50. THE CRUSADE AGAINST THE ALBIGENSIANS.
Mention was made a little before of the Albigenses keeping about the city of Tholouse. These Albigenses. because they began to smell the pope, and to control the inordinate proceedings and discipline of the see of Rome, the pope therefore, recounting them as a people heretical. excited and stirred up about this present time and year, A.D. 1220. Louis, the young French king, through the instance of Philip his father, to lay siege against the said city of Tholouse, to expunge and extinguish these Albigenses his enemies. Whereupon Louis, according to his father's commandmant, reared a puissant and a mighty army to compass about and beset the forenamed city, and so did. Here were the men of Tholouse in great danger. But see how the mighty protection of God fighteth for his people against the might of man; for after that Louis (as Matthew Paris testifieth) had long wearied himself and his men in waste, and could do no good with all their engines and artillery against the city, there fell moreover upon the French host, by the hand of God, such famine and pestilence. both of men and horses, besides the other daily slaughter of the soldiers, that Louis was enforced to retire, and with such as were left to return again home to France from whence he came. In the slaughter of which soldiers, besides many others, was Earl Simon Montfort, general of the army, to whom the lands of the earl of Tholousc were given by the pope; who was slain before the gate of the city with a stone; and so was also the brother of the said Simon the same time, in besieging a castle near to Tholouse, slain with a stone in like manner. And so was the siege of the Frenchmen against Tholouse broken up.
As the siege of these Frenchmen could do no good against the city of Tholouse; so it happened the same time that the Christians, marching towards the holy Land, had better success in laying their siege to a certain tower or castle in Egypt near to the city Damieta, which seemed by nature for the situation and difficulty of the place inexpugnable; which being situate in the midst of the great flood Nilus, hard by the city called Damieta, could neither be come to by land, nor be undermined for the water, nor by famine subdued for the nearness of the city; yet notwithstanding, through the help of God and policy of man, by erecting scaffolds and castles upon tops of masts, the Christians at last conquered it, and after that also the city Damieta, albeit not without great loss of Christian people. In the expugnation of this city or fort, among others that there died, was the landgrave of Thuring, named Louis, the husband of Elizabeth, whom we use to call St. Elizabeth. This Elizabeth (as my story recordeth) was the daughter of the king of Hungary, and married in Almaine, where she lived with the forenamed Louis, landgrave of Thuring, whom she through her persuasions provoked and incensed to take that voyage to fight for the Holy Land, where he in the same voyage was slain. After whose death Elizabeth, remaining a widow, entered the profession of cloisterly religion, and made herself a nun; so growing and increasing from virtue to virtue, that after her death all Almaine did sound with the fame of her worthy doings. Matthew Paris addeth this more, that she was the daughter of that queen, who, being accused to be naughty with a certain archbishop, was therefore condemned with this sentence pronounced against her: To kill the queen will ye not to fear, that is good; and if all men consent thereunto, not I myself do stand against it. The which sentence being brought to Pope Innocent, thus in pointing the sentence, which otherwise seemeth to have a double understanding, he so saved the queen, thus interpreting and pointing the same: To kill the queen will ye not, to fear, that is good; and if all do consent thereto, yet not I, I myself do stand against it: and so escaped she the danger. This queen was the mother (as is said) of Elizabeth the nun, who for her holy nunnishness was canonized of the pope's church for a saint in Almaine, about the year of our Lord 1220.
And this by the way. Now to proceed further in the years and life of this King Henry. The next year following, which was A.D. 1221, the king went to Oxford, where he had something to do with William, earl de Albemarlia, who had taken the castle of Biham; but at last. for his good service he had done in the realm before, he was released of the king, with all his men, by the intercession of Walter, archbishop of York, and of Pandulph the legate. About which present year entered first the Friar Minorites, or Grey Friars, into England, and had their first house at Canterbury, whose first patron was Francis, which died A.D. 1127, and his order was confirmed by Pope Honorius the Third, A.D. 1224.
About the first coming of these Dominic and Grey Friars Franciscan into the realm, many Englishmen the same time entered into their orders. Among whom was Johannes de Sancto Egidio, a man famously expert in the science of physic and astronomy, and Alexander de Hales, both Englishmen and great divines. This Johannes, making his sermon in the house of the Dominic friars, exhorted his auditory with great persuasions unto wilful poverty. And to confirm his words the more by his own example, in the midst of his sermon he came down from the pulpit and put on his friar's habit; and so, returning into the pulpit again, made an end of his sermon. Likewise Alexander Hales entered the order of the Franciscans, of whom remaineth yet the book, entitled De summa Theologiæ, in old libraries.
In the year 122l about St. James-tide fell a dissension between the citizens of London and the men of Westminster; the occasion whereof was this. A certain game between these two parties was appointed, to try whether part in wrestling could overcome the other. Thus. in striving for mastery, each party contending against the other, (as the manner is in such pastime,) it happened that the Londoners got the victory, and the other side was put to foil, but especially the steward of the abbot of Westminster; who, being not a little confounded therewith, began to forethink in his mind how to be revenged again of the Londoners. Whereupon another day was set, which was at Lammas, that the Londoners should come again to wrestle: and whoso had the victory should have the bel-wether, which was the price of the game appointed. As the parties were thus occupied in their play, the steward suddenly bringeth upon the Londoners unawares a company of harnessed men prepared for the same before, and letteth drive at the Londoners; who, at length being wounded and grievously hurt, after much bloodshed were driven back again into the city. This contumely thus being received, the citizens, eagerly stricken with ire and impatience, ran to the common bell, and by ringing thereof assembled their commons together, to consult with themselves what was to be done in that case so contumelious. Wherein, when divers sentences were given diviersely, Serle, the same time mayor of London, (a wise and discreet man,) gave this counsel; that the abbot of Westminster should be talked withal, who if he would rectify the injury done, and satisfy for the harm received, it should be to them sufficient. But contrary, one Constantine, a great man then in the city of London, in much heat exciting the people, gave this sentence, that all the houses of the abbot of Westminster, but especially the house of the steward, should be cast down to the ground. In fine, that which he so unadvisedly counselled was as madly performed; for the furious people according to his counsel so did. This tumultuous outrage, as it could not be privy, coming to the knowledge of Hubert de Burgo, lord chief justice of England above mentioned, he coming with a sufficient strength of armed soldiers to the city of London, sent to the mayor and aldermen of the city to will them to come unto him. Who so obeying his commandment, be required of them the principal beginners of the riot. To whom Constantine, there being present, answered, that he would warrant that which was done; sorrowing, moreover, that they had not done more than they did in the matter. The justice, upon the same his confession, commanded him with two others, without any further tumult, to be taken; and so with the same two he was hanged, he offering for his life fifteen thousand marks, &c.
The said Hubert, earl of Kent, and lord chief justice, although he was a faithful and trusty officer to his prince, and had the whole guiding of the realm in his own hands, the king as yet being in his minority; yet afterward, what indignation be sustained for this his severity and other things, both of the nobles and of the commons, and how sharply he was tossed and trounced of his prince, wonder it is to see, as in his due place and time (by the Lord's leave) hereafter shall appear.
And forsomuch as mention hath been made of the wrangling between the commoners of London and of Westminster, both time and occasion bringeth me in remembrance something to speak like wise of the ecclesiastical conflicts among church-men, nothing inferior in my mind, nor less worthy to be noted, than the other. For so I read in Matth. Paris, and in Flores Hist., that at what time this wrestling was among the citizens for the sheep, the like contention kindled and inflamed between Eustace, bishop of London, and the chapter of Paul's, on the one side, and the abbot of Westminster with his convent on the other side, about spiritual jurisdiction and subjection; to wit, whether the monastery of Westminster were exempted from the subjection and jurisdiction of the bishop of London or not. Which controversy at last coming into compromise, was committed to the arbitrement of Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, Philip, bishop of Winchester, Thomas, of Merton, and Richard, prior of Dunstable; and at length it was thus agreed, that the monastery of Westminster should be utteriy exempted from the jurisdiction of the bishop of London, and that Stanes, with the appurtenances thereto belonging, should appertain to the monastery of Westminster. Also, that the manor of Sunbury should be due and proper to the church of St. Paul; and also that the church of St. Margaret, with all the lands belonging to the same, should be exempted from all other jurisdiction, but only of the bishop of Rome. And so was this matter decided, A.D. 1222.
Illustration -- Grantham Church struck by Lightning
The same year (as writeth Matth. Paris) horrible tempests, with such thundering, and lightning, and whirl winds, went through all the land, that much harm was done; churches, steeples, towers, houses, and divers trees with the violence of winds were blown up by the roots. In Warwickshire a certain wife with eight others in her house were slain. In Grantham the church was set on fire by lightning most terrible, with such a stink left there behind, that no man could after a long time abide it. The author addeth, that manifest marks of the tempest did re main long after in that monastery to be seen. Some also write that fiery dragons and spirits were seen then flying in the air.
A.D. 1223 Philip the French king died, after whom his son Louis succeeded in the crown. To whom King Henry sending his message, and desiring him to remember his promise and covenant made in rendering again the lands lost in Normandy, could obtain nothing at his hands. Whereupon Richard, earl of Cornwall, also William, the king's uncle, earl of Salisbury, with divers other nobles, made over into France, where they recovered Poictiers, and kept Gascony under the king's obedience.
In the same year, or, as Fabian giveth, the next following, which was 1224, by the virtue of a certain parliament, it was granted of the lords and barony of the land, that the king and his heirs should have the ward and marriage of their heirs, which then was called, and after so proved to be, the beginning of harms.
In the same year, by the count of Gisburne and other writers, the said king holding another parliament at Oxenford, by the advice of his council and of his clergy, did grant and confirm, under his great seal, two charts of the old liberties and customs of this realm, for ever to be kept and observed; the one called Magna Charta, the other, Charta de Foresta. The contents whereof fully in the forenamed author are expressed. For the which cause was granted again by the whole parliament a quindecim, or a fifteen of all his subjects, as well of lay men as also of the clergy.
Where is to be noted, that these liberties were afterward broken, and confirmed again by the said king, A.D. 1236.
A.D. 1226 died Pope Honorius, a great adversary against Frederic the emperor, after whom succeeded Gregory the Ninth, more grievous than his predecessor. In which year died also Louis, the perjured French king, at the siege of Avignon; whom the pope now the second or third time had set up to fight against Reimund, the good earl of Toulouse, and the heretics Albigenses of that country; for so the pope calleth all them which hold not in all points with his glorious pride, and usurped power, and ungodly proceedings. The origin whereof was this, as in Matth. Paris appeareth. In the days of Philip the French king, this Reimund, earl of Toulouse, was disdained of the pope for holding with the Albigenses; and therefore, by the instigation of the pope, the lands of the earl were taken from him, and given to Simon Montfort, and instruments made upon the same. But when the said Earl Reimund would not be removed from the right of his possessions by unrighteous dealing, then the pope setteth Philip the French king. to make open war against him. Whereupon Louis, the French king, was sent with a great power (as is above declared) to besiege the city of Toulouse; but, being repulsed from thence by the marvellous hand of God fighting for his people, he could not prevail, and so returned home after he had lost the most part of his army by pestilence and other calamity, as hath been before described. And thus continued the good earl still in quiet possession till this present time, A.D. 1226. In the which year the pope, not forgetting his old malice against the earl, and no less inflamed with insatiable avarice, directeth down his legate, Master Romanus, to the parts of France for two several purposes; one to extirpate the earl, the other to enlarge his revenues. Thus the legate, being entered into France, beginneth to summon a council, willing the French king, with the archbishops, bishops, and clergy of France, to appear before him at Bitures; to whom eftsoons repaired six archbishops, with the bishops and suffragans of nine provinces, to the number of a hundred, besides the abbots, priors, and proctors of all the convents of France, to hear the pope's will and commandment. But because there was a discord feared to rise (with Matthæus) about pre-eminence of sitting, for that the archbishop of Lyons challenged the superior place above the archbishop of Sene; also the archbishop of Rouen above the archbishop of Bitures, and above the archbishop of Narbonne, &c; therefore the session was holden there not in manner and form of a council, but of a certain parley or consultation. Thus the meek and holy council being set, and the pope's Majesty's letters read and declared, appeareth before them Reimund, earl of Toulouse, of the one part, and Simon Montfort on the other part; which Simon required to be restored unto him the lands and possessions of the said Reimund, which the pope and Philip the French king had given to him and to his father before, having good evidences to show for the same, confirmed by the donation of the pope and of the king. Adding, moreover, that the Earl Reimund was deprived and disherited in the general council at Rome for heresy, which is called the heresy of Albigenses. At least, if he might not have the whole yielded unto him, yet the most part of his lordships he required to be granted him.
To this the Earl Reimund answered again, offering himself ready to all duty and office, both toward the French king and to the Church of Rome, whatsoever duly to him did appertain. And, moreover, touching the heresy wherewith he was there charged, he did not only there offer himself in that council before the legate, but most humbly did crave of him that he would take the pains to come into every city within his precinct to inquire of every person there the articles of his belief; and if he found any person or persons holding that which was not catholic, he would see the same to be corrected and amended according to the censure of holy church to the uttermost. Or if he should find any city rebelling against him, he, to the uttermost of his might, with the inhabitants thereof, would compel them to do satisfaction therefore. And as touching himself, if he had committed or erred in any thing, (which he remembereth not that he had done,) he offered there full satisfaction to God and church, as becomed any faithful Christian man to do; requiring, moreover, there before the legate to be examined of his faith, &c. But all this (saith Matthæus) the legate despised; neither could the catholic earl (saith he) there find any grace, unless he would depart from his heritage, both from himself and from his heirs for ever. In fine, when it was required by the contrary part, that he should stand to the arbitrement of twelve peers of France to that Reimund answered, that if the French king would receive his homage, which he was ready at all times to exhibit, he was contented therewith. For else they would not, said he, take him as one of their society and fellow subjects.
After much altercation on both sides about the matter, the legate willeth every archbishop to call aside his suffragans, to deliberate with them upon the cause, and to give up in writing what was concluded. Which being done accordingly. the legate denounceth excommunication to all such as did reveal any piece of that which was there concluded, before the pope and the king had intelligence thereof.
These things thus in confusion among themselves concluded, the legate gave leave to all proctors of convents and chapters to return home, only retaining with him the archbishops, bishops, and abbots, and certain simple prelates, such as he might be more bold withal to open, and of them to obtain, the other part of his commission, which was indeed to obtain of every cathedral church two prebendships; one for the bishop, the other for the chapter. And in monasteries also after the like sort, where the abbot and convent had divers and several portions, to require two churches; one for the abbot, the other for the convent; keeping this proportion, that how much should suffice for the living of one monk, so much the whole convent should find for their part, and as much the abbot likewise for his. And forsomuch as he would not seem to demand this without some colour of cause, his reason was this: that because the court of Rome had long been blotted with the note of avarice, which is mother of all evil, for that no man could come to Rome for any business, but be must pay for the expedition of the same; therefore, for the removing away of the occasion of that shnder, the public help of the church must necessarily be required, &c.
The proctors and parties, thus sent home by the legates, marvelling with themselves why the bishops and abhots should be stayed, and they sent home, and suspecting no less but as the matter was indeed, conferred their counsels together, and devised with themselves to send certain unto him in the behalf of all the cathedral and conventual churches in France; and sent to the said legate this message, to signify to him, that they were credibly informed he came with special letters from the court of Rome for the obtaining of certain prebendaries in every cathedral and conventual church. Which being so, they much marvelled that he would not in the public council make manifest to them those letters, which specially concerned them as much as the others. Wherefore their request was to him in the Lord, that no such offensive matter might rise by him in the French church; knowing this, that the thing he enterpriseth could not be brought to effect without great offence taken, and inestimable damage to the Church of France. "For grant (said they) that certain will assent unto you, yet their assent standeth in no effect concerning such matters as touch the whole; especially seeing both the states of the realm, with all the inferior subjects, yea, and the king himself, they are sure will withstand the same, to the venture not only of their honour, but of their life also, considering the case to be such, as upon the offence whereof standeth the subversion both of the realm public, and of the whole church in general." Declaring, moreover, the cause of this fear to rise hereof, for that in other realms such communication hath been with bishops and prelates for the procuring of such prebendships, whereas neither the prince nor the subjects were made any thing privy thereto.
In conclusion, when the matter came to debating with the legate, the objections of the inferior parties against the cruel exaction were these in brief effect, as is in Parisiensis noted.
First, they alleged their great damages and expenses which they were like to sustain thereby, by reason of the continual procurators of the pope, which in every diocess must live not of their own, but must he sustained upon the charges of the cathedral churches, and other churches also; and many times, they being but procurators, will be found as legates.
Item, by that means they said great perturbations might ensue to the convents and chapters of cathodral churches in their elections; forsomuch as the pope's agents and factors being in every cathedral church and chapter-house, perchance the pope would command him in his person to be present at their elections, and so might trouble the same, in delaying and deferring till it might fall to the court of Rome to give; and so should be placed more of the pope's partizans in the churches of France, than of the proper inhabitants of the land.
Item, by this means they affirmed, that all they in the court of Rome should be richer, and should receive more for their proportion, than the king of the realm; by reason of which abundance of riches it was like to come to pass, that as the worm of rich men is pride; so, by the means of this their riches, the court of Rome would delay and drive off great suits, and scarce would take any pains with small causes. The experiment whereof is evident, for that now also they use to delay their matters, when they come, with their gifts, and being in assurance to receive. And thus should justice stand aside, and poor suitors die at the gates of the court of Rome, thus flowing and triumphing in full abundance of all treasure and riches.
Item, forsomuch as it is meet and convenient to have friends in the court of Rome. for the better speeding of their causes; therefore they thought to keep them needy, whereby their gifts may be the sweeter. and their causes sooner despatched.
Item, whenas it is impossible the fountain of greedy desire to be stopped. it was to be feared that either they would do that by others which they were wont to do by themselves, or else they should be enforced to give greater rewards than before; for small gifts in the sight of great rich men are not looked upon.
Item, where be alleged the removing away of the slander which goeth on the court of Rome; by this means rather the contrary were to be feared. wherein they alleged the sentence of the verse, that great riches stop not the taking of much, but a mind contented with a little:
Quod virtus reddit, non copia sufficientem,
Et non paupertas sed mentis hiatus egentem.
Further, they alleged that great riches would make the Romans mad, and so might kindle among them sides and parts taking: so that by great pos sessions sedition might follow to the ruin and destruction of the city, whereof some experiment they had already.
Item. they added, that although they would condescend and oblige themselves to that contribution, yet their successors would not so be bound, nor yet ratify the bond of theirs.
Lastly, thus they conclude the matter, desiring him that the zeal of the universal church, and of the Church of Rome, would move him; for if this oppression of the church should be universal, it were to be doubted lest a universal departing might follow from the Church of Rome, which God forbid (say they) should happen.
The legate hearing these words, being therewith something moved, (as seemed,) excused himself, that he being in the court never agreed to this exaction; and that the letters hereof came not to him before he was in France, whereat he said he was greatly sorry; adding this withal, that the words of his precept included this secret meaning in them, thus to be understood and taken: so far forth as the empire and other realms would agree unto the same. And as for him, he would stir no more in the matter, before it were proved what other countries would say and do therein.
And thus much concerning the second part of the blind commission of this legate, touching his exaction of prebendships in every cathedral and conventual church, wherein, as ye hear, he was repulsed.
Now to return to the first part of his commission again, which was cocerning Reimund, the godly earl of Toulouse. Thus the story proceedeth, that while the legate was in hand with this matter of the pope's money, in the mean season certain preaching friars were directed by the said Romanus, the pope's legate, into all France, to incite and stir up the Frenchmen to take the cross upon them, and to war against the earl of Toulouse and the people thereof, whom they accounted then for heretics. At the preaching whereof a great number of prelates and laymen signed themsels es with the cross, to fight against the people of Toulouse, being thereto induced, as the story saith, more for fear of the French king, or favour of the legate, than for any true zeal of justice. For so it followeth in the words of Paris: "For to many (saith he) it seemed an abuse to move war against a faithful Christian man, especially seeing in the Council of Bitures before all men he entreated the legate with great instance that he would come into every city within his dominions, and there to inquire of every person the articles of his faith; where if he found any man to hold any thing contrary to the catholic faith, he promised a full satisfaction to he had thereof, according to the censure of the church, to the uttermost," &c.
Yet all this notwithstanding, the proud legate, contemning this so honest and reasonable purgation of the Earl Reimumd, ceased not by all manner of means to prosecute the pope's fury against him and his subjects, stirring up the king and the French men. under pain of excommunication, to war against them. Louis, the French king, thus being enforced by the legate, answered again, that he for his own safety would not achieve that expedition, or adventure against the earl, unless it were first obtained of the pope to write to the king of England; commanding him that, during the time of that expedition, he should invade and molest no peer of his lands and possessions which he the same present time did hold, whether by right or by wrong, or howsoever they were holden, while the time of the said war against the heretics (as they were then termed) did endure, but rather should aid and assist him with counsel and money in that enterprise. All which being done and accomplished, the French king and the legate, crossing themselves to the field, appointed a day peremptory for the French army to meet together at Lyons, under pain of the pope's excommunication, and with horse and harness to set upon the people of Toulouse against the Ascension day next ensuing.
When the Ascension day was come, which was the day peremptorily appointed, the French king, having prepared at Lyons all things necessary for his army, marcheth forward with a great and mighty host: after whom also cometh the legate, with his bishops and prelates. The number of fighting men in his army, besides the victuallers and waggoners, were fifty thousand men. The legate by the way openly excommunicated the earl of Toulouse, and all that took his part, and furthermore interdicted his whole land. Thus the king came marching forward, till he came into the province of Toulouse, and the first city which he came unto there of the earl's was Avignon; which city they thought first to have besieged, and so in order after, as they went, to have destroyed and wasted all the whole province belonging to the earl. And first the king demanded of them to have his passage through the city, feigning himself in peaceable wise (for the expedition of his journey) but to pass through the same. The citizens, consulting with themselves what was to be done, at length gave answer that they mistrusted their coming, and supposed that in deceit they required the entrance of their city, and for no necessity of their journey.
The king, hereat being much offended, sware an oath that he would not depart thence till he had taken the city; and immediately in those places where he thought most meet he began to give sharp assaults, with all manner of assaulting engines: the citizens again within manfully defended themselves, casting stone for stone, and shooting shot for shot, and slew and wounded many of the French men. Thus when they had long besieged the city, and could not win the same, at length victuals in the French camp began to fail, and many of them died for hunger. For the earl of Toulouse, as a wise man of war, hearing before of their coming, took into the town all the provision that was abroad, and left nothing without to serve for their defence and succour; he ploughed up the fields, that there should no stover be found to serve their horses; he put out of the town all the old people and young children, lest they should want victuals that kept the town, and before their coming sent them far away; so that within the town they had plenty, and without they died for famine. And besides, in seeking far for their forage, many fell into the hands of them that kept the city, who secretly lay in wait for them abroad, and slew many of them: besides, a great number of cattle and horses died for want of forage; and poor soldiers, that had no great store of money, died for want of victuals. By which mortality and stink both of men and cattle grew great infection and pestilence among them; inso much that the king himself and also the legate were greatly dismayed, thinking it to be no little shame, as well to the realm of France, as also to Rome, that they should so depart and break up their siege. Thus again thought the soldiers, that much better it were for them to end their lives by battle, than so to die like dogs and starve. Wherefore with one consent they purposed to give a new assault at the bridge that goeth over the flood Rhodanus into the town, to which place they came in such number, that either by the debility of the bridge, or subtlety of the soldiers that kept the town, three thousand of them, with bridge and all, fell armed into the violent stream, and were drowned. What was there then but joy and gladness of the citizens' part, and much lamentation and heaviness on the other part? Then shortly after, the citizens of Avignon (when they saw a convenient time, whilst their enemies were in eating meat) came suddenly upon them out of the town, and slew of them two thousand, and took the town again with safety. But the legate with his company of prelates, like good men of war, practised none other martial feats, save cursing the earl of Toulouse, his cities, and his people. Louis the king, to avoid the pestilence that was in the camp, went into an abbey not far off; where shortly after he died; of whose death are sundry opinions; some saying that he was poisoned, some that he died of a bloody flux.
Whose death notwithstanding the legate thought to keep secret and concealed, till that the town might be rendered and given up; for he thought himself shamed for ever, if he should depart before the town were won. Wherefore, after he had encouraged the soldiers afresh, and yet after many sharp assaults could not prevail, he bethought him how by falsehood he might betray them, and sent unto them certain heralds, to will them that they should amongst themselves consult upon articles of peace, and bring the same to their camp, whose safe conduct they faithfully promised and warranted both of coming and going. And when they had given their pledges for the same, the messengers from the citizens talked with the legate, who promised them, if they would deliver up their city, they should have their lives, goods, and possessions in as ample manner as now they enjoyed the same. But the citizens and soldiers refused to be under the servitude of the French king, neither would so deliver up their city to those, of whose insolent pride they had so good experiment. After much talk on both sides, and none likely to take effect. the legate requested them, and kindly desired, that he, and his prelates which were about him, might come into their city to examine what faith and belief they were of, and that he neither sought nor meant any other thing thereby but their own safeties, as well of body as soul, which thing he faithfully sware unto. For (saith he) the bruit of your great infidelity hath come to the lord pope's ear, and therefore desired he to make true certificate thereof. Whereupon the citizens, not mistrusting his faithful oath and promise made unto them, granted entrance to him and the residue of the clergy. bringing with them no weapon into the town. The soldiers of the camp, as it was agreed before, made them ready; so that at the entrance of the prelates in at the gate, nothing regarding their oath and fidelity, the other suddenly were ready, and with violence rushed in, slew the porter and warders, and at length won the city, and destroyed the same, and slew many of them that were within. Thus by falsehood and policy, when they had gotten this noble city, they carried the king's corpse unto Paris, where they buried the same. Of the whole number of the French soldiers which in this siege were destroyed by famine, pestilence, and drowning, be recounted more than two and twenty thousand: whereby, saith the story of Matt. Paris, it may evidently appear the war was unjustly taken in hand, &c.
After these things finished, and after the funeral of the king celebrated at Paris, it followeth more in the said history of Matt. Paris, that the said legate Romanus was vehemently suspected, and grievously infamed to abuse himself with Blanca, the king's mother. But it is ungodly to suspect any such thing of him, because his enemies so rumoured the same abroad; but a gentle mind expoundeth things doubtful in the better part.