter submitted to the arbitration of the legate, the king of Germany, his uncle, and Philip Basset, saving his life, deprivation of his limbs, and perpetual imprisonment. Upon this, after receiving hostages, he presented himself to the king at Northampton. On his arrival, the king of Germany accompanied him into the king's presence, and there returned

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thanks to Simon for having saved his life, stating that he should have been slain at Kenilworth, at the time when Simon the father was killed, had he not been rescued by the younger Simon; so enraged were the garrison of the castle at the death of their lord. On account of this, Simon was now admitted by the king to the kiss of peace, and would have obtained the king's full favour, had not the anger and envy of the earl of Gloucester and some others thrown obstacles in the way. It was, however, arranged that Simon should give up the castle of Kenilworth to the king, and should leave the kingdom until peace smiled on England again, and that he should receive five hundred marks annually from, the king's treasury. The people who were in the castle, however, could ill brook these conditions, and would not give up the castle, either to the king or to Simon himself, who had gone thither under safe-conduct; for they said that they had not received charge of the castle from Simon, but from the countess, who had lately been expelled the kingdom, and they were determined not to treat for the surrender of the castle with any living being, save the countess herself, or in her presence. The king thereupon went with an army to besiege the castle, but the garrison defended it against his attacks for half a year, until they fell short of provisions, when it was given up to the king, on condition that its defenders should retain their lives and limbs safe and sound, and that they should carry away with them whatever of their property was necessary for them. It was wonderful that the king granted them so much, since they had pillaged the country, and had dared to hold that castle, situated in the middle of the kingdom, against the king, and had also a little while before seized a courier of the king's, and after cutting off his hand, had sent him back with ridicule, to show the contempt in which the king was held by the disinherited persons.

How the disinherited parties took the isle of Ely.

In the mean time, whilst the king was, with his whole army, intent on the siege of Kenilworth castle, the disinherited malcontents, knowing that the other parts of England were destitute of military protection, spread themselves over Cambridge and Huntingdon, ravaging the country and


carrying off booty. At length, on the eve of St. Lanrence's day, they entered the isle of Ely, where they established their quarters, and pillaged the circumjacent country day after day, laying up a store of provisions they had carried off in the island. The bishop of Ely went to announce this misfortune to the king, but was received with reproaches, and many imputed the misfortune to his incapacity. The commons of the counties were called on to blockade the insurgents, and to prevent their making sorties from the isle; but the latter, showing no fear at these preparations, put this vulgar herd to flight, and drove them as far as the town of Norwich, sending off some of their party to carry off booty and provisions. This party forced their way into the town, and carried off abundance of booty, and entering Cambridge in the same way, seized on Jews and other rich men, whomsoever they chose, and carried them away with them to the island, for the purpose of fixing on a price for their ransom.

Of the capture and slaughter of the people of Lynn, who made an attack on the insurgents.

The people of Lynn, about this time, went to the king, and promised that, if he would again grant them their liberties, they would bring the holders of the island to him, either dead or alive (for the king had deprived them of their liberties, as he had other towns and cities which had taken part against him). Having gained what they asked, they assembled a large number of people of the lower orders, and proceeded with some vessels manned with crossbowmen, archers, and men armed in all kinds of ways, to capture the tenants of the island. The insurgents, being forewarned of their approach, planted their banners on the dry land, that those who were coming up the river might know where they were; and when the people of Lynn saw their troops and standards there, they exhorted their men to get to land with all speed. The insurgents then took away their banners, and feigned a flight, as if they did not dare to resist sach a large force; and the citizens of Lynn, unaware of their stratagem, at once landed in all directions and in disorder, each and all of them intent on capturing the fugitives. The insurgents thereupon, returned, surrounded the citizens and their plebeian force.

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and slew them at pleasure, making prisoners of some who attempted to return to their vessels, and putting others to death. Great numbers perished in the river, and some few returned to Lynn, where they were received with derision.

Of the disagreement between the earl of Gloucester and Roger Mortimer.

At this time, the legate, the earl of Gloucester, and twelve others, were elected to arrange terms of peace; and they used their utmost endeavours so to arrange matters, that the disinherited insurgents might, by paying a ransom for the offences they had committed, recover their lands and possessions. Roger Mortimer, with the other marquises who had received the lands of the disinherited as a gift from, the king, strongly opposed this arrangement, saying that it would be unjust that they should now so easily, and without reason, lose the lands which they had received from the king as a reward for their labour and fidelity, and which the insurgents had so justly lost. It was therefore said by some, that the said Roger had conspired with some others who were, like him, instigated by avarice, to bring about the death of the earl of Gloucester. The earl therefore withdrew himself from all communion with them as soon as he could.

This year throughout was abundantly productive of fruit and corn, but the crops were rendered useless to the inhabitants by plunderers, who carried off the stored-up corn, and ravaged the country at their pleasure.

Of the earl of Gloucester's refusal to attend the celebration by the king of the festival of St. Edward.

In the year of grace 1267, which was the fifty-first year of the reign of King Henry the Third from the Conquest, the king passed Christmas at Oxford, in company with the queen, the legate, and his nobles; and great efforts were there made to effect a reconciliation between the earl of Gloucester and Roger Mortimer, but without any beneficial result. From Oxford the king went to London, to celebrate the festival of the sainted king Edward, as was his custom yearly; and for the purpose of solemnizing the festival with all due rejoicing, he convoked many of the prelates and barons of the kingdom. At the banquet given on the occasion, he placed the legate in the royal seat, and each of the dishes was placed before him first. To this festival the earl of Gloucester was invited, but


refused to attend, as he suspected that some sinister design, was in contemplation against him at court. At length he sent messengers to the king, as was reported, to warn him to dismiss foreigners from his councils, to cause the statutes made at Oxford to he observed throughout the kingdom, and to fulfil the promises made to him, the earl of Gloucester, at Evesham; adding, that if he did not do so, he need not wonder at his, the earl of Gloucester's, doing whatever he thought to he for his advantage. At this time the castle of Dover was given up to Edward, and he at once transferred Guy de Montfort to that place, to be kept in custody there.

Of the excommunication of the bishops and others who had favoured Earl Simon.

The legate Ottobon, having called a council at Northampton, issued sentence of excommunication against all the bishops and clergy who had given assistance or shown favour to Earl Simon against the king. Amongst these, he mentioned by name John, bishop of Winchester; Walter, bishop of Worcester; Henry, bishop of London; and Stephen, bishop of Chichester. Of these, the bishop of Worcester died miserably soon after, on the 5th of February, and was succeeded by Nicholas of Ely, the king's chancellor; whilst the other three of the above-named bishops went to Rome, and awaited the pope's absolution. He also publicly included in the same sentence all others who had opposed the king. He there also published the authority granted to the king to levy tithes on the church of England for the seven years next ensuing.

Of the proceedings of Simon de Montfort's sons after their disinheritance.

About this same time, the keeper of Guy de Montfort in the castle of Dover, seduced from his duty by bribes, allowed his prisoner to escape, and crossed the Channel in company with him. Guy at once went to Tuscany and joined Count Ralph; and having acquired fame in his service, married his daughter and heiress. His elder brother Simon escaped from prison in a similar way a little while before, and fled into Gaul. The king about that time appointed one chief man in each of the cities, to join the sheriff in checking the acts of violence perpetrated by robbers, who were very numerous. At this time, also, Robert Ferrers, earl of Derby, was

364 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1267.

made prisoner at the castle of Chesterfield, by the king's knights; his companions, whom he had collected together for purposes of plunder, being dispersed in flight. About the same time, too, a knight named Adam Gordon, living near Winchester, who had been deprived of his inheritance with the other adherents of Earl Simon, refused to accept of the terms of peace offered by the king, and retreated with his followers to a part of the road leading from Wilton to the castle of Farnham, which, lying in a valley and rendered tortuous by eminences covered with woods, was a good place of retreat for robbers, and employed himself in pillaging the neighbouring country, especially the lands of those who adhered to the king's cause. Edward being desirous of trying the strength and courage of this man, whose fame had reached his ears, marched against him with a strong body of troops; and as he was preparing for battle, Edward gave orders to his followers not to interfere to prevent a single combat between them. The two therefore met, and continued to exchange repeated blows at one another with equal effect. For a long while they fought without either party giving way to the other, when Edward, delighted at the valour of the knight and his courage in battle, advised him to surrender himself and promised him his life and a good fortune. To this the knight assented, and throwing away his arms surrendered to Edward, who sent him off that night to Guildford, with a good recommendation, to be presented to the queen his mother. His inheritance was afterwards restored to him by Edward, who became his friend, and always found in him a faithful servant.

Of the ordinance in favour of the disinherited parties.

In the same year, some chosen persons met at the city of Coventry, and decreed by unanimous consent, that the disinherited parties might recover their inheritances by payment of a pecuniary fine, from those who held them as a gift from the king, on condition that the amount paid for their ransom should not exceed the proceeds of their confiscated inheritances for seven years, and should not be less than their proceeds for one year; but that it should be taxed between these two terms, according to the degree of the party's offence. The sons of Earl Simon, however, and Robert, earl of Derby


ivere excluded from the benefit of this ransom (as their disinheritance was considered to be perpetual). Those who were to be fined in the manner above mentioned, if they were unable to pay the taxed amount of ransom, were to leave their lands in the hands of the present possessors until the amount should be raised from their proceeds.

In this year, a host of Saracens came by sea to Spain, and inflicted much injury on the Christians; they were, however, afterwards conquered, though not without much bloodshed.

In this same year, too, Charles, king of Sicily, fought a battle with Manfred before Benevento, and gained a glorious victory there, defeating and slaying his opponent.

Of the death of Godfrey, archbishop of York, and the succession of Walter to the archdiocese.

In the same year, Godfrey, archbishop of York, closed his life. Walter, bishop of Bath, was translated to his see, and was succeeded in his diocese by William Button, archdeacon of Wells.

Of the parliament held at Bury.

About this time the king issued summonses for the earls, barons, archbishops, bishops, abbats, and all of the community who owed him knightly service, to assemble at St. Edmund's, well equipped with horses and arms, for the purpose of commencing hostilities against those who had taken possession of the isle of Ely in violation of the king's peace. All obeyed this order, with the exception of the earl of Gloucester, who was raising a large army on the confines of Wales to attack his enemies, and neglected to attend. John de Warrenne and William de Valence were therefore sent to summon him to attend this parliament; but they got nothing from him except his letters patent sealed with his seal, engaging that he would never bear arms against the king or against his son Edward, unless in self-defence; but stating that he would use his utmost endeavours to subdue and trample under his feet Roger Mortimer and his other enemies. It was said that he cunningly invented this excuse, as he feared that he should be accused of treason. Those who had been summoned to the parliament, therefore, having assembled, with the exception of the recusants, the king and the legate stated their demands in the following articles.

366 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1267.

Firstly, that all the prelates and rectors of churches should grant them tithes, for the three years next ensuing, as well as for the year last past, till the amount should equal what they paid the barons for guarding the sea-coast against foreigners. Reply. To this they replied, that the war was undertaken through an iniquitous cupidity, that it was still continuing; and that it would be necessary to pass over in silence such ill-advised demands as this, to make arrangements for establishing peace in the kingdom, and to direct the attention of his parliament to forwarding the interests of the church and kingdom, and not to the extortion of money, especially as the land was so injured by the war that it would take some time to recover, if ever it did so. Secondly. They also demanded that the churches should be taxed by laymen with a just and proper taxation, in proportion to the value of all the property belonging to them. Reply. To this the reply was, that it was not reasonable, but entirely contrary to justice, that laymen should interfere with the collecting of tithes; and that they would never consent to this, or to any taxation, but such as it was of old. Thirdly. Item, that the bishops, abbats, etc., should give full tithes of their baronies, and from their lay feoffs, according to a just and proper taxation. Reply. To this the reply was, that they were impoverished by depredations, that they had followed the king in his expeditions, and had expended so much money that they were entirely become paupers, and their lands were even lying uncultivated owing to the war. Fourthly. They demanded that the clergy in common should give to the king, for the re-establishment of his dignity, the sum of thirty thousand marks, owing to the aforesaid tithes being claimed by the legate for the use of the Roman courts to meet the debts contracted in Sicily, Apulia, and Calabria, in the name of the king's son Edward now present. Reply. The reply to this was, that they would give nothing, because all the taxes and extortions of this kind previously enforced by the king, were never converted to the advantage of the king or the kingdom. Fifthly. They also demanded that all clerks who held baronies or lay feoffs, should take arms and proceed in person against the enemies of the king, or should furnish service to the king in his expeditions in proportion to their lands or tenement. Reply. To this the reply was, that it was not their duty to fight with the sword of steel,


but with the spiritual sword, that is to say, with tears and humble and devout prayers; that owing to their benefices, they were bound to maintain peace, and not war; that their baronies were established by mere alms; wherefore they owed only a fixed military service, and they would not begin a new system. Sixthly. They demanded again that the clergy in general should discharge the debt of nine thousand marks, which sum Lawrence, bishop of Rochester; William, bishop of Bath; and Richard, abbat of Westminster, had borrowed from the pope's merchants at the court of Rome, when they were engaged there arranging some business of the king's. Reply. The reply to this was, that they never consented to the borrowing of such a large sum, that they never knew anything of it, and that, therefore, they were in no way bound to pay the debt. Seventhly. A demand was made, on behalf of the pope, that a crusade should be instantly preached throughout the whole kingdom, for the purpose of subduing a people who should be designated by the court, or for releasing people for ever from their obligation to join that crusade. Reply. To this the reply was, that the people of the country were in a great measure destroyed by war, and if any should now take the cross, few, or none, would be left for the defence of the country; and it was therefore evident that the legate wished to exile the natural offspring of the country, that foreigners might more easily gain possession of it. Eighthly. It was also said that the prelates were bound, whether they would or not, to accede to all demands made to them, on account of their oath at Coventry, where they had sworn that they would assist the king by all the means in their power. Reply. To this they replied, that when they made the oath they understood it to refer to no other aid than spiritual aid and wholesome counsel

Of the message sent by the legate to the disinherited insurgents assembled in the isle of Ely.

At this time, the disinherited insurgents lying concealed in the isle of Ely were admonished by messengers sent by the legate to return to their faith and to unity with the holy mother church, and to their obedience to the Roman court, to make peace with the king on the prescribed conditions, that they might receive absolution from the sentence issued against them according to the forms of the Church, and no

368 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1267.

longer to commit robbery and other depredations, but to make reparation for what they had already done to the clergy and to the Church. Reply. In the first place, the disinherited parties reply, that they hold firmly the same faith which they learned from the holy bishops St. Robert and St. Edmund, St. Richard and other Catholic men, and that they believe and keep the articles of the faith which are contained in the Creed; that they also believe in the Gospel and the sacraments of the Church, as the Church universal keeps and believes; and that they are ready to live and die for this faith. Secondly. They say that they owe obedience to the church of Rome as the head of all Christianity, but not to the avarice and arbitrary demands of those who ought to govern it. And they added that their predecessors, whose heirs they were, had gained that land by the sword, and therefore it seemed to them that they were unjustly disinherited; and as this was done by the legate, they urged him to make amends for this act of injustice. Reply. Thirdly, they say that the legate was sent into England to make peace; but instead of this, he rather maintained war; for he openly adhered to the king and favoured his cause, and as far as he did this, he kept up the war. Again, they say that the form of treaty previously settled on is null, as the pope gave orders to the king and to the legate that no one should be disinherited, and that they had decided on a sort of ransom which was equivalent to disinheriting them; wherefore they exhorted the legate to cause this error to be amended. Reply. Fourthly, they say that their first oath was for the benefit of the kingdom and of the whole church, and all the prelates of the kingdom had fulminated sentence of excommunication against all who contravened it; and that, as for them, they still persisted in the same intentions, and were ready to die for that same oath; wherefore, they exhorted the legate to recall the sentence he had issued, otherwise they would appeal to the Apostolic See, and also to the General Council, or if necessary to the Supreme Judge of all. Reply. Fifthly, they say that, as they are fighting for the advantage of the kingdom and of the Church, they ought to live on the property of their enemies, who retain possession of their lands. Therefore, they exhort the legate to cause the restitution to them of their lands, that they may


not be under the necessity of pillaging. Reply. Sixthly, they say that many of the partisans of the king and Edward spread themselves abroad, committing many and divers kinds of robberies, and saying that they belong to the party of the disinherited, in order to defame them and excuse themselves; and therefore they warn the legate not to put faith in the statements of such parties, because if they should find any one amongst themselves guilty of such an offence, they would visit him with justice without delay.

The expostulations of the disinherited.

In the mean time the disinherited parties intimate to the legate, that he has irreverently expelled from the kingdom as it were the advisers of the whole kingdom, the bishops of Winchester, London, and Chichester, men circumspect in their counsels and of great prudence. Owing to this the councils of the kingdom were in a great degree weakened, and the kingdom tottered, because the legate claimed for himself the property of the bishoprics, and, owing to the absence of its counsellors, brought ruin on the kingdom; and therefore they warn the legate to amend this error. Again, they tell the legate to warn the king to remove from his councils the foreigners by whom the country is enslaved. They also submit to the legate, that their lands ought to be restored to them without ransom, that the provisions made at Oxford should be observed, and that hostages should be sent to the isle to them, to secure to them the peaceable possession thereof for five years, until they could see how the king observed all his promises. Again, they signify to the legate that the abbeys and other houses of the religious orders were built from the property of their predecessors, and they were now being destroyed by the extortions and talliages of the king and the legate, and therefore alms cannot be given, nor hospitality shown, according to their usual custom. They therefore warn the legate to amend these faults. Again, they inform the legate that the churches of the kingdom of England are given to foreigners, who are the enemies of the country, and who carry off to the continent the property of the Church, on which the native clergy of the country ought to be maintained and supported; and that, consequently, they are improperly imperilled, not only

370 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1268.

in body but also in soul; for they have no pastors except hired priests, whom they can hire for a small sum. They therefore warn the legate that this ought to be amended. Again, they intimate to the legate that the tithes which are demanded from the clergy ought not to be given, because the country has been ruined by the king's followers, and by the general war, and because the land lies in an uncultivated state, and no fruits are produced from it, in consequence of which the people die of hunger.

Exasperated by these replies, the king and the legate, in the following year, besieged the island.

This year throughout was barren, fruitless, and unfavourable to England in many ways.

How the king besieged the isle of Ely.

In the year of grace 1268, which was the fifty-second year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the said king collected his army and hastened to blockade the isle of Ely, to prevent all ingress and egress for the insurgents. Edward, the king's son, having made bridges from hurdles and planks, and placed them in suitable places (as instructed by the inhabitants of the country), entered the island with his soldiers, and some of the insurgents soon surrendered to him, the rest dispersing in flight. Whilst these events were passing, the earl of Gloucester was plotting against the king, and having got ready an army in Wales in favour of the disinherited people, marched towards London, and being met by John Eymley with a strong body of his partisans, he entered the city with the goodwill of its inhabitants. The earl at once sent messengers to the legate, who then dwelt in the Tower, ordering him to surrender it without delay to him, the earl, and in order to hasten his compliance witib this summons, he forbade any one to sell provisions to him as long as he remained in the Tower. The legate then, pretending not to notice the matter, left the Tower, and went to St. Paul's Church to preach the crusade. A few days afterwards this disturbance was put an end to, and the earl became reconciled to the king, through the mediation of Richard, king of the Romans, and the illustrious knight Philip Basset; the earl engaging not to excite any disturbance for the future, under penalty of a fine of ten thousand marks.


How Llewellyn made terms with the king of England.

About the festival of St. Michael the Archangel, King Henry arrived at Shrewsbury with a large army, intending to proceed into Wales to make war on Llewellyn, the prince of that country, who had supported the cause of Earl Simon in his presumptuous rebellion against the king. Llewellyn, however, sent messengers to the king, and offered him thirty-two thousand pounds sterling to obtain a peace. Thus, by the intervention of the legate, the land of four cantareds, [1] which the king had taken from the prince, was restored.

The death of G., bishop of Wichester.

In this year John Gervase, bishop of Winchester, died, and was buried at Viterbo.

Of the devastation of Armenia and capture of Antioch.

In this year the soldan of Babylon ravaged Armenia and took Antioch - one of the famous cities of the world - from the Christians, slaughtering the men and women, and reducing the place to a desert.

How the sons of the king of England took the cross.

In the year of grace 1269, which was the fifty-third year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the king was at London with his queen, and the legate Ottobon. The legate Ottobon convoked a council at London, at which he published many statutes for the reformation of the church of England. Soon after this, at Northampton, he conferred the cross on the king's sons Edward and Edmund, and on the earl of Gloucester, as well as on many of the nobles of England; and after thus regulating matters, he returned with a large amount of treasure to Rome.

Of the proclamation of peace throughout England.

About this time, King Henry, in order to destroy the enemies of peace throughout the whole kingdom, caused proclamation to be made in each county against those who opposed the establishment of peace, ordaining that if any one should unjustly usurp the possessions of another, whether sheep, oxen, or anything else whatsoever, he should incur sentence of death.

[1] Cantareds, "hundreds"; from Kant, a hundred, and tre, town.

372 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1269.

Of the capture and decapitation of a cattle-stealer.

About this time, an inhabitant of Dunstaple, who was accustomed to acts of robbery, dared, in an unlucky hour for him, and despite of the king's warrant, to carry off twelve oxen belonging to the townspeople of Calne, and hoped to meet with impunity in his audacity. The owners of the cattle gave pursuit to the thief as far as Redbourne, where they caught him, and brought him back to St. Alban's, and made an accusation against him before the bailiff of that same liberty. The latter read the king's letter in the presence of the guilty man and a crowd of people who had assembled; he then, by virtue of the king's warrant, pronounced sentence upon him, and he was decapitated on the spot.

How the king of France sent for Edward, the son of the king of England, to join him in his pilgrimage.

In this year, St. Louis, king of France, sent special messengers to Edward, the son of the king of England, begging him immediately to give him an interview; which request Edward at once complied with, and hastened across the Channel to meet the French king. The latter received him with a pleasant countenance, and after closely embracing him, explained the cause of his having sent for him as follows. The fact was, he said, that he wished to return to the Holy Land, and to have Edward as his companion in taming the barbarous fury of the Pagans. To this proposal Edward replied: "My lord, you know that the substance of England has almost entirely been consumed, owing to the war between the king and the nobles; and my substance is but very small to carry out such an undertaking with such a personage as yourself". To this the king of F&mce replied, "I will", said he, "lend you thirty thousand marks of good and lawful money, or, in fact, I will give you that amount, if you will only acquiesce in my wishes". In fact, Edward was a man of lofly stature, of great courage and daring, and strong beyond measure; and the king of France considered himself fortunate if he could obtain such a companion. Edward, therefore, who had a no less desire than the king of France himself to enter on such an undertaking, consented to his wishes, and at once pledged Gascony to the French king


receiving from him the money necessary for his journey to the Holy Land. He then returned to England to obtain permission of the king his father, who was moved to tears at his piety, but consented to his wishes, and willingly gave him his blessing, at the same time giving permission to as many as chose to follow him in his pilgrimage, to make preparations for their journey. It was on this occasion that he received the cross from the legate, as above stated.

Of the translation of St. Edward.

In this year, at the instance of Henry the Third, king of England, the body of St. Edward the king and confessor was solemnly transferred to a shrine of gold, which he, King Henry, had prepared for it. About the same time, John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, slew with his own hand, in Westminster-hall, Alan de la Zouch, the king's justiciary, in consequence of some words which passed between them.

How Conradin aspired to the sovereignty of Sicily.

At this time, Conradin, the grandson of the former Emperor Frederick, on the side of his son Conrad, aspired to the sovereignty of Sicily, as his uncle Manfred was dead, and made his way to Rome, with the assistance of the Germans and a host of Lombards and Tuscans, who had joined them. At that city he was received with all the solemnities due to the emperor, and being there joined by the senator of the city, Henry, the brother of the king of Castile, and a great number of the Romans, he entered Apulia with a strong force against King Charles. After a severe pitched battle, however, Conradin's army turned in flight, and he himself being taken prisoner, was decapitated by order of King Charles, together with several nobles of his family. Henry, the king of Castile's brother, fled from the battle to the castle of Cassino, but was afterwards given up to Charles and committed to prison.

Of the death of Pope Clement.

About this same time, Pope Clement died at Viterbo, and was buried in a church belonging to the Preacher brethren there. This pope was so devoted to watchings, fastings, prayers, and other good works, that it was believed that God, as a reward for his merits, had put an end to many of the tribulations under which the Church was suffering.

374 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1270.

Moreover, although many regarded the case of King Charles as desperate, as well on account of the numerous armies of Conradin, as of the whole kingdom of Sicily almost being in a state of rebellion, the said pope foretold the result of events in a sermon. This same pope also canonized, in the church of the Preacher brethren at Viterbo, Saint Edwiga, duchess of Poland, a widow of remarkable sanctity.

On the death of Pope Clement, the see remained vacant for three years, two months, and ten days.

Of the parliament held at Marlborough.

In the octaves of St. Martin, in this year, the king held a parliament at Marlborough, at which, by the consent of the earls and barons, some statutes were published, which were called the Marlborough Statutes. Nicholas of Ely, bishop of Worcester, was nominated and translated to the diocese of Winchester.

The summary of the year.

This year throughout was fruitful, both in corn and fruits, tolerably favourable and agreeable to the English, on account of the restoration of peace. It was, however, still one of anxiety to the English and French, owing to the preparations for the expedition to the Holy Land. To the Sicilians, Germans, Lombards, and Romans, it was one of grief on account of the war unjustly commenced and ill-advisedly carried on.

Of the departure of Louis, king of France, for the Holy Land.

In the year of grace 1270, which was the fifty-fourth year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the said king spent Christmas at Eltham, with his qoeen and the chief men of the kingdom. In this year St. Louis, king of France, undismayed by past labours, unbroken in spirit by the losses and expenses he had incurred beyond sea in times past, again set out on an expedition for the recovery of the Holy Land, in company with his two sons, the king of Navarre, and a great many prelates of the churches, and barons. In order that the recovery of the Holy Land might be more easily effected, it occurred to them that they should first reduce to submission to Christian rule the kingdom of Tunis, which was situated about half-way on their journey, and, which threw great obstacles in the way of travellers. They


therefore landed in the kingdom of Tunis, and easily took possession of the port and town of Carthage, which was now reduced to a small town. Tunis is a small island, but a source of annoyance to travellers, and is called by the same name Tunis.

Of the marriage of Edmund with the daughter of William Albemarle.

On the 8th of April in this year, the king's son Edmund married Evelina, the daughter of William Albemarle, earl of Holderness, who was the heiress to both her father's and mother's inheritance; and by this marriage he was entitled to the county of Devon and the sovereignty of the Isle of Wight. But this lady, with all her offspring, died before her parents.

In this year, Walter de la Wyle, bishop of Salisbury, died, and was succeeded by Robert of Wickhampton, the then deacon of the same church. Throughout the whole of the present year, Edward and Edmund, King Henry's sons, with many well-tried knights of the kingdom, were engaged in preparing arms and equipments, ships, and other things necessary for their expedition to the Holy Land. Peace reigned in the country, through fear rather than love of the king.

Summary of the year.

This year was throughout abundantly productive, both of corn and fruit, and inspired Christians with pleasure, owing to the ardour of the king and nobles in devoting themselves to the liberation of the Holy Land.

Of Edward's departure for the Holy Land.

In the year of grace 1271, whach was the fifty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the king kept Christmas at London, with the queen, his sons, and many of the nobles.

In the month of May in this year, the king's son Edward set out on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, taking with him his wife Eleanor, and accompanied by his brother-in- law Edmund, by four earls, the same number of barons and many other nobles. At Achon (or, as it is commonly called, "Acre"), in the Holy Land, this same Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, who was afterwards named Joan of Acre, and who was in course of time married to Gilbert, earl of Gloucester. Edward then arrived in France with his fleet, but learning

376 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1271.

that the king of France had started for the Holy Land, he followed him by sea, and after a voyage of ten days, arrived safely at Tunis, and landed with all his companions and followers. There he was met by the king of France and his nobles, who received him joyfully, and admitted him to the kiss of peace.

Of the death of Louis, the French king.

In the month of August, the sickness which raged about the sea-coast did great havoc in the army of the Christians. At Tunis, amongst the chiefs of the army, in the first place, there died John, count of Nevers, the son of the French king, and the Cardinal Albano, legate of the Apostolic See. Soon afterwards, on the day after St. Bartholomew the Apostle's day, St. Louis, the most Christian king of the French, passed from a temporal kingdom to an eternal one. The king of Navarre informed the bishop of Tusculum, in a letter, how happily that king closed his life, for during his illness he ceased not to praise the name of the Lord. He frequently repeated the following prayer: "Make us, we beseech thee, O Lord, to despise the prosperity of this world, and not to fear any of its adversities". He prayed also for the people whom he had brought with him, as follows: "O Lord, be a sanctifier and a guardian to thy people". And as he approached his end, he said, looking up to heaven, "I will enter into thy house, O Lord; I will worship in thy holy temple, and will glorify thy name, O Lord": and with these words he slept in the Lord. He was succeeded in his kingdom by his son Philip. At the time when the army was in a state of desolation, in consequence of the king's death, Charles, king of Sicily, arrived, who had been sent for by the king before his death. Although the Saracens were evidently much more numerous than the Christians, they never dared to attack the Christians in the open field, but caused them much annoyance and inconvenience by their stratagems. Amongst other plans, one was as follows. The country being sandy, and very dusty in the dry seasons, the Saracens placed several thousands of their people on an eminence in the neighbourhood of the Christians, and when the wind was blowing in the direction of the latter, they stirred up the sand and dust, which caused great annoyance to the


Christians. But at length, rain coming on, laid the dust, and the Christians got ready their different engines of war, and made preparations for attacking Tunis by land and sea. The Saracens, on seeing this, entered into a treaty with them, and agreed to set at liberty all the Christians who were captives in that country. They also allowed the faith of Christ to be preached freely by the Preacher and Minorite brethren, and by all others soever, in all the monasteries founded in honour of Christ in the cities of that kingdom: also that all who chose to be baptized should be at liberty to do so. The expenses of the two kings then having been paid, and the king of Tunis having acknowledged himself tributary to the king of Sicily, a truce for several years was arranged, and the king of Sicily prepared to re-embark with his army. But the divine vengeance followed him, and as he was endeavouring to return, the sea engulfed almost his whole army, the treasure he had taken from Tunis, and all his moveable property.

Of the murder of Henry, the son of the king of the Romans, in the temple at Viterbo.

About the same time, Henry of Germany, son of Richard, king of the Romans, asked leave of his cousin Edward to return home; for he said he was tired of this long pilgrimage, and wished to see England, the country of peace, and his father, before he died. But he was disappointed in his hopes; for having obtained permission to return, he passed through Tuscany on his way, and as he was attending mass in the church of St. Lawrence, at Viterbo, he was there slain by Guy, son of Simon de Montfort, in revenge for the death of his father.

Of Edward's departure for Acre.

When Edward heard of the terrible vengeance which the Lord had inflicted on Charles, king of Sicily, the brother of Louis, the late king of France, and when he considered that this disaster had happened not without a cause, he struck his breast and cried, swearing by God's blood, his usual oath: "Although all my companions in arms and countrymen should desert me, yet I, with Fowin, my palfrey-keeper (for such was his name), will enter Ptolemais or Achon, i.e., Acre, and will keep my compact and my oath, though my soul

378 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1272.

should be separated from my body in so doing". All the English who were with him, and heard this declaration, promised that they would go with him. He then at once set sail for Acre, and on his arrival there, he found that the city was to be sarrendered to the Saracens in four days from this time. By his arrival the soldan of Babylon was disappointed in his expectations; and although he had begun to besiege the city, he returned to his own country with his army.

Of the death of Richard, king of the Romans.

On the 2nd of April in this year, Richard, king of the Roman, and brother of the king of England, went the way of all flesh, at the castle of Berkhampstead. His heart was buried in the church of the Minorite brethren at Oxford, and his body in the church of the monks of the Cistercian order at Hailes, which he had built at his own expense.

The summary of the year.

This year was rich in fruit and corn crops, and peaceable. It was one of rejoicing to the infidel, on account of the death of the king of France; and of grief to the Sicilians, owing to the death of their king; but one of indifference to the English, who did not suffer from either of these events. Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and the prior of the monks was elected his successor.

How the life of Edward, son of the king of England, was endangered at Acre.

In the year of grace 1272, which was the fifty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Third since the Conquest, the said king was at London, at Christmas, in company with his queen. In this year, whilst the king's eldest son Edward was staying at Acre, a certain emir of Joppa (a rank which corresponds with that of an earl amongst us), and a Saracen by birth, was seized with an affection fof him, on account of his fame for valour, and frequently sent letters and messages of commendation to him by a certain Hassatut, or Assassin, named Anzazim. This man had been educated im subterranean places from his boyhood, where he had been taught to make a sudden attack on any prince of the adversaries of his sect, and had been given to understand, that even if he should be slain in his attempt, he would, for such


an action, receive new life amidst the joys of Paradise. On one occasion of his coming to Edward, as he had been often accustomed to do, with letters, he pretended that he wanted to reveal some secrets to him. Every one then having been excluded from the room, whilst Edward was leaning against the window and directing his attention outside, the assassin suddenly drew a poisoned knife and wounded him twice in the arm, and a third time under the armpit. Edward at once hurled the assassin to the earth with his foot, and wrenching the knife from his hands, slew the villain with it. In wresting away the knife, however, he wounded himself severely in the hand, and as the poison entered and spread in the wounds, they were only cured with great difficulty, and by the application of many and various remedies. Some say that Edward, on finding himself suddenly wounded, having nothing at hand to defend himself with, seized the tripod which supported his table, and brained the ruffian. He then summoned his attendants, and after explaining the particulars of his mishap, he ordered the body of the ragamuffin to be hung on the walls of the city, by the side of a live dog; that the sight of this spectacle might strike fear into others. When the emir heard that Edward was wounded by his messenger, he was much grieved, and declared that the crime had been perpetrated without his connivance or knowledge. In fact, he had purposed, as some stated, to abandon his Saracenic sect, and to receive the grace of Christian baptism through Edward. When the Christians learned that Edward had been wounded in this way, they conceived the design of attacking the Saracens in revenge for the crime, but Edward absolutely forbade this to be done; saying, "In the name of the Lord, I prohibit all of you from molesting the army of the Pagans in any way, or from committing any act of violence against them; for many of our nation are gone on a pilgrimage to our Lord's sepulchre, and if the Pagans suffer the smallest annoyance at our hands, our countrymen will all perish by the hands of the Saracens". This counsel gave satisfaction to all; and not only did the Christians praise Edward's prudence, but the infidels as well, and even the sultan spoke highly of his wisdom.

380 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1273.

The summary of the year.

This year was throughout productive both of corn and fruits, peaceable, and mild in temperature. To the English, under their old king, it was neither a sorrowful nor a joyful one: to the French, under their new one, it was favourable and joyful. To the Romans it was a year of trouble, owing to the see of St. Peter being still vacant.

Of the election of Theobald of Placenza to the papal chair, by the title of Gregory the Tenth.

In the year of grace 1273, which was the fifty-seventh year of the reign of King Henry the Third from the Conquest, Theobald of Placenza, archdeacon of Liege, who had gone to Acre with Edward, urged by the spirit of devotion, was elected pope, with the title of Gregory the Tenth. He received the decree of his election at Acre by the hands of some Preacher and Minorite brethren, specially sent for the purpose, and at once hastened to Viterbo, where the cardinals were awaiting him. He made ordination of five cardinal bishops, which was much commended, as he selected able and honourable persons. He also quashed the election of the archbishop of Canterbury, and restored the pontifical dignity in that church to Robert Kilwardby, who had in this same year resigned the office of provincial prior of his brethren, which he had held for eleven years, and to which he had been re-elected. This prelate belonged to the order of Preachers, and was most distinguished, not only by the sanctity of his religious life, but also by his learning and knowledge. Before entering into his present order, he had been a regent in the arts at Paris, and his skill in these, especially as regarded grammar and logic, was attested by monumental writings. After entering the order, he devoted himself to the study of the Holy Scriptures, and the original writings of the holy fathers. He divided almost all the books of Augustine, and a great many works of other doctors, into short chapters, commenting on the opinions of each in a brief annotation. There are extant his treatises On Time, On the Universal, and On the Origin of the Sciences, the last of which is a curious and a useful book. The pope gave him the permission to receive the benefit of consecration


from whichever Catholic bishop he might think proper to select for the purpose, and he fixed on William, bishop of Bath, who was distinguished amongst the rest of the bishops by his fame for sanctity; and by him he was consecrated at Canterbury, on the first Sunday in Lent, in the presence of eleven suffragans.

Of the burning of the church of Norwich by the citizens.

In this year, by the machinations of the devil, a quarrel broke out between the citizens of Norwich and the monks, and the citizens and common people of the place were excited to such a pitch of fury, that they set fire to and burned the whole of the noble church of that city, with its offices, except the chapel of St. Walter, near the infirmary; and not content with this crime, they carried off with their sacrilegious hands the vases, books, and jewels, which the flame had not touched, together with the golden cup which hung at the great altar, and in which the body of our Lord was placed. King Henry was highly enraged at this crime, and exclaimed, "By the affection which is due to our Lord, I will go and see into this deed of wickedness in person, and I will repay them according to their demerits". He therefore sent in advance of himself a knight named Tryvet, whom he had made a justiciary of the crown. In conformity, therefore, with the urgent orders of the king, and in consideration of the heinousness of the crime, a great number of the people of Norwich, who were convicted of the crime, were condemned to be dragged at the horses' tail to the gibbet, and there hung. The king, as soon as he could, set out for Norwich, taking with him the bishop of Rochester, and Gilbert, earl of Gloucester, and attended by a large retinue. When he arrived there, and saw that the church was entirely destroyed by the fire, he could scarcely refrain from shedding tears; and the bishop of Rochester excommunicated all the aiders and abettors of this dreadful crime. The king, also, immediately condemned the community of the town to the payment of three thousand marks of silver, which sum was to be paid within a fixed term, for the purpose of rebuilding the said church. The inhabitants were also condemned to replace the golden cup taken away by one also of gold, of the weight of ten pounds, and of the value of a hundred

382 MATTHEW PARIS. [A.D. 1273.

pounds of silver. William of Brunham was at that time prior of that church. When he had inflicted condign punishment on the sacrilegious people of Norwich, the king determined to return to London; but whilst on his way thither, having stopped at the abbey of St. Edmund's, he was seized with a serious illness, which did not leave him till the end of his life.

Of the death of King Henry the Third.

Whilst he lay there in his sickness, several earls and barons of the kingdom, as well as prelates, came there to be present at his last moments. The king confessed his sins with humility, beating his breast with grief, remitted ill-will to all, and promised an amended state of life. He was then absolved by a prelate, after which he devoutly received the body of Christ, and being anointed with the extreme unction of the Church, he offered up prayers to the Lord, as a suppliant for his grace. He ordered his debts to be paid, and the rest of his property to be impartially divided amongst the poor; and after duly performing all these duties, he rendered up his spirit to the Lord. His body was buried with all honour at Westminster. He reigned fifty-six years, besides the time which elapsed from the feasts of Saints Simon and Jude to that of St. Edmund the pontiff which was twenty days. He married a noble lady, named Eleanor, the daughter of the count of Savoy, by whom he had two sons, Edward, who became king after him, and Edmund, who was earl of Leicester and Lancaster; and two daughters, namely, Beatrice, who was married to the count of Brittany, and Margaret, who became the wife of the king of Scotland. This king Henry commenced the rebuilding of the church of Westminster, but did not complete it. In proportion as the king was considered to be deficient in prudence in worldly actions, so he was more distinguished for his devotion to the Lord; for it was his custom every day to hear three masses with the notes, and as he wished to hear more, he assiduously assisted at the celebration of private masses; and when the priest elevated the body of our Lord, he usually held the hand of the priest, and kissed it.

A witty speech of the king of England,

On one occasion, St. Louis, the French king, when in


conversation with him on this matter, said that "the attention ought not always to be devoted to the hearing of masses, but that we ought to hear sermons as often as possible"; to which the king of England with witty urbanity replied, "that he would rather often see a friend, than hear speak of him, although he should hear good spoken of him".

Of the said king's personal appearance.

King Henry was of middling stature, and compact in body. The eyelid of one eye hung down, so as to hide some of the dark part of the eyeball. He possessed robust strength, and was inconsiderate in his acts; but as they generally came to fortunate and happy results, many thought that he was designated by the prophet Merlin, when speaking of the lynx, as penetrating everything with his eye.


[Under this title is found a collection of original documents compiled by Matthew Paris, and published separately, as an appendix to his English History. The most important articles only are here translated, as it appeared inexpedient to encumber the volume with matter of only secondary importance, and affording little interest to the English reader.]


The replies of Master Lawrence of St. Alban's on behalf of the earl of Kent, Hubert de Bourg; against whom our lord the king had raised some very grave questions.

[See Vol. I. p. 239.]

Whereas a day was assigned to Hubert de Bourg, earl of Kent, on the octaves of St. John the Baptist, in the twenty-third year of the king's reign, to answer to our lord the king what amends he should make to him, because he had not delivered up to him the marriage-dower of Richard de Clare on the day assigned him by the same our lord the king, according to the agreement between them made, or according to the opinion of his peers, and our lord the king asked him to make amends, and he did not make any: the following transgressions were put forward against him on the part of our lord the king, together with the aforesaid, that he might make his answer thereto. To which the said earl replied, that he had no day assigned to do this: but he also said, that he would satisfy our lord the king on a fixed and reasonable day, or would abide thereon by the opinion of his peers; and he asked that our lord the king would show him in writing, about what articles he is held to answer.

To this the earl replied, that on each of the days assigned him by our lord the king, he, the said earl, was in attendance, and did not in any way seek to cause delay; but always.


agreed to the day, at the pleasure of our lord the king. Wherefore, it seems to him, that all the days assigned him after he was at Kenintone [Kingston or Kennington?], ought to be regarded as one only day. And that, he has always been ready to abide by the opinion of his peers, in having interfered in the matter of the marriage, or authorized any one to do so for him, ever since he made oath at Gloucester that he would never interfere in the marriage; nor did he then know, nor does he now know, anything about the marriage, save through the simple statement of the countess his wife, who says that the marriage was contracted at St. Edmund's, whilst the earl was at Merton. And if this is not enough, he will say more; and is ready to do in this matter what his peers shall decide.

The first of the aforesaid articles is this, that our lord the king demands of him all the outgoings of his kingdom, for the fourteen years next ensuing after the death of his father our lord King. John, and of which he received custody and charge, without the livery of his father our lord King John, and without the assent of Lord Gualo, at that time legate, who, by the common consent and provision of the whole kingdom, after the death of the marshal, was the first and principal councillor of the whole kingdom of England

To this he replied, that certain persons had been deputed to answer about the outgoings of the kingdom; namely, the treasurer and chamberlains; wherefore, after the death of Eustace de Falconbridge, bishop of London, it had been demanded of the treasurer that he should render an account thereof and that he had accordingly done so. Afterwards an account waa demanded [from the bishop of Carlisle] of the whole outgoings of the kingdom, as from a principal receiver, and the bishop held a sitting for the purpose of giving such an account. That an account was afterwards demanded of Peter d'Orival; but that such ought never to be demanded from a justiciary, because he is not the receiver of the outgoings of the kingdom; wherefore, it would seem,, that he who receives nothing, is not bound to answer in anything. He says, moreover, that our lord King John delivered to him the justiciaryship at Runnymede, in presence of our lord Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, the earl of Warrenne, earl Ferrers, and other nobles, and that


he remained justiciary all the time of King John. But it happened that the castle of Dover, at the time of the coming of King John, was left as it were abandoned, and himself entered therein, when there were found to be few who were willing to enter unless he should enter in person; and during the whole time of the war he could not leave the castle, or exercise the office of justiciary.

But when our lord King John died, in the time of the war, the marshal was made governor of the king and the kingdom, by the advice of Gualo, at that time legate, and of the nobles, who were then with our lord the king. But when peace was again made, the said marshal remained governor of the king and kingdom, and the said Hubert remained justiciary, no one gainsaying it. After the death of the marshal, by the advice of the Lord Gualo, then legate, of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and of the bishops and nobles of the kingdom, he remained justiciary, without any opposition, and our lord the pope always wrote to him as justiciary, and he was always so held by the church and the kingdom to be justiciary, as appointed by our lord King John. And thus it is evident, that he did not receive the justiciaryship without the livery of our lord King John, or the assent of the Lord Gualo. And if this is not enough, he will say more, and is ready to do therein whatever his peers shall think right; and also if he is bound to answer, he has a charter of our lord the king, which absolves him from these charges, and which he produces: it was made in the fifteenth year of the reign of King Henry.

Also, the king requires of him to answer about the collection of the whole fifteenth, which ought to have been guarded and held in deposit by the common council of the whole kingdom, in such a manner that nothing might be taken from it until the full age of our lord the king, except under the sight of six bishops and six earls, especially appointed for this purpose, and this for no other purpose than for the defence of the kingdom. The sum total thereof was about eighty-nine thousand marks of silver.

To this he answered, that the lord bishops of Salisbury and Bath received that money by the common counsel of the kingdom, and rendered their account thereof and received their acquittance by letter of our lord the king. Wherefore


it does not seem right that he should be called on to answer in that matter, after others have received an acquittance for it, as appears by the rolls of the Exchequer, and by the letters patent of our lord the king, which are in the Treasury; and inasmuch as he who has received none of it, is not bound to be accountable for it. And if this is not enough, he will say more, and is ready therein to, etc., etc. He has also a charter of our lord the king, etc., etc.

Also, the king requires of him to answer about the land of Poictou, of which King John died seised, and of which our lord, who is now king, was seised, when the said earl received custody of the kingdom, namely, La Rochelle, Niort, and St. John [d'Angely]; and to the charge that, when he ought to have sent a treasure and money for the rescue of those lands, he sent barrels filled with stones and sand. And that so, when the barons and nobles of our lord the king, and the burgesses saw that default, they turned away from the homage and service of our lord the king, and turned to the enemies of our lord the king; wherefore our lord the king lost Poictou.

To this he answered, that he never sent such barrels as those, and this he rigidly will maintain in any manner that his peers shall think fit; but that, by the counsel of the nobles of England, there were sent to the defence of La Rochelle a hundred knights and more, and a large number of esquires, who were there with the king until the burgesses and the men of that country turned aside from the homage of our lord the king: wherefore it is not through his negligence that La Rochelle is lost, nor by the negligence of the knights who were there, for it was against their consent that the townspeople gave up that land to the king of the French. And this is very evident, that, when the knights of our lord the king were in the town, the townspeople removed them from their counsels, and made peace without the knights, on condition that the knights should go away with safety both to their body and their harness. La Rochelle was lost by the bad conduct of Faulkes, who, with his men, rose upon our lord the king at the time that La Rochelle was besieged. The same Faulkes also, by means of his brother William, caused Henry of Braybrook, the king's justice, to be seized whilst in eyre; for which seizure, and other injuries done by


the said Faulkes, it was necessary for the king and nobles of the land to besiege the castle of Bedford, by the advice of the archbishops, bishops, and nobles of the land. The bishops also there excommunicated Faulkes: wherefore it is evident that it was through his misconduct; for otherwise the bishops would not have excommunicated him. And if Faulkes had escaped with impunity, and the castle had not been taken, the kingdom would have been disturbed more than it was. And if this is not enough, etc., etc. And he is ready therein, etc., etc.

Also, let him answer to this charge, that whilst the king was under age, and ought to have succoured the land of Poictou, and his army ought to have set out for Poictou, the said earl caused him to besiege the castle of Bedford, where our lord the king and his nobles of England spent much money before it was taken. And when it was taken, he caused it to be thrown down and given up to William Beauchamp, from whom our lord King John had taken that castle in war, and of which castle King John was seised when he died.

To this he answered, that the siege of the castle was not undertaken through him alone, but by the common counsel of the kingdom, and by the misconduct of Faulkes and his men, in having caused Henry of Braybrook, justiciary of our lord the king, to be taken by William de Breante, his brother. Wherefore our lord the king sent his letters to the said Faulkes, not only once but a second time, to deliver his justiciary, and that his brother would not do anything in the matter. [1] The king also sent his letters to William de Breante, who answered that he would not give up the said Henry without his brother Faulkes, and that his brother would readily confirm what he had done. Wherefore our lord the king, having held a council with his nobles, came as far as Bedford, and sent to those who were within the castle, Peter son of Herebin, and Alan Basset, requiring them to set free Henry of Braybrook, his justiciary, whom they held prisoner, and to come and atone for their misconduct in having taken the said justiciary of our lord the king. And they answered, that they would do nothing for

[1] The Latin is, "et quod frater suus pro quibus nihil facere voluit". Watts, the editor, proposes for "pro quibus", to read "pro iis".


our lord the king, and that they would hold the said Henry, and, if they were able, would take more: wherefore, by the counsel of the nobles of England, the castle was besieged, taken, and destroyed. After which the site of the castle was given up to William de Beauchamp by the counsel of the nobles of England; for this reason, that it was contained in the form of peace concluded between our lord the king and his lord Louis and the barons, that each should have such seisin as he had in the beginning of the war. Wherefore the legate Lord Gualo, the archbishop, and the bishops excommunicated all who should contravene that form of peace. And because the same William was always claiming the said castle as his right, in opposition to the said Faulkes, and could never get it until it was taken by our lord the king, the same our lord the king, with the advice of his nobles, on account of the form of peace that had been made, and for fear of the sentence that had been passed, gave up to him the site of the castle aforesaid, to be held in the same manner as his predecessors held it; as appears in the rolls of our lord the king. And also the said William gave of his own to our lord the king, that he might have such seisin; as likewise appears in the rolls of our lord the king. And if this is not enough, he will say more. And therein, etc., etc.

Also, that he shall answer to the following charge of having sent messengers to Rome, and obtained that our lord the king should be of full age, though he was not of full age, as if this was to the advantage of our lord the king; and then by virtue of his being declared of full age, he caused to be granted to him by charter the lands which belonged to Henry of Essex, and other lands, dignities, and liberties, of which he held seisin of his own accord, after the death of King John, and of which the same King John died seised; and also he caused to be given and confirmed to religious men, ecclesiastical persons and others, many lands and liberties and other things, to the diminution and great deterioration of the dignity of our lord the king and of his crown.

To this he replied, that he did not send messengers to Rome, but the bishop of Winchester sent to Rome William of St. Alban's about the aforesaid matter, rather to the injury of the said Hubert than to his own advantage; that he and the others might give up their wardships, as also was


done at Northampton. Afterwards, by the common counsel of the archbishop and bishops, it was provided, that our lord the king should have a seal, and his letters should issue, that so he might create greater fear of him in the kingdom, and have greater authority. Afterwards a dispensation was obtained for his age from Pope Honorius, at the suggestion of the archbishop, bishops, earls, and barons. For they suggested to the pope that his prudence and discretion made amends for his age, as is contained in the privilege of Pope Honorius directed to the earls and barons, which begins thus: "Ad haec et infra.- Although our illustrious and dear son in Christ is still considered to be in the years of his minority, yet because, as we have heard and rejoice to hear, he has shown a manly mind, and makes progress in age and prudence, so that what is wanting to him on the score of years seems to be made up to him by virtue of his discretion, he must not be forbidden to rule and administer beneficially the affairs of the kingdom; and therefore we command by our apostolical writings, that in conjunction with our venerable brother the bishop of Winchester, and those noble men the justiciary of England and William Brewer, [1] ... [and] we give them instructions by these our letters to give up to him the free and peaceable management of his kingdom". He wrote also to the earl of Chester in this manner:- "We command and enjoin you by these apostolical writings, that you now give up to him the management of his kingdom, and without any difficulty resign to him the lands and castles which you hold under the name of wardship, and cause others to do the same". He wrote in the same form of words to the bishop of Winchester. But to the chancellor he wrote thus:- "We command you by our apostolical writings, that whereas you have the seal of the said king, and the custody of the same, you use it henceforth according to his good pleasure, and thereon obey and follow him only, and cause no letters hereafter to be signed with the royal seal against his will". Concerning the land of Henry of Essex, he says that our lord the king, when he was of full age, and after the chancellor, through the agency of our lord the pope, obeyed him, only gave him that land by charter for his own sake; and also gave him back the

[1] There are here some words omitted. The French translator supplies "qu'ils reglent les dites affaires": they attend to the matters aforesaid.


land as his right, after that he had made peace with him. And if this is not enough, etc., etc., he is ready, etc., etc.

Also, he is required to answer to this, that when our lord William, king of Scotland, had delivered to our lord King John his two daughters, the eldest of whom was to be married to our lord the king, or to Earl Richard, if anything should happen to our lord the king, and for which marriage the said King William quit-claimed to King John all his right which he had over the lands of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Northumberland, and gave him fifteen thousand marks of silver besides, he married the lady before our lord the king was of such an age as to determine whether he wished to have her for his wife or not; and so that, when our lord the king came of age, it was necessary for him to give to the king of Scotland that now is, two hundred hides of land for quit-claim of the aforesaid lands; because the first agreement was not observed; and this, notwithstanding that he had before espoused the countess of Gloucester, who had some time been espoused to our lord King John whilst he was earl, and whom King John gave to him in wardship; and whose marriage he had some time sold to Geoffrey de Mandeville for twenty thousand marks; and each of those ladies was connected with the other in blood within a certain degree.

To this he replied, that he never knew of the agreement made between the two kings, namely, about the marriage to be contracted with either our lord the king, or with Earl Richard; but that she ought to be married by our lord the king with the advice of his nobles, and was married with their advice, is clear as well from the letters of the Lord Pandulf, at that time legate in England, as from the letters of the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops, the earls, and the barons. Nor could that agreement be a hindrance, if it ever was made; for when she was married, the king was of such an age that he might have contracted marriage with her or with another, if he had chosen. As touching the consanguinity between the countess of Gloucester and the daughter of the king of Scotland, he knows nothing. Concerning the two hundred hides of land offered to the king of Scotland, nothing was done, through the earl of Kent. Of the countess of Gloucester, he says, that she was not in


Hubert's wardship, but was her own mistress, and was at liberty to many herself to any one she pleased after the death of Geoffrey de Mandeville, since our lord King John had previously sold the marriage of the countess to the aforesaid Geoffrey. If that is not enough, he will say more: and therein is ready, etc.

Also, he is required to answer to this, that when our lord the pope ordered that, on account of the consanguinity aforesaid, there should be a divorce between him and his wife, the countess whom he now has, he caused certain persons called Lewytheil to mow down all the corn of the Romans, for which deed a sentence of excommunication generally was pronounced upon all those evildoers and their abettors; and this he did when he was justiciary, and it was done by one who was bound to keep the peace, and in such a manner that the peace, as far as those things are concerned, is disturbed up to the present time.

To this he answers, that he knows nothing about it, for this was not done through him, as is very evident, because our lord the pope caused an inquiry to be made about this by the bishop of Winchester and the abbat of St. Edmund's, and the result of the inquiry was transmitted to the pope; from which inquiry it was very evident, that he was not in fault, for, if he had, the pope would have punished him; which he did not do: and if this is not enough, etc. And he is ready to do therein whatever his peers shall think right.

Also that he is required to answer to this, that when he made himself prisoner to our lord the king, and it was agreed between them that he should be held as an outlaw, if he ever escaped out of that custody without the leave of the same our lord the king, yet he escaped out of that custody, and when he had been outlawed through that agreement, and at the instance of those out of whose custody he had escaped, and afterwards our lord the king had received him into favour, yet he would not take out any brief of our lord the king concerning the remission of the said outlawry. And afterwards, when he was received into the favour of our lord the king, in such wise as not to weaken the donations which our lord the king had before made of the lands that he held in his own hand, by means of that agreement, he nevertheless afterwards, contrary to that agreement, impleaded John


de Gray, Masty, Besily, Anquetil Malure, Robert Passelewe, Alan Urry, and several others, and recovered against them; wherefore our lord the king made an exchange with some of them of his demesnes, to his great disadvantage; wherefore also, it seems to our lord the king that he is not bound to hold any agreement with the aforesaid earl, seeing that the earl has not held any towards him.

To this he replied, that he made no such agreement, and he says that when he was in the charge of the four earls of England, who had received injunctions that he should be in no danger of bodily harm, yet afterwards the guards, who ought to protect him from harm, were withdrawn, he knows not by whom; wherefore he felt just alarm for his safety, and especially since the bishop of Winchester was a counsellor of our lord the king, who threatened him, as all England knows, and the castle of Devizes was in the custody of Peter d'Orival. Wherefore, seeing that his guard, which ought to protect him according to the agreement, whilst he was so in custody, went away from him, it was no wonder if he fled to the church; and he would by no means have done this, if the agreements had been safely preserved towards him. As touching the outlawry, as it is termed, he says that he made no such agreement, nor ought any such thing to be considered as an agreement, inasmuch as no good and loyal man can be outlawed by agreement, because outlawry is the punishment of an evildoer, and not of one who acts well, and it follows from the misdeed of one who will not abide by the right. He, however, was not such an one, for he always asked and offered to stand by the judgment of his peers; and afterwards, when he had returned to the peace of our lord the king, all the foregoing were forgiven him, and that was adjudged and proclaimed to be no outlawry, through all the counties of England, by the letters of our lord the king. And that judgment was made at Gloucester, by the mouth of Lord William de Radleghe [Raleigh?], in presence of the archbishop, bishops, earls, and barons. In answer to the charge that he would not take out a brief for the remission of the outlawry, he replied, that he did this that he might not be thought to admit that he was justly outlawed, and he says that he impleaded no one contrary to agreement, because he made no agreement with our lord the king,


except concerning the justiciaryship of England, and the castle of Dover, which he held for his life by charter. And this is evident, since he recovered of those whom he impleaded, by the will of our lord the king and in his court, and by judgment of his court: wherefore he is not to blame on that account. And if this, etc., etc.; and thereon he is ready, etc., etc.

Also, he is required to answer to this, that he used base and reproachful words against our lord the king, in presence of Lord Ralph Fitz-Nicols, Geoffrey de Grancombe, Brother G., and others; and our lord the king still has many things to put forward and say against him, which he still keeps in his mind, and will bring forward against him whenever he pleases, and when the fitting time shall come.

To this he answered, and will resolutely maintain what he says, as against his lord, and against all others who shall say this, by whateoever his peers shall think right. Also that all the foregoing charges were let pass, and legally remitted to him, when he made peace again with the king. Wherefore it seems to him that he cannot justly be convened on the foregoing charges; and if in any of them his answer has not been satisfactory, the earl is ready to say more. Also it seems to him that he is not held to answer unless he has been restored to the possession of all his goods of which he was disseised; seeing that no one is held to answer before any court secular or ecclesiastical, in a state of disseisin.

A day was appointed for the same Hubert before our lord the king to hear his judgment, on the morrow of the Beheading of John the Baptist.


How those who commit crimes in parks and warrens are punished.

[See Vol. II. p. 141.]

If the criminal run away and is slain, he shall have neither justice nor appeal. But if an earl, a baron, or a knight shall have complained to our lord the king, of beasts taken in his park, so that an inquisition be made by brief of our lord the king, then the man who is indicted through the inquisition and convicted, shall lie in the prison of our lord the king for one year and one day; and afterwards shall be redeemed at the price of the value of his land for three


years, in such wise, however, that he shall be maintained by his labour. And then our lord the king shall have two parts of the redemption-money, and the man against whom the offence was committed shall have the third part. And after that redemption, he shall find twelve sureties, who shall guarantee for him that he shall do no damage for the future in parks, warrens, or forests; or in anything contrary to the peace of our lord the king. And if it should happen that he offends in any of the foregoing particulars, his sureties shall answer for his body, and for his offence. But if any one shall suddenly have been taken in any park or warren, without any inquisition to be made by brief of our lord the king, he shall keep the prison of our lord the king as aforesaid, and afterwards must be redeemed in the manner aforesaid; and our lord the king shall have half of that redemption, and the injured party the other; and afterwards he shall find twelve sureties in the manner aforesaid.


The authentic letter of our lord Pope Innocent the Fourth, for the canonization of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury.

[See Vol. II. p. 196.]

Innocentius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brothers the archbishops and bishops, and to his beloved sons the abbats, priors, deans, archdeacons, provosts, archpriests, and other prelates of the churches, to whom these letters shall come, health and apostolical benediction,- We have to relate with delight the new joy of the Church at the renown of her new saint and martyr; and with exulting minds declare unto you how the heavenly brotherhood is celebrating a mighty feast in honour of their new consort. The Church, indeed, rejoices that she has produced so great and good a son, who may both direct others by the example of his holy conversation, and, now that he has received the reward of happiness, may give them the sure and certain hope of heavenly happiness. She rejoices, I say, at being ennobled by such a son, who is worthy to be extolled by all and to be worshipped with due reverence, and evidently declares that those are to be admitted to participate in eternal happiness, who by faith and good works set forth the


Church their mother: whilst none can enter into heavenly glory, save through her, who, as it were, bears the key of the kingdom of heaven. The celestial country rejoices in the arrival of a new habitant, and that one so experienced in the faith is joined as a new colonist to its former inmates. The heavenly citizens exult, and the saints sing at the annexation of an illustrious fellow-citizen and worthy partner of heavenly happiness lately associated with them. Arise, therefore, both you who are zealous for the faith, and rejoice together with the Church your mother, at the magnificence and exaltation of your brother. Let there be no bounds to your joy, and entertain a sure hope of the denizen of earthly things that has now been made a participator of heavenly things. Exult with joy unbounded, that a new patron has sprung up for you before God; that a mild intercessor pleads before him for your salvation. For, lo! the blessed Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, soundly believing that the creature is directed by a natural affection towards its Creator, and that fallen nature ought to recognise its own Creator and its Redeemer as its restorer, has made this the object of his affectionate and studious inquiry. For holding the light of right intention, he has advanced towards him with the steps of perfect works, pointing out to others a path of salvation, both by the splendour of his life, and the brightness of his doctrine. Wherefore, as if in delectable revelry, singing in the sweet symphony of these three, pure intention, perfect works, and right discourse, and by the virtue of perseverance having overcome those three enemies, the flesh, the world, and the devil, he duly merited to be crowned with the threefold crown of true faith, firm hope, and fervent charity, to be honoured with the palm of victory prepared for him in the citadel of the heavenly Trinity by the threefold orders of the virgin, the continent, and the married. For, if I may be allowed to speak of his actions, although his life, in proportion as it is more fully set forth, becomes the sweeter to the taste of the narrator, and more delights the minds of the hearers, whilst in his tender years he tenderly loved the Son of God, he did not cease afterwards to keep him in his mind, for he inscribed him with the pen of right consideration upon the tender tablet of his mind. Moreover, in proportion as he grew in years, he grew also with more perfect


knowledge in his love; and, lest the fervour of his spirit should be extinguished by the ardour of the flesh, but rather that it should be kindled by the mortification of the same, he subdued it by the harshness of constant sackcloth, and bound its desires by the fetters of the strictest abstinence, so that it was not led by its own wishes, but by the will of the spirit, and made its way in safety to what was lawful, and thoughtfully turned aside from what was unlawful. For he subdued his body by severe fasts, adding to ancient observances fresh austerities, which he appointed for him to keep; whilst despising the temptations of delicious food, he was content to feed on the most humble fare, and at the time of common fasts, he chose to abstain even from the meats that were allowed; and, moreover, on the other days in the week practised an abstinence still greater. He also abhorred long sleep, and kept long watchings; shaking off drowsiness and occupying himself diligently with prayer. For he despised the softness of the bed, that he might not be enfeebled by luxurious rest: and he only indulged his limbs so far in the repose of lying in bed, as not to prevent him from rising forthwith as soon as he was refreshed by a sleep of short continuance, but he devoted a far longer time to genuflexions and to prayer. From the beginning of his career even to the end, he studied to walk so chastely as to avoid the temptations of the world, and not to fall into the filth of pleasures, but to shine forth in the beauty of chastity. What need I say more? He bruised the frail vessel of the flesh, that he might therein the better preserve the treasure of the soul committed to his charge. He was a bright teacher and a distinguished preacher: he poured the light of knowledge into the minds of his hearers, and tearing the weeds of vice from the breasts of the faithful, he planted therein the seeds of virtue. For he was lofty in his lowly-mindedness, pleasing in his gentleness, strong in his long-suffering, affable in his benevolence, sympathizing with piety, harmless in mercy, and abounding with manifold streams of alms for the help of his poorer brethren. That I may complete in a brief recital of the multitude of his good deeds, he showed such firm faith in knowing Jesus, and when he knew him, loved him with such sincerity of heart, and loving him so made him the object of all his vows, that despising


the world and all the things that are in the world, he turned all his thoughts to heavenly things, striving so by his actions to conform himself to his name, that, whereas he was named Edmund, he might prove by the testimony of his deeds that, he was pure [mundus] from the stain of sins, and separate from the world [mundus] that is, placed beyond its allurements. Wherefore, as though he were wholly a spiritual Edmund, when he was at his latter end, aloof from the contact of the flesh, and reverently adored the body of Christ that was offered to him, he is said to have uttered, with wonderful contrition, of heart, these words, worthy of all attention: 'Thou art he in whom I have believed, whom I have preached, and whom I have taught: thou also art my witness, that I have sought nothing else but thee, O Lord, upon the earth; as thou knowest that I wish nothing but what thou wishest: thy will be done'. Whereas, whilst he was alive he had illuminated the Church of God with his distinguished merits, he did not after death withdraw from it the beams of his brightness: but when his life was ended, he seemed still to be living rather than to have lived; and he illustrated it thenceforth with the brightness of a fuller light. For the Lord did not wish that the sanctity of so great a man should be lost to the world, but rather that, as he had formerly been famous for the number of his merits, he should now be revealed by the diversity of his miracles; that he who had loved, the Lord with all his devotion, should reign with him, and be loved and honoured; for he restored eyesight to the blind, and, what is more glorious still, he chased away darkness from the eyes of a man who had been blind from his birth, by the brightness of the vision which he infused into him. The tongue of another man, also, had been tied by nature with lasting silence, but was loosed by him, and endowed with the power of speaking freely. He healed, too, by a sudden and miraculous washing, the leprosy of another man, whilst the scales of the leper fell to the ground at once. He strengthened the trembling limbs of the paralytic, by the consolidation of the nerves, and healed the contracted by the extension of their joints. He healed the swelling dropsy by reducing the body to smaller dimensions. He restored also a woman of advanced age, who had been bent to the ground by a hump of long standing, so


that she again stood upright. By these and many other miracles, his power shone forth conspicuous; but we have not deemed it necessary to insert them in the present pages; for he was known to have gloriously raised more than thirty dead men to life at Pontigny, besides those who had died elsewhere, or been exposed to death, whom he recalled to life and perfect safety from the gates of death, or rather from death itself. Nor do we believe that there is a saint in all the heavenly court whose miracles and manifest virtues the envy alone of slanderers has sunk in silence or tainted with a spot. By those virtues, the Catholic faith is strengthened, whilst the obstinacy of the Jews is put to the blush, the deceitfulness of heretics is confounded, and the ignorance of pagans is struck aghast. Let the church of Canterbury sing the song of divine thanksgiving, because she is adorned among the other churches of modern times with venerable patrons; reddened with the martyrdom of one, and whitened by the confession of another. Let fertile Canterbury rejoice with full joy, because from the area of her church, she sent forth so pure a grain into the barns of the heavenly king. Let the monastery of Pontigny also rejoice, because she has been deemed worthy to be honoured by the presence of such great and excellent fathers; whilst one of them, long living there, has ennobled it by the morality of his life, and the other going thither, enriched it with the treasure of his body, whilst he gave his soul to heaven; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the glorious martyr himself, Thomas, who, after the long delay which he made, in the time of his exile at the said monastery, not being able to return as full an answer as he could wish to the monks, about the respectful charity which they had exhibited towards him, is reported to have said, that 'a successor to himself would one day arise, who should repay them due recompense for the same'. Moreover, inasmuch as those whom the great God magnifies in heaven with the crown of everlasting glory, should be venerated by men on earth with the greatest zeal of devotion, so that in proportion as the faithful the more solemnly honour the saints whose memory we celebrate, they may thereby the more worthily deserve their patronage; we, having already with the solemnity of minute inquiry, and with a strict discussion


having examined into the sanctity of life and truth of the miracles of the aforesaid Saint Edmund, and having obtained plenary certitude of the same, having also procured the common counsel and consent of our brethren and all the prelates at that time resident at the Apostolic See, on that Sunday in Advent on which is sung Rejoice in the Lord always, etc. (Gaudete, etc.), have deemed fitting that he should be enrolled in the calendar of the saints, or, to speak more properly, that notification should be made to the world, of his having already been there enrolled. Wherefore also we advise and carefully exhort your brotherhood, enjoining and commanding you by these apostolical writings, that on the fifteenth day before the calends of December, at which time his blessed soul, freed from the prison of the flesh, ascended to the stars, and entered the heavenly courts, there to enjoy the delights of paradise, you devoutly and solemnly celebrate his festival, and cause it, my brethren, archbishops and bishops, to be celebrated with due respect by the faithful servants of Christ throughout your cities and dioceses, that by his holy intervention, you may be able both to be extricated from impending dangers, and hereafter to obtain the prize of eternal salvation. But, that the multitude of Christian people may flock together more zealously and more numerously to his revered tomb, and that the festival of the said saint may be held with more celebrity; to all who are truly penitent and have made confession, who shall reverentially come thither every year at the same feast to ask his mediation, we, trusting in the mercy of Almighty God, and in the authority of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul, mercifully relax one year and forty days of penance enjoined upon them; but to those who come for a single year to the tomb aforesaid, within the octaves of the said feast, forty days.

Given at Lyons, III. Id. Jan., in the fourth year of our pontificate.

Prayer for St. Edmund's Day.

God, who by the wisdom of thy great goodness, hast adorned thy Church with the merits of the glorious life of Saint Edmund, thy confessor and bishop, and hast made it to rejoice in his glorious miracles; grant to us thy servants, that we may both be reformed for the better by his example,


and be protected by his patronage from all adversities. Through, etc.

[In secret.] We beseech thee, O Lord, through the intercession of Saint Edmund, thy confessor and bishop, that the gifts which are to be offered to thee may please thee, and that those which have been offered may be profitable for our salvation. Through, etc.

After the Communion.

Strengthen our minds, O Lord, we beseech thee, with the sacraments which we have received; that, as thou hast vouchsafed to comfort them with the new miracles of thy confessor and bishop Saint Edmund, so thou mayest deign to aid us by his mediation, and to enlighten us by his example. Through Jesus, etc.


Powers granted to Brother John, of the Minorite order.

[See Vol. II. p. 223.]

Innocent, etc., to John English, etc.- Whereas to our venerable brothers the archbishop of Canterbury and York, and their suffragans, and also our beloved sons the exempt abbats and some other clerks dwelling in the provinces of Canterbury and York, we have, with the consent of our brethren, given our commands, that they shall give full belief to those things which you shall set forth to them on our part for the aid of the Apostolic See, and liberally and willingly study to fulfil the same; we enjoin your discretion by the authority of these presents, that, if any of them perchance shall not carry into effect a mandate of this kind, those whom your prudence shall judge it right to compel, shall be compelled by ecclesiastical censure and without right of appeal, to do the same, either by yourself personally, or by the brethren of your order to whom you shall have delegated your powers in this matter, notwithstanding any privilege or indulgence whatever to the contrary, albeit that these presents do not make express mention of the same.

Given at Lyons, V. Id. Octob., in the fourth year of our pontificate.


Also another authentic document.

Innocent, etc., to Brother John English, etc.- Circumscribed by the necessities of the Church, we have, by the advice of our brethren, given instructions to our venerable brethren the archbishops of Canterbury and York, with their suffragans, and also to our beloved sons the exempt abbats and certain other clerks dwelling in the provinces of Canterbury and York, that they shall give full belief to those things which you shall set forth to them on our part, for the aid of the Apostolic See, and liberally and willingly study to fulfil the same. But inasmuch as the burden which is divided among many is more easily supported, we, having full trust in the Lord, of your prudence, do by our authority hereby grant to you beforehand the power of granting, either by yourself personally, or through other brethren of your order, to whomsoever you may have committed your powers, authority to the archbishops, suffragans, and abbats, before mentioned, that they compel their people by ecclesiastical censure without appeal; as also of compelling them in the same manner by yourself personally, or by the brethren aforesaid, to contribute according to their means, out of their ecclesiastical goods, to aid as aforesaid.

Given at Lyons, VI. Id. Octob., in the fourth year of our pontificate.

Also another authentic document.

To the archbishop, etc.- We command you, out of reverence to St. Peter and us, to receive with kindness John, whom we send to you on certain matters of the Roman church, and to treat him honourably in all things that he needs, and with safe conduct in coming, going about, and returning, both for himself and others whom he shall take with him, and as regards the saddle-horses of the same, if they shall ever happen to have any, and also providing liberally for the messengers whom he shall at any time deem it necessary to send, so that we may on that score have cause to praise the manifestation of your good will. Otherwise that you will be excommunicated. etc.


Instructions of the Pope to Brother John, of the Minorite order.

Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, etc., to his beloved son Brother John, of the Minorite order, our envoy in England, health and apostolical benediction.- It has lately reached our ears that several prelates of churches in the kingdom of England, not considering that those things which have been assigned over to divine claims, ought not to be transferred to human uses, have at their own will and pleasure, under the name of grant or alienation, transferred to lay persons or others the rights of patronage and advowson which prevailed in certain churches, sometimes with the consent of their chapters, and also, a thing which we can hardly believe, with the favour of their diocesans. Some abbats also, and priors of different orders, as well exempt as not exempt, in the aforesaid kingdom, aiming by unlawful means at their own gains, obtain the right of patronage in parish churches, under the plea of exemption, or by other wicked bargainings; and so, sometimes with the consent of their diocesans, sometimes of their own bent, do not hesitate to apply the said churches to their own use or to the use of their members, contrary to God and the tenor of the canons. But certain agents formerly appointed by the Apostolic See in the same kingdom concerning the provisions of clerks, whenever any ecclesiastical benefices, out of which provision might be made for the same clerks, happen to be vacant, faithlessly follow their own private advantage in transacting the business of others, which had been trustingly committed to their charge, whilst they excommunicate and suspend the abbats, priors, and other patrons of churches, to whose presentation the said benefices are known to belong; and having thus entangled them, do not permit them to proceed to the ordinations of their own churches, until the said patrons, induced sometimes by threats and deceit, have assigned the said benefices, or a yearly maintenance, to themselves or others, their relations and friends, but not to those for whom we had ordered provision to be made. Some agents also of this kind, professing to be our nuncios in the kingdom of England (though we are ignorant of having any other nuncio than yourself in the kingdom aforesaid), under the pretence of our mandate, whereby they procure provision to


be made for them in certain clerks of the said kingdom out of ecclesiastical benefices, which have so long been vacant, that the collation to them, according to the statute of the Lateran council, has devolved upon us, are said to have enjoined [1] ... and annoy religious men about the churches which have been granted to them, and which they have for a long time peaceably possessed; and they do not cease to annoy them about these, until the same religious men are compelled to buy off their annoyance with a sum of money, or by assigning an annual payment. Seeing, therefore, that these things must not be passed over under the silence of dissimulation, we command and strictly enjoin your discretion, in virtue of your obedience, through yourself personally, and other secular persons, or men of whatever religion or profession, whom you shall think fit to appoint for this purpose in the different places of the kingdom aforesaid, by our authority, which we hereby give you by these presents, to inquire diligently into the truth of the foregoing matters touching the alienation, sale, or purchase of the patronage or advowsons of churches, which, being annexed to spiritual things, cannot be sold or bought in this manner, and to declare void all such proceedings, by whomsoever presumed, or hereafter to be so presumed, which we hereby declare to be void; and that whatever rash change you shall find to have been made in them, or on account of them, in the state of the parish churches, you take care to restore to their former state at once and without the noise of a public judgment. But you shall with all due rigour compel the agents aforesaid, on our authority, either by yourself personally, or by others whom as aforesaid you shall appoint for this purpose, to resign and restore whatever you shall find them to have received by their wickedness in the exactions aforesaid; and shall report to us notwithstanding, by letters containing the full and simple particulars thereof, concerning those whom you shall find to have offended in this matter, that we may proceed in their case as the nature of their crime shall

[1] I cannot translate in any other manner this passage, which seems to be either corrupt or mutilated: "Dicuntur injunxisse religiosos viros super ecclesiis quas sibi concessas in usus proprios per longissima tempora pacifice possederunt, infestant, nec ab eorum super his infestatione desistunt", etc.


require, restraining all impugners by the censures of the Apostolic Church without appeal, and notwithstanding all grants from the Apostolic See to individuals, of exemption from being excommunicated, suspended, or interdicted by any apostolical letters which do not make full und express mention word for word of such indulgence, or that they are not bound to the undertaking or execution of causes which happen to have been committed to them by the authority of the same see, or by the constitution of the Two Days, published at the General Council.

Given at the Lateran, V. Id. Jan. in the eleventh year of our pontificate.


On the translation of St. Edmund the Confessor.

[See Vol. II. p. 233.]

Richard, by the grace of God, bishop of Chichester, to his venerable friend Lord R. [obert?], abbat of Bayham, health,- That you may be the better informed of the elevation and present state of the body of Saint Edmund, be it known unto you that on the morrow of the Holy Trinity last past, when the tomb of our holy father Edmund was first opened in the evening before a few persons only who were present, we found the body fragrant with a very sweet odour, and in a full and perfect condition. The head was still covered with hair, and the face shining, and the body with the other members sound in all its parts, and odoriferous beyond balm or incense. The nose, however, had suffered injury by pressure from the upper stone, but was not decayed; and deservedly so, for whoever examines into his life more fully, will see that it is a sin to have doubts of his virginity. The whole body, and especially the face, was found as it were steeped in oil; which we believe signified the grace as well of his morals as of his doctrine, for there was grace diffused over his lips, in reading, disputing, and preaching; God had anointed him with the oil of gladness above all the readers, teachers, and disputants of his time; wherefore there was grace diffused over his lips. We shall find in the same some other marks also of virtues, which we will relate to you in secret when the opportunity of a favourable time shall arise, too long to allow of my now setting them down

A.D. 1248.] SIEGE OF PARMA. 407

in writing. But as touching those which have been mentioned, your discretion may not entertain a doubt, for we speak and write what we know, and testify what we have seen. With our own hands we handled his holy body, and with diligence and reverence combed and arranged his head, with the hairs strong and unharmed. But on the Sunday next before the feast of Saint Barnabas, in presence of our lord the king of France, with his mother and the counts his brothers, and many nobles besides, moreover two cardinals, to wit, the bishop of Albano and the legate of France, with the archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, and other venerable prelates, and many others aiding, whose number we could not learn, at Pontigny, by the divine will, with unspeakable exultation and glory, and with magnificent thanksgivings to God, was celebrated the translation of our most blessed father Saint Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury and confessor, to the no small augmentation of the honour of our nation.


Letters on raising the siege of the city of Parma.

[See Vol. II. p. 262.]

To those brave and prudent men, the Lord Boniface de Salo, podesta, the knights and people of Milan, the Vice-lord Philip, podesta, the knights and people of Parma, health with glory and honour.- We render praises to God the Father, and his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Ghost, in his Trinity of Deity and unity of Majesty, and to the glorious Virgin, who, not for the claim of our merits, but out of her own most merciful pity, protects and defends, rules, visits, and governs our city; as we plainly see in the triumphant victory which, on Tuesday, the twelfth of last February, God conferred upon us at the intercession of his mother. For, although fifteen hundred of our men had gone between Colorno and Bresello, and, moreover, two gates had been wholly [destroyed], and that fierce dragon, which had so long besieged our land, thought that he should altogether swallow us, when all the bands of their knights and infantry had been already drawn up beyond their walls; we, having invoked the aid of God and the glorious Virgin, and perceiving that God is powerful to humble the proud


and to exalt the humble, went forth straightway to meet them, with our people and all our knights, in nowise slackening our steps, until we joined battle with them, preceded by the standard with the figure of the precious Virgin, by whose track and guidance we were directed. And although they resisted stoutly from the first, yet we prevailed against them with vigour, broke them, crushed them, and laid them all level with the ground. The impious Frederick, coming down like a felon, abandoned his men and all his spoils, and took to flight. We took three thousand of them and more prisoners. We took also the carrochio of the Cremonese, the walls also which he had built, and all his camp; and we now have all those things which he then had. We also slew Thaddeus, his judge, his grooms of the bedchamber, and all his chamberlains. Our exiles who were among his knights and people, we slew to the number of more than fifteen hundred; besides those who were crushed underneath the feet and by the fall of the horses, who were so many that we could not describe their number. The rest of his men we put to flight in all directions. At length we returned to the city, and rendered thanksgiving and due honour to God; we disposed the affairs of our city, trusting in Him who is the true salvation and strength of all men, that, now we had broken the arm of the wicked, we and ours should enjoy perpetual peace. These things we tell you to give you joy, asking of your magnificence that you will all, without any delay whatever, come with your carrochio to our help and succour. But when the Lord shall point out to us the way, we intend to proceed therein diligently, that we may at once recover the town of San Dominic and Bersillo, and our other lands, and seizing on the canal of Cremona, together with our enemies and yours, may blot them out for ever from the land of the living. Away with all delay, ye men of prudence and valour, since next to God and the blessed Virgin, we regard you as the authors and sharers of our triumph. And be it known to you, that, having burnt the land of the aforesaid cursed Frederick, we have all the men of ours, and of the Placentians, whom he had kept in prison. Farewell: tell these things to our friends and your own, that they may be known to all the friends of Christ. Farewell.



Urgent letters of our lord the king, relating to the censures passed against the clipped money,

[See Vol. II. p. 265.]

Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to the viscount of Hertford, health.- We remember to have formerly given you our commands not to permit any clipped money to circulate in your bailiwick, which yet we hear you have hitherto permitted, notwithstanding our precept. Wherefore it is not without reason that we are surprised and angry thereat, and do hereby command you again, that as you love yourself and all belonging to you, you cause it to be proclaimed and strictly forbidden throughout all your bailiwick, on our behalf, that no money of this sort circulate therein, from the time that such proclamation and prohibition shall be made. But if any such money shall be found circulating hereafter, you shall cause it to be pierced, according to our precept. You shall also cause all changers of this money that you shall meet with, to be arrested in their persons, so that you may keep them to await our orders. Witness myself at Merton, the seventeenth day of November, in the year of our reign thirty-three.


Letter from the count of Arras, concerning the taking of Damietta.

[See Vol. II. p. 315.]

To his most excellent and dearest mother Blanche, by the grace of God illustrious queen of France, Robert, count of Arras, her devoted son, health, with filial love, and a ready will to please her!- Whereas we know that you rejoice much at the prosperity of us and ours, and at the good success which has happened to the Christian people, when you obtain correct information of the same, we wish your excellency to know, that our dearest lord and brother the king, and the queen, and his sister, and we, enjoy health of body by the grace of God: which also we fervently hope is the case with yourself. Our dearest brother, the count of Anjou, still feels his quartan ague, but milder than usual. And we wish your love to know that our dearest lord and brother.


and the barons and the pilgrims, who wintered in Cyprus, withdrew in their vessels on Ascension day, in the evening; to the port of Linoc, that they might proceed against the enemies of the Christian faith. From which port, when they departed, after many toils by sea and opposite winds, they came, by God's guidance, on the Friday after Trinity, about mid-day, and casting anchor, held a meeting that same day in the ship of our lord the king, to hold council what was next to be done. They saw before them Damietta and the harbour, fortified by a large number of Turks, both horse and foot, and the river's mouth, which lay near, protected by a multitude of armed galleys. At this council it was ordained, that on the next morning, each should land, together with our lord the king, in the best manner he was able. And we wish your ladyship to know, that, on the morning of the Sabbath [Saturday], as had been ordained, the Christian army, having left their large ships, came down manfully equipped in their galleys and small boats, and trusting in God's mercy, and in the help of the triumphant cross, which our lord the legate carried on a standard near our lord the king, deriving joy and comfort from the Lord, drew near to the land, in spite of the enemies, who made numerous attacks upon us, both by shooting arrows and by other means. But when the boats, on account of the sea being too low, could not get to dry land, the Christian army, leaving their boats, in the name of God leaped into the water, and got to dry land with their arms on foot Although the multitude of the Turks defended the shore against the Christians, yet by the favour of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Christian people reached the shore safely and joyfully, after a great slaughter of horses and Turks, [1] and of some who were said to be of high rank. And when the Saracens had withdrawn into the city, which was very strong, as well by reason of the interposing river as by its circuit of strong walls and towers, our Lord Almighty, who gives to all abundantly and without reproach, without toil to his people, about nine o'clock the next morning, which was the octave of the Holy Trinity, gave up the city to the Christian people, the unbelieving Saracens having fled and left it

[1] "Equorum Tarcoramque". The French translator, supposing some error, corrects it, and reads "de cavaliers Turcs et quelques Sarrasins".


This was done by the gift of our Lord God alone, and by his almighty mercy. Be it known to you also, that the same Saracens left that city provided with a great abundance of provisions and flesh, warlike machines, and other useful things, of which a great part remained as stores for the said city; and from that part the army was much recruited. But our lord the king, with his army, made a long stay there, and caused his things to be brought out of his vessels. And we believed that the army would not depart thence until the fall of the river, which, as they told us, was then on the point of covering the land: for elsewhere, in those parts, the Christian people were incurring much damage. The countess of Anjou, in Cyprus, was brought to bed of a very beautiful and well-made boy, which she put out to nurse there. Given at the camp of Jamas [Damietta?] A.D. 1249, in the month of June, on the eve of Saint John the Baptist.

This is the import of the letter sent to the queen of France, word for word.

Further information of the taking of Damietta.

To his dear uterine brother and well-beloved friend Master B[ennet], of Chartres, a student at Paris, Guy, a knight of the household of the viscount of Melun, health, and a ready will to do his pleasure.- Whereas we know you to be anxious about the state of the Holy Land, and of our lord the king of France, not only on account of the universal prosperity of the Church, but also on account of our relations and friends serving Christ under our lord the king of the French, we have deemed it right to give you information respecting certain news which is reported among the common people. When we left Cyprus, after holding a special council of war, and sailed towards the east, intending to attack Alexandria, and during the following days were carried by an unexpected storm over a great expanse of sea, many of our ships were dispersed and separated one ftom another. Meanwhile the sultan of Babylon, and the other princes of the Saracens, learnt through their scouts that we intended to attack Alexandria. Wherefore, having gathered together an immense multitude of armed men, from the people of Cairo, Babylonia, Damietta, and Alexandria, they awaited our coming, that they might assail us with the sword after the fatigues


of our march. One night, therefore, when we were being borne by a rough wind over an extensive tract of sea, in the morning the wind relaxed, and the calm which we had longed for appeared; our dispersed ships were again collected together, and we sent up a skilful climber, who knew all the coasts on this side of the sea, and also many idioms, and who was our faithful guide, to mount up to the mast-head, and tell us if he saw the land, and where in the world we were. This man, having deliberately and with steady deliberation examined all the neighbouring places, exclaimed with a loud voice, "God help us! God help us! He alone can do so! Here we are in front of Damietta"! We were now near enough to see the land, and the watchmen on board the other ships saw it likewise; and they all began to draw near to one | another. But when our lord the king perceived this, he began with undaunted spirit to exhort and encourage all of them, rising up in the midst and saying to them, "My friends and faithful soldiers, we shall be invincible, if we only are inseparable in our love of one another; it is not without the divine will that we have been borne hither across the sea so quickly: let us debark upon this land, whatever it may be, and occupy it powerfully. I am not the king of France; I am not the holy Church; you, all of you are the king; you are the holy Church. I am only one single man, whose life, whenever it pleases God, shall be put out like the life of any other man. For us every issue is safe: if we are beaten, we take our flight as martyrs; if we gain the victory, the glory of the Lord will be preached, and the glory of all France, nay of all Christendom, will be amplified. It is madness to believe that the Lord, who provides everything, has raised me up in vain: he will look upon our cause; we shall be conquerors for the name of Christ, and he will triumph in us; giving, not to us, but to his own name, the glory, and the honour, and the blessing". Meanwhile our ships were already got together and approaching the shore, so that the citizens of Damietta, and those who lived near, the shores, were able to contemplate our fleet - fifteen hundred ships, besides those that had been scattered, which were a hundred and fifty. And indeed, as we believe, there never was, in our times, so great a fleet of ships got together before. The people of Damietta therefore, astonished, struck


aghast, and frightened, sent out to us four of their best galleys with their most nimble pirates, to explore and find out who we were, and what were our intentions. When we saw them come near enough to distinguish our vessels, they hesitated, and ceased to move so fast as before, as if, having obtained the desired information, they wished to get safe away. But our galleys, meanwhile, with the fast boats, got behind them, and hemmed them in, so that they were compelled, however unwilling, to approach our ships. But our men, seeing the firmness and unwavering resolution of our lord the king, prepared themselves at his bidding for a seafight; his orders were to seize these and some others if they should come on, and then boldly occupying the shore, should effect a landing thereon. We therefore shot against them fiery darts and stones from our sea-mangonels, which were prepared to cast five or six stones together from a great distance; and we threw small bottles full of lime, made to be shot from a bow, or small sticks like arrows, against the enemies. Our darts therefore pierced the bodies of their pirates and their stuff, whilst the stones crushed them, and the lime, flying out of the broken bottles, blinded them. Three of their galleys therefore were at once destroyed, and some of the pirates were saved from being drowned, and made prisoners. The fourth galley made its escape, but not without receiving some damage. The men whom we took were put to exquisite tortures, and made to confess the truth; namely, that Damietta was left empty of its inhabitants, and that we were expected at Alexandria. But the pirates who escaped (some of them severely wounded), and whose galley was put to flight, carried back word with lamentable howlings to the people of Damietta, who were waiting for them on the shore in an immense multitude, that the sea was covered with our fleet that had just arrived; for the king of the French was approaching in arms with an immense number of nobles. Of whom also they said ten thousand had openly fought against themselves the Saracens, and rained upon them fire, stones, and cloud. "But", said they, "whilst they are weak from the toils and fatigue of their voyage, as you love your lives and homes, assault them altogether and slay them; or at least drive them back by force, until our men can be recalled. We alone have with difficulty escaped, to tell you


these things, and to warn you that you must defend yourselves. We know the standards of their nobles. Behold they are rushing furiously upon us, ready prepared, and exhorting one another to fight whether on land or on sea". In consequence of this speech, fear and distrust came upon the Saracens. All our men, being informed of the truth, were raised to good hopes, and leaped in crowds from the ships into the boats, one vying with another; for the sea was very shallow near the shore, so that neither the boats nor the small craft could reach the dry land. Many therefore plunged hastily into the sea up to their loins, in obedience to the strict and urgent commands of our lord the king. Immediately there was a most bloody battle: our men joined themselves to those before them without leaving any interval, and the courage of the Gentiles was broken. Only one man on our side was slain; but two or three were drowned, who, in their eagerness to fight, had plunged too hastily into the water, and so owed their deaths to themselves rather than to others. The Saracens therefore giving way, disgracefully fled and retreated into their city, where many of them had been slain, and great numbers of them had been wounded and mutilated. Our men would have pursued them closely, but were kept back by their leaders, who feared foul play. In the midst of the battle, some slaves and captives broke their chains, and getting out of prison made their escape; for even the gaolers had come out to fight against us, and none remained in the city except the women, the children, and the sick. These slaves and captives met us with eager delight, and applauded our king and his army, saying, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord"! These things were done with a good auspicious beginning, on Friday, the day of our Lord's passion [Good Friday]; after which our lord the king came to land securely and triumphantly, together with the rest of the Christian army, and so we rested until the next day. On the following Sabbath [Saturday], we powerfully and skilfully took possession of the land and shores of the sea which remained to be taken, under the guidance and information of the slaves, who also knew the secret passages. That same night the Saracens, discovering that some of the slaves and captives had escaped, knocked


out the brains of those who remained, making of them glorious martyrs to Christ, to the destruction of themselves, the said Saracens. In the darkness of the following night, and on the morning of Sunday, the Saracens, considering the number of their invaders, their bravery, their constancy, and the unexpected emptiness of the city, being in want of leaders, superior men, and persons to encourage them, as well as strength and arms to fight with, took their wives and children, with whatever they could carry away, and fled lightly armed through small gates, which they had warily prepared a long time before, on the other side of the city, and suddenly made their escape, some by land, and some by water, leaving the city abounding in all things. On Sunday morning, at nine o'clock, two captives came out, who had by chance escaped out of the hands of the enemies, and told us what had happened. The king, therefore, having laid aside all fear of treachery, entered the city before three o'clock in the afternoon, without bloodshed or noise of arms, and with no one to oppose him: no one, moreover, of those who entered with him was wounded, except Hugh le Brun, earl of March, who, we think, cannot escape death, from the quantity of blood which has flowed from his wounds; for he was regardless of his life, in consequence of the reproaches which he had borne, and rashly thrust himself into the midst of the enemies; he had been posted in the front row of the combatants at his own request, as a suspected person, and this he was informed of. Nor must it be omitted, that when the Saracens had resolved to take to flight, they threw against us the Greek fire in great quantity and force, which was very dangerous and destructive to us, because there was a strong wind blowing from the city towards us. But, behold, the wind suddenly shifting, carried the fire back upon the city, and burnt several of their men and fortresses; and would have burnt more, but the slaves, a few of whom had remained, immediately coming up, put it out by certain means with which they were acquainted, and by their prayers to God, who listened to their request, in order that we might not take possesion of a city that had been burnt to the ground. On the Lord's day, then, as we have already said, our lord the king entered the city in great triumph, and went up to pray in the temple of the Saracens


themselves, and to ascribe to God all his success, as was due. Before taking food, all the faithful, shedding forth sweet and holy tears for excess of joy, and headed by the legate, solemnly sang that hymn of the angels, namely, the Te Deum laudamus. Immediately afterwards the mass of the blessed Virgin was celebrated on the spot, where the Christians long ago had been accustomed to celebrate mass, and to ring the bells, and which they now previously expiated and sprinkled with holy water. On this spot, the fourth day previously, as the captives loudly asserted, the filthy Mahomet had been glorified with abominable sacrifices, loud cries from on high, and the clang of trumpets. We found in the city an infinite abundance of food, arms, and machines, also of precious garments, vessels, utensils, gold, silver, and other good things. Besides these, we immediately caused our victuals, of which we had plenty, to be brought out of the ships, as well as other things dear and necessary to us. With the blessing, therefore, of the divine goodness, the Christian army daily increased like a lake which receives augmentation from inundating torrents: on one side some soldiers from the domains of the lord Villebardouin, on the other side an auxiliary force from the soldiery of the Temple and Hospitallers, besides fresh pilgrims that arrived, whereby we were, with God's grace, considerably reinforced. But those of the Temple and Hospital for a long time were unwilliDg to believe in the glories of so great a triumph: and in truth what had happened was too wonderful to be readily believed. Inasmuch, therefore, as these things happened miraculously, especially the wind shifting and throwing back the infernal fire upon their beads - this was an old miracle of Christ; for it had so happened before at Antioch - some were converted to the Lord Jesus Christ, and have hitherto faithfully adhered to us. But we, instructed by past occurrences, shall proceed cautiously and circumspectly in our doings for the future. For we have with us the faithful people of the East, of whose fidelity we have no doubt, and who know by experience all the countries of the East and their perils; who, in the truth of their devotion, have already received the sacrament of baptism. Our nobles, whilst these things were being written, held council and diligently deliberated about attacking Alexandria or Babylon and Cairo, on the next


day; but we are still ignorant what will be the result of it. We will let you know, if our lives are spared, what takes place. The sultan of Babylon, hearing of our proceedings, proposed to us a general battle. On the morrow of St. John the Baptist's day, in a place agreed on between them, they proposed to try generally, and once for all, the fortune of war between the people of the East and the people of the West, that is, between those of the true faith and themselves; and to whichever side chance should give the victory, that side should triumph, and the other submit with humility to their defeat.

Our lord the king thus replied: "I do not defy the enemy of Christ on this day or on that day, nor do I fix any term of peace; but to-morrow, and all the days of my life, from this present day for ever, I defy him; until he has compassion on his own soul and turns to the Lord, who wishes for all men to be saved, and opens the bosom of his mercy to all who are converted unto him".

These things I notify to you in this my letter through my relation Guiscard; who seeks nothing else than that he may, at our expense, begin to ascend the professorial chair, and have a suitable lodging, at least for two years.

We have heard nothing certain, or worthy to be told, about the Tartars: nor do we hope for faith in the perfidious, humanity in the inhuman, nor charity in cynics; unless God, to whom nothing is impossible, work some new thing. God has purged the Holy Land of the wicked Chorosmians, and has blotted them out from under heaven in utter destruction. When we shall hear anything certain and worthy of note about the aforesaid Tartars or others, we will inform you of it by word of mouth of a messenger, or by letter, through Roger de Montefagi, [who] will go in the spring into France, to the domains of our lord the viscount, to procure us money.

Letter from the master of the Temple on the same subject.

Brother William de Sonnac, by the grace of God master of the poor soldiery of the Temple, to his beloved brother in Christ Robert Sanford, preceptor of the order in England, health in the Lord,- We wish to declare to you happy and pleasing news in this present letter. Be it therefore known


unto you, that on the Friday next after Trinity, Louis, the illustrious king of the French, by the grace of God came to land with his army at the port of Damietta. On the following Saturday, the same Louis, with his soldiery, occupied the land and the shores of the sea; many of the pagans were slain, but only one of the Christians. At nine o'clock on the following Sunday, the king's army took the city of Damietta, having utterly routed the army of the pagans. Damietta, therefore, was taken, not by our own merits, nor by force and the armed hand, but by the agency of the divine power and the divine grace. Be it known to you, moreover, that our lord the king, by God's grace, purposes to direct his steps towards Alexandria or Babylon, to deliver our brothers, and many others who are detained in captivity, and to restore the whole land to Christian worship, with the help of the Lord.

Guy de Bursey,- (From the relation of Master John, monk of Pontigny.)

Our lord the king of France is anxious about nothing, now that Damietta is taken, except about his not having sufficient forces to guard and to inhabit the countries which he has gained, and is about to gain. The same king had brought with him ploughs, spades, drays, and other rustic instruments. When this came to the ears of the sultan of Babylon, he sent word to the king - "Why have you brought hither these rustic instruments to cultivate the eart with? I will find you enough corn, as long as you remain here". This was said ironically, as if he meant, "You are a tender and delicate youth, and will not be able to stay long in the East, without dying of exhaustion". To which our lord the king replied, "I vowed and swore to come hither, and fixed beforehand a term for so doing, to the best of my ability; but I did not vow and swear to go away again, nor have I fixed any term for my departure. Wherefore I have brought with me these farming instruments". The commanders of all the ships kept near the ship of our lord the king. But there were in his fleet a hundred and twenty large ships, called Dromons, besides galleys and smaller vessels. The king leaped nimbly out of his ship, and fell upon his face, praying God most devoutly to guide his path and all his actions.



Letter from the king of the Tartars, translated literally from Chaldee into Roman [French"].

[See Vol. II. p. 319.]

By the power of the High God, Achatay, the envoy from the king of the land of Ham, to the great king of several provinces, noble combatant, sword of the world, victor of Christendom, defender of Ecclesiastics, son of the evangelic law, king of France.- May God increase his seignoralty, preserve his kingdom many years, accomplish his wishes in the law, and conduct him in the world which now is, and which is to come, by the truth of the divine conductress of all men, of all the prophets and apostles. So be it! A hundred thousand salutations and benedictions. I pray him that he may receive these things, and that they may be agreeable to him. On account of that, may God grant that I may see this noble king, who is arrived. May the great Creator permit our meeting in charity, and graciously grant that it may happen that we may be united in one. Now, after this salutation, be it known to him, that in this letter our intention is no other than the benefit of Christianity, and the strengthening of the hand of the Christian king, by the support of the Lord: and I demand of our Lord, that he give the victory to those of Christianity, and that he make them triumph over their adversaries, who despise the cross. After that, on the part of the high king, God exalt him, to wit, by the presence of Kyocay [Khan]; and may God increase his greatness.

We are come with power and commandment, that all the Christians be exempt from servitude, from tribute, annoyance [peage], and such like things; that they be held in honour and reverence; that no one take from them their possessions; that the churches which are destroyed be built again; that the tablets be restored; that no one presume to forbid these things, and that they say their prayers with a tranquil and contented heart throughout our kingdom. We come, then, at this moment, for the good and the preservation of Christendom, by order of the Most High God. On that account, we have sent these things by our loyal and


honourable messenger Saphadin David, and by Mark, that they may announce to you these good news, and that they may tell you, mouth to mouth, the things which are between as. May the king of the earth be in honour and increase by his greatness. After that, it commands that, in the law of Christ, there be no difference between the Latins, the Greeks, the Armenians, the Nestorians, the Jacobites, and all the others who adore the cross; for they are all one in my sight. Likewise, we demand, that the magnificent king put no distinction between them, but that his piety and his clemency be over all Christians, and that his piety and his clemency be lasting. Given at the end of Thercharram; and it shall be a good thing under the direction of our Lord.

Letter to the bishop of Lincoln.

[See Vol. II. p. 326.]

Innocent, bishop, etc., to his venerable brother, the bishop of Lincoln, health and apostolical blessing,- Your brotherliness has intimated to us, that certain religious men presume to convert to their own use many of the possessions and tithes of the Church. Wherefore we grant to your brotherliness, by authority of these presents, that you have power to lawfully revoke the aforesaid, and restrain, with ecclesiastical censure, and without appeal, all gainsayers. Given at Lyons, 16 cal. June, in the sixth year of our pontificate.


Reports of the state of the Holy Land, which reached England on the festival of St. John, A.D. 1252.

[See Vol. II. p. 501.]

To his revered and well-beloved brother in Christ Walter of St. Martin, brother Joseph of Cancy, the humble treasurer of the holy house of the Hospital of Jerusalem, at Acre, health, and prosperous success to meet his wishes.- Be it known to your affection, concerning the reports from the Holy Land, that the illustrious king of France, who has already stayed through the year at Caesarea, in Palestine, has caused it to be surrounded by a line of walls and ditches; and the work is now completed. At the time that this letter is being


written, messengers have a second time been sent, as well from the sultan of Aleppo, as from those who seem at present to have dominion at Babylon, to our lord the king aforesaid, with authority to treat about the truce, and to confirm and ratify engagements between the parties. At length, the aforesaid king would not admit the sultan of Aleppo to a truce; but in the week of Easter last past, he made a truce for fifteen years with the Babylonians, interposing a bodily oath on both sides, after this form:-

That the said Babylonians, together with the remainder of the Christian captives, whom, in another form of truce, when they held the king prisoner, they promised to restore, agreed to give up to our lord the king all the land beyond the river Jordan, by whatsoever Saracen it was occupied, except, that is, Gazar, Gibelet, Grand-gerin, and Darum, which, according to the terms of the treaty, remained in the hands of the Babylonians. It was moreover ordained, that, unless the Babylonians should have their army at Gazar, before the middle of May, after the date of the present letters, and the king, within the same period, should have led his army from Caesarea to the neighbourhood of Joppa, the said treaty should be of no effect. But when the sultan of Aleppo, the open enemy of the said Babylonians, was staying at Damascus, during the making of these presents, keeping the whole country which he had occupied, as far as a certain place which is called Casey, between Gazar and Darum, [he marched [1]] against the aforesaid Babylonians with twelve thousand warriors, and in expectation that there would be three thousand others who would come the next day to join them, although the whole force of the said Babylonians did not exceed the number of six or seven thousand armed men, part of whom they had succeeded in drawing away in the parts of Babylon, to defend the said land against the Bedouins and other native tribes. Nor is the army of the said king of such strength that it could opportunely aid the Babylonians on an emergency, inasmuch as, between religious and secular, he had only seven hundred knights and four hundred Turcopole war-cavalry, even reckoning the hundred knights whom the king hoped to add to his men.

[1] This word, wanting in the Latin, is supplied by the French translator.


Wherefore we, and several others, were in doubt, that the said Babylonians would not have the means of coming, and so the said truce would have no effect. Furthermore, we wish you not to be ignorant that the whole country on this side of the sea, inhabited by the Christians, except Armenia, is in an intolerable state, on account of the truce which the king of the same land made with the sultan of Iconium; and now is in a worse state than we ever before saw. For the land of Antioch, by the fury of certain perfidious, named Turcomans, who have long been ravaging it, is almost wholly laid waste; wherefore there is great fear of the city of Antioch itself being speedily ruined, through the fears and consequent flight of its inhabitants. About ten thousand of the aforesaid wicked race had already advanced to a place called Caesarea the Great, and there having fixed their tents for residence, and still more encouraged, they overrun our land and that of others as far as Tripolis; they have burnt many cottages, carried off with them four thousand of our large cattle, and after making a great slaughter of their enemies, taking with them a large number of captives, have gone back to Caesarea aforesaid. Here they will remain until they have ruined the whole country, unless God shall aid us. It is thought, also, that they will march against us, to aid the sultan of Aleppo; for it was at his instigation that all the aforesaid deeds were done.

Given the 2nd of May. These reports were circulated on the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Letters on behalf of Master William of St. Edmund's, a monk of St. Alban's.

[See Vol. II. p. 507.]

To his most holy father in Christ and revered lord Innocent, by the grace of God supreme pontiff of the holy Roman church, his devoted sons the abbat and convent of Saint Alban's, with all obedience and reverence, devout kisses to his holy feet.- For the purpose of laying our claims, and of making contradictions wherever necessary, of summoning before the judge, and of seeking and obtaining special favour from your holiness, we have appointed our beloved


sons in Christ, brother William of St. Edmund's, our fellow monk, and Master William of St. Edward's, a clerk, to be our proctors; and we will hold as valid, and as agreeable to ourselves, whatever the same, or either one of them that shall be present for the time being, shall do in our behalf. May the Most High long preserve you for the benefit of his holy Church!

To all who shall inspect the present letters, John, by divine permission abbat of St. Alban's, and the humble brotherhood of that place, in the diocese of Lincoln, health in the Lord.- Be it known to all, that we have made, appointed, and ordained, as our envoys and proctors, to lay our claims, to make the necessary contradictions, to choose judges in the court of our lord the pope, and to obtain special favour from the same our lord the pope, our beloved brother and fellow-monk William of St. Edmund's, and Master William of St. Edward's, clerk. We give also to both of them, or to one of them, full and free power to contract a loan, for managing matters concerning ourselves and the church in the said court more advantageously, from whatsoever merchants they please, to the amount of fifty marks, of good, new, and lawful money sterling. And for the greater security in this matter, we promise, and are hereby bound, to render and pay back the said money received in exchange, to those from whom it has been received, with all agreements and compacts, according as shall be agreed between them; binding ourselves according to what our said proctors, or one of them, shall promise, in all things and through all things, in our name and in the name of our church. We also bind ourselves, and renounce, and make oath, after the form which they shall promise, or do bind themselves, and renounce, and swear, or which any one of them shall promise, bind himself, and renounce or swear, to observe and to fulfil, in our name, and the name of the church. And we will hold as valid and as acceptable, whatsoever both or one of them shall think right to do in the matters aforesaid. In testimony whereof, we have sealed these letters with our seals. Given publicly in our chapter, in the month of September, A.D. 1252.



On the ordinations of dignities.

[See Vol. II. p. 512.]

Innocent IV., bishop, servant to the servants of God, to all his venerable brethren, the patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops; and to his beloved sons the abbots, priors, and other prelates; and also the chapters, convents, and colleges of the churches, health and apostolical blessing,- Both the nature of the time, which in those days it was especially incumbent upon us, on account of their depravity, in various ways to redeem, and the urgent importunity of some, extorted from us a mandate, that provision should be made concerning archbishops and bishoprics, abbacies and priories, in different parts. But considering that it is wiser to provide for churches, especially when it concerns their management, than for persons, we grant, by the authority of these presents, free power to provide and appoint canonically in all the foregoing cases, to those to whom the election, appointment, collation, or provision of the aforesaid belongs: notwithstanding any general or special letters, under whatever form of words, and concerning whomsoever, promotions or provisions, obtained or hereafter, to be obtained from the Apostolic See, or its legates; or reservations, or prohibitions, or nominations, made or to be made by the authority of such letters; or processes thereby had or to be had hereafter. All of which documents we wish to be of no effect: for whatsoever of this kind, contrary to the tenour of our grant and the liberty of our rights or of our power, has been done or shall be done or presumed by any one, by occasion of such letters, we decree the same to be null and void. And we hereby relax the sentence of interdict, suspension, and excommunication (if any have been issued as yet on the pretext of our letters), and decree that all such as shall chance henceforward to be promulgated, be utterly of no effect. But general inhibitions made by us and our legates, concerning the non-election of prelates in the churches of cities and dioceses which are in rebellion against


the Church, of Rome, when they shall chance to be vacant, shall nevertheless remain valid.

Given at Perugia, 10 cal. Jun. in the ninth year of our pontificate.

These letters were published the same year, in the octaves of the Beheading of John the Baptist.


Of greater procurations, that they should not exceed the sum of four marks.

[See Vol. II. p. 537.]

Innocent IV,, bishop, etc.- For perpetual memory and observance, against the vexations which are inflicted by prelates upon their people, in procurations that are due by reason of visitations, the canonical institutions have made wholesome provision, as regards the number of carriages and persons, the immoderateness of the repasts, and other superfluities: appointing that due moderation should be observed, so that the prelates should not exceed due bounds in their exactions, nor their people be superfluously burdened in furnishing their contributions. But inasmuch as some complaints are still heard about procurations of this kind, we, wishing with pastoral solicitude so to provide in this matter, that all occasion of oppression may be removed, and all material for injustice altogether cease, do hereby ordain by our apostolical authority, that all archbishops, bishops, archdeacons, and other prelates visiting in person, shall have contributions in victuals and other necessaries supplied them in moderation by the churches and places which they visit, so that those of each place, or of the expenses which shall be incurred therein, shall not, according to your common valuation, in any procuration whatever, exceed the sum or value of four marks of silver. Provided, however, that according to the greater or less number of saddle-horses, or the number of persons, more or less, of the prelates taxed in the Lateran council, the expenses of such procurations shall be made up to the sum aforesaid, or not exceeding that sum. But in places where there is greater fertility and abundance of produce, and where the revenues and the ecclesiastical means


are less, there be less expended on those procurations, according to the more ample supply of necessaries and the scantiness of the revenues. But if in procurations of this kind more shall have been expended, the prelates who receive them shall make restoration for the good of the churches from which they have received so much, and those who have furnished it shall be compelled to pay out of their own property to the poor double as much as has so been expended beyond the proper sum; notwithstanding which they shall also be punished further, if it shall seem expedient to do so, so that, nevertheless, other enactments which are known to have been generally made in reference to such visitations or exactions, shall remain in due force. No one, therefore, etc., etc.


Letters concerning the injury done to the archbishop of Canterbury, and Master Eustace of Lynn, his official, at Lambeth.

[See Vol. III. p. 6.]

The enemy of mankind does not cease in these our times with subtlety to seek modes by which he may sow tares in the house of God, that by their growth and thickness the quiet of peace and the sweetness of virtue may be choked in the field of the Lord. We should, therefore, without delay find a remedy to oppose his wicked cunnings that so we may oppose beginnings, lest the disease grow immense, and a remedy be applied when it is too late. Wherefore, that our forethought may be applied to correct error and to amend excess, we relate with sorrow to your brotherhood the deeds which with precipitate cruelty have been atrociously perpetrated, to the ignominy of Jesus Christ, the reproach of the church of God, the scandal of the clergy, and the breach of the peace throughout the whole kingdom. Certain sons of Belial, heedless of their souls' health, careless of their character, and bent on mischief namely, Philip de la Foret, seneschal of the household of the bishop elect of Winchester, Guy Peverel, Walter de Rale, William de St. Earmund, Oliver, of the family of Lord Geoffrey de Lusignan, William de St. Leger, Robert Aguillon, knights; the prior of Lusignan, with his monk Martin the arbelister,


and his brother John Picard, William Gaucer, Stephen of Croindon, clerks of the aforesaid bishop elect, with William Clerk, bailiff of the same; and several others whose names we do not know, on the Sunday last past, after the feast of All Saints, in open day, before the hour of dinner, came to our manor of Lambeth, near London, with horses and arms, in the spirit of frenzy, whilst we were in parts beyond the sea, and there breaking open the doors of our house and chapel, laid violent hands on Master Eustace of Lynn, our official, who represents our own person, and on our priest who served in the chapel of the blessed martyrs Stephen and Thomas; also on certain of our men, who had retired into the parish church of the said place; and on the sacred and other property laid up in the said church and in the chambers of the said manor; and they took the said official and others who were in the church, violently tearing them from the horns of the altar to which they had fled; after which, to the insult of God, the ignominy of the clerical order, to the disgrace and contempt of us, of our church, and of all England, they placed the said official, without his cape, on a horse, with the reins dangling from the neck, and not placed in the hands of the rider; but made the priest walk on foot, through the mud; and beating and flogging the others they had taken, they led them away disgracefully in the sight of the people, to the house of the bishop elect in Southwark, and there kept them prisoners. But afterwards they transferred the same official and the laymen taken in the church, with ignominy and violence, that were continued night and day, to a remote place about one mile from Farnham, in the diocese of the bishop aforesaid, where they detained them as long as they pleased, and carried away thence their goods, as well as ours, which they had taken at Lambeth. Wherefore, inasmuch as these great enormities, and many others, appear to have been done not only against us, and the church of Canterbury, but also against the universal Church and the clergy of the province of Canterbury, we, seeing that the said malefactors, by laying violent hands on clerks, have fallen under the canon of the sentence pronounced against them, and by having violated the liberties and immunities of the Church, have incurred the sentence of excommunication, promulgated at the council of Oxford against


malefactors of this kind; and seeing moreover, that in so doing, they have committed manifold acts of sacrilege, and, setting aside the fear of God, and having cast off reverence for the prince, have rashly broken the peace of our lord the king and his kingdom, do hereby declare, by the authority of God the Almighty Father, and His Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the blessed Mary, mother of God, and Saint Thomas the Martyr, Saint Edmund the Confessor, and all saints, that the foregoing and all others who have abetted them in their wickedness, and have given them aid, authority, counsel, or assent, are excommunicated; and we command you, by virtue of the obedience in which you are bound to the church of Canterbury, and strictly enjoin you to declare solemnly and publicly in your cathedral church, the said malefactors to be excommunicated. But, because it becomes a man's own duty to be on the watch when his neighbour's house is burning, and it is with justice feared that if these things are done with impunity in the green tree, worse than these may be done in the dry, seeing that impunity in crime gives audacity for further offending, we request your brotherhood, of whom we have full confidence in the Lord, that you will rise up manfully with us on behalf of the Lord against assailants, and espouse our cause, and inform us by your letters how you shall have further proceeded in this business.

Given at Croindon, on the morrow of St. Catherine, anno Domini 1252.

From this denunciation, however, we exempt our lord the king, our lady the queen, and their children, the Lord Richard earl of Cornwall, and the lady countess his wife.

These letters were sent by the archbishop, and transmitted by the bishop of Ely to his archdeacon.


Concerning the procurations of parish churches.

[See Vol. III. p. 17.]

Walter, by the grace of God bishop of Norwich, to his beloved son the dean of Hengam, [1] health, grace, and blessing.- We

[1] The French translator supposes this to be Bingham; but it in more probably Henham, in Suffolk.

A.D. 1253.] MANDATE OF THE KING. 429

have received a mandate from our venerable fathers, Robert bishop of Lincoln, Fulke bishop of London, and William bishop of Wells and Bath, which we forward for you to inspect and copy, commanding and enjoining you, and all those who are subject to you, by the same authority, in virtue of your obedience and under pain of canonical severity;, that when archdeacons, or others to whom the office of visitation is known to belong, shall come personally among you for the purpose of visitation, with the number of saddle-horses provided in the Constitution of the Lateran, you receive them creditably, and supply them with victuals to the amount of seven shillings and sixpence, according to the usual prices, or with the money itself instead, as they shall think best: knowing for a certainty that if you shall pay more in money or victuals, or they shall receive more, or if you shall pay them anything under the name of visitation, though they do not visit, we will punish both the payers and the receivers, either through ourselves or through our agents aforesaid, according to the form of the canon aforesaid. But in smaller churches, where from insufficiency of revenue they have been used to receive a smaller allowance, let them receive as they have been used to do, until we shall be able otherwise to arrange with them in common. For ourselves, in all places which by God's permission we shall hereafter visit, we will be content with victuals to the amount of thirty-one shillings and tenpence, according to the usual prices, or with money to that amount or less, according to the revenue of the place.

Given at London, IV. Non. Feb., in the eighth year of our pontificate.


Mandate from the king about swearing the people to arms.

[See Vol. III. p. 18.]

Henry of Hathalokestone, sheriff of Essex and Hertford, to the bailiffs of the liberties of St Alban's, health.- I have received a mandate from our lord the king in these words: "Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to the sheriff of Essex and Hertford, health,- Summon all the knights and all the freeholders of the aforesaid counties by good summoners, four men and a provost from each city, and twelve legal burgesses


from each town, that they present themselves before our beloved and faithful Henry de Coleville, on the day and at the place which he shall make known unto you, to hear and do our precept. You will also cause to attend before him, on the same day and at the same place, all those who have been sworn, or ought to be sworn to arms, bringing with them the arms to which they have been sworn, and ought to be sworn, to hear and to do our precept. And in the mean time inquire diligently who last made a scrutiny of arms in the aforesaid counties, and who last took the oath thereon, and where the rolls of that scrutiny and oath now are. And you shall have those rolls before the said Henry on the days and at the places aforesaid: and you shall also be there in your own proper person, and execute those things which the said Henry shall command you on our behalf. And if the bailiff of the liberties who have the return of our briefs shall not execute this our mandate, you shall not fail to enter those liberties and execute the same mandate. Witness myself at Portsmouth, the 18th day of July, in the thirty-seventh year of our reign". Wherefore I command you diligently to execute this mandate, at risk of losing the liberty of your lord.

The king's mandate to Henry de Colville.

Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to his beloved and faithful Henry de Coleville, health,- Be it known unto you, that we have appointed you to set forth the articles which we send you under our seal, to the knights, freemen, and others of the counties of Cambridge, Huntingdon, Hertford, and Essex, whom we have commanded to be in attendance before you on the days and at the places which we have made known to the sheriffs of the said counties, and to take care that the said articles be strictly observed for the better preservation of the peace of our kingdom. Also to see that every man has the arms to which he is sworn, or ought to be sworn, and to punish duly all whom you shall find resisting or rebellious, or neglectful in the aforesaid matters. And therefore we command you, that on the days and at the places which you shall take care to appoint in the aforesaid counties, you be in attendance to do the things aforesaid, as you shall judge most expedient. For we command all the

A.D. 1253.] BRIEF FROM THE KING. 431

sheriffs aforesaid, that on the days and at the places which you shall signify to them, they shall cause to come before you all the knights, the freeholders of the aforesaid counties, four men of each city, and a provost, and twelve legal burgesses from each borough, and all those who have been sworn to arms and ought to be sworn, with their arms to which they have been sworn and ought to be, to hear and to do the things which you shall command them on our behalf. And that the sheriffs themselves, in their proper persons, be then in attendance before us, with the rolls of the last scrutiny of arms made in the said counties, to execute what you shall command them on our behalf. And if the bailiff of the liberties who have the return of our briefs, shall not execute our mandate in this matter, you shall not fail to enter upon those liberties, to execute our mandate aforesaid. In testimony whereof we have given these our letters patent. Witness myself at Portsmouth, 20th July, in the thirty-seventh year of our reign.

Another brief from the king.

[From the French translation.]

Henry, by the grace of God, king of Englcmd, to such or such a sheriff, health.- Be it known to you, that in order to cause our peace to be maintained, it has been decided, with the advice of our council, that watches shall be kept in every city, in every town, and in all the other villas of your county, from the day of our Lord's Ascension to Michaelmas: to wit, that in every city six men, covered with their arms, shall watch at every gate; in every town twelve men; in every village six men, or at least four, likewise clad in their arms, according to the number of inhabitants. They shall watch continually during all the night, from the setting of the sun to its rising again; so that all strangers who essay to pass through them dball be detained until the morning. After that, if he is a loyal man, he shall be set at liberty; if he is a man suspected, he shall be delivered up to the sheriff, who shall receive him without any difficulty or delay, and shall keep him in a place of safety; but if it happens that strangers of this sort, passing by those, refuse to allow themselves to be stopped, then the above-named guards shall raise the hue and cry on all sides against them, and shall


follow them with all the village and the neighbouring villages, raising the hue and cry from village to village, until they are taken. Then they shall be delivered to the sheriff, as has been said above, so that no one, for having failed so to stop or take strangers, shall put himself in the position of being molested by the sheriff or by his bailiffs. Every city, every town, and every village shall be prepared to perform each of the above-named watches and pursuits with all requisite diligence, so that we may not be obliged to punish severely those who may be in default. It has been also decided that every sheriff, in concert with two knights, especially appointed for that purpose, shall travel through his county from hundred to hundred, as well as the cities and the towns of the county, and shall cause to appear before him in each hundred, city, and town, the citizens, the townsfolk, the freeholders, the villains, and others, from the age of fifteen to the age of sixty years. The same sheriff and knights shall cause them all to be sworn to arms, according to the quantity of their lands, and of their goods and chattels: to wit, for fifteen yard-lands of ground, a suit of armour, an iron cap, a sword, a knife, and a horse; for ten yard-lands of ground, an habergeon, an iron cap, a sword, and a knife; for a hundred shillings worth of land, a pourpoint, an iron cap, a sword, a lance, and a knife; for forty shillings worth of ground and more, up to a hundred shillings worth, a sword, a bow and arrows, and a knife; and those who have less than forty shillings worth of land, shall be sworn for scythes, axes with long handles, knives, and other rustic arms. As regards chattels, for chattels of sixty marks, a suit of armour, an iron cap, a sword, a knife, and a horse; for chattels of forty marks, an habergeon, an iron cap, a sword, and a knife; for chattels of twenty marks, a pourpoint, an iron cap, a sword, and a knife; for chattels of nine marks, a sword, a knife, a bow and arrows; for chattels of forty shillings and above, up to ten marks, scythes, axes with long handles, and other rustic arms. In short, all those who can have bows and arrows out of the forests shall have them, and those who are in the forests shall have bows and arrows. In every city and in every town, those who are sworn to arms shall present themselves before the mayors of the cities, and before the provosts and baillies


of the towns, where there are no mayors. In every other larger town, there shall be one or two constables appointed, according to the number of the inhabitants, and according to the number of the aforesaid, in every hundred shall be appointed a head-constable, at whose command all those who are sworn to arms in the hundred shall assemble, and shall obey him in doing all that shall appertain to the preservation of our peace. Every sheriff shall have it cried in all the cities, all the towns, and all the markets of his bailliage, that none are allowed to meet together, and hold tournaments of villains with maces, or for any other adventure. Also, none shall show themselves in arms, unless it be the people especially appointed for the preservation of our peace. If any persons are found so walking, armed, contrary to our present provision, they shall be arrested, and delivered to the sheriff. If it happens that they will not allow themselves to be arrested, then the constables of every hundred and of every larger town, and all the others, whosoever they may be, shall raise a hue and cry against them on all sides, and pursue them from village to village with the neighbouring villagers, until they are taken and given up to the sheriff, as has been said above. Now, as often as it shall happen that they raise the hue and cry against the disturbers of our peace, whosoever they may be, and against the robbers and evil-doers in the parks and warrens, the hue and cry shall be continued on their account, and they shall be pursued until they are taken and given up to the sheriff, as has been said above for the others. All the sheriffs and their bailiffs, the constables, those who are sworn to arms, the citizens, the townsfolk, the freeholders, and the villains, shall make such a pursuit after the aforesaid evil-doers, for fear that they should escape, lest if through their fault such evil-doers should escape, those who are found in fault should be severely punished. In which case, they shall be punished with the advice of our council, in such a manner that their punishment may inspire fear in others, and take from them all occasion of incurring fault. The sheriff shall receive without delay or difficulty the suspected persons who shall have been arrested in the daytime by any arrests whatever, and shall keep them in a place of safety, until they are set at liberty, according to the


law of the land. Wherefore we enjoin you, as you regard your body and all your goods, to fulfil with diligence all the matters aforesaid in the form prescribed, in concert with our beloved and loyal Henry Fitz-Bernard and Peter de Goldington, whom we have joined to you for that purpose, in such sort that we may not have to demand of you and them a severe account, in case you and the aforesaid Henry and Peter should be in fault on that head.

Done in the presence of the archbishop of York, at Westminster, the 20th day of May, in the thirty-sixth year of our reign, Henry, the son of John.


1. That watch be kept in every town, as they have been wont to be kept, by good and able men.

2. That pursuit by hue and cry be made according to the ancient and proper form, in such way that the negligent who will not follow the cry may be taken as accomplices of the evil-doers, and be given up to the sheriff. Moreover, in every town, four or six men, according to the number of the inhabitants, shall be appointed to make the hue and ciy with promptitude and perseverance, and to pursue evil-doers, if any should arise, and it should become necessary, with bows and arrows, and other light arms, which ought to be provided for the custody of the whole town, and which may always remain for the use of the aforesaid town. And beside the foregoing, there shall be provided, out of each hundred, two free and loyal men of most influence, to be over them, and to see that the watches be duly made as well as the pursuits aforesaid.

3. That no stranger be taken in to lodge, except in the daytime, and that he depart also in broad daylight.

4. That no stranger be received in country villages for more than one day, or two at the utmost; except in the time of harvest, unless his host will answer for him.

5. If any evil-doer, or other person about whom unfavourable suspicions are entertained, is taken by the watchmen, or by other loyal subjects of our lord the king, the sheriff or the bailiff of the hundred shall receive him without delay, and without any payment.

6. Orders shall be given to the mayor and bailiffs of every


city and town, that if any trader or foreigner bring money, and, showing it to them, asks for a safe-conduct, they shall grant him a safe-conduct through the bad places and doubtful districts; but if he loses anything, for want of safe-conduct, or under their safe-conduct, restitution shall be made to him out of the common funds of that town or city.


Slaughter in Flanders.

[See Vol. III. p. 30.]

At this time also arose a lamentable strife between the Flemings, who are called men of Avauterre, and the French who border on those parts, in the following manner: William of Holland, whom our lord the pope lately promoted to be king of Germany, whilst Frederick, formerly emperor of the Romans, was still alive, hated, not without reason, on account of her demerits, Margaret, countess of Flanders, the sister, that is, of the other countess, who rendered herself infamous in the eyes of all men, as is related in its proper place, by the parricide which she committed. This William being already king of Germany, and having still higher aims (for the valuable help and counsel of the pope gave him daring), left his inheritance, namely Holland and Zealand, to his younger brother named Florence, from whom the aforesaid Countess Margaret demanded homage, which she said was due to her on account of both those territories; but he constantly refused to do homage to her for Zealand. Wherefore the said William was cited before the court of Flanders, to answer for this refusal. And when he had made his appearance there peaceably, and refused to do the homage, he was there taken and kept in prison two years; but afterwards was released from prison by John d'Avesnes, eldest son of the countess, who had taken in marriage the sister of those two kings and of Florence, and who, by the mediation of his relations, the duke of Brabant, the bishop elect of Liege, and Count Gaeler, made an alliance with the archbishop of Cologne, the duke of Lembourg, the count of Cleves, the count of Mons, the ... [1] of Luxembourg, and other

[1] Genere - an evident error, and having no meaning. The French translator reads comite, "count", but cannot defend that reading.


nobles of Cologne. All these assembled together, and prepared to fight against the countess and her troops. She, on the other hand, hearing of this, called to her aid the count of Bar, the count of Saint Paul, the count of Perche, and the count of Guisnes, with their communes. When a large and strong army had been thus got together from all sides, they went to fight by sea against their enemies aforesaid in Zealand, but the countess remained in her own country. Their commander-in-chief was Baldwin, son of the countess, called the count of Flanders. But the aforesaid nobles of Germany had known beforehand that their enemies were coming, and had carefully taken previous possession of an island. When the French came to land, and whilst they were still leaving their ships, that were tossed about and unsteady by the waves, their enemies suddenly came upon them, forewarned and armed at every point, and attacking them fiercely, slew them with the edge of tha sword, taken by surprise, and exhausted by their sea-voyage. After a horrible and bloody battle, the French were defeated and driven back; a terrible slaughter took place, and blood was shed in streams: the slain were mostly on the side of the French, and partly also on the side of the Flemings. A very great slaughter was made, most destructive and irreparable to Christendom. John d'Avesnes spared the Flemings, it is said, in the hope of recovering his inheritance, of which his mother had caused him to be dispossessed in the court of the French. In this much to be lamented battle were slain the count of Perche, the count de Bar, and, as is believed, the count of Saint Paul. The count of Guisnes was taken prisoner, and, as is said, the count of Flanders, and one of his younger brothers. Not one of the French-born escaped, nor any one who was ignorant of the Flemish language. The prisoners were examined severally in that language by the aforesaid John and his men, and underwent capital punishment, being miserably put to death without regard to their rank. Thirteen thousand men-at-arms are said to have been there slain, besides the common men and those who were drowned, and besides the prisoners who perhaps would rather have fallen more honourably in the battle, knowing that they would pine away miserably in prison, to be ransomed by their friends. And whereas it was the lust and


detestable female lasciviousness which gave birth to this calamity, this dreadful and ever-to-be-deplored slaughter took place by the avenging hand of God on the day of Venus, namely Friday, the 14th day of July, A.D. 1253.

Although the origin of this lamentable event, excited by the incontinence of a woman, took place before in the order of time, yet, because it was related after some years had passed away, we have here set forth more plainly and more fully a narrative of what was then done.


Privilege granted to the abbat and brotherhood of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, against the aggressions of Archbishop Boniface.

[See Vol. III. p. 56.]

Innocent, etc. to the abbats of Battle and Waltham, in the dioceses of Chichester and London, health and apostolical blessing,- Whereas it formerly reached our ears that the abbats, priors, and monks of the order of Saint Benedict, in the province of Canterbury, did not observe the statutes published for the reformation of that order by Pope Gregory our predecessor, of pious memory, we have issued our injunctions by letter, in due form, to our venerable brother the archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragans, that, when they have diligently inquired into the truth in this matter, they cause the said statutes to be accurately and diligently observed by all persons of the said order, in their cities and dioceses, as well exempt as not exempt. We, therefore, influenced by the prayers of our beloved sons the abbat and brotherhood of the monastery of Saint Augustine, Canterbury, of the aforesaid order, do command you, by virtue of these presents, that, if any sentences of excommunication, suspension, or interdict, on the authority of such letters, shall have been pronounced by the said archbishop, in his own person or through the agency of another, against the said abbat, or other persons of the said monastery, and the monastery itself, you shall in our behalf without any difficulty relax the same, and not permit the same persons, on pretence of those letters or sentences, to be molested by any one, and check all such as molest them, by the censures of the Apostolic Church, without appeal. Notwithstanding, if


any, by apostolic privilege, cannot be excommunicated, suspended, or interdicted, by apostolic letters, without our special mandate making full and express mention, word for word, of such privilege: that if not all, etc.

Given at Assiso, 6 Id. Sept. in the eleventh year of our pontificate.

Second letter.

How the monks of St. Augustine's Canterbury, were freed from the oppression of the archbishop in this matter.

Innocent, etc., to the archbishop of Canterbury, health and apostolical blessing.- Although we are bound to look with a favourable eye on the monastery of Saint Augustine, Canterbury, of the order of Saint Benedict, because it belongs without any intervening party to the Roman Church, yet we feel towards it more especial love in the Lord, because among other monasteries of the same order, it holds an especial rank (as we are informed) for regular discipline and hospitality. Whereas we formerly gave you our commands by letter in due form, that you should cause the statutes, published by Pope Gregory, our predecessor, of happy memory, for the reformation of the said order, to be observed by all the persons of the same order in your city and diocese with particular diligence; by virtue of the authority of this letter, and in obedience to the apostolic command, you have, it is said, acted diligently in the said monastery: therefore, holding a good opinion of the religion and way of life of the persons of this monastery, formed on the testimony of men worthy of credit, we decree the reversal of the sentence which you perhaps have pronounced on the persons of the said monastery. We consider your fraternity should be asked and exhorted, enjoining you by these apostolic papers, not to molest more the persons of the said monastery by virtue of the former letter. But in reverence to us, and the apostolic chair, to yield them and their monastery their rights, and be favourable and well-disposed towards them, in opposition to the annoyances of others, so that your devotion in this matter may merit our praise.

Given at Assiso, the 16th of the Calends of October, in the eleventh year of our pontificate.



The earl of Cornwall's letter to the king of England.

[See Vol. III. p. 63.]

To our lord the king of England, etc., the queen, and Richard earl of Cornwall, health.- We received your letter on Christmas-day last past, desiring us to convoke on the day following St. Hilary, the archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, earls, and barons of the kingdom of England, to show them your position, and announce to them the arrival of the king of Castile in Gascony against you. And because the said nobles, through the shortness of the notice, were unable to meet on the said day, we summoned them to appear at Westminster, on the fifteenth day after the said feast of St. Hilary. When they were assembled, and the arrival of the said king and your position had been explained to them, we received answer: That the earls and barons would be in London three weeks after the approaching Easter, prepared without delay to go to Portsmouth and embark with a strong force for your assistance in repelling the said king of Castile, if the said king of Castile is about to oppose you in Gascony. And this is what the earl of Gloucester and all the other nobles promised. Moreover, the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop elect of Winchester, the bishops of London and Worcester, promised to assist you with a strong force. And the other bishops and abbats of England who were then present, promised to assist you with money, as much as lay in their power, against the said king of Castille, yet they were unwilling then to name the sum. However, each one of them, as they all formally declared, will have the sum which he intends to give, in London, at the time aforementioned, that is, three weeks after Easter, if it should so happen that the said king of Castile should oppose you in Gascony. But they were unwilling to make any concession to you with respect to their clergy, on account of the tithe to be collected on your behalf for the succour of the Holy Land. But we with your queen will come to you according to your command, besides Edward your son, and Beatrice your daughter; and I Richard, your brother, the earl of Cornwall, will not be wanting to you, but will come


to you with a force for your advantage and my own honour, if, as you announce to me, the said king of Castile should oppose you in Gascony, provided that you and your heirs are well disposed with the help of God to me for ever. And by the advice of our lady the queen, and of others well disposed towards you, I will intrust your kingdom of England to the hands of faithful subjects, by the help of God for your advantage and honour. And if it should please and seem good to you that our lady the queen should come with your nobles and barons of England, let her know this in due time, if it is pleasing to you, that with Edward your son, and Beatrice your daughter, she may be able to oome to you the more safely and befitting. But the aforesaid prelates and nobles wish, before they undertake the journey and give succour, that your letters patent may be sent to them from Gascony, to the effect that, on account of the present succour both in money and effective services, there may not accrue at any future time any disadvantage to their successors or heirs, be it in your own time or in the time of your heirs.


Letter frmn the pope to the bishops.

[See Vol. III. p. 66.]

Innocent the Fourth to all the prelates in the kingdoms of France, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and Hungary, both of high and low degree.- We observe with grief how much the formerly pious and holy seminary of clerks, forgetful of its original well-doing, has fallen from the highest sanctity to the lowest depths of vice. Since a shocking report has reached and continually assailed our ears by frequent repetitions, that philosophical studies are abandoned, aye, and long ago cast aside (to be silent for the present about divine science), that all the multitude of the clerks are endeavouring to get a knowledge of secular laws, and what is still more worthy of the cognizance of the divine judgment, in the greater number of the countries of the world, no one is elected by the prelates to ecclesiastical dignities, honours, or prebendaries, unless he is either a professor of secular science or a lawyer, although such men ought rather to be rejected


by them, unless other things plead for them. Most of all we grieve that the students of philosophy, educated so tenderly in her bosom, so diligently taught, so excellently trained and instructed, are obliged, through want of food and clothing, to avoid the presence of men, hiding here and there like the owls, while these lawyers, or rather devils, clothed in purple and mounted on richly-caparisoned horses, reflecting the dazzle of the sun with the glare of gold, the brilliancy of silver, the sparkling of gems, with their whole raiments of silk, show themselves not the servants of Him who was crucified, but the heirs of Lucifer, making themselves a spectacle wherever they go, stirring up and incurring the indignation and odium of the laity against themselves, and what is much more grievous, against the whole Church of God. For the laity say: "These are the men who do not consider the Lord as their helper, but think themselves grand in the multitude of their riches", which they sufficiently confirm and show in the pride of their minds and impudence of their conduct. Since that now seems to be fulfilled which had been foreseen as a presage by the eye of a pagan:-

Omnia naturae praepostera legibus ibunt.

[Nowadays everything goes wrong, because
None study nature, but all study laws.]

It is not thus that faith should be kept; but it is no wonder. For Sarah is servant, and Agar mistress; free men are oppressed, and slaves gain the command. Wishing, therefore to apply a necessary remedy to so insolent a wrong, in order that they may apply themselves more fully and perfectly to the study of theology, which points out the true road to health, or to the study of the philosophical sciences, which, although foreign to piety, yet tends to learning, and banishes desire, which is said to be "the root of all evils, and the servant of idols",- we decree by the present unalterable constitution, that, for the future, no professor of secular law, or lawyer of any special privilege, enjoying any particular pre-eminence in the faculty of laws, may be elected to ecclesiastical dignities, parsonages, prebendaries, or even smaller benefices, unless he is also versed in other liberal arts, and merits praise for his manner of life and


habits, inasmuch as by such men the dignity of the Church is lessened, its sanctity is polluted, and pride and dignity reign in such a manner that the mother Church, hurt with such great wounds, feels grievous pain in all her members; but if it should happen that any prelates, by a censurable presumption, should attempt any infringement of this wholesome statute, let them know that their deed would be entirely void, and that they would be deprived hereafter of the right of gift. And if they repeat their presumption, let them fear a chastisement which would separate them from their fallacies. Moreover, as in the kingdoms of France, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and Hungary, the causes of the laity are decided not by imperial laws, but by the customs of laymen, and as ecclesiastical causes may be decided by the laws of the holy fathers, and that the canons as well as the customs, chiefly on account of the perversity of men, rather confuse than tend to uphold the secular laws, we decree, at the earnest request of our brothers and other religious men, that in the afore-mentioned kingdoms there shall no longer be any reading of secular laws, provided that this shall have emanated with the sanction of kings and princes. Nevertheless the former part of this statute is to remain for ever irrevocable in what it orders. Given at Rome.


Revocation of Henry de Mara's unjust judgment.

[See Vol. III. p. 78.]

It happened during Lent, in the year of our Lord 1253, that our lord the king was in Gascony, having intrusted the guardianship of his land to our lady the queen, and Richard earl of Cornwall, by whose provision certain justiciaries were sent into all the counties of England, to inquire into the transgressions of the new change. Whence it also happened that a certain justiciary, Henry de la Mara, accompanied by John Sylvester, went to the county of Hertford, that is, to Hertford, to execute the duties of the aforesaid office. Before whom there appeared the freemen of the liberty of St. Albans and William of St. Ledger, then seneschal of the said liberty. After that an inquiry had been made into the transgression of the said change made against


the liberty of St. Alban, and it had been reduced to writing by the aforesaid justiciaries, wherein were the names of the transgressors, the aforesaid justiciaries departed. When the year had fully passed away, the aforesaid Henry and William of Wilton, justiciaries of our lord the king, came to the village of Cheshunt, within the limits of the aforesaid county, being three leagues distant from the liberty of St. Albans, to amerce all those whom they found transgressors in their first inquiry. Two men, and the mayor of each town in the liberty of St. Albans, were cited to appear, in order to amerce the transgressors of the said change. And because they did not come, the town and liberty of St. Albans were amerced in the sum of a hundred pounds, and the aforesaid transgressors were amerced by the neighbouring judges in the sum pf two marks and a half against the liberty of St. Albans. When this had been done, and a roll of this journey, according to custom, given into the Exchequer of our lord the king, and all the preceding deeds had been registered, it happened that Lord William de Horton, then cellarer, a zealous advocate for us in this perilous affair, laid a very heavy complaint, himself in person (as fear and favour had shut the mouths of all the speakers), before the aforesaid queen, the Earl Richard, and the council of our lord the king, which was at that time in England, concerning five acts of injustice committed by the said justiciaries against the liberty of the church of St. Alban. The first of which was this: the men of St. Albans are not bound to go out of their liberty; but they were compelled by the justiciaries to go to Cheshunt, which is out of their liberty, and so an injury was done them. The second was: That they had not been summoned, inasmuch as the bailiff of the liberty had not received a return of brief from our lord the king, which he ought to have received, containing word for word the terms included in the said brief but merely a simple mandate from the viscount, with which they had nothing to do. Wherefore, for not coming they were unjustly amerced. The third was: That if they ought to have gone out of the said liberty, and the aforesaid bailiff had received a regular return of brief containing word for word the terms of our lord the king, yet they were not bound to go, because they had not the legal space of time for making the citation.


The fourth: An injury was done to the church and the aforesaid liberty, inasmuch as if the aforesaid men had been amerced rightly and justly before our lord the king, or some justiciaries, the abbats of St. Albans ought, according to custom, to have received their amercements, which now it is plain they have been refused. Fifthly: They had injured the liberty against the common charter, where it is said that free men should be amerced according to their offences, and their reputation saved, and the amercement of a hundred pounds, as is manifest to everybody, exceeded the just penalty of the offence, especially when there was no delinquency, as appears from the abovementioned reasons. In line, not only an injury has been committed by the justiciaries against the aforesaid liberty, but also by all those who approve of the deed, who appear to have fallen under the sentence pronounced on those presuming to violate the common charter. Also, I am driven to state, though against my will, lest it should seem a reproach, that we have contributed a hundred marks for the passage of our lady the queen, and she has promised to maintain our rights, which notwithstanding she is bound to preserve unhurt, and now she demands a hundred pounds against our liberties, which we were wont to enjoy during the times of all our lord the king's predecessors, which liberties have been preserved inviolate, and notwithstanding she demands present aid. This we could not do without enormous loss, the very destruction of our church, without risk to the soul of our lord the king, who has so frequently sworn to regard the liberties and the constitution of the Church. Also, a common injury has been done to the English Church, since the sheriffs of England have compelled priors and other prelates of the churches to make a fine, since the passage of our lord the king, contrary to that article in the common charter, "I wish the English Church to be free".

Nor are the common charters observed, either by the king, or justiciaries, or the other bailiffs, inasmuch as there are no proper guardiians for them to hear the complaints of the community. Also there are some people in the land just like kings, from whom scarcely any, or rather no justice can be had. So the oppressed are under the necessity of flying to those who commit the wrong, and these last become


the judges of their own acts of injury. Concerning these, and other causes, there was a consultation held during four days, specially appointed for the purpose, in the presence of the aforesaid queen, Earl Richard, the justiciaries, and barons of the Exchequer, in the general parliament then and there convoked, namely in London. In fine, it seemed to them very ignominious and hurtful, to tamper with what had been judicially decided and enrolled, both on account of the decision of the justices, lest they should seem to be deprived of their authority who exerted themselves for the king's good, and lest they should incur so great a risk. At length, after many altercations in the parliament at Westminster, towards the end of Easter, in the year of our Lord 1254, while the king was yet in Gascony, the aforesaid grievance was read over and set forth in order by the aforesaid cellarer, William, in the presence of the abovementioned nobles, and moreover of the archbishop of Canterbury and almost all the bishops and magnates of the kingdom, together with the noble council of our lord the king. It followed that the aforesaid decision was wholly revoked and quashed by the queen, Earl Richard, and by all the council of our lord the king, and the amercement cancelled in the Exchequer roll, although it had been in a manner irrevocably settled, inasmuch as the aforesaid money, namely the hundred pounds, was not paid, as it appears from the brief of our lord the king sent to the barons of the Exchequer, to render void the same judgment. And that the whole province might learn that the liberty of Saint Albans had been duly restored, the lord Alan of Wassant, justiciary of our lord the king, was appointed at the instance of the aforesaid cellarer to make inquiry concerning the aforesaid transgression of change within the same liberty.

Revocatory letters.

Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to the barons of the Exchequer, etc.- Whereas, upon the inspection of the charters of the kings of England, our predecessors, which are in the abbey of Saint Albans, we have found that the men of the said abbey have no occasion to go beyond the liberty of the said abbey upon any summons, or for any business, before any


justiciaries or inquisitors, we return to the same abbey one hundred pounds, in which sum the town and liberty of Saint Albans were amerced, for that they did not go before Henry de la Mare and William of Wilton, at Cheshunt, which is without their liberty, to make inquiries concerning the transgression of change, and to amerce the transgressors of the said change: moreover two marks and a half in which sum some men of the aforesaid liberty were amerced, in the presence of the aforesaid Henry and William, for the aforesaid transgression. And we command you to conciliate throughout the said liberty, the town and aforesaid liberty about the aforesaid hundred pounds, and the aforesaid men about the aforesaid two marks and a half.

ALSO. Letters patent of our lord the king, certifying the same thing.

Henry, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, etc., to his beloved and faithful Alan of Wassant, greeting.- Know that we have appointed you to make inquiry on the oath of honest and loyal men of the liberty of the abbey of Saint Albans concerning those who, making part of the same liberty within the same liberty, have changed old money for new, or other money against our decree, and against the statutes of our change; and to amerce all those of the aforesaid liberty that you find transgressors on this point. And we command you to be present at the time and place you think proper to appoint, to make the aforesaid inquiry within the limits of the aforesaid liberty, as has been said above, and to amerce the aforesaid transgressors; we also command you to inform our council resident in England, what you do in this matter, in a clear and detailed account, sealed with your seal. For we have enjoined our Viscount Hertford to cause to appear before you at the time and place you appoint, within the limits of the aforesaid liberty, such and so many honest and loyal men of the aforesaid liberty, by whom the aforesaid inquiry may be better effected.- In witness of which thing we have caused these our letters patent to be drawn up; Eleanor, our queen, being witness, and our brother Richard, earl of Cornwall. Westminster, the 8th day of May, the 38th year of our reign.


ALSO. Letter of our lord the king to the sheriff of Essex, on the same subject.

Ralph of Arderne, sheriff of Essex and Hertford, to the bailiff of the liberty of Saint Albans, greeting.- I have received the mandate of our lord the king in these words:-

"Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to the sheriff of Essex and Hertford, greeting,- Whereas, upon the inspection of the charters of the kings of England, our predecessors, which are in the abbey of Saint Albans, we have found the men of the said abbey have no occasion to go beyond the liberty of the said abbey upon any summons or for any business before any justiciaries or inquisitors; we return to the same abbey one hundred pounds, in which sum the town and liberty of Saint Albans were amerced, for that they did not appear before Henry de la Mare and William of Wilton, at Cheshunt, which is without their liberty, to make inquiries concerning the transgressors of change, and to amerce the transgressors of the same change.- Moreover,, two marks and a half, in which Nicholas the grocer, Alexander Stoil, William of Sandragge, and Reginald the goldsmith, men of the same abbey of the aforesaid liberty, were amerced before the aforesaid Henry and William, for the aforesaid transgression. And we also enjoin you, concerning the demand which you make of the aforesaid abbey and town of Saint Albans, concerning the aforesaid hundred pounds, and of the aforesaid Nicholas, Alexander, William, and Reginald, concerning the aforesaid two marks and a half, to suffer them to be unmolested, and restore them what you have taken; J. Franc being witness. Westminster, the 17th day of June, the 38th year of our reign". Wherefore I command you to execute diligently this mandate.

Mark the labours and expenses which Sir William Horton, the cellarer, incurred for nearly three years, in setting forth our rights.

The aforesaid judgment was confirmed three times in succession before the whole council of our lord the king, and in the end, when some discreet and well-working men were added to the council, the blinding veil being removed, the nobles more clearly perceived the truth of the matter, and the aforesaid judgment was as completely quashed as it had


been foolishly passed: which, we believe, took place through the merits of St. Alban, who did not permit human malice to gain such ascendancy as to hurt his church so seriously as his enemies were plotting and trying to do. For if the inquisitor's judgment of the prevaricating Henry de la Mare, who was the cause and origin of so many troubles and expenses, had not been revoked, many disagreeable things would have resulted which are foreign to the accustomed liberties of our church. First, because our bailiff was always accustomed to plead, on return of the brief, in all the words contained in the brief of our lord the king; and if, then, justice had been denied us, pleas against our liberty in a similar case could, upon the mere mandate of the Viscount Hertford, be made before him, notwithstanding the charter of our liberty granted for ever. Another improper thing is, that if the men of our liberty had then gone to Cheshunt, which is beyond our liberty, and that what had been decided had not in any way been revoked after our remonstrance, our lord the king would have said, that he was in possession by that decree; and thus matters would have gone on, that the men of our liberty would have had to come at any summons, without the aforesaid liberty, at the pleasure of the justiciaries or inquisitors of our lord. A third annoying thing, and still more onerous for our church, that if the men of our liberty should for anything be amerced before our lord the king, or the justiciaries, or any inquisitors whatsoever, since the hundred pounds in which the town and liberty of St. Albans were amerced had been adjudged to our lord the king, the reigning king could always say, that all the amercements of our men, amerced before him or his justiciaries, ought for a like reason to be for his advantage for ever; because there should be a like judgment for like things. And so the charter of our liberty, which chiefly consists in these three above-mentioned articles, would not be partly violated; but altogether annulled, and for ever without force. In pursuing this, our cellarer laboured to the bitterness of his soul, going over more than a thousand miles, expending much and giving much; nor could he obtain the aforesaid writing, which maintained our liberty unbroken, before he privately counted over to the Earl Richard the said hundred pounds. And so all the aforesaid had been poisoned on the part of the king.


with the venom of perfidy and avarice. God, the judge of judge, has seen how the king has kept the great charter; the violators of which he lately caused all the English bishops solemnly to excommunicate, by which a tax of a tenth of the kingdom was granted him for three years. Oppression only is pursued, justice bemg passed over.


Letter from a Hungarian bishop to the bishop of Paris, concerning the Tartars.

[See Vol. III. p. 251.]

"I write back to you about the Tartars, how they came near the frontiers of Hungary in five days' march, near to some water named Deinphir [Theiss?] which they could not cross in the summer. But being willing to wait for the winter, they sent before them, into Russia, some spies, two of whom were taken, and sent to our lord the king of Hungary. I had these in my custody, and learned from them some new things, which I forward to you. I asked where their country was, and they told me it was beyond the mountains, and lies near a river which is called Egog, and I believe that people to be Gog and Magog. I asked them about their belief; and in few words, they believe nothing. They began to tell me, that they were come out of their own country to conquer the world. They make use of the Jewish letters, because formerly they had none of their own. I asked who taught them those letters, and they said it was some pale men who fast much, wear long garments, and do harm to no one; and whereas they told me many circumstances about those men, which agree with the superstitions about the Pharisees and Sadducees, I believe them to be Sadducees and Pharisees. I asked them if they made any distinction of meat, and they said no; for they eat frogs, dogs, serpents, and all things alike. I asked how they got out of the mountains beyond which they dwelt, and they said that it was a journey of twenty days to cross those mountains, both in length and breadth. They have always twelve thousand men on horseback, to guard their army. Their horses are good, but stupid. Many horses follow them without being led; so that if one man rides on horseback,


twenty or thirty horses follow him. They have cuirasses of leather, which are stronger than those of iron; and in the same way coverings for their horses. On foot, they can do nothing, because they have short legs and long bodies. They are better archers than the Hungarians or Comanians, and they have stronger limbs. In whatever manner they invade a country, they slay the inhabitants, except the children, whom Zingiton [Gengis-khain], their lord, which is interpreted king of kings, marks with his seal, burning them on the face. Zingiton has forty-two counsellors, to whom he commits his seal. No one in the whole army dares cry with a loud voice; no one in the whole army dares ask 'Whither is our lord going'? or, 'What does he intend to do'? They drink the milk of their mares, and are frequently intoxicated. We are not able to hear anything fresh about them, that can be relied on for certain; for they are preceded by certain people called Mordani, who slay all without distinction; and none of them dare put on their shoes until they have slain their man. I believe it was they who slew the Preachers, Minorites, and other messengers, whom the king of Hungary had sent to explore. Without doubt, they have devastated and destroyed all the lands which they came to, as far as the river aforesaid".

Another letter.

To the illustriou