The History of England, Volume I
David Hume

Part 8 out of 12

with his army upon the heights above Verneuil. Lewis, dreading an
attack, sent the Archbiship of Sens and the Count of Blois to the
English camp, and desired that next day should be appointed for a
conference, in order to establish a general peace, and terminate the
difference between Henry and his sons. The king, who passionately
desired this accommodation, and suspected no fraud, gave his consent;
but Lewis, that morning, obliging the garrison to surrender, according
to the capitulation, set fire to the place, and began to retire with
his army. Henry, provoked at this artifice, attacked the rear with
vigour, put them to rout, did some execution, and took several
prisoners. The French army, as their time of service was now expired,
immediately dispersed themselves into their several provinces; and
left Henry free to prosecute his advantages against his other enemies.

The nobles of Britany, instigated by the Earl of Chester and Ralph de
Fougeres, were all in arms; but their progress was checked by a body
of Brabancons which the king, after Lewis's retreat, had sent against
them. The two armies came to an action near Dol, where the rebels
were defeated, fifteen hundred killed on the spot, and the leaders,
the Earls of Chester and Fougeres, obliged to take shelter in the town
of Dol. Henry hastened to form the siege of that place, and carried
on the attack with such ardour, that he obliged the governor and
garrison to surrender themselves prisoners. By these vigorous
measures and happy successes the insurrections were entirely quelled
in Britany; and the king, thus fortunate in all quarters, willingly
agreed to a conference with Lewis, in hopes that his enemies, finding
all their mighty efforts entirely frustrated, would terminate
hostilities on some moderate and reasonable conditions.

The two monarchs met between Trie and Gisors; and Henry had here the
mortification to see his three sons in the retinue of his mortal
enemy. As Lewis had no other pretence for war than supporting the
claims of the young princes, the king made them such offers as
children might be ashamed to insist on, and could be extorted from him
by nothing but his parental affection, or by the present necessity of
his affairs [c]. He insisted only on retaining the sovereign
authority in all his dominions; but offered young Henry half the
revenues of England, with some places of surety in that kingdom; or,
if he rather chose to reside in Normandy, half the revenues of that
duchy, with all those of Anjou. He made a like offer to Richard in
Guienne: he promised to resign Britany to Geoffrey; and if these
concessions were not deemed sufficient, he agreed to add to them
whatever the pope's legates, who were present, should require of him
[d]. The Earl of Leicester was also present at the negotiation; and
either from the impetuosity of his temper, or from a view of abruptly
breaking off a conference which must cover the allies with confusion,
he gave vent to the most violent reproaches against Henry, and he even
put his hand to his sword, as if he meant to attempt some violence
against him. This furious action threw the whole company into
confusion, and put an end to the treaty [e].
[FN [c] Hoveden, p. 538. [d] Ibid. p. 536. Brompton, p. 1088. [e]
Hoveden, p. 536.]

The chief hopes of Henry's enemies seemed now to depend on the state
of affairs in England, where his authority was exposed to the most
imminent danger. One article of Prince Henry's agreement with his
foreign confederates was, that he should resign Kent, with Dover, and
all its other fortresses, into the hands of the Earl of Flanders [f]:
yet so little national or public spirit prevailed among the
independent English nobility, so wholly bent were they on the
aggrandizement each of himself and his own family, that
notwithstanding this pernicious concession, which must have produced
the ruin of the kingdom, the greater part of them had conspired to
make an insurrection, and to support the prince's pretensions. The
king's principal resource lay in the church and the bishops, with whom
he was now in perfect agreement; whether that the decency of their
character made them ashamed of supporting so unnatural a rebellion, or
that they were entirely satisfied with Henry's atonement for the
murder of Becket, and for his former invasion of ecclesiastical
immunities. That prince, however, had resigned none of the essential
rights of his crown in the accommodation; he maintained still the same
prudent jealousy of the court of Rome; admitted no legate into
England, without his swearing to attempt nothing against the royal
prerogatives; and he had even obliged the monks of Canterbury, who
pretended to a free election on the vacancy made by the death of
Becket, to choose Roger, prior of Dover, in the place of that
turbulent prelate [g].
[FN [f] Ibid. p. 533. Brompton, p. 1084. Neubr. p. 508. [g]
Hoveden, p. 537.]

[MN War with Scotland.]
The King of Scotland made an irruption into Northumberland, and
committed great devastations; but being opposed by Richard de Lucy,
whom Henry had left guardian of the realm, he retreated into his own
country, and agreed to a cessation of arms. This truce enabled the
guardian to march southward with his army, in order to oppose an
invasion, which the Earl of Leicester, at the head of a great body of
Flemings, had made upon Suffolk. The Flemings had been joined by Hugh
Bigod, who made them masters of his castle of Framlingham; and
marching into the heart of the kingdom, where they hoped to be
supported by Leicester's vassals, they were met by Lucy, who, assisted
by Humphrey Bohun, the constable, and the Earls of Arundel,
Gloucester, and Cornwall, had advanced to Farnham, with a less
numerous but braver army to oppose them. The Flemings, who were
mostly weavers and artificers, (for manufactures were now beginning to
be established in Flanders,) were broken in an instant, ten thousand
of them were put to the sword, the Earl of Leicester was taken
prisoner, and the remains of the invaders were glad to compound for a
safe retreat into their own country.

[MN 1174.] This great defeat did not dishearten the malecontents;
who, being supported by the alliance of so many foreign princes, and
encouraged by the king's own sons, determined to persevere in their
enterprise. The Earl of Ferrars, Roger de Mowbray, Architel de
Mallory, Richard de Morreville, Hamo de Mascie, together with many
friends of the Earls of Leicester and Chester, rose in arms: the
fidelity of the Earls of Clare and Gloucester was suspected; and the
guardian, though vigorously supported by Geoffrey, Bishop of Lincoln,
the king's natural son by the fair Rosamond, found it difficult to
defend himself on all quarters from so many open and concealed
enemies. The more to augment the confusion, the King of Scotland, on
the expiration of the truce, broke into the northern provinces with a
great army [h] of eighty thousand men; which, though undisciplined and
disorderly, and better fitted for committing devastation than for
executing any military enterprise, was become dangerous from the
present factious and turbulent spirit of the kingdom. Henry, who had
baffled all his enemies in France, and had put his frontiers in a
posture of defence, now found England the seat of danger; and he
determined by his presence to overawe the malecontents, or by his
conduct and courage to subdue them. [MN 8th July. Penance of Henry
for Becket's murder.] He landed at Southampton; and knowing the
influence of superstition over the minds of the people, he hastened to
Canterbury, in order to make atonement to the ashes of Thomas a
Becket, and tender his submissions to a dead enemy. As soon as he
came within sight of the church of Canterbury, he dismounted, walked
barefoot towards it, prostrated himself before the shrine of the
saint, remained in fasting and prayer during a whole day, and watched
all night the holy relics. Not content with this hypocritical
devotion towards a man whose violence and ingratitude had so long
disquieted his government, and had been the object of his most
inveterate animosity, he submitted to a penance still more singular
and humiliating. He assembled a chapter of the monks, disrobed
himself before them, put a scourge of discipline into the hands of
each, and presented his bare shoulders to the lashes which these
ecclesiastics successively inflicted upon him. Next day he received
absolution; and departing for London, got soon after the agreeable
intelligence of a great victory which his generals had obtained over
the Scots, and which being gained, as was reported, on the very day of
his absolution, was regarded as the earnest of his final
reconciliation with Heaven and with Thomas a Becket.
[FN [h] Heming, p. 501.]

William, King of Scots, though repulsed before the castle of Prudhow,
and other fortified places, had committed the most horrible
depredations upon the northern provinces: but on the approach of Ralph
de Glanville, the famous justiciary, seconded by Bernard de Baliol,
Robert de Stuteville, Odonel de Umfreville, William de Vesci, and
other northern barons, together with the gallant Bishop of Lincoln, he
thought proper to retreat nearer his own country, and he fixed his
camp at Alnwick. He had here weakened his army extremely, by sending
out numerous detachments in order to extend his ravages; and he lay
absolutely safe, as he imagined, from any attack of the enemy. But
Glanville, informed of his situation, made a hasty and fatiguing march
to Newcastle; and, allowing his soldiers only a small interval for
refreshment, he immediately set out towards evening for Alnwick. [MN
13th July.] He marched that night above thirty miles; arrived in the
morning, under cover of a mist, near the Scottish camp; and regardless
of the great numbers of the enemy, he began the attack with his small
but determined body of cavalry. William was living in such supine
security that he took the English, at first, for a body of his own
ravagers, who were returning to the camp; but the sight of their
banners convincing him of his mistake, he entered on the action with
no greater body than a hundred horse in confidence that the numerous
army which surrounded him would soon hasten to his relief. [MN
William, King of Scotlamd, defeated and taken prisoner.] He was
dismounted on the first shock, and taken prisoner; while his troops,
hearing of this disaster, fled on all sides with the utmost
precipitation. The dispersed ravagers made the best of their way to
their own country; and discord arising among them, they proceeded even
to mutual hostilities, and suffered more from each other's sword than
from that of the enemy.

This great and important victory proved at last decisive in favour of
Henry, and entirely broke the spirit of the English rebels. The
Bishop of Durham, who was preparing to revolt, made his submissions;
Hugh Bigod, though he had received a strong reinforcement of Flemings,
was obliged to surrender all his castles, and throw himself on the
king's mercy; no better resource was left to the Earl of Ferrars and
Roger de Mowbray; the inferior rebels imitating the example, all
England was restored to tranquillity in a few weeks; and as the king
appeared to lie under the immediate protection of Heaven, it was
deemed impious any longer to resist him. The clergy exalted anew the
merits and powerful intercession of Becket; and Henry, instead of
opposing this superstition, plumed himself on the new friendship of
the saint, and propagated an opinion which was so favourable to his
interests [i].
[FN [i] Hoveden, p. 539.]

Prince Henry, who was ready to embark at Gravelines, with the Earl of
Flanders and a great army, hearing that his partisans in England were
suppressed, abandoned all thoughts of the enterprise, and joined the
camp of Lewis, who, during the absence of the king, had made an
irruption into Normandy, and had laid siege to Rouen [k]. The place
was defended with great vigour by the inhabitants [l]; and Lewis,
despairing of success by open force, tried to gain the town by a
stratagem, which, in that superstitious age, was deemed not very
honourable. He proclaimed in his own camp a cessation of arms, on
pretence of celebrating the festival of St. Laurence; and when the
citizens, supposing themselves in safety, were so imprudent as to
remit their guard, he proposed to take advantage of their security.
Happily, some priests had, from mere curiosity, mounted a steeple
where the alarm-bell hung; and, observing the French camp in motion,
they immediately rang the bell, and gave warning to the inhabitants,
who ran to their several stations. The French who, on hearing the
alarm, hurried to the assault, had already mounted the walls in
several places; but being repulsed by the enraged citizens, were
obliged to retreat with considerable loss [m]. Next day, Henry, who
had hastened to the defence of his Norman dominions, passed over the
bridge in triumph, and entered Rouen in sight of the French army. The
city was now in absolute safety; and the king, in order to brave the
French monarch, commanded the gates, which had been walled up, to be
opened; and he prepared to push his advantages against the enemy.
Lewis saved himself from this perilous situation by a new piece of
deceit, not so justifiable. He proposed a conference for adjusting
the terms of a general peace, which he knew would be greedily embraced
by Henry; and while the king of England trusted to the execution of
his promise, he made a retreat with his army into France.
[FN [k] Brompton, p. 1096. [l] Diceto, p. 578. [m] Brompton, p.
1096. Neubrig. p. 411. Heming, p. 503.]

There was, however, a necessity on both sides for an accommodation.
Henry could no longer bear to see his three sons in the hands of his
enemy; and Lewis dreaded lest this great monarch, victorious in all
quarters, crowned with glory, and absolute master of his dominions
might take revenge for the many dangers and disquietudes which the
arms, and still more the intrigues of France had, in his disputes both
with Becket and his sons, found means to raise him. After making a
cessation of arms, a conference was agreed on near Tours; where Henry
granted his sons much less advantageous terms than he had formerly
offered, and he received their submissions. [MN The king's
accommodation with his sons.] The most material of his concessions
were some pensions which he stipulated to pay them, and some castles
which he granted them for the place of their residence; together with
an indemnity for all their adherents, who were restored to their
estates and honours [n].
[FN [n] Rymer, vol. i. p. 35. Bened. Abb. p. 88. Hoveden, p. 540.
Diceto, p. 584. Brompton, p. 1098. Heming. p. 505. Chron. Dunst. p.

Of all those who had embraced the cause of the young princes, William,
King of Scotland, was the only considerable loser by that invidious
and unjust enterprise. Henry delivered from confinement, without
exacting any ransom, about nine hundred knights whom he had taken
prisoners; but it cost William the ancient independency of his crown
as the price of his liberty. He stipulated to do homage to Henry for
Scotland, and all his other possessions; he engaged that all the
barons and nobility of his kingdom should also do homage; that the
bishops should take an oath of fealty; that both should swear to
adhere to the King of England against their native prince, if the
latter should break his engagements; and that the fortresses of
Edinburgh, Stirling, Berwick, Roxburgh, and Jedburgh, should be
delivered into Henry's hands, till the performance of articles [o].
[MN 1175. 10th Aug.] This severe and humiliating treaty was excuted
in its full rigour. William, being released, brought up all his
barons, prelates, and abbots; and they did homage to Henry in the
cathedral of York, and acknowledged him and his successors for their
superior lord [p]. The English monarch stretched still farther the
rigour of the conditions which he exacted. He engaged the king and
states of Scotland to make a perpetual cession of the fortresses of
Berwick and Roxburgh, and to allow the castle of Edinburgh to remain
in his hands for a limited time. This was the first great ascendancy
which England obtained over Scotland; and indeed the first important
transaction which had passed between the kingdoms. Few princes have
been so fortunate as to gain considerable advantages over their weaker
neighbours with less violence and injustice than was practised by
Henry against the King of Scots, whom he had taken prisoner in battle,
and who had wantonly engaged in a war, in which all the neighbours of
that prince, and even his own family, were, without provocation,
combined against him [q].
[FN [o] M. Paris, p. 91. Chron. Dunst. p. 36. Hoveden, p. 545. M.
West. p. 251. Diceto, p. 584. Brompton, p. 1103. Rymer, vol. i. p.
39. Liber Niger Scaccarii, p. 36. [p] Bened. Abb. p. 113. [q] Some
Scotch historians pretend that William paid, besides, 100,000 pounds
of ransom, which is quite incredible. The ransom of Richard I., who,
besides England, possessed so many rich territories in France, was
only 150,000 marks, and yet was levied with great difficulty. Indeed,
two-thirds of it only could he paid before his deliverance.]

[MN 1175. King's equitable administration.]
Henry having thus, contrary to expectation, extricated himself with
honour from a situation in which his throne was exposed to great
danger, was employed for several years in the administration of
justice, in the execution of the laws, and in guarding against those
inconveniences, which either the past convulsions of his state, or the
political institutions of that age, unavoidably occasioned. The
provisions which he made show such largeness of thought as qualified
him for being a legislator; and they were commonly calculated as well
for the future as the present happiness of his kingdom.

[MN 1176.] He enacted severe penalties against robbery, murder, false
coining, arson; and ordained that these crimes should be punished by
the amputation of the right hand and right foot [r]. The pecuniary
commutation for crimes which has a false appearance of lenity, had
been gradually disused, and seems to have been entirely abolished by
the rigour of these statutes. The superstitious trial by water
ordeal, though condemned by the church [s], still subsisted; but Henry
ordained, that any man accused of murder, or any heinous felony, by
the oath of the legal knights of the county, should, even though
acquitted by the ordeal, be obliged to abjure the realm [t].
[FN [r] Bened. Abb. p. 132. Hoveden, p. 549. [s] Seld. Spicileg. ad
Eadm. p. 204. [t] Bened. Abb. p. 132.]

All advances towards reason and good sense are slow and gradual.
Henry, though sensible of the great absurdity attending the trial by
duel or battle, did not venture to abolish it: he only admitted either
of the parties to challenge a trial by an assize or jury of twelve
freeholders [u]. This latter method of trial seems to have been very
ancient in England, and was fixed by the laws of King Alfred: but the
barbarous and violent genius of the age had of late given more credit
to the trial by battle, which had become the general method of
deciding all important controversies. It was never abolished by law
in England; and there is an instance of it so late as the reign of
Elizabeth; but the institution revived by this king, being found more
reasonable and more suitable to a civilized people, gradually
prevailed over it.
[FN [u] Glanv. lib. 2. cap. 7.]

The partition of England into four divisions, and the appointment of
itinerant justices to go the circuit in each division, and to decide
the causes in the counties, was another important ordinance of this
prince, which had a direct tendency to curb the oppressive barons, and
to protect the inferior gentry and common people in their property
[w]. Those justices were either prelates or considerable noblemen;
who, besides carrying the authority of the king's commission, were
able, by the dignity of their own character, to give weight and credit
to the laws.
[FN [w] Hoveden, p. 590.]

That there might be fewer obstacles to the execution of justice, the
king was vigilant in demolishing all the new-erected castles of the
nobility, in England as well as in his foreign dominions; and he
permitted no fortress to remain in the custody of those whom he found
reason to suspect [x].
[FN [x] Benedict. Abbas, p. 202. Diceto, p. 585.]

But lest the kingdom should be weakened by this demolition of the
fortresses, the king fixed an assize of arms, by which all his
subjects were obliged to put themselves in a situation for defending
themselves and the realm. Every man possessed of a knight's fee was
ordained to have for each fee a coat of mail, a helmet, a shield, and
a lance; every free layman, possessed of goods to the value of sixteen
marks, was to be armed in like manner; every one that possessed ten
marks was obliged to have an iron gorget, a cap of iron, and a lance;
all burgesses were to have a cap of iron, a lance, and a wambais; that
is, a coat quilted with wool, tow, or such like materials [y]. It
appears that archery, for which the English were afterwards so
renowned, had not, at this time, become very common among them. The
spear was the chief weapon employed in battle.
[FN [y] Bened. Abb. p. 305 Annal. Waverl. p. 161.]

The clergy and the laity were, during that age, in a strange situation
with regard to each other, and such as may seem totally incompatible
with a civilized, and, indeed, with any species of government. If a
clergyman were guilty of murder, he could be punished by degradation
only: if he were murdered, the murderer was exposed to nothing but
excommunication and ecclesiastical censures; and the crime was atoned
for by penances and submission [z]. Hence the assassins of Thomas a
Becket himself, though guilty of the most atrocious wickedness, and
the most repugnant to the sentiments of that age, lived securely in
their own houses, without being called to account by Henry himself,
who was so much concerned, both in honour and interest, to punish that
crime, and who professed, or affected on all occasions, the most
extreme abhorrence of it. It was not till they found their presence
shunned by every one as excommunicated persons that they were induced
to take a journey to Rome, to throw themselves at the feet of the
pontiff, and to submit to the penances imposed upon them: after which
they continued to possess, without molestation, their honours and
fortunes, and seemed even to have recovered the countenance and good
opinion of the public. But as the king, by the constitutions of
Clarendon, which he endeavoured still to maintain [a], had subjected
the clergy to a trial by the civil magistrate, it seemed but just to
give them the protection of that power to which they owed obedience;
it was enacted, that the murderers of clergymen should be tried before
the justiciary, in the presence of the bishop or his official; and
besides the usual punishment for murder, should be subjected to a
forfeiture of their estates, and a confiscation of their goods and
chattels [b].
[FN [z] Petri Blessen. epist. 73. apud Bibl. Patr. tom. xxiv. p. 992.
[a] Chron. Gervase, p. 1433. [b] Diceto, p. 592. Chron. Gervase,

The king passed an equitable law, that the goods of a vassal should
not be seized for the debt of his lord, unless the vassal be surety
for the debt; and that the rents of vassals should be paid to the
creditors of the lord, not to the lord himself. It is remarkable that
this law was enacted by the king in a council which he held at
Verneuil, and which consisted of some prelates and barons of England,
as well as some of Normandy, Poictou, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and
Britany; and the statute took place in all these last-mentioned
territories [c], though totally unconnected with each other [d]; a
certain proof how irregular the ancient feudal government was, and how
near the sovereigns, in some instances, approached to despotism,
though in others they seemed scarcely to possess any authority. If a
prince, much dreaded and revered, like Henry, obtained but the
appearance of general consent to an ordinance which was equitable and
just, it became immediately an established law, and all his subjects
acquiesced in it. If the prince was hated or despised; if the nobles
who supported him had small influence; if the humours of the times
disposed the people to question the justice of his ordinance; the
fullest and most authentic assembly had no authority. Thus all was
confusion and disorder; no regular idea of a constitution; force and
violence decided every thing.
[FN [c] Bened. Abb. p. 248. It was usual for the kings of England,
after the conquest of Ireland, to summon barons and members of that
country to the English Parliament. Mollineux's case of Ireland, p.
64, 65, 66. [d] Spellman even doubts whether the law were not also
extended to England. If it were not, it could only be because Henry
did not choose it; for his authority was greater in that kingdom than
in his transmarine dominions.]

The success which had attended Henry in his wars did not much
encourage his neighbours to form any attempt against him; and his
transactions with them during several years, contain little memorable.
Scotland remained in that state of feudal subjection to which he had
reduced it, and gave him no farther inquietude. He sent over his
fourth son, John, into Ireland, with a view of making a more complete
conquest of the island; but the petulance and incapacity of this
prince, by which he enraged the Irish chieftains, obliged the king
soon after to recall him [e]. The King of France had fallen into an
abject superstition; and was induced, by a devotion more sincere than
that of Henry, to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Becket, in order to
obtain his intercession for the cure of Philip, his eldest son. He
probably thought himself well entitled to the favour of that saint on
account of their ancient intimacy; and hoped that Becket, whom he had
protected while on earth, would not now, when he was so highly exalted
in heaven, forgot his old friend and benefactor. The monks, sensible
that their saint's honour was concerned in the case, failed not to
publish that Lewis's prayers were answered, and that the young prince
was restored to health by Becket's intercession. That king himself
was soon after struck with an apoplexy, which deprived him of his
understanding: Philip, though a youth of fifteen, took on him the
administration, till his father's death, which happened soon after,
opened his way to the throne; and he proved the ablest and greatest
monarch that had governed that kingdom since the age of Charlemagne.
The superior years, however, and experience of Henry, while they
moderated his ambition, gave him such an ascendant over this prince,
that no dangerous rivalship, for a long time, arose between them. [MN
1180.] The English monarch, instead of taking advantage of his own
situation, rather employed his good offices in composing the quarrels
which arose in the royal family of France; and he was successful in
mediating a reconciliation between Philip and his mother and uncles.
These services were but ill requited by Philip, who, when he came to
man's estate, fomented all the domestic discords in the royal family
of England, and encouraged Henry's sons in their ungrateful and
undutiful behaviour towards him.
[FN [e] Bened. Abb. p. 437, &c.]

Prince Henry, equally impatient of obtaining power, and incapable of
using it, renewed to the king the demand of his resigning Normandy;
and on meeting with a refusal, he fled with his consort to the court
of France: but not finding Philip at that time disposed to enter into
war for his sake, he accepted of his father's offers of
reconciliation, and made him submissions. It was a cruel circumstance
in the king's fortune, that he could hope for no tranquillity from the
criminal enterprises of his sons but by their mutual discord and
animosities, which disturbed his family, and threw his state into
convulsions. Richard, whom he had made master of Guienne, and who had
displayed his valour and military genius by suppressing the revolts of
his mutinous barons, refused to obey Henry's orders, in doing homage
to his elder brother for that duchy, and he defended himself against
young Henry and Geoffrey, who, uniting their arms, carried war into
his territories [f]. The king, with some difficulty, composed this
difference; but immediately found his eldest son engaged in
conspiracies, and ready to take arms against himself. While the young
prince was conducting these criminal intrigues, he was seized with a
fever at Martel, [MN 1183.] a castle near Turenne, to which he had
retired in discontent; and seeing the approaches of death, he was at
last struck with remorse for his undutiful behaviour towards his
father. He sent a message to the king, who was not far distant;
expressed his contrition for his faults; and entreated the favour of a
visit, that he might at least die with the satisfaction of having
obtained his forgiveness. Henry, who had so often experienced the
prince's ingratitude and violence, apprehended that his sickness was
entirely feigned, and he durst not intrust himself into his son's
hands: but when he soon after received intelligence of young Henry's
death, [MN 11th June. Death of young Henry.] and the proofs of his
sincere repentance, this good prince was affected with the deepest
sorrow; he thrice fainted away; he accused his own hard-heartedness in
refusing the dying request of his son; and he lamented that he had
deprived that prince of the last opportunity of making atonement for
his offences, and of pouring out his soul in the bosom of his
reconciled father [s]. This prince died in the twenty-eighth year of
his age.
[FN [f] Ypod. Neust. p. 451. Bened. Abb. p. 383. Diceto, p. 617.
[g] Bened. Abb. p. 393. Hoveden, p. 621. Trivet, vol. i. p. 84.]

The behaviour of his surviving children did not tend to give the king
any consolation for the loss. As Prince Henry had left no posterity,
Richard was become heir to all his dominions; and the king intended
that John, his third surviving son and favourite, should inherit
Guienne as his appanage; but Richard refused his consent, fled into
that duchy, and even made preparations for carrying on war, as well
against his father as against his brother Geoffrey, who was now put in
possession of Britany. Henry sent for Eleanor his queen, the heiress
of Guienne, and required Richard to deliver up to her the dominion of
these territories; which the prince, either dreading an insurrection
of the Gascons in her favour, or retaining some sense of duty towards
her, readily performed; and he peaceably returned to his father's
court. No sooner was this quarrel accommodated, than Geoffrey, the
most vicious perhaps of all Henry's unhappy family, broke out into
violence; demanded Anjou to be annexed to his dominions of Britany;
and on meeting with a refusal, fled to the court of France, and levied
forces against his father [h]. [MN 1185.] Henry was freed from this
danger by his son's death, who was killed in a tournament at Paris
[i]. The widow of Geoffrey, soon after his decease, was delivered of
a son, who received the name of Arthur, and was invested in the duchy
of Britany, under the guardianship of his grandfather, who, as Duke of
Normandy, was also superior lord of that territory. Philip, as lord
paramount, disputed some time his title to this wardship; but was
obliged to yield to the inclinations of the Bretons, who preferred the
government of Henry.
[FN [h] Neubrig. p. 422. [i] Bened. Abb. p. 451 Chron. Gervase, p.

[MN Crusades.]
But the rivalship between these potent princes, and all their inferior
interests, seemed now to have given place to the general passion for
the relief of the Holy Land, and the expulsion of the Saracens. Those
infidels, though obliged to yield to the immense inundation of
Christians in the first crusade, had recovered courage after the
torrent was past; and attacking on all quarters the settlements of the
Europeans, had reduced these adventurers to great difficulties, and
obliged them to apply again for succours from the West. A second
crusade, under the Emperor Conrade and Lewis VII., King of France, in
which there perished above two hundred thousand men, brought them but
a temporary relief; and those princes, after losing such immense
armies, and seeing the flower of their nobility fall by their side,
returned with little honour into Europe. But these repeated
misfortunes, which drained the western world of its people and
treasure, were not yet sufficient to cure men of their passion for
those spiritual adventures; and a new incident rekindled with fresh
fury the zeal of the ecclesiastics and military adventurers among the
Latin Christians. Saladin, a prince of great generosity, bravery, and
conduct, having fixed himself on the throne of Egypt, began to extend
his conquests over the East; and finding the settlement of the
Christians in Palestine an invincible obstacle to the progress of his
arms, he bent the whole force of his policy and valour to subdue that
small and barren, but important territory. Taking advantage of
dissensions which prevailed among the champions of the cross, and
having secretly gained the Count of Tripoli, who commanded their
armies, he invaded the frontiers with a mighty power; and, aided by
the treachery of that count, gained over them at Tiberiade a complete
victory, which utterly annihilated the force of the already
languishing kingdom of Jerusalem. The holy city itself fell into his
hands, after a feeble resistance; the kingdom of Antioch was almost
entirely subdued; and except some maritime towns, nothing considerable
remained of those boasted conquests, which, near a century before, it
had cost the efforts of all Europe to acquire [k].
[FN [k] M. Paris, p. 100.]

[MN 1187.] The western Christians were astonished on receiving this
dismal intelligence. Pope Urban III, it is pretended, died of grief,
and his successor, Gregory VIII., employed the whole time of his short
pontificate in rousing to arms all the Christians who acknowledged his
authority. The general cry was, that they were unworthy of enjoying
any inheritance in heaven, who did not vindicate from the dominion of
the infidel the inheritance of God on earth, and deliver from slavery
that country which had been consecrated by the footsteps of their
Redeemer. [MN 1188. 21st Jan.] William, Archbishop of Tyre, having
procured a conference between Henry and Philip near Gisors, enforced
all these topics; gave a pathetic description of the miserable state
of the eastern Christians, and employed every argument to excite the
ruling passions of the age, superstition and jealousy of military
honour [l]. The two monarchs immediately took the cross; many of
their most considerable vassals imitated the example [m]; and as the
Emperor Frederick I. entered into the same confederacy, some
well-grounded hopes of success were entertained; and men flattered
themselves that an enterprise which had failed under the conduct of
many independent leaders, or of impruddent princes, might, at last, by
the efforts of such potent and able monarchs, be brought to a happy
[FN [l] Bened. Abb. p. 531. [m] Neubrig. p. 435. Heming, p. 512.]

The kings of France and England imposed a tax, amounting to the tenth
of all moveable goods on such as remained at home [n]; but as they
exempted from this burden most of the regular clergy, the secular
aspired to the same immunity; pretended that their duty obliged them
to assist the crusade with their prayers alone; and it was with some
difficulty they were constrained to desist from an opposition, which
in them who had been the chief promoters of those pious enterprises,
appeared with the worst grace imaginable [o]. This backwardness of
the clergy is perhaps a symptom, that the enthusiastic ardour which
had at first seized the people for crusades, was now by time and ill
success considerably abated; and that the frenzy was chiefly supported
by the military genius and love of glory in the monarchs.
[FN [n] Bened. Abb. p. 498. [o] Petri Blessen. epist. 112.]

But before this great machine could be put in motion, there were still
many obstacles to surmount. Philip, jealous of Henry's power, entered
into a private confederacy with young Richard; and, working on his
ambitious and impatient temper, persuaded him, instead of supporting
and aggrandizing that monarchy which he was one day to inherit, to
seek present power and independence by disturbing and dismembering it.
[MN 1189. Revolt of Prince Richard.] In order to give a pretence for
hostilities between the two kings, Richard broke into the territories
of Raymond, Count of Toulouse, who immediately carried complaints of
this violence before the King of France as his superior lord. Philip
remonstrated with Henry; but received for answer, that Richard had
confessed to the Archbishop of Dublin, that his enterprise against
Raymond had been undertaken by the approbation of Philip himself, and
was conducted by his authority. The King of France, who might have
been covered with shame and confusion by this detection, still
prosecuted his design, and invaded the provinces of Berri and
Auvergne, under colour of revenging the quarrel of the Count of
Toulouse [p]. Henry retaliated by making inroads upon the frontiers
of France, and burning Dreux. As this war, which destroyed all hopes
of success in the projected crusade, gave great scandal, the two kings
held a conference at the accustomed place between Gisors and Trie, in
order to find means of accommodating their differences: they separated
on worse terms than before; and Philip, to show his disgust, ordered a
great elm, under which the conferences had been usually held, to be
cut down [q]; as if he had renounced all desire of accommodation, and
was determined to carry the war to extremities against the King of
England. But his own vassals refused to serve under him in so
invidious a cause [r]; and he was obliged to come anew to a conference
with Henry, and to offer terms of peace. These terms were such as
entirely opened the eyes of the King of England, and fully convinced
him of the perfidy of his son, and his secret alliance with Philip, of
which he had before only entertained some suspicion. The King of
France required that Richard should be crowned King of England in the
lifetime of his father, should be invested in all his transmarine
dominions, and should immediately espouse Alice, Philip's sister, to
whom he had formerly been affianced, and who had already been
conducted into England [s]. Henry had experienced such fatal effects
both from the crowning of his eldest son, and from that prince's
alliance with the royal family of France, that he rejected these
terms; and Richard, in consequence of his secret agreement with
Philip, immediately revolted from him [t], did homage to the King of
France for all the dominions which Henry held of that crown, and
received the investitures as if he had already been the lawful
possessor. Several historians assert, that Henry himself had become
enamoured of young Alice and mention this as an additional reason for
his refusing these conditions: but he had so many other just and
equitable motives for his conduct, that it is superfluous to assign a
cause, which the great prudence and advanced age of that monarch
rendered somewhat improbable.
[FN [p] Bened. Abb. p. 508. [q] Bened. Abb. p. 517, 532. [r] Ibid.
p. 519. [s] Ibid. p. 521. Hoveden, p. 652. [t] Brompton, p. 114.
Neubrig. p. 437.]

Cardinal Albano, the pope's legate, displeased with these increasing
obstacles to the crusade, excommunicated Richard, as the chief spring
of discord: but the sentence of excommunication, which, when it was
properly prepared, and was zealously supported by the clergy, had
often great influence in that age, proved entirely ineffectual in the
present case. The chief barons of Poictou, Guienne, Normandy, and
Anjou, being attached to the young prince, and finding that he had now
received the investiture from their superior lord, declared for him,
and made inroads into the territories of such as still adhered to the
king. Henry, disquieted by the daily revolts of his mutinous
subjects, and dreading still worse effects from their turbulent
disposition, had again recourse to papal authority; and engaged the
Cardinal Anagni, who had succeeded Albano in the legateship, to
threaten Philip with laying an interdict on all his dominions. But
Philip, who was a prince of great vigour and capacity, despised the
menace, and told Anagni, that it belonged not to the pope to interpose
in the temporal disputes of princes, much less in those between him
and his rebellious vassal. He even proceeded so far as to reproach
him with partiality, and with receiving bribes from the king of
England [u]; while Richard, still more outrageous, offered to draw his
sword against the legate, and was hindered by the interposition alone
of the company from committing violence upon him [w].
[FN [u] M. Paris, p. 104. Bened. Abb. p. 542. Hoveden, p. 652. [w]
M. Paris, p. 104.]

The King of England was now obliged to defend his dominions by arms,
and to engage in a war with France, and with his eldest son, a prince
of great valour, on such disadvantageous terms. Ferte-Barnard fell
first into the hands of the enemy: Mans was next taken by assault; and
Henry, who had thrown himself into that place, escaped with some
difficulty [x]: Amboise, Chaumont, and Chateau de Loire, opened their
gates on the appearance of Philip and Richard: Tours was menaced; and
the king, who had retired to Saumur, and had daily instances of the
cowardice or infidelity of his governors, expected the most dismal
issue to all his enterprises. While he was in this state of
despondency, the Duke of Burgundy, the Earl of Flanders, and the
Archbishop of Rheims, interposed with their good offices; and the
intelligence which he received of the taking of Tours, and which made
him fully sensible of the desperate situation of his affairs, so
subdued his spirit that he submitted to all the rigorous terms which
were imposed upon him. He agreed that Richard should marry the
Princess Alice; that that prince should receive the homage and oath of
fealty of all his subjects both in England and his transmarine
dominions; that he himself should pay twenty thousand marks to the
King of France as a compensation for the charges of the war; that his
own barons should engage to make him observe this treaty by force, and
in case of his violating it, should promise to join Philip and Richard
against him; and that all his vassals who had entered into confederacy
with Richard, should receive an indemnity for the offence [y].
[FN [x] Ibid. p. 105. Bened. Abb. p. 543. Hoveden, p. 653. [y] M.
Paris, p. 106. Bened. Abb. p. 545. Hoveden, p. 653.]

But the mortification which Henry, who had been accustomed to give the
law in most treaties, received from these disadvantageous terms, was
the least that he met with on this occasion. When he demanded a list
of those barons, to whom he was bound to grant a pardon for their
connexions with Richard, he was astonished to find at the head of them
the name of his second son John [z]; who had always been his
favourite, whose interests he had ever anxiously at heart, and who had
even, on account of his ascendant over him, often excited the jealousy
of Richard [a]. The unhappy father, already overloaded with cares and
sorrows, finding this last disappointment in his domestic tenderness,
broke out into expressions of the utmost despair, cursed the day in
which he received his miserable being, and bestowed on his ungrateful
and undutiful children a malediction which he never could be prevailed
on to retract [b]. The more his heart was disposed to friendship and
affection, the more he resented the barbarous return which his four
sons had successively made to his parental care; and this finishing
blow, by depriving him of every comfort in life, quite broke his
spirit and threw him into a lingering fever, of which he expired at
the Castle of Chinon, near Saumur. [MN 1189. 6th July. Death,] His
natural son Geoffrey, who alone had behaved dutifully towards him,
attended his corpse to the nunnery of Fontevrault; where it lay in
state in the abbey church. Next day Richard, who came to visit the
dead body of his father, and who, notwithstanding his criminal
conduct, was not wholly destitute of generosity, was struck with
horror and remorse at the sight; and as the attendants observed, that,
at that very instant, blood gushed from the mouth and nostrils of the
corpse [c], he exclaimed, agreeably to a vulgar superstition, that he
was his father's murderer; and he expressed a deep sense, though too
late, of that undutiful behaviour which had brought his parent to an
untimely grave [d].
[FN [z] Hoveden. p. 654. [a] Bened. Abb. p. 541. [b] Hoveden, p.
654. [c] Bened. Abb. p. 547. Brompton, p. 1151. [d] M. Paris, p.

[MN and character of Henry.] Thus died, in the fifty-eighth year of
his age, and thirty-fifth of his reign, the greatest prince of his
time, for wisdom, virtue, and abilities, and the most powerful in
extent of dominion of all those that had ever filled the throne of
England. His character, in private as well as in public life, is
almost without a blemish; and he seems to have possessed every
accomplishment, both of body and mind, which makes a man either
estimable or amiable. He was of a middle stature, strong and well
proportioned; his countenance was lively and engaging; his
conversation affable and entertaining; his elocution easy, persuasive,
and ever at command. He loved peace, but possessed both bravery and
conduct in war; was provident without timidity; severe in the
execution of justice without rigour; and temperate without austerity.
He preserved health, and kept himself from corpulency, to which he was
somewhat inclined, by an abstemious diet and by frequent exercise,
particularly hunting. When he could enjoy leisure, he recreated
himself either in learned conversation or in reading; and he
cultivated his natural talents by study, above any prince of his time.
His affections, as well as his enmities, were warm and durable; and
his long experience of the ingratitude and infidelity of men never
destroyed the natural sensibility of his temper, which disposed him to
friendship and society. His character has been transmitted to us by
several writers who were his contemporaries [e]; and it extremely
resembles, in its most remarkable features, that of his maternal
grandfather Henry I.: excepting only that ambition, which was a ruling
passion in both, found not in the first Henry such unexceptionable
means of exerting itself, and pushed that prince into measures which
were both criminal in themselves, and were the cause of farther
crimes, from which his grandson's conduct was happily exempted.
[FN [e] Petri Bles. epist. 46, 47. in Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. xxiv.
p. 985, 986, &c. Girald. Camb. p. 783, &c.]

[MN Miscellaneous transactions of this reign.]
This prince, like most of his predecessors of the Norman line, except
Stephen, passed more of his time on the continent than in this island:
he was surrounded with the English gentry and nobility, when abroad:
the French gentry and nobility attended him when he resided in
England: both nations acted in the government as if they were the same
people: and, on many occasions, the legislatures seem not to have been
distinguished. As the king and all the English barons were of French
extraction, the manners of that people acquired the ascendant, and
were regarded as the models of imitation. All foreign improvements,
therefore, such as they were, in literature and politeness, in laws
and arts, seem now to have been, in a good measure, transplanted into
England; and that kingdom was become little inferior, in all the
fashionable accomplishments, to any of its neighbours on the
continent. The more homely but more sensible manners and principles
of the Saxons were exchanged for the affectations of chivalry, and the
subtleties of school philosophy: the feudal ideas of civil government,
the Romish sentiments in religion, had taken entire possession of the
people: by the former, the sense of submission towards princes was
somewhat diminished in the barons; by the latter the devoted
attachment to papal authority was much augmented among the clergy.
The Norman and other foreign families established in England had now
struck deep root; and being entirely incorporated with the people,
whom at first they oppressed and despised, they no longer thought that
they needed protection of the crown for the enjoyment of their
possessions, or considered their tenure as precarious. They aspired
to the same liberty and independence which they saw enjoyed by their
brethren on the continent, and desired to restrain those exorbitant
prerogatives and arbitrary practices, which the necessities of war and
the violence of conquest had at first obliged them to indulge in their
monarch. That memory also of a more equal government under the Saxon
princes, which remained with the English, diffused still farther the
spirit of liberty, and made the barons both desirous of more
independence to themselves, and willing to indulge it to the people.
And it was not long ere this secret revolution in the sentiments of
men produced, first violent convulsions in the state, then an evident
alteration in the maxims of government.

The history of all the preceding Kings of England since the Conquest
gives evident proofs of the disorders attending the feudal
institutions; the licentiousness of the barons, their spirit of
rebellion against the prince and laws, and of animosity against each
other: the conduct of the barons in the transmarine dominions of those
monarchs afforded perhaps still more flagrant instances of these
convulsions; and the history of France, during several ages, consists
almost entirely of narrations of this nature. The cities, during the
continuance of this violent government, could neither be very numerous
nor populous; and there occur instances which seem to evince, that
though these are always the first seat of law and liberty, their
police was in general loose and irregular, and exposed to the same
disorders with those by which the country was generally infested. It
was a custom in London for great numbers, to the amount of a hundred
or more, the sons and relations of considerable citizens, to form
themselves into a licentious confederacy, to break into rich houses
and plunder them, to rob and murder the passengers, and to commit with
impunity all sorts of disorder. By these crimes, it had become so
dangerous to walk the streets by night, that the citizens durst no
more venture abroad after sunset than if they had been exposed to the
incursions of a public enemy. The brother of the Earl of Ferrars had
been murdered by some of those nocturnal rioters; and the death of so
eminent a person, which was much more regarded than that of many
thousands of an inferior station, so provoked the king, that he swore
vengeance against the criminals and became thenceforth more rigorous
in the execution of the laws [f].
[FN [f] Bened. Abb. p. 196.]

There is another instance given by historians, which proves to what a
height such riots had proceeded, and how open these criminals were in
committing their robberies. A band of them had attacked the house of
a rich citizen, with an intention of plundering it; had broken through
a stone wall with hammers and wedges; and had already entered the
house sword in hand; when the citizen armed cap-a-pie, and supported
by his faithful servants, appeared in the passage to oppose them; he
cut off the right hand of the first robber that entered; and made such
stout resistance, that his neighbours had leisure to assemble, and
come to his relief. The man who lost his hand was taken; and was
tempted by the promise of pardon to reveal his confederates; among
whom was one John Senex, esteemed among the richest and best-born
citizens in London. He was convicted by the ordeal; and though he
offered five hundred marks for his life, the king refused the money,
and ordered him to be hanged [g]. It appears from a statute of Edward
I. that these disorders were not remedied even in that reign. It was
then made penal to go out at night after the hour of the curfew, to
carry a weapon, or to walk without a light or lantern [h]. It is said
in the preamble to this law, that, both by night and by day, there
were continual frays in the streets of London.
[FN [g] Ibid. p. 197, 198. [h] Observations on the ancient Statutes,
p. 216.]

Henry's care in administering justice had gained him so great a
reputation, that even foreign and distant princes made him arbiter,
and submitted their differences to his judgment. Sanchez, King of
Navarre, having some controversies with Alphonso, King of Castile, was
contented, though Alphonso had married the daughter of Henry, to
choose this prince for a referee; and they agreed each of them to
consign three castles into neutral hands as a pledge of their not
departing from his award. Henry made the cause be examined before
his great council, and gave a sentence, which was submitted to by both
parties. These two Spanish kings sent each a stout champion to the
court of England, in order to defend his cause by arms, in case the
way of duel had been chosen by Henry [i].
[FN [i] Rymer, vol. iv. p. 43. Bened. Abb. p. 172. Diceto, p. 597.
Brompton, p. 1120.]

Henry so far abolished the barbarous and absurd practice of
confiscating ships which had been wrecked on the coast, that he
ordained, if one man or animal were alive in the ship, that the vessel
and goods should be restored to the owners [k].
[FN [k] Rymer, vol. i. p. 36.]

The reign of Henry was remarkable also for an innovation which was
afterwards carried farther by his successors, and was attended with
the most important consequences. This prince was disgusted with the
species of military force which was established by the feudal
institutions, and which, though it was extremely burdensome to the
subject, yet rendered very little service to the sovereign. The
barons, or military tenants, came late into the field; they were
obliged to serve only forty days; they were unskilful and disorderly
in all their operations; and they were apt to carry into the camp the
same refractory and independent spirit, to which they were accustomed
in their civil government. Henry, therefore, introduced the practice
of making a commutation of their military service for money; and he
levied scutages from his baronies and knights' fees, instead of
requiring the personal attendance of his vassals. There is mention
made, in the History of the Exchequer, of these scutages in his
second, fifth, and eighteenth year [l]; and other writers give us an
account of three more of them [m]. When the prince had thus obtained
money, he made a contract with some of those adventurers in which
Europe at that time abounded: they found him soldiers of the same
character with themselves, who were bound to serve for a stipulated
time: the armies were less numerous, but more useful, than when
composed of all the military vassals of the crown: the feudal
institutions began to relax: the kings became rapacious for money, on
which all their power depended: the barons, seeing no end of
exactions, sought to defend their property: and as the same causes had
nearly the same effects in the different countries of Europe, the
several crowns either lost or acquired authority, according to their
different success in the contest.
[FN [l] Madox, p. 435, 436, 437, 438. [m] Tyrrel, vol. ii. p. 466,
from the records.]

This prince was also the first that levied a tax on the moveables or
personal estates of his subjects, nobles as well as commons. Their
zeal for the holy wars made them submit to this innovation; and a
precedent being once obtained, this taxation became, in following
reigns, the usual method of supplying the necessities of the crown.
The tax of Danegelt, so generally odious to the nation, was remitted
in this reign.

It was a usual practice of the Kings of England to repeat the ceremony
of their coronation thrice every year, on assembling the states at the
three great festivals. Henry, after the first years of his reign,
never renewed this ceremony, which was found to be very expensive and
very useless. None of his successors revived it. It is considered as
a great act of grace in this prince, that he mitigated the rigour of
the forest laws, and punished any transgressions of them, not
capitally, but by fines, imprisonments, and other more moderate

Since we are here collecting some detached incidents which show the
genius of the age, and which could not so well enter into the body of
our history, it may not be improper to mention the quarrel between
Roger, Archbishop of York, and Richard, Archbishop of Canterbury. We
may judge of the violence of military men and laymen, when
ecclesiastics could proceed to such extremities. Cardinal Haguezun
being sent, in 1176, as legate into Britain, summoned an assembly of
the clergy at London; and as both the archbishops pretended to sit on
his right hand, this question of precedency begat a controversy
between them. The monks and retainers of Archbishop Richard fell upon
Roger, in the presence of the cardinal and of the synod, threw him to
the ground, trampled him under foot, and so bruised him with blows
that he was taken up half dead, and his life was with difficulty saved
from their violence. The Archbishop of Canterbury was obliged to pay
a large sum of money to the legate, in order to suppress all
complaints with regard to this enormity [n].
[FN [n] Bened. Abb. p. 138, 139. Brompton, p. 1109. Chron Gerv. p.
1433. Neubrig. p. 413.]

We are told by Giraldus Cambrensis, that the monks and prior of St.
Swithun threw themselves one day prostrate on the ground and in the
mire before Henry, complaining, with many tears and much doleful
lamentation, that the Bishop of Winchester, who was also their abbot,
had cut off three dishes from their table. How many has he left you?
said the king. Ten only, replied the disconsolate monks. I myself,
exclaimed the king, never have more than three; and I enjoin your
bishop to reduce you to the same number [o].
[FN [o] Gir. Camb. cap. 5. in Anglia Sacra, vol. ii.]

This king left only two legitimate sons, Richard who succeeded him,
and John who inherited no territory, though his father had often
intended to leave him a part of his extensive dominions. He was
thence commonly denominated LACKLAND. Henry left three legitimate
daughters: Maud, born in 1156, and married to Henry, Duke of Saxony;
Eleanor, born in 1162, and married to Alphonso, King of Castile; Joan,
born in 1165, and married to William, King of Sicily [p].
[FN [p] Diceto, p. 616.]

Henry is said by ancient historians to have been of a very amorous
disposition: they mention two of his natural sons by Rosamond,
daughter of Lord Clifford; namely, Richard Longespee, or Longsword,
(so called from the sword he usually wore,) who was afterwards married
to Ela, the daughter and heir of the Earl of Salisbury; and Geoffrey,
first Bishop of Lincoln, then Archbishop of York. All the other
circumstances of the story, commonly told of that lady, seem to be




[MN 1189.] The compunction of Richard for his undutiful behaviour
towards his father was durable, and influenced him in the choice of
his ministers and servants after his accession. Those who had
seconded and favoured his rebellion, instead of meeting with that
trust and honour which they expected, were surprised to find that they
lay under disgrace with the new king, and were on all occasions hated
and despised by him. The faithful ministers of Henry, who had
vigorously opposed all the enterprises of his sons, were received with
open arms, and were continued in those offices which they had
honourably discharged to their former master [a]. This prudent
conduct might be the result of reflection; but in a prince like
Richard, so much guided by passion, and so little by policy, it was
commonly ascribed to a principle still more virtuous and more
[FN [a] Hoveden, p. 655. Bened. Abb. p. 547. M. Paris, p. 107.]

Richard, that he might make atonement to one parent for his breach of
duty to the other, immediately sent orders for releasing the queen-
dowager from the confinement in which she had long been detained; and
he intrusted her with the government of England till his arrival in
that kingdom. His bounty to his brother John was rather profuse and
imprudent. Besides bestowing on him the county of Mortaigne, in
Normandy, granting him a pension of four thousand marks a year, and
marrying him to Avisa, the daughter of the Earl of Gloucester, by whom
he inherited all the possessions of that opulent family, he increased
his appanage, which the late king had destined him, by other extensive
grants and concessions. He conferred on him the whole estate of
William Peverell, which had escheated to the crown: he put him in
possession of eight castles, with all the forests and honours annexed
to them: he delivered over to him no less than six earldoms, Cornwall,
Devon, Somerset, Nottingham, Dorset, Lancaster, and Derby. And
endeavouring by favours, to fix that vicious prince in his duty, he
put it too much in his power, whenever he pleased, to depart from it.

[MN The king's preparations for the crusade.]
The king, impelled more by the love of military glory than by
superstition, acted from the beginning of his reign, as if the sole
purpose of his government had been the relief of the Holy Land, and
the recovery of Jerusalem from the Saracens. This zeal against
infidels, being communicated to his subjects, broke out in London on
the day of his coronation, and made them find a crusade less
dangerous, and attended with more immediate profit. The prejudices of
the age had made the lending of money on interest pass by the
invidious name of usury; yet the necessity of the practice had still
continued it, and the greater part of that kind of dealing fell
everywhere into the hands of the Jews; who being already infamous on
account of their religion, had no honour to lose, and were apt to
exercise a profession, odious in itself, by every kind of rigour, and
even sometimes by rapine and extortion. The industry and frugality of
this people had put them in possession of all the ready money, which
the idleness and profusion, common to the English with other European
nations, enabled them to lend at exorbitant and unequal interest. The
monkish writers represent it as a great stain on the wise and
equitable government of Henry, that he had carefully protected this
infidel race from all injures and insults; but the zeal of Richard
afforded the populace a pretence for venting their animosity against
them. The king had issued an edict prohibiting their appearance at
his coronation; but some of them, bringing him large presents from
their nation, presumed, in confidence of that merit, to approach the
hall in which he dined: being discovered, they were exposed to the
insults of the bystanders; they took to flight; the people pursued
them; the rumour was spread that the king had issued orders to
massacre all the Jews; a command so agreeable was executed in an
instant on such as fell into the hands of the populace; those who had
kept at home were exposed to equal danger; the people, moved by
rapacity and zeal, broke into their houses, which they plundered,
after having murdered the owners; where the Jews barricaded their
doors, and defended themselves with vigour, the rabble set fire to the
houses, and made way through the flames to exercise their pillage and
violence; the usual licentiousness of London, which the sovereign
power with difficulty restrained, broke out with fury, and continued
these outrages; the houses of the richest citizens, though Christians,
were next attacked and plundered; and weariness and satiety at last
put an end to the disorder: yet, when the king empowered Glanville,
the justiciary, to inquire into the authors of these crimes, the guilt
was found to involve so many of the most considerable citizens, that
it was deemed more prudent to drop the prosecution; and very few
suffered the punishment due to this enormity. But the disorder
stopped not at London. The inhabitants of the other cities of
England, hearing of this slaughter of the Jews, imitated the example:
in York, five hundred of that nation, who had retired into the castle
for safety, and found themselves unable to defend the place, murdered
their own wives and children, threw the dead bodies over the walls
upon the populace, and then setting fire to the houses perished in the
flames. The gentry of the neighbourhood, who were all indebted to the
Jews, ran to the cathedral, where their bonds were kept, and made a
solemn bonfire of the papers before the altar. The compiler of the
Annals of Waverley, in relating these events, blesses the Almighty for
thus delivering over this impious race to destruction [b].
[FN [b] Gale's Collect. vol. iii. p. 165.]

The ancient situation of England, when the people possessed little
riches and the public no credit, made it impossible for sovereigns to
bear the expense of a steady or durable war, even on their frontiers;
much less could they find regular means for the support of distant
expeditions like those into Palestine, which were more the result of
popular frenzy than of sober reason or deliberate policy. Richard,
therefore, knew that he must carry with him all the treasure necessary
for his enterprise, and that both the remoteness of his own country
and its poverty made it unable to furnish him with those continued
supplies, which the exigencies of so perilous a war must necessarily
require. His father had left him a treasure of above a hundred
thousand marks; and the king, negligent of every consideration but his
present object, endeavoured to augment this sum by all expedients, how
pernicious soever to the public, or dangerous to royal authority. He
put to sale the revenues and manors of the crown; the offices of
greatest trust and power, even those of forester and sheriff, which
anciently were so important [c], became venal; the dignity of chief
justiciary, in whose hands was lodged the whole execution of the laws,
was sold to Hugh de Puzas, Bishop of Durham, for a thousand marks; the
same prelate bought the earldom of Northumberland for life [d]; many
of the champions of the cross, who had repented of the vow, purchased
the liberty of violating it; and Richard, who stood less in need of
men than of money, dispensed, on these conditions, with their
attendance. Elated with the hopes of fame, which, in that age,
attended no wars but those against the infidels, he was blind to every
other consideration; and when some of his wiser ministers objected to
this dissipation of the revenue and power of the crown, he replied
that he would sell London itself, could he find a purchaser [e].
Nothing, indeed, could be a stronger proof how negligent he was of all
future interests in comparison of the crusade, than his selling, for
so small a sum as ten thousand marks, the vassalage of Scotland,
together with the fortresses of Roxburgh and Berwick, the greatest
acquisition that had been made by his father during the course of his
victorious reign; and his accepting the homage of William in the usual
terms, merely for the territories which that prince held in England
[f]. The English of all ranks and stations were oppressed by numerous
exactions; menaces were employed, both against the innocent and the
guilty, in order to extort money from them; and where a pretence was
wanting against the rich, the king obliged them, by the fear of his
displeasure, to lend him sums which, he knew, it would never be in his
power to repay.
[FN [c] The sheriff had anciently both the administration of justice
and the management of the king's revenue committed to him in the
county. See HALE, OF SHERIFF'S ACCOUNTS. [d] M. Paris, p. 109. [e]
W. Heming. p. 519. Knyghton, p. 2402. [f] Hoveden, p. 662. Rymer,
vol. i. p. 64. M. West. p. 257.]

But Richard, though he sacrificed every interest and consideration to
the success of this pious enterprise, carried so little the appearance
of sanctity in his conduct, that Fulk, curate of Neuilly, a zealous
preacher of the crusade, who, from that merit, had acquired the
privilege of speaking the boldest truths, advised him to rid himself
of his notorious vices, particularly his pride, avarice, and
voluptuousness, which he called the king's three favourite daughters.

Richard, jealous of attempts which might be made on England during his
absence, laid Prince John, as well as his natural brother, Geoffrey,
Archbishop of York, under engagements, confirmed by their oaths, that
neither of them should enter the kingdom till his return; though he
thought proper, before his departure, to withdraw this prohibition.
The administration was left in the hands of Hugh, Bishop of Durham,
and of Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, whom he appointed justiciaries and
guardians of the realm. The latter was a Frenchman, of mean birth,
and of a violent character; who, by art and address, had insinuated
himself into favour, whom Richard had created chancellor, and whom he
had engaged the pope also to invest with the legatine authority, that,
by centering every kind of power in his person, he might the better
ensure the public tranquillity. All the military and turbulent
spirits flocked about the person of the king, and were impatient to
distinguish themselves against the infidels in Asia; whither his
inclinations, his engagements, led him, and whither he was impelled by
messages from the King of France, ready to embark in this enterprise.

The Emperor Frederic, a prince of great spirit and conduct, had
already taken the road to Palestine, at the head of one hundred and
fifty thousand men, collected from Germany and all the northern
states. Having surmounted every obstacle thrown in his way by the
artifices of the Greeks and the power of the infidels, he had
penetrated to the borders of Syria; when, bathing in the cold river
Cydnus during the greatest heat of the summer season, he was seized
with a mortal distemper, which put an end to his life and his rash
enterprise [g]. His army, under the command of his son, Conrade,
reached Palestine; but was so diminished by fatigue, famine, maladies,
and the sword, that it scarcely amounted to eight thousand men; and
was unable to make any progress against the great power, valour, and
conduct of Saladin. These reiterated calamities attending the
crusades had taught the Kings of France and England the necessity of
trying another road to the Holy Land; and they determined to conduct
their armies thither by sea, to carry provisions along with them, and,
by means of their naval power, to maintain an open communication with
their own states, and with the western parts of Europe. The place of
rendezvous was appointed in the plains of Vezelay, on the borders of
Burgundy [h]: [MN 1190. 29th June.] Philip and Richard, on their
arrival there, found their combined army amount to one hundred
thousand men [i]; a mighty force, animated with glory and religion,
conducted by two warlike monarchs, provided with every thing which
their several dominions could supply, and not to be overcome but by
their own misconduct, or by the unsurmountable obstacles of nature.
[FN [g] Bened. Abb. p. 556. [h] Hoveden, p. 660. [i] Vinisauf, p.

[MN King sets out on the crusade.]
The French prince and the English here reiterated their promises of
cordial friendship, pledged their faith not to invade each other's
dominions during the crusade, mutually exchanged the oaths of all
their barons and prelates to the same effect, and subjected themselves
to the penalty of interdicts and excommunications, if they should ever
violate this public and solemn engagement. They then separated;
Philip took the road to Genoa, Richard that to Marseilles, with a view
of meeting their fleets, which were severally appointed to rendezvous
in these harbours. [MN 14th Sept.] They put to sea; and, nearly
about the same time, were obliged, by stress of weather, to take
shelter in Messina, where they were detained during the whole winter.
This incident laid the foundation of animosities which proved fatal to
their enterprise.

Richard and Philip were, by the situation and extent of their
dominions, rivals in power; by their age and inclinations, competitors
for glory; and these causes of emulation which, had the princes been
employed in the field against the common enemy, might have stimulated
them to martial enterprises, soon excited, during the present leisure
and repose, quarrels between monarchs of such a fiery character.
Equally haughty, ambitious, intrepid, and inflexible, they were
irritated with the least appearance of injury, and were incapable, by
mutual condescensions, to efface those causes of complaint, which
unavoidably arose between them. Richard, candid, sincere,
undesigning, impolitic, violent, laid himself open, on every occasion,
to the designs of his antagonist; who, provident, interested,
intriguing, failed not to take all advantages against him: and thus,
both the circumstances of their disposition in which they were
similar, and those in which they differed, rendered it impossible for
them to persevere in that harmony which was so necessary to the
success of their undertaking.

[MN Transactions in Sicily.]
The last King of Sicily and Naples was William II., who had married
Joan, sister to Richard, and who, dying without issue, had bequeathed
his dominions to his paternal aunt, Constantia, the only legitimate
descendant surviving of Roger, the first sovereign of those states who
had been honoured with the royal title. This princess had, in
expectation of that rich inheritance, been married to Henry VI., the
reigning emperor [k]; but Tancred, her natural brother, had fixed such
an interest among the barons, that, taking advantage of Henry's
absence, he had acquired possession of the throne, and maintained his
claim, by force of arms, against all the efforts of the Germans [l].
The approach of the crusaders naturally gave him apprehensions for his
unstable government; and he was uncertain, whether he had most reason
to dread the presence of the French or of the English monarch. Philip
was engaged in a strict alliance with the emperor his competitor;
Richard was disgusted by his rigours towards the queen-dowager, whom
the Sicilian prince had confined in Palermo, because she had opposed
with all her interest his succession to the crown. Tancred,
therefore, sensible of the present necessity, resolved to pay court to
both these formidable princes; and he was not unsuccessful in his
endeavours. He persuaded Philip that it was highly improper for him
to interrupt his enterprise against the infidels, by any attempt
against a Christian state: he restored Queen Joan to her liberty; and
even found means to make an alliance with Richard, who stipulated by
treaty to marry his nephew, Arthur, the young Duke of Britany, to one
of the daughters of Tancred [m]. But before these terms of friendship
were settled, Richard, jealous both of Tancred and of the inhabitants
of Messina, had taken up his quarters in the suburbs, and had
possessed himself of a small fort, which commanded the harbour; and he
kept himself extremely on his guard against their enterprises. [MN 3d
Oct.] The citizens took umbrage. Mutual insults and attacks passed
between them and the English: Philip, who had quartered his troops in
the town, endeavoured to accommodate the quarrel, and held a
conference with Richard for that purpose. While the two kings,
meeting in the open fields, were engaged in discourse on this subject,
a body of those Sicilians seemed to be drawing towards them; and
Richard pushed forwards, in order to inquire into the reason of this
extraordinary movement [n]. The English, insolent from their power,
and inflamed with former animosities, wanted but a pretence for
attacking the Messinese: they soon chased them off the field, drove
them into the town, and entered with them at the gates. The king
employed his authority to restrain them from pillaging and massacring
the defenceless inhabitants; but he gave orders, in token of his
victory, that the standard of England should be erected on the walls.
Philip, who considered that place as his quarters, exclaimed against
the insult, and ordered some of his troops to pull down the standard:
but Richard informed him by a messenger, that, though he himself would
willingly remove that ground of offence, he would not permit it to be
done by others; and if the French king attempted such an insult upon
him, he should not succeed but by the utmost effusion of blood.
Philip, content with this species of haughty submission, recalled his
orders [o]; the difference was seemingly accommodated; but still left
the remains of rancour and jealousy in the breasts of the two
[FN [k] Bened. Abb. p. 580. [1] Hoveden, p. 663. [m] Hoveden, p.
676, 677. Bened Abb. p. 615. [n] Bened. Abb. p. 608. [o] Hoveden,
p. 674.]

Tancred, who, for his own security, desired to inflame their mutual
hatred, employed an artifice which might have been attended with
consequences still more fatal. [MN 1191.] He showed Richard a
letter, signed by the French king, and delivered to him, as he
pretended, by the Duke of Burgundy; in which that monarch desired
Tancred to fall upon the quarters of the English, and promised to
assist him in putting them to the sword, as common enemies. The
unwary Richard gave credit to the information; but was too candid not
to betray his discontent to Philip, who absolutely denied the letter,
and charged the Sicilian prince with forgery and falsehood. Richard
either was, or pretended to be, entirely satisfied [p].
[FN [p] Ibid. p. 688. Bened. Abb. p. 642, 643. Brompton, p. 1195.]

Lest these jealousies and complaints should multiply between them, it
was proposed, that they should, by a solemn treaty, obviate all future
differences, and adjust every point that could possibly hereafter
become a controversy between them. But this expedient started a new
dispute, which might have proved more dangerous than any of the
foregoing, and which deeply concerned the honour of Philip's family.
When Richard, in every treaty with the late king, insisted so
strenuously on being allowed to marry Alice of France, he had only
sought a pretence for quarrelling; and never meant to take to his bed
a princess suspected of a criminal amour with his own father. After
he became master, he no longer spake of that alliance: he even took
measures for espousing Berengaria, daughter of Sanchez, King of
Navarre, with whom he had become enamoured during his abode in Guienne
[q]; Queen Eleanor was daily expected with that princess at Messina
[r] and when Philip renewed to him his applications for espousing his
sister Alice, Richard was obliged to give him an absolute refusal. It
is pretended by Hoveden and other historians [s], that he was able to
produce such convincing proofs of Alice's infidelity, and even of her
having borne a child to Henry, that her brother desisted from his
applications, and chose to wrap up the dishonour of his family in
silence and oblivion. It is certain, from the treaty itself, which
remains [t], that whatever were his motives, he permitted Richard to
give his hand to Berengaria; and having settled all other
controversies with that prince, he immediately set sail for the Holy
Land. Richard awaited some time the arrival of his mother and bride;
and when they joined him, he separated his fleet into two squadrons,
and set forward on his enterprise. Queen Eleanor returned to England,
but Berengaria and the queen-dowager of Sicily, his sister, attended
him on the expedition [u].
[FN [q] Vinisauf, p. 316. [r] M. Paris, p. 112. Trivet, p. 102. W.
Heming, p. 519. [s] Hoveden, p. 688. [t] Rymer, vol. i. p. 69.
Chron. de Dunst, p. 44. [u] Bened. Abb. p. 644.]

The English fleet, on leaving the port of Messina, met with a furious
tempest, and the squadron on which the two princesses were embarked
was driven on the coast of Cyprus, and some of the vessels were
wrecked near Limisso in that island. [MN 12th April.] Isaac, Prince
of Cyprus, who assumed the magnificent title of Emperor, pillaged the
ships that were stranded, threw the seamen and passengers into prison,
and even refused to the princesses liberty, in their dangerous
situation, of entering the harbour of Limisso. But Richard, who
arrived soon after, took ample vengeance on him for the injury. He
disembarked his troops; defeated the tyrant, who opposed his landing;
entered Limisso by storm; gained next day a second victory; obliged
Isaac to surrender at discretion; and established governors over the
island. The Greek prince, being thrown into prison and loaded with
irons, complained of the little regard with which he was treated: upon
which, Richard ordered silver fetters to be made for him; and this
emperor, pleased with the distinction, expressed a sense of the
generosity of his conqueror [w]. [MN 1191. 12th May.] The king here
espoused Berengaria, who, immediately embarking, carried along with
her to Palestine the daughter of the Cypriot prince; a dangerous
rival, who was believed to have seduced the affections of her husband.
Such were the libertine character and conduct of the heroes engaged in
this pious enterprise!
[FN [w] Bened. Abb. p. 650. Ann. Waverl. p. 164. Vinisauf, p. 328.
W. Heming. p. 523.]

[MN The king's arrival in Palestine.]
The English army arrived in time to partake in the glory of the siege
of Acre or Ptolemais, which had been attacked for above two years by
the united forces of all the Christians in Palestine, and had been
defended by the utmost efforts of Saladin and the Saracens. The
remains of the German army, conducted by the Emperor Frederic, and the
separate bodies of adventurers who continually poured in from the
West, had enabled the King of Jerusalem to form this important
enterprise [x]: but Saladin, having thrown a strong garrison into the
place under the command of Caracos, his own master in the art of war,
and molesting the besiegers with continual attacks and sallies, had
protracted the success of the enterprise, and wasted the force of his
enemies. The arrival of Philip and Richard inspired new life into the
Christians; and these princes, acting by concert, and sharing the
honour and danger of every action, gave hopes of a final victory over
the infidels. They agreed on this plan of operations: when the French
monarch attacked the town, the English guarded the trenches: next day,
when the English prince conducted the assault, the French succeeded
him in providing for the safety of the assailants. The emulation
between those rival kings and rival nations produced extraordinary
acts of valour: Richard in particular, animated with a more
precipitate courage than Philip, and more agreeable to the romantic
spirit of that age, drew to himself the general attention, and
acquired a great and splendid reputation. But this harmony was of
short duration; and occasions of discord soon arose between these
jealous and haughty princes.
[FN [x] Vinisauf, p. 269, 271, 279.]

[MN 1191. State of Palestine.]
The family of Bouillon, which had first been placed on the throne of
Jerusalem, ending in a female, Fulk, Count of Anjou, grandfather to
Henry II. of England, married the heiress of that kingdom, and
transmitted his title to the younger branches of his family. The
Anjevin race ending also in a female, Guy de Lusignan, by espousing
Sibylla, the heiress, had succeeded to the title; and though he lost
his kingdom by the invasion of Saladin, he was still acknowledged by
all the Christians for king of Jerusalem [y]. But as Sibylla died
without issue, during the siege of Acre, Isabella, her younger sister,
put in her claim to that titular kingdom, and required Lusignan to
resign his pretensions to her husband, Conrade, Marquis of Montferrat.
Lusignan maintaining that the royal title was unalienable and
indefeasible, had recourse to the protection of Richard, attended on
him before he left Cyprus, and engaged him to embrace his cause [z].
There needed no other reason for throwing Philip into the party of
Conrade; and the opposite views of these great monarchs brought
faction and dissension into the Christian army, and retarded all its
operations. The Templars, the Genoese, and the Germans declared for
Philip and Conrade; the Flemings, the Pisans, the Knights of the
Hospital of St. John, adhered to Richard and Lusignan. But
notwithstanding these disputes, as the length of the siege had reduced
the Saracen garrison to the last extremity, [MN 12th July.] they
surrendered themselves prisoners; stipulated, in return for their
lives, other advantages to the Christians, such as the restoring of
the Christian prisoners, and the delivery of the wood of the true
cross [a]; and this great enterprise, which had long engaged the
attention of all Europe and Asia, was, at last, after the loss of
three hundred thousand men, brought to a happy period.
[FN [y] Vinisauf, p. 281. [z] Trivet, p. 134. Vinisauf, p. 342. W.
Heming. p. 524. [a] This true cross was lost in the battle of
Tiberiade, to which it had been carried by the crusaders for their
protection. Rigord, an author of that age, says, that after this
dismal event, all the children who were born throughout all
Christendom had only twenty or twenty-two teeth, instead of thirty or
thirty-two, which was their former complement, p. 14.]

But Philip, instead of pursuing the hopes of farther conquest, and of
redeeming the holy city from slavery, being disgusted with the
ascendant assumed and acquired by Richard, and having views of many
advantages, which he might reap by his presence in Europe, declared
his resolution of returning to France; and he pleaded his bad state of
health as an excuse for his desertion of the common cause. He left,
however, to Richard ten thousand of his troops, under the command of
the Duke of Burgundy; and he renewed his oath never to commence
hostilities against that prince's dominions during his absence. But
he had no sooner reached Italy than he applied, it is pretended, to
Pope Celestine III. for a dispensation from his vow; and when denied
that request, he still proceeded, though after a covert manner, in a
project, which the present situation of England rendered inviting, and
which gratified, in an eminent degree, both his resentment and his

[MN Disorders in England.]
Immediately after Richard had left England, and begun his march to the
Holy Land, the two prelates, whom he had appointed guardians of the
realm, broke out into animosities against each other, and threw the
kingdom into combustion. Longchamp, presumptuous in his nature,
elated by the favour which he enjoyed with his master, and armed with
the legatine commission, could not submit to an equality with the
Bishop of Durham: he even went so far as to arrest his colleague, and
to extort from him a resignation of the earldom of Northumberland, and
of his other dignities, as the price of his liberty [b]. The king,
informed of these dissensions, ordered, by letters from Marseilles,
that the bishop should be reinstated in his offices; but Longchamp had
still the boldness to refuse compliance, on pretence that he himself
was better acquainted with the king's secret intentions [c]. He
proceeded to govern the kingdom by his sole authority; to treat all
the nobility with arrogance; and to display his power and riches with
an invidious ostentation. He never travelled without a strong guard
of fifteen hundred foreign soldiers, collected from that licentious
tribe with which the age was generally infested: nobles and knights
were proud of being admitted into his train: his retinue wore the
aspect of royal magnificence: and when, in his progress through the
kingdom, he lodged in any monastery, his attendants, it is said, were
sufficient to devour, in one night, the revenue of several years [d].
The king, who was detained in Europe longer than the haughty prelate
expected, hearing of this ostentation, which exceeded even what the
habits of that age indulged in ecclesiastics; being also informed of
the insolent, tyrannical conduct of his minister, thought proper to
restrain his power: he sent new orders, appointing Walter Archbishop
of Rouen, William Mareschal Earl of Strigul, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter,
William Briewere, and Hugh Bardolf, counsellors to Longchamp, and
commanding him to take no measure of importance without their
concurrence and approbation. But such general terror had this man
impressed by his violent conduct, that even the Archbishop of Rouen
and the Earl of Strigul durst not produce this mandate of the king's;
and Longchamp still maintained an uncontrolled authority over the
nation. But when he proceeded so far as to throw into prison
Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, who had opposed his measures, this
breach of ecclesiastical privileges excited such an universal ferment,
that Prince John, disgusted with the small share he possessed in the
government, and personally disobliged by Longchamp, ventured to
summon, at Reading, a general council of the nobility and prelates,
and cite him to appear before them. Longchamp thought it dangerous to
intrust his person in their hands, and he shut himself up in the Tower
of London; but being soon obliged to surrender that fortress, he fled
beyond sea, concealed under a female habit, and was deprived of his
offices of chancellor and chief justiciary; the last of which was
conferred on the Archbishop of Rouen, a prelate of prudence and
moderation. The commission of legate, however, which had been renewed
to Longchamp by Pope Celestine, still gave him, notwithstanding his
absence, great authority in the kingdom, enabled him to disturb the
government, and forwarded the views of Philip, who watched every
opportunity of annoying Richard's dominions. [MN 1192.] That monarch
first attempted to carry open war into Normandy; but as the French
nobility refused to follow him in an invasion of a state which they
had sworn to protect, and as the pope, who was the general guardian of
all princes that had taken the cross, threatened him with
ecclesiastical censures, he desisted from his enterprise, and employed
against England the expedient of secret policy and intrigue. He
debauched Prince John from his allegiance; promised him his sister
Alice in marriage; offered to give him possession of all Richard's
transmarine dominions; and had not the authority of Queen Eleanor, and
the menaces of the English council, prevailed over the inclinations of
that turbulent prince, he was ready to have crossed the seas, and to
have put in execution his criminal enterprises.
[FN [b] Hoveden, p. 665. Knyghton, p. 2403. [c] W. Heming. p. 528.
[d] Hoveden, p. 680. Bened. Abb. p. 626, 700. Brompton, p. 1193.]

[MN The king's heroic actions in Palestine.]
The jealousy of Philip was every moment excited by the glory which the
great actions of Richard were gaining him in the East, and which,
being compared to his own desertion of that popular cause, threw a
double lustre on his rival. His envy, therefore, prompted him to
obscure that fame which he had not equalled; and he embraced every
pretence of throwing the most violent and most improbable calumnies on
the King of England. There was a petty prince in Asia, commonly
called THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN, who had acquired such an ascendant
over his fanatical subjects, that they paid the most implicit
deference to his commands; esteemed assassination meritorious when
sanctified by his mandate; courted danger, and even certain death, in
the execution of his orders; and fancied, that when they sacrificed
their lives for his sake, the highest joys of paradise were the
infallible reward of their devoted obedience [e]. It was the custom
of this prince, when he imagined himself injured, to despatch secretly
some of his subjects against the aggressor, to charge them with the
execution of his revenge, to instruct them in every art of disguising
their purpose; and no precaution was sufficient to guard any man,
however powerful, against the attempts of these subtle and determined
ruffians. The greatest monarchs stood in awe of this Prince of the
Assassins, (for that was the name of his people; whence the word has
passed into most European languages,) and it was the highest
indiscretion in Conrade, Marquis of Montferrat, to offend and affront
him. The inhabitants of Tyre, who were governed by that nobleman, had
put to death some of this dangerous people: the prince demanded
satisfaction; for, as he piqued himself on never beginning any offence
[f], he had his regular and established formalities in requiring
atonement: Conrade treated his messengers with disdain: the prince
issued the fatal order: two of his subjects, who had insinuated
themselves in disguise among Conrade's guards, openly, in the streets
of Sidon, wounded him mortally; and when they were seized and put to
the most cruel tortures, they triumphed amidst their agonies, and
rejoiced that they had been destined by heaven to suffer in so just
and meritorious a cause.
[FN [e] W. Heming. p. 532. Brompton, p. 1243. [f] Rymer, vol. i. p.

Every one in Palestine knew from what hand the blow came. Richard was
entirely free from suspicion. Though that monarch had formerly
maintained the cause of Lusignan against Conrade, he had become
sensible of the bad effects attending those dissensions, and had
voluntarily conferred on the former the kingdom of Cyprus, on
condition that he should resign to his rival all pretensions to the
crown of Jerusalem [g]. Conrade himself, with his dying breath, had
recommended his widow to the protection of Richard [h]; the Prince of
the Assassins avowed the action in a formal narrative which he sent to
Europe [i]; yet, on this foundation, the King of France thought fit to
build the most egregious calumnies, and to impute to Richard the
murder of the Marquis of Montferrat, whose elevation he had once
openly opposed. He filled all Europe with exclamations against the
crime; appointed a guard for his own person, in order to defend
himself against a like attempt [k]; and endeavoured, by these shallow
artifices, to cover the infamy of attacking the dominions of a prince
whom he himself had deserted, and who was engaged with so much glory
in a war, universally acknowledged to be the common cause of
[FN [g] Vinisauf, p. 391. [h] Brompton, p. 1243. [i] Rymer, vol. i.
p. 71. Trivet, p. 124. W. Heming. p. 544. Diceto, p. 680. [k] W
Heming. p. 532. Brompton, p. 1245.]

But Richard's heroic actions in Palestine were the best apology for
his conduct. The Christian adventurers under his command determined,
on opening the campaign, to attempt the siege of Ascalon, in order to
prepare the way for that of Jerusalem; and they marched along the sea-
coast with that intention. Saladin purposed to intercept their
passage; and he placed himself on the road with an army, amounting to
three hundred thousand combatants. On this occasion was fought one of
the greatest battles of that age; and the most celebrated, for the
military genius of the commanders, for the number and valour of the
troops, and for the great variety of events which attended it. Both
the right wing of the Christians, commanded by d'Avesnes, and the
left, conducted by the Duke of Burgundy, were, in the beginning of the
day, broken and defeated; when Richard, who led on the main body,
restored the battle; attacked the enemy with intrepidity and presence
of mind; performed the part both of a consummate general and gallant
soldier; and not only gave his two wings leisure to recover from their
confusion, but obtained a complete victory over the Saracens, of whom
forty thousand are said to have perished in the field [l]. Ascalon
soon after fell into the hands of the Christians: other sieges were
carried on with equal success: Richard was even able to advance within
sight of Jerusalem, the object of his enterprise, when he had the
mortification to find that he must abandon all hopes of immediate
success, and must put a stop to his career of victory. The crusaders,
animated with an enthusiastic ardour for the holy wars, broke at first
through all regards to safety or interest in the prosecution of their
purpose; and trusting to the immediate assistance of Heaven, set
nothing before their eyes but fame and victory in this world, and a
crown of glory in the next. But long absence from home, fatigue,
disease, want, and the variety of incidents which naturally attend
war, had gradually abated that fury, which nothing was able directly
to withstand; and every one, except the King of England, expressed a
desire of speedily returning into Europe. The Germans and the
Italians declared their resolution of desisting from the enterprise:
the French were still more obstinate in this purpose: the Duke of
Burgundy, in order to pay court to Philip, took all opportunities of
mortifying and opposing Richard [m]: and there appeared an absolute
necessity of abandoning for the present all hopes of farther conquest,
and of securing the acquisitions of the Christians by an accommodation
with Saladin. Richard, therefore, concluded a truce with that
monarch; and stipulated that Acre, Joppa, and other sea-port towns of
Palestine, should remain in the hands of the Christians, and that
every one of that religion should have liberty to perform his
pilgrimage to Jerusalem unmolested. This truce was concluded for
three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours; a
magical number, which had probably been devised by the Europeans, and
which was suggested by a superstition well suited to the object of the
[FN [l] Hoveden, p. 698. Bened. Abb. p. 677. Diceto, p. 662.
Brompton, p. 1214. [m] Vinisauf, p. 380.]

The liberty, in which Saladin indulged the Christians, to perform
their pilgrimages to Jerusalem, was an easy sacrifice on his part; and
the furious wars which he waged in defence of the barren territory of
Judea were not with him, as with the European adventurers, the result
of superstition, but of policy. The advantage indeed of science,
moderation, humanity, was at that time entirely on the side of the
Saracens; and this gallant emperor, in particular, displayed, during
the course of the war, a spirit and generosity, which even his bigoted
enemies were obliged to acknowledge and admire. Richard, equally
martial and brave, carried with him more of the barbarian character,
and was guilty of acts of ferocity, which threw a stain on his
celebrated victories. When Saladin refused to ratify the capitulation
of Acre, the king of England ordered all his prisoners, to the number
of five thousand, to be butchered; and the Saracens found themselves
obliged to retaliate upon the Christians by a like cruelty [n].
Saladin died at Damascus soon after concluding this truce with the
princes of the crusade: it is memorable that, before he expired, he
ordered his winding-sheet to be carried as a standard through every
street of the city; while a crier went before, and proclaimed with a
CONQUEROR OF THE EAST. By his last will he ordered charities to be
distributed to the poor without distinction of Jew, Christian, or
[FN [n] Hoveden, p. 697. Bened. Abb. p. 673. M. Paris, p. 115.
Vinisauf, p. 346. W. Heming. p. 531.]

[MN 1192. The king's return from Palestine.]
There remained, after the truce, no business of importance to detain
Richard in Palestine; and the intelligence which he received,
concerning the intrigues of his brother John, and those of the King of
France, made him sensible that his presence was necessary in Europe.
As he dared not to pass through France, be sailed to the Adriatic; and
being shipwrecked near Aquileia, he put on the disguise of a pilgrim,
with a purpose of taking his journey secretly through Germany.
Pursued by the governor of Istria, he was forced out of the direct
road to England, and was obliged to pass by Vienna, [MN 20th Dec.]
where his expenses and liberalities betrayed the monarch in the habit
of the pilgrim; and he was arrested by orders of Leopold, Duke of
Austria. This prince had served under Richard at the siege of Acre;
but being disgusted by some insult of that haughty monarch, he was so
ungenerous as to seize the present opportunity of gratifying at once
his avarice and revenge; and he threw the king into prison. [MN
1193.] The emperor, Henry VI., who also considered Richard as an
enemy, on account of the alliance contracted by him with Tancred, King
of Sicily, despatched messengers to the Duke of Austria, required the
royal captive to be delivered to him, and stipulated a large sum of
money as a reward for this service. [MN Captivity in Germany.] Thus,
the King of England, who had filled the whole world with his renown,
found himself, during the most critical state of his affairs, confined
in a dungeon, and loaded with irons, in the heart of Germany [o], and
entirely at the mercy of his enemies, the basest and most sordid of
[FN [o] Chron. T. Wykes, p. 35.]

The English council was astonished on receiving this fatal
intelligence; and foresaw all the dangerous consequences which might
naturally arise from that event. The queen-dowager wrote reiterated
letters to Pope Celestine, exclaiming against the injury which her son
had sustained; representing the impiety of detaining in prison the
most illustrious prince that had yet carried the banners of Christ
into the Holy Land; claiming the protection of the apostolic see,
which was due even to the meanest of those adventurers; and upbraiding
the pope, that in a cause where justice, religion, and the dignity of
the church, were so much concerned, a cause which it might well befit
his holiness himself to support, by taking in person a journey to
Germany, the spiritual thunders should so long be suspended over those
sacrilegious offenders [p]. The zeal of Celestine corresponded not to
the impatience of the queen-mother; and the regency of England were,
for a long time, left to struggle alone with all their domestic and
foreign enemies.
[FN [p] Rymer, vol. i. p. 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, &c.]

[MN War with France.]
The King of France, quickly informed of Richard's confinement by a
message from the emperor [q], prepared himself to take advantage of
the incident; and he employed every means of force and intrigue, of
war and negotiation, against the dominions and the person of his
unfortunate rival. He revived the calumny of Richard's assassinating
the Marquis of Montferrat; and by that absurd pretence he induced his
barons to violate their oaths, by which they had engaged that, during
the crusade, they never would, on any account, attack the dominions of
the King of England. He made the emperor the largest offers, if he
would deliver into his hands the royal prisoner, or at least detain
him in perpetual captivity: he even formed an alliance by marriage
with the King of Denmark, desired that the ancient Danish claim to the
crown of England should be transferred to him, and solicited a supply
of shipping to maintain it. But the most successful of Philip's
negotiations was with Prince John, who, forgetting every tie to his
brother, his sovereign, and his benefactor, thought of nothing but how
to make his own advantage of the public calamities. That traitor, on
the first invitation from the court of France, suddenly went abroad,
had a conference with Philip, and made a treaty, of which the object
was the perpetual ruin of his unhappy brother. He stipulated to
deliver into Philip's hands a great part of Normandy [r]; he received,
in return, the investiture of all Richard's transmarine dominions; and
it is reported by several historians, that he even did homage to the
French king for the crown of England.
[FN [q] Ibid. p. 70. [r] Rymer, vol. i. p. 85.]

In consequence of this treaty, Philip invaded Normandy; and by the
treachery of John's emissaries, made himself master, without
opposition, of many fortresses, Neuf-chatel, Neaufle, Gisors, Pacey,
Ivree: he subdued the counties of Eu and Aumale; and advancing to form
the siege of Rouen, he threatened to put all the inhabitants to the
sword if they dared to make resistance. Happily, Robert, Earl of
Leicester, appeared in that critical moment; a gallant nobleman, who
had acquired great honour during the crusade, and who, being more
fortunate than his master in finding his passage homewards, took on
him the command in Rouen, and exerted himself, by his exhortations and
example, to infuse courage into the dismayed Normans. Philip was
repulsed in every attack; the time of service from his vassals
expired; and he consented to a truce with the English regency,
received in return the promise of twenty thousand marks, and had four
castles put into his hands, as security for the payment [s].
[FN [s] Hoveden, p.730, 731. Rymer, vol. i. p. 81.]

Prince John, who, with a view of increasing the general confusion,
went over to England, was still less successful in his enterprises.
He was only able to make himself master of the castles of Windsor and
Wallingford; but when he arrived in London, and claimed the kingdom as
heir to his brother, of whose death he pretended to have received
certain intelligence, he was rejected by all the barons, and measures
were taken to oppose and subdue him [t]. The justiciaries, supported
by the general affection of the people, provided so well for the
defence of the kingdom, that John was obliged, after some fruitless
efforts, to conclude a truce with them; and before its expiration, he
thought it prudent to return to France, where he openly avowed his
alliance with Philip [u].
[FN [t] Hoveden, p. 724. [u] W. Heming. p. 536.]

Meanwhile the high spirit of Richard suffered in Germany every kind of
insult and indignity. The French ambassadors, in their master's name,
renounced him as a vassal to the crown of France, and declared all
his fiefs to be forfeited to his liege lord. The emperor, that he
might render him more impatient for the recovery of his liberty, and
make him submit to the payment of a larger ransom, treated him with
the greatest severity, and reduced him to a condition worse than that
of the meanest malefactor. He was even produced before the diet of
the empire at Worms, and accused by Henry of many crimes and
misdemeanours; of making an alliance with Tancred, the usurper of
Sicily; of turning the arms of the crusade against a Christian prince,
and subduing Cyprus; of affronting the Duke of Austria before Acre; of
obstructing the progress of the Christian arms by his quarrels with
the King of France; of assassinating Conrade, Marquis of Montferrat;
and of concluding a truce with Saladin, and leaving Jerusalem in the
hands of the Saracen emperor [w]. Richard, whose spirit was not
broken by his misfortunes, and whose genius was rather roused by these
frivolous or scandalous imputations; after premising, that his dignity
exempted him from answering before any jurisdiction, except that of
Heaven; yet condescended, for the sake of his reputation, to justify
his conduct before that great assembly. He observed, that he had no
hand in Tancred's elevation, and only concluded a treaty with a prince
whom he found in possession of the throne; that the king, or rather
tyrant of Cyprus, had provoked his indignation by the most ungenerous
and unjust proceedings; and though he chastised this aggressor, he had
not retarded a moment the progress of his chief enterprise: that if he
had at any time been wanting in civility to the Duke of Austria, he
had already been sufficiently punished for that sally of passion; and
it better became men, embarked together in so holy a cause, to forgive
each other's infirmities, than to pursue a slight offence with such
unrelenting vengeance: that it had sufficiently appeared by the event,
whether the King of France or he were most zealous for the conquest of
the Holy Land, and were most likely to sacrifice private passions and
animosities to that great object: that if the whole tenour of his life
had not shown him incapable of a base assassination, and justified him
from that imputation in the eyes of his very enemies, it was in vain
for him, at present, to make his apology, or plead the many
irrefragable arguments which he could produce in his own favour: and
that, however he might regret the necessity, he was so far from being
ashamed of his truce with Saladin, that he rather gloried in that
event; and thought it extremely honourable, that, though abandoned by
all the world, supported only by his own courage, and by the small
remains of his national troops, he could yet obtain such conditions
from the most powerful and most warlike emperor that the East had ever
yet produced. Richard, after thus deigning to apologize for his
conduct, burst out into indignation at the cruel treatment which he
had met with; that he, the champion of the cross, still wearing that
honourable badge, should, after expending the blood and treasure of
his subjects in the common cause of Christendom, be intercepted by
Christian princes in his return to his own country, be thrown into a
dungeon, be loaded with irons, be obliged to plead his cause, as if he
were a subject and a malefactor; and what he still more regretted, be
thereby prevented from making preparations for a new crusade, which he
had projected, after the expiration of the truce, and from redeeming
the sepulchre of Christ, which had so long been profaned by the
dominion of infidels. The spirit and eloquence of Richard made such
impression on the German princes, that they exclaimed loudly against
the conduct of the emperor; the pope threatened him with
excommunication; and Henry, who had hearkened to the proposals of the
King of France and Prince John, found that it would be impracticable
for him to execute his and their base purposes, or to detain the King
of England any longer in captivity. [MN The king's delivery.] He
therefore concluded with him a treaty for his ransom, and agreed to
restore him to his freedom for the sum of a hundred and fifty thousand
marks, about three hundred thousand pounds of our present money; of
which a hundred thousand marks were to be paid before he received his
liberty, and sixty-seven hostages delivered for the remainder [x].
The emperor, as if to gloss over the infamy of this transaction, made
at the same time a present to Richard of the kingdom of Arles,
comprehending Provence, Dauphiny, Narbonne, and other states, over
which the empire had some antiquated claims; a present which the king
very wisely neglected.
[FN [w] M Paris, p. 121. W. Heming. p. 536. [x] Rymer, vol. i. p.

The captivity of the superior lord was one of the cases provided for
by the feudal tenures; and all the vassals were in that event obliged
to give an aid for his ransom. Twenty shillings were therefore levied
on each knight's fee in England; but as this money came in slowly, and
was not sufficient for the intended purpose, the voluntary zeal of the
people readily supplied the deficiency. The churches and monasteries
melted down their plate, to the amount of thirty thousand marks; the
bishops, abbots, and nobles, paid a fourth of their yearly rent; the
parochial clergy contributed a tenth of their tithes; [MN 1194. 4th
Feb.] and the requisite sum being thus collected, Queen Eleanor, and
Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, set out with it for Germany; paid the
money to the emperor and the Duke of Austria at Mentz; delivered them
hostages for the remainder; and freed Richard from captivity. His
escape was very critical. Henry had been detected in the
assassination of the Bishop of Liege, and in an attempt of a like
nature on the Duke of Louvaine; and finding himself extremely
obnoxious to the German princes on account of these odious practices,
he had determined to seek support from an alliance with the King of
France; to detain Richard, the enemy of that prince, in perpetual
captivity; to keep in his hands the money which he had already
received for his ransom; and to extort fresh sums from Philip and
Prince John, who were very liberal in their offers to him. He
therefore gave orders that Richard should be pursued and arrested; but
the king, making all imaginable haste, had already embarked at the
mouth of the Schelde, and was out of sight of land, when the
messengers of the emperor reached Antwerp.

[MN King's return to England, 20th March.]
The joy of the English was extreme on the appearance of their monarch,
who had suffered so many calamities, who had acquired so much glory,
and who had spread the reputation of their name into the farthest
East, whither their fame had never before been able to extend. He
gave them, soon after his arrival, an opportunity of publicly
displaying their exultation, by ordering himself to be crowned anew at
Winchester; as if he intended, by that ceremony, to reinstate himself
in his throne, and to wipe off the ignominy of his captivity. Their
satisfaction was not damped, even when he declared his purpose of
resuming all those exorbitant grants, which he had been necessitated
to make before his departure for the Holy Land. The barons, also, in
a great council, confiscated, on account of his treason, all Prince
John's possessions in England; and they assisted the king in reducing
the fortresses which still remained in the hands of his brother's
adherents [y]. Richard, having settled every thing in England, passed
over with an army into Normandy; being impatient to make war on
Philip, and to revenge himself for the many injuries which he had
received from that monarch [z]. As soon as Philip heard of the king's
deliverance from captivity, he wrote to his confederate John in these
[FN [y] Hoveden, p. 737. Ann. Waverl. p. 165. W. Heming, p. 540.
[z] Hoveden, p. 740. [a] Ibid. p. 739.]

[MN War with France.]
When we consider such powerful and martial monarchs inflamed with
personal animosity against each other, enraged by mutual injuries,
excited by rivalship, impelled by opposite interests, and instigated
by the pride and violence of their own temper; our curiosity is
naturally raised, and we expect an obstinate and furious war,
distinguished by the greatest events, and concluded by some remarkable
catastrophe. Yet are the incidents which attend those hostilities so
frivolous that scarce any historian can entertain such a passion for
military descriptions as to venture on a detail of them: a certain
proof of the extreme weakness of princes in those ages, and of the
little authority they possessed over their refractory vassals! The
whole amount of the exploits on both sides is, the taking of a castle,
the surprise of a straggling party, a rencounter of horse, which
resembles more a rout than a battle. Richard obliged Philip to raise
the siege of Verneuil; he took Loches, a small town in Anjou: he made
himself master of Beaumont, and some other places of little
consequence; and after these trivial exploits, the two kings began
already to hold conferences for an accommodation. Philip insisted
that, if a general peace were concluded, the barons on each side
should, for the future, be prohibited from carrying on private wars
against each other: but Richard replied, that this was a right claimed
by his vassals, and he could not debar them from it. After this
fruitless negotiation, there ensued an action between the French and
English cavalry at Fretteval, in which the former were routed, and the
King of France's cartulary and records, which commonly at that time
attended his person, were taken. But this victory leading to no
important advantages, a truce for a year was at last, from mutual
weakness, concluded between the two monarchs.

During this war, Prince John deserted from Philip, threw himself at
his brother's feet, craved pardon for his offences, and by the
intercession of Queen Eleanor was received into favour. I FORGIVE
HE WILL MY PARDON. John was incapable even of returning to his duty,
without committing a baseness. Before he left Philip's party, he
invited to dinner all the officers of the garrison, which that prince
had placed in the citadel of Evreux: he massacred them during the
entertainment: fell, with the assistance of the townsmen, on the
garrison, whom he put to the sword; and then delivered up the place to
his brother.

The King of France was the great object of Richard's resentment and
animosity: the conduct of John, as well as that of the emperor and
Duke of Austria, had been so base, and was exposed to such general
odium and reproach, that the king deemed himself sufficiently revenged
for their injuries; and he seems never to have entertained any project
of vengeance against any of them. The Duke of Austria, about this
time, having crushed his leg by the fall of his horse at a tournament,
was thrown into a fever; and being struck, on the approaches of death,
with remorse for his injustice to Richard, he ordered, by will, all
the English hostages in his hands to be set at liberty, and the
remainder of the debt due to him to be remitted: his son, who seemed
inclined to disobey these orders, was constrained by his ecclesiastics
to execute them [b]. [MN 1195.] The emperor also made advances for
Richard's friendship, and offered to give him a discharge of all the
debt not yet paid to him provided he would enter into an offensive
alliance against the King of France; a proposal which was very
acceptable to Richard, and was greedily embraced by him. The treaty
with the emperor took no effect; but it served to rekindle the war
between France and England before the expiration of the truce. This
war was not distinguished by any more remarkable instances than the
foregoing. After mutually ravaging the open country, and taking a few
insignificant castles, the two kings concluded a peace at Louviers,
and made an exchange of some territories with each other [c]. [MN
1196.] Their inability to wage war occasioned the peace: their mutual
antipathy engaged them again in war before two months expired.
Richard imagined that he had now found an opportunity of gaining great
advantages over his rival, by forming an alliance with the Counts of
Flanders, Toulouse, Boulogne, Champagne, and other considerable
vassals of the crown of France [d]. But he soon experienced the
insincerity of those princes, and was not able to make any impression
on that kingdom, while governed by a monarch of so much vigour and
activity as Philip. The most remarkable incident of this war was the
taking prisoner in battle the Bishop of Beauvais, a martial prelate,
who was of the family of Dreux, and a near relation of the French
king's. Richard, who hated that bishop, threw him into prison and
loaded him with irons; and when the pope demanded his liberty, and
claimed him as his son, the king sent to his holiness the coat of mail
which the prelate had worn in battle, and which was all besmeared with
blood; and he replied to him, in the terms employed by Jacob's sons to
COAT OR NO [e]. This new war between England and France, though
carried out with such animosity that both kings frequently put out the
eyes of their prisoners, was soon finished by a truce of five years;
and immediately after signing this treaty, the kings were ready, on
some new offence, to break out again into hostilities; when the
mediation of the Cardinal of St. Mary, the pope's legate, accommodated
the difference [f]. This prelate even engaged the princes to commence
a treaty for a more durable peace; but the death of Richard put an end
to the negotiation.
[FN [b] Rymer, vol i. p. 88, 102. [c] Ibid. p. 91. [d] W. Heming, p.
549. Brompton, p. 1273. Rymer, vol. i. p. 94. [e] Genesis, chap.
xxxvii. ver. 32. M. Paris, p. 128. Brompton, p. 1273. [f] Rymer,
vol. i. p. 109, 110.]

[MN 1199.] Vidomar, Viscount of Limoges, a vassal of the king's, had
found a treasure, of which he sent part to that prince as a present.
Richard, as superior lord, claimed the whole; and at the head of some
Brabancons, besieged the viscount in the castle of Chalons, near
Limoges, in order to make him comply with his demand [g]. The
garrison offered to surrender; but the king replied, that, since he
had taken the pains to come thither and besiege the place in person,
he would take it by force, and would hang every one of them. The same
day, Richard, accompanied by Marcadee, leader of his Brabancons,
approached the castle in order to survey it; when one Bertrand de
Gourdon, an archer, took aim at him, and pierced his shoulder with an
arrow. [MN 28th March.] The king, however, gave orders for the
assault, took the place, and hanged all the garrison, except Gourdon,
who had wounded him, and whom he reserved for a more deliberate and
more cruel execution [h].
[FN [g] Hoveden, p. 791. Knyghton, p. 2413. [h] Ibid.]

The wound was not in itself dangerous; but the unskilfulness of the
surgeon made it mortal: he so rankled Richard's shoulder in pulling
out the arrow, that a gangrene ensued; and that prince was now
sensible that his life was drawing towards a period. He sent for
Gourdon, and asked him, WRETCH, WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU, TO
[i]. Richard, struck with the reasonableness of this reply, and
humbled by the near approach of death, ordered Gourdon to be set at
liberty, and a sum of money to be given him: but Marcadee, unknown to
him, seized the unhappy man, flayed him alive, and then hanged him.
[MN 6th April. Death,] Richard died in the tenth year of his reign,
and the forty-second of his age; and he left no issue behind him.
[FN [i] Hoveden, p. 791. Brompton, p. 1277. Knyghton, p. 2413.]

[MN and character of the king.]
The most shining parts of this prince's character are his military
talents. No man, even in that romantic age, carried personal courage
and intrepidity to a greater height; and this quality gained him the
appellation of the lion-hearted, COEUR DE LION. He passionately loved
glory, chiefly military glory; and as his conduct in the field was not
inferior to his valour, he seems to have possessed every talent
necessary for acquiring it. His resentments also were high; his pride
unconquerable; and his subjects, as well as his neighbours, had
therefore reason to apprehend, from the continuance of his reign, a
perpetual scene of blood and violence. Of an impetuous and vehement
spirit, he was distinguished by all the good as well as the bad
qualities incident to that character: he was open, frank, generous,
sincere, and brave; he was revengeful, domineering, ambitious,
haughty, and cruel; and was thus better calculated to dazzle men by


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