Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 47. RICHARD I. (contd.)<BR>

47. RICHARD I. (contd.)


    These things thus discoursed touching the tragical dissension between Baldwin, the archbishop, and the monks of Canterbury; now let us proceed, by the Lord's assistance, in continuing of our story. After King Richard had thus, as is declared, set the monks and the archbishop in some agreement, and had composed such things as were to be redressed within the realm, he advanced forward his journey, and came unto Turaine, to meet with Philip the French king; and so after that went to Vizelay; where the French king and he joining together, for the more continuance of their journey, assured themselves by solemn oath, swearing fidelity one unto the other; the form of whose oath was this: That either of them should defend and maintain the honour of the other, and bear true fidelity unto him of life, members, and worldly honour; and that neither of them should fail one the other in their affairs: but the French king should aid the king of England in defending his land and dominions, as he would himself defend his own city of Paris, if it were besieged; and that Richard, king of England, likewise should aid the French king in defending his land and dominions, no otherwise than he would defend his own city of Rouen, if it were besieged, &c.

    But how slenderly this oath did hold between these two kings, and by whose chief occasion first it fell asunder, the sequel of the history (the Lord willing) shall declare hereafter.

    Furthermore, touching the laws and ordinances appointed by this King Richard for his navy, the form thereof was this:

    1. That whosoever killed any person on ship-board should be tied with him that was slain, and thrown into the sea.

    2. And if he killed him on the land, he should in like manner be tied with the party slain, and be buried with him in the earth.

    3. He that shall be convicted by lawful witness to draw out his knife or weapon, to the intent to strike any man, or that hath stricken any to the drawing of blood, shall lose his hand.

    4. Also, be that striketh any person with his hand, without effusion of blood, shall be plunged three times in the sea.

    5. Item, whoso speaketh any opprobrious or contumelious words, in reviling or cursing one another, for so oftentimes as he hath so reviled shall pay so many ounces of silver.

    6. Item, a thief or felon that hath stolen, being lawfully convicted, shall have his head shorn, and boiling pitch poured upon his head, and feathers or down strewed upon the same, whereby he may be known; and so the first landing-place they shall come to, there to be cast up, &c.

    These things thus set in a readiness, King Richard sending his navy by the Spanish seas, and by the straits of Gibraltar between Spain and Africa, to meet him at Marsilia, he himself went (as is said) to Vizelay, to the French king. Which two kings from thence went to Lyons, where the bridge over the flood Rhodanus with press of people brake, and many both men and women were drowned. By reason whereof the two kings, for the cumbrances of their trains, were constrained to dissever themselves for the time of their journey, appointing both to meet together in Sicily; and so Philip the French king took his way to Genoa, and King Richard to Marsiia, where he remained eight days, appointing there his navy to meet him. From thence crossing over to Genoa, where the French king was, he passed forward by the coast of Italy, and entered into Tiber, not far from Rome, where meeting with Ottomanus, the cardinal and bishop of Hostia, he did complain greatly of the filthy simony of the pope and the pope's court, for receiving seven hundred marks for consecrating the bishop Cenomanensis; also a thousand and five hundred marks of William, the bishop of Ely, for his office legantine; and likewise an infinite sum of money of the bishop of Bourdeaux, for acquitting him when he should be deposed for a certain crime laid to his charge by his clergy, &c.

    The seventh day of August, in the year aforesaid, King Richard departed out of Marsilia, after he had there waited seven days for his navy, which came not; and so hiring twenty galleys, and ten great barks, to ship over his men, sailed by the sea-coast of Italy, and came to Naples, and so partly by horse and waggon, partly by the sea, passing to Falernum, he came to Calabria; where, after that he had heard his ships were arrived at Messina, in Sicily, he made the more speed; and so the three and twentieth of September sent to Messina, with such a noise of trumpets and shawms, with such a rout and show, that it was to the great wonderment and terror, both of the Frenchmen, and all others that did hear and behold the sight.

    To the said town of Messina the French king was come before the sixteenth day of the same month of September, and had taken up the palace of Tancredus, king of Sicily, for his lodging. To whom King Richard after his arrival eftsoons resorted; and when the two kings had communed together, immediately the same day the French king took shipping and entered the seas, thinking to sail toward the land of Jerusalem. But after he was out of the haven, the wind arising contrary against him, returned him back again to Messina. Then King Richard, (whose lodging was prepared in the suburbs without the city,) after he had resorted again, and talked with the French king, and also had sent to Tancredus, king of Sicily, for deliverance of Joan his sister, (who had been some time queen of Sicily,) and had obtained her to be sent unto him, the last day of September passed over the flood of Delfar, and there getting a strong hold, called De la Bagmare, or Le Bamre, and placing therein his sister, with a sufficient garrison, he returned home again to Messina. The second of October King Richard won another certain stronghold, called Monasterium Griffonum, situated in the midst of the river of Delfar, between Messina and Calabria; from whence the monks being expulsed, he reposed there all his store and provision of victuals, which came from England or other places.

    The citizens of Messina, seeing that the king of England had won the castle and island in De la Bagmare, and also the monastery of the Griffons, and doubting lest the king would extend his power further to invade their city, and, if he could, all the whole isle of Sicily, began to stir against the king's army, and to shut the Englishmen out of the gates, and keep their walls against them. The Englishmen, seeing that, made to the gates, and by force would have broken them open; insomuch that the king riding among them with his staff, and breaking divers of their heads, could not assuage their fierceness; such was the rage of the English men against the citizens of Messina. The king, seeing the fury of the people to be such as he could not stay them, took boat, and went to the palace of King Tancred, to talk of the matter with the French king. In which time the matter was so taken up by the wise handling of the ancient of the city, that both parties laying down their armour went home in peace.

    The fourth day of the said month of October came to King Richard the archbishop of Messina, with two other archbishops, also with the French king, and sundry other earls, barons, and bishops, for obtaining of peace. Who, as they were together consulting, and had almost concluded upon the peace, the citizens of Mcssina issuing out of the town, some went up upon the mountains, some with open force invaded the mansion or lodging of Hugh Brun, an English captain. The noise whereof coming to the ears of the king, he, suddenly breaking off talk with the French king and the rest, departed from them; and coming to his men, commanded them forthwith to arm themselves; who then with certain of his soldiers making up to the top of a mountain, (which seemed to pass their power to climb,) there put the citizens to flight, chasing them down the mountain, unto the very gates of the city; whom also certain of the king's servants pursued within the city, of whom five valiant soldiers, and twenty of the king's servants, were slain, the French king looking on, and not once willing to rescue them, contrary unto his oath and league before made with the king of England. For the said French king with his men, being there present, rode in the midst of them safely and without harm, to and fro, and might well have eased the king's party more than he, if it had so liked him.

    This being known to the English host, how their fellows were slain, and the Frenchmen permitted in the city, and that they were excluded, and the gates barred against them, being also stopped from buying of victuals and other things; they upon great indignation gathered themselves in arms, burst open the gates, and scaled the walls, and so winning the city, set up their flags with the English arms upon the walls. Which when the French king did see, he was mightily offended; requiring the king of England, that the arms of France might also be set up and joined with his; but King Richard to that in no case would agree. Notwithstanding, to satisfy his mind, he was well contented to take down his arms, and commit the custody of the city to the Hospitallers and Templars of Jeru salem, till the time that Tancred king of Sicily and he should agree together upon conditions.

    These things being done the fifth and sixth day of October, it followed then, upon the eighth day of the same month of October, that peace among the kings was concluded. In which peace, first, King Richard and Philip the French king renewed again their oath and league before made concerning their mutual aid and society during all the time of that peregrinntion. Secondly, peace also was concluded between King Richard and Tancred, king of Sicily aforesaid, with this condition, that the daughter of Tancred (in case King Richard should die without issue) should marry Arthur, duke of Brittany, the king's nephew, and next heir to his crown. Whereof a formal chart was drawn and letters sent thereof to Pope Clement, being dated the ninth day of November.

    In this mean time, as these two kings of France and England were thus wintering at Messina, Frederic, emperor, first of that name, (the same on whose neck Pope Alexander did tread in the church of Venice, saying the verse of the Psalm, Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis, &c., whereof read before,) and his son Conradus, with a mighty army of Almans and others, were coming up likewise toward the land of Jerusalem to the siege of Acre; where by the way the good emperor, through a great mischance, falling off his horse into a river called Salef, was therein drowned. After whose decease Conradus his son, taking the government of his army, came to the siege of Acre; in which siege also he died. Upon whose coming such a dearth followed in the camp, which lasted two months that a loaf of bread, which before their coming was sold for one penny, was afterward sold for three pounds; by reason whereof many Christian soldiers did there perish through famine. The chiefest food which the princes there had to feed upon was horse flesh. This famine being so miserable, some good bishops there were in the camp, namely, Hubert, bishop of Salisbury, with certain other good bishops, who, making a general collection through the whole camp for the poor, made such a provision, that in this penury of all things, yet no man was so destitute and needy, but somewhat he had for his relief; till within a few days after, by the merciful providence of God, (who is the feeder of all creatures,) ships came unto them with abundance of corn, wine, and oil.

Illustration -- Acre

    The siege of this town of Acre endured a long season, which as it was mightily oppugned by the Christians, so it was strongly defended by the Saracens, specially by the help of wild fire, which the Latins call Græcum ignem, so that great slaughter there was on both sides. During the time of which siege, many noble personages and also bishops died, among whom was Conradus the emperor's son, Radulph, earl of Fougiers, the earl of Pericio, Ro bert, earl of Leicester, Baldwin, archbishop of Can terbury, with four archbishops, and divers other bishops, abbots, earls, and also barons, to the number of four and thirty, and not so few. All this while King Richard and King Philip of France still kept at Messina in Sicily, from the month of September till April, for lack (I suppose) of wind or weather, or else for necessity of repairing their ships. In which mean time King Richard, hearing of Joachim, abbot of Curacio, a learned man in Calabria, (who was then thought to have the spirit of prophecy, and told many things of a people that should come,) sent for him, with whom he and his bishops had much conference about the coming and time of antichrist. This Joachim belike in his book and revelations uttered some things against the see and pride of Rome; for the which he was less favoured of the popes, and judged an enemy to their see, and so by Pope Innocent the Third was condemned with his books for a heretic, in his idolatrous general Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215, as ye may read in Antoninus.

    After this, Henricus, king of Almans, son of Frederic the emperor, hearing of the decease of his father, standing now to be emperor, first restoreth to Henry, duke of Saxony, and to others, whatsoever his father before had taken from them. That done, he sent unto Clement and his cardinals, promising in all things to confirm the laws and dignities of the Church of Rome, if they would grant him their assent to be emperor. Whereupon Pope Clement, by advice of the Romans, assigned him the term of Easter in the next year ensuing for his coronation. But before the Easter came, Pope Clement died, after he had sat three years, and about four months; after whom succeeded Celestinus the Third; of whom more hereafter, God willing.

    The time thus passing over, in the month of February, the next year following, which was of the Lord 1191, King Richard sent over his galleys to Naples, there to meet his mother Eleanor, and Berengaria, the daughter of Sanctius, king of Navarre, whom he was purposed to marry. Who by that time were come to Brundusium, under the conduct of Philip, earl of Flanders; and so proceeding unto Naples, there found the king's ships, wherein they sailed to Messina. In this mean space King Richard showed himself exceeding bounteous and liberal unto all men. To the French king first he gave divers ships; upon others likewise he bestowed rich rewards; and of his goods and treasure he distributed largely unto his soldiers and servants about him. Of whom it was reported that he distributed more in one month than ever any of his predecessors did in a whole year; by reason whereof he purchased great love and favour, which not only redounded to the advancement of his fame, but also to his singular use and profit, as the sequel afterward proved.

    To proceed then in the progress of King Richard, it followeth, in the first day of the month of March, he, leaving the city of Messina, where the French king was, went to Cathniensium, a city where Tancredus, king of Sicily, then lay, where he was honourably received, and there remained with King Tancredus three days and three nights. On the fourth day, when he should depart, the foresaid Tancredus offered him many rich presents in gold and silver, and precious silks; whereof King Richard would receive nothing, but one little ring, for a token of his good will. For the which King Richard again gave him a rich sword. At length, when King Richard should take his leave, King Tancredus would not so let him part, but needs would give him four great ships, and fifteen galleys; and furthermore, he himself would needs accompany him the space of two days' journey to a place called Tavernium.

    Then the next morning, when they should take their leave, Tancredus declared unto him the message which the French king a little before had sent unto him by the duke of Burgundy, the contents whereof was this: That the king of England was a false traitor, and would never keep the peace that was between them. And if the said Tancredus would war against him, or secretly by night would invade him, he with all his power would assist him, and join with him, to the destruction of him and all his army, &c. To whom Richard the king protested again, that he was no traitor, nor ever was; and as touching the peace begun between them, the same should never be broken through him; neither could be believe that the French king, being his good lord and his sworn compartner in that voyage. would utter any such words by him. Which when Tancredus heard, he bringeth forth the letters of the French king sent to him by the duke of Burgundy; affirming moreover, that if the duke of Burgundy would deny the bringing of the said letters, he was ready to try with him by any of his dukes. King Richard receiving the letters, and musing not a little upon the same, returneth again to Messina. The same day that King Richard departed, the French king cometh to Tavernium to speak with Tancredus, and there abode with him that night, and on the morrow returned to Messina again.

    From that same time King Richard, moved in stomach against King Philip, never showed any gentle countenance of peace and amity, as he before was wont. Whereat the French king greatly marvelling, and inquiring earnestly what should be the cause thereof. word was sent him again by Philip, earl of Flanders, what words he had sent to the king of Sicily; and for the testimony thereof the letters were showed which he wrote by the duke of Burgundy to the king of Sicily. Which when the French king understood, first he held his peace, as guilty in his conscience, not knowing well what to answer. At length, turning his tale to another matter, he began to quarrel with King Richard, pretending as though he sought causes to break with him, and to malign him; and therefore he forged these lies upon him, and all because he by that means would avoid marrying with Alice his sister, according as he had promised; adding, moreover, that if he would so do, and would not marry the said Alice his sister, according to his oath, but would marry another, he would be an enemy to him and his while he lived.

    To this King Richard said again, that he could by no means marry that woman; forsomuch as his father had carnal copulation with her, and also had by her a son; for proof whereof he had there presently to bring forth divers and sundry witnesses to the king's face, to testify with him. In conclusion, through counsel and persuasion of divers about the French king, agreement at last was made; so that King Philip did acquit King Richard from his bond of marrying his sister; and King Richard again should be bound to pay to him every year; for the space of five years, two thousand marks, with certain other conditions besides, not greatly material in this place to be deciphered. Thus peace being between them concluded, the eight and twentieth day of the said month of March, the French king, launching out of the haven of Messina, on the two and twentieth day after, in Easter-week, came with his army to the siege of Acre.

    After the departure of the French king from Messina. (King Richard with his army yet remaining behind,) arrived Queen Eleanor the king's mother, bringing with her Berengaria, the king of Navarre's daughter, to be espoused to King Richard. Which done, Eleanor, leaving Berengaria behind her, departed, taking her journey towards Rome, to entreat the pope for Gaufridus, her other son above mentioned, to be consecrated in the archbishopric of York, being before elected by the procurement of King Richard his brother, as ye heard. In which mean time, as Queen Eleanor was travelling toward Rome, Pope Clement above mentioned died, about the sixth day of April, in whose room succeeded Pope Celestinus the Third. Who the next day after his consecration came from Lateran to St. Peter's church, where in the way meeteth him Henricus the emperor, and Constantia his wife, with a great rout of armed soldiers; but the Romans making fast their gates would not suffer them to enter their city. Then Pope Celestine, standing upon the stairs before the church door of St. Peter, received an oath of the said Henricus, king of the Almans, (his army waiting without,) that he should defend the church of God, and all the liberties thereof, and maintain justice; also that he should restore again the patrimony of St. Peter full and whole, whatsoever hath been diminished thereof; and finally, that he should surrender to the Church of Rome again the city of Tusculanum, &c. Upon these conditions and grants, then the pope took him to the church, and there anointed him for emperor, and his wife for empress; who, there sitting in his chair pontifical, held the crown of gold between his feet; and so the emperor, bowing down his head to the pope's feet, received the crown, and in like manner the empress also. The crown thus being set upon the emperor' s head, the pope eftsoons with his foot struck it off again from his head unto the ground, declaring thereby that he had power to depose him again, in case he so deserved. Then the cardinals, taking up the crown, set it upon his head again.

    Not long after the departure of King Philip from Messina, which was in the month of March, King Richard, in April following, about the twentieth day of the said month, sailing from the haven of Messina with a hundred and fifty great ships, and three and fifty great galleys, well manned and appointed, took journey towards Acre; who being upon the seas on Good Friday, about the ninth hour rose a mighty south wind with a tempest, which dissevered and scattered all his navy, some to one place, and some to another. The king with a few ships was driven to the isle of Creta, and there before the haven of Rhodes cast anchor. The ship that carried the king's sister, queen of Sicily, and Berengaria, the king of Navarre's daughter, with two other ships, were driven to the isle of Cyprus. The king making great moan for the ship of his sister, and Berengaria, his wife that should be, not knowing where they were become, after the tempest was overblown, sent forth his galleys diligently to search the rest of his navy dispersed, but especially for the ship wherein his sister was, and the maiden whom he should marry; who at length were found safe and merry at the port of Limisso in the isle of Cyprus. Notwithstanding, the two other ships which were in their company before in the same haven were drowned, with divers of the king's servants and men of worship, amongst whom was M. Roger, called Malus Catulus, the king's vicechancellor, who was found having the king's seal hanging about his neck. The king of Cyprus was then Isakius, (called also the emperor of the Griffons,) who took and imprisoned all Englishmen which by shipwreck were cast upon his land; also inveigled into his hands the goods and prizes of them which were found drowned about his coasts, neither would suffer the ship wherein the two ladies were to enter within the port.

    The tidings of this being brought to King Richard, he in his great wrath, gathering his galleys and ships together, boardeth the land of Cyprus, where he, first, in gentle wise signifieth to King Isakius, how he with his Englishmen, coming as strangers to the supportation of the Holy Land, were by distress of weather driven upon his hounds; and therefore with all humble petition besought him in God's behalf, and for reverence of the holy cross, to let go such prisoners of his which he had in captivity, and to restore again the goods of them which were drowned, which he detained in his hands, to be employed for the behoof of their souls, &c. And this the king once, twice, and thrice desired of the emperor. But he, proudly answering again, sent the king word, that he would neither let the captives go, nor render the goods of them which were drowned, &c.

    When King Richard heard this, how little the emperor Isakius made of his so humble and honest petition, and how nothing there could be gotten without violent force; eftsoons he giveth commandment through all his host to put themselves in armour, and to follow him, to revenge such injuries received of that proud and cruel king of Cyprus; willing them to put their trust in God, and not to misdoubt but the Lord would stand with them, and give them the full victory. The emperor in the mean time with his people stood warding the sea coasts, where the Englishmen should arrive, with swords, bills, and lances, and such other weapons as they had, setting boards, stools, and chests before them instead of a wall. Howbeit but few of them were harnessed, and for the most part all unexpert and unskilful in the feats of war. Then King Richard, with his soldiers, issuing out of their ships, first set his bowmen before, who with their shot made a way for others to follow. The Englishmen, thus winning the land upon them, so fiercely pressed upon the Griffons, that after long fighting and many blows, at last the emperor was put [to] flight; whom King Richard valiantly pursued, and slew many, and divers he took alive, and had gone near also to have had the emperor, had not the night come on and parted the battle. And thus King Richard with much spoil and great victory returning to the port town of Limisso, which the townsmen had left for fear, found there great abundance of corn, wine, oil, and victuals.

    The same day after the victory Joan, the king's sister, and Berengaria, the maiden, entered the port and town of Limisso, with fifty great ships, and fourteen galliots: so that all the whole navy, there meeting together, were two hundred and fifty-four tall ships, and above threescore galliots. Then Isakius the emperor, seeing no way for himself to escape by the sea, the same night pitched his tents five miles off from the English army, swearing that the third day after he would surely give battle to King Richard. But he preventing him before, suddenly, the same morning before the day of battle should be, setteth upon the tents of the Griffons early, they being unawares and asleep, and made of them a great slaughter; insomuch that the emperor was fain naked to run away, leaving his tents and pavilions to the Englishmen, full of horses and rich treasure, also with the imperial standard, the lower part whereof with a costly streamer was covered and wrought all with gold. King Richard then returning with victory and triumph to his sister and Berengaria, shortly after, in the month of May next following, and the twelfth day of the same month, married the said Berengaria, daughter of Rancon, king of Navarre, in the isle of Cyprus, at Limisso.

    The king of Cyprus, seeing himself overmatched, was driven at length to yield himself with conditions, to give King Richard twenty thousand marks in gold, for amends of such spoils as he had gotten of them that were drowned; also to restore all his captives again to the king; and furthermore in his own person to attend upon the king to the land of Jerusalem, in God's service and his, with four hundred horsemen, and five hundred footmen; in pledge whereof he would give to his hands his castles, and his only daughter, and would hold his kingdom of him. This done, and the emperor swearing fidelity to King Richard before Guido, king of Jerusalem, and the prince of Antioch, (who were come thither to King Richard a little before,) peace was taken, and Isakius was committed to the ward of certain keepers. Notwithstanding, shortly after, he, breaking from his keepers, was again at defiance with the king. Whereupon King Richard, besetting the island of Cyprus round about with ships and galleys, did in such sort prevail, that the subjects of the land were constrained to yield themselves to the king, and at length the daughter also of the emperor, and at last the emperor himself, whom King Richard caused to be kept in fetters of silver and gold, and to be sent to the city of Tripolis.

Illustration -- Battle between Crusaders and Saracens

    These things thus done, and all set in order touching the possession of the isle of Cyprus, the keeping whereof he committed unto Radulph, son of Godfrey, lord chamberlain, being then the first day of June; upon the fifth of the said month, King Richard departed from the isle of Cyprus with ships and galleys towards the siege of Acre, and on the next morrow came unto Tyrus; where, by procurement of the French king, he was constrained by the citizens to enter. The next day after, which was the sixth day of June, crossing the seas, he met with a great bark fraught with soldiers and men of war, to the number of one thousand and five hundred; which, pretending to be Frenchmen, and setting forth their flag with the French arms, were indeed Saracens, secretly sent with wild-fire and certain barrels of unknown serpents, to the defence of the town of Acre. Which King Richard at length perceiving, eftsoons set upon them, and so vanquished them; of whom the most were drowned, and some taken alive. Which being once known in the city of Acre, as it was a great discomfort unto them, so it was a great help unto the Christians for winning the city. The next day after, which was the seventh of June, King Richard came to Acre. which at that time had been long besieged of the Christians; after whose coming it was not long: but the pagans within the city, seeing their walls to be undermined, and towers overthrown, were driven by composition, to escape with life and limb, to surrender the city unto the two kings. Another great help to the Christians in winning the city was this: In the said city of Acre there was a secret Christian among the Saracens, who in time of the siege there used at sundry times to cast over the walls, into the camp of the Christians, certain bills written in Hebrew, Greek. and Latin, wherein he disclosed unto the Christians from time to time the doings and counsels of the enemies, advertising them how and by what way they should work, and what to beware: and always his letters began thus, In nomine Patris, et Filii, st Spiritus Sancti, Amen. By reason whereof the Christians were much advantaged in their proceedings. But this was a great heaviness unto them, that neither be would utter his name. nor when the city was got could they ever understand who he was.

    To make of a long sie:e a short narration upon the twelfth day of July in the year aforesaid, the princes and captains of the pagans upon agreement resorted unto the tent of the templars, to commune with the two kings touching peace and giving up of their city; the form of which peace was thus: That the kings should have the city of Acre freely and fully delivered unto them, with all which was within; and five hundred captives of the Christians should be restored unto them, which were in Acre; also the holy cross should be to them rendered, and a thousand Christian captives, with two hundred horsemen, whosoever they themselves would choose out of all them which were in the power of Saladin; over and besides, they should give to the kings two hundred thousand Bisants, so that they themselves would remain as pledges in the king's hands for the performance hereof; that if in forty days these foresaid covenants were not accomplished, they would abide the kings' mercy touching life and limb. These covenants being agreed upon, the kings sent their soldiers and servants into the city, to take one hundred of the richest and best of the city, to close them up in towers under strong keeping, and the residue they committed to be kept in houses and streets, ministering unto them according to their necessities; to whom notwithstanding this they permitted, that so many of them as would be baptized, and receive the faith of Christ, should be free to go whither they would. Whereupon many there were of the pagans who for fear of death pretended to be baptized; but afterward, so soon as they could, they revolted again to Saladin. For the which it was afterwards commanded by the kings, that none of them should be baptized against their wills.

    The thirteenth day of the said month of July King Philip of France, and King Richard, after they had obtained the possession of Acre, divided between them all things therein contained, as well the people as gold and sib er, with all other furniture whatsoever was remaining in the city; who, in dividing the spoil, were so good carvers unto themselves, that many knights and barons, with other soldiers, who had there sustained the whole travail two years together about the siege, seeing the kings to take all unto themselves, and their part to be but little, retracted themselves without the uttermost trench, and there, after consultation had together, sent word to the kings, that they would leave and forsake them, unless they were made partakers also of the gains for the which they had so long travailed. To whom answer was sent again by the kings, that their wills should be satisfied. Howbeit, because of long deferring of their promise, many, constrained by poverty, departed from them.

    The twentieth day of July King Richard, speaking with the French king, desired him that they two with their armies would bind themselves by oath to remain there still in the land of Jerusalem the space of three years, for the winning and recovering again of those countries. But he would swear (he said) no such oath; and so the next day after King Richard with his wife and sister entereth into the city of Acre, and placed there himself in the king's palace, the French king remaining in the houses of the templars, where he continued till the end of the month. So about the beginning of the month of August, Philip, the French king, after that he and King Richard had made agreement between Guido and Conradus, the marquis, about the kingdom of Jerusalem, went from Acre to Tyrus; notwithstanding King Richard and all the princes of the Christian army with great entreaty desired him to tarry, showing what a shame it were for him to come so far, and now to leave undone that for which he came; and on the third of August from Tyrus he departed, leaving his half part of the city of Acre in the hands of the foresaid Conradus, marquis. After whose departure the pagans refused to keep their covenants made; who neither would restore the holy cross, nor the money, nor their captives: sending word to King Richard, that if he beheaded the pledges left with him at Acre, they would chop off the heads of such captives of the Christians which were in their hands. Shortly after this, Saladin, sending great gifts to King Richard, requested the times limited for beheading of the captives to be prorogued; but the king refused to take his gifts, and to grant his request. Whereupon Saladin caused all the Christian captives within his possession forthwith to be beheaded, which was the eighteenth day of August. Which albeit King Richard understood, yet would not he prevent the time afore limited for the execution of his prisoners, being the twentieth of August. Upon which day he caused the prisoners of the Saracens, openly in the sight of Saladin's army, to lose their heads; the number of whom came to two thousand five hundred, save only that certain of the principal of them he reserved for purposes and considerations, especially to make exchange for the holy cross, and certain others of the Christian captives.

    After this, King Richard purposed to besiege the city of Joppa: where, by the way between Acre and Joppa, near to a town called Ashur, Saladin with a great multitude of his Saracens came fiercely against the king's rearward: but through God's merciful grace, in the same battle the king's warriors acquitted them so well, that Saladin was put to flight, (whom the Christians pursued the space of three miles.) and lost the same day many of his nobles and captains, in such sort (as it was thought) that Saladin was not put to such confusion forty years before; and but one Christian captain, called James Avernus, in that conflict was overthrown. From thence King Richard, proceeding further, went to Joppa, and then to Ascalon, where he found first the city of Joppa forsaken of the Saracens, who durst not abide the king's coming. Ascalon Saladin threw down to the ground, and likewise forsook the whole land of Syria, through all which land the king had free passage without resistance, neither durst the Saracen prince encounter after that with King Richard. Of all which his achievances the said King Richard sent his letters of certificate, as well into England, as also to the abbot of Clara Valle in France; well hoping that he, God willing, should be able to make his repair again to them by Easter next.

    Concerning Richard's worthy acts done abroad in getting of Cyprus, Acre, and Ptolemaida, in pacifying Joppa, partly is spoken of before. Many other valiant and famous acts were by him and the French king achieved, and more should have been, had not those two kings, falling into discord, dissevered themselves; by reason whereof Philip the French king returned home again within short space. Who, being returned again, eftsoons invaded the country of Normandy, exciting also John, the brother of King Richard, to take on him the kingdom of England in his brother's absence. Who then made league (upon the same) with the French king, and did homage unto him, which was about the fourth year of King Richard. Who then being in Syria, and hearing thereof, made peace with the Turks for three years. And not long after King Richard. the next spring following, returned also. Who, in his return, driven by distress of weather about the parts of Histria, in a town called Synaca, was there taken by Leopold, duke of the same country, and so sold to the emperor for sixty thousand marks.

    King Richard, thus being traitorously taken and sold, was there kept in custody a year and three months. In some stories it is affirmed, that King Richard, returning out of Asia, came to Italy with prosperous wind; where he desired of the pope to be absolved from an oath made against his will, and could not obtain it. And so setting out from thence towards England, passing by the country of Conrad, the marquis, whose death (he being slain a little before) was falsely imputed by the French king to the king of England, was there traitorously taken, as is beforesaid, by Leopold, dnke of Austria. Albeit in another story I find the matter more credibly set forth, which saith thus: That King Richard slew the brother of this Leopold, playing with him at chess in the French king's court. And Leopold, taking his advantage, was the more cruel against him, and delivered him, as is said, to the emperor; in whose custody be was detained during the time above mentioned, a year and three months. During the which time the king's imprisonment, the French king in the mean season stirred war in Normandy. And Earl John the king's brother made stir and invaded England; but the barons and bishops of the land mightily withstood him, and besieged him in the castle of Windsor; where they took from him all the castles and munitions which before he had got. Thus the earl, seeing no hope to prevail in England, and suspecting the deliverance of the king his brother, made into France, and kept with the French king: at length it was so agreed and concluded with the emperor, that King Richard should be released for a hundred thousand pounds; of the which money, part should remain to the duke of Austria, the rest should be the emperor's. The sum of which money was here gathered and made in England of chalices, crosses, shrines, candlesticks, and other church plate, also with public contribution of friaries, abbeys. and other subjects of the realm. Whereof part was presently paid, and for the residue remaining hostages and pledges were taken, which was about the fifth year of his reign. And then it was obtained of the pope, that priests might celebrate with chalices of latten and tin: and so it was granted and continued long after. which mine author, in his chronicle entitled Eulogium, doth testify himself to have seen. At what time this foresaid money was paid, and the hostages given for the ransom of this king. I have an old story that saith, how the foresaid duke of Austria shortly after was plagued by God with five sundry plagues: first, with burning of his chief towns; secondly, with the drowning of ten thousand of his men in a great flood, happening no man could tell how: thirdly, by turning all the ears of his corn-field into worms; fourthly, by taking away almost all the nobles of his land by death; fifthly, by breaking his own leg falling from his horse, which leg he was compelled to cut off with his own hands, and after died upon the same; who then is said at his death to forgive King Richard fifty thousand marks, and sent home the hostages that were with him. The book entitled Eulogium, before mentioned, declareth thus, that the said Leopold, duke of Austria, fell in displeasure with the bishop of Rome, and died excommunicate the next year after, being the year 1196.

    Thus the said King Richard being ransomed, as hath been declared, from the covetous captivity of the emperor, was restored again, and made his repair into England. At whose return, Earl John his brother, resorting unto him with humble submission, desired to be pardoned of his transgressions. To whom King Richard answering again, Would God (saith he) this your trespass, as it dieth with me in oblivion, so it may remain with you in remembrance, and so gently forgave him. And after he had again recovered his holds and castles, he caused himself to be crowned again. Which done, he made his power against the French king, and drave him out of Normandy. After that, he turned his voyage against the Welshmen, and subdued them.

    The next year following, which was the year 1197, Philip, the French king, brake the truce made between him and King Richard; whereupon the king was compelled to sail over again to Normandy to withstand the malice of his enemy. About which time my story recordeth of one called of some Fulco; some say he was the archbishop of Rouen, called Gualter. This Fulco being then in England, and coming to the king's presence, said unto him with great courage and boldness, Thou hast, O mighty king, three daughters very vicious and of evil disposition; take good heed of them, and betimes provide for them good husbands; lest, by untimely bestowing of the same, thou shalt not only incur great hurt and damage, but also utter ruin and destruction to thyself. To whom the king in a rage said, Thou lying and mocking hypocrite, thou knowest not where thou art, or what thou sayest; I think thou art mad, or not well in thy wits; for I have never a daughter, as all the world knoweth, and therefore, thou open liar, get thee out of our presence. To whom Fulco answered, No, and like your Grace, I lie not, but say truth; for you have three daughters which continually frequent your court, and wholly possess your person, and such three whores and naughty packs as never the like hath been heard of; I mean, mischievous Pride, greedy Covetousness, and filthy Luxury; and therefore again I say, O king, beware of them, and out of hand provide marriages for them, lest in not so doing thou utterly undo both thyself and all the whole realm.

    The which his words the king took in good part, with correction of himself, and confession of the same. Whereupon incontinently he called his lords and barons before him, unto whom he declared the communing and monition of Fulco, who had willed him to beware of his three daughters, Pride, Avarice, and Luxury, with counsel out of hand to marry them, lest further discommodity should ensue both to him and to the whole realm; whose good counsel (my lords) I intend to follow, not doubting of all your consents thereunto. Wherefore here, before you all, I give my daughter swelling Pride to wife unto the proud templars: my greedy daughter Avarice to the covetous order of the Cistercian monks; and last of all, my filthy daughter Luxury to the riotous prelates of the church, whom I think to be very meet men for her; and so severally well agreeing to all their natures, that the like matches in this our realm are not to be found for them. And thus much concerning Fulco.

Illustration -- The Shooting of King Richard

    Not long after this, it befell that a certain noble personage (lord of Lemonice in Little Britain, Widomarus by name) found a great substance of treasure both of gold and silver bid in the ground, whereof a great part he sent to King Richard, as chief lord and prince over the whole country. Which the king refused, saving he would either have all or none, for that he was the principal chieftain over the land. But the finder would not condescend to that. Wherefore the king laid siege to a castle of his called Galuz, thinking the treasure to lie there. But the keepers and warders of the castle, seeing themselves not sufficient to withstand the king, offerred to him the castle, desiring to depart with life and armour. To this the king would in no wise grant, but bid them to re-enter the castle again, and to defend it in all the forcible wise they could. It so befell, that as the king with the duke of Brabant went about the castle, viewing the places thereof, a soldier within, named Bertrand Cordoun, struck the king with an arrow in the arm, whereupon the iron remaining and festering in the wound, the king within nine days after died; who, because he was not content with the half of the treasure that another man found, lost all his own treasure that he had. The king, being thus wounded, caused the man that struck him to he brought unto him, and asked the cause of him why he so wounded him. Who answered him again, as the story saith, that he thought to kill rather than to be killed; and what punish mentsoever he should sustain he was content, so that be might kill him which had before killed his father and brethren. The king, hearing his words, freely forgave him, and caused a hundred shillings to be given him. Albeit, as the story addeth, after the death of the king, the duke of Brabant, after great torments, caused him to be hanged. The story of Gisburne saith that the killer of King Richard coming to the French king, thinking to have a great reward, was commanded to be drawn asunder with horses, and his quarters to be hanged up.

    Another story affirmeth, and Gisburne partly doth testify the same, that, a little before the death of King Richard, three abbots of the order Cistercian came to him, to whom he was confessed. And when he saw them somewhat stay at his absolution, he had these words: that he did willingly commit his body to the earth to be eaten of worms, and his soul to the fire of purgatory, there to be tormented till the judgment, in the hope of God's mercy.

    About the reign of this king, the said Jornalensis maketh mention of Roger, archbishop of York, which put out of his church the monks, and placed for them secular priests, saying that he would rather wish ecclesiastical benefices to be given to wanton priests than to abominable monks; and that Thurstinus did sin never worse in all his life than in building that house for monks. Another story I have, which saith that this was the bishop, not of York, but of Coventry.

    The king not long after departed without issue, and John his brother reigned after him; in whom, although some vices may worthily be reprehended, especially for his incontinent and too much licentious life, yet was he far from that deserving, for the which he hath been so ill reported of divers writers; who, being led more with affection of popery, than with true judgment and due consideration, depraved his doings more than the sincere truth of the history will bear them. Concerning which history, after so many writers, we thought also to be stow a little labour, although in this matter we cannot be so long as I would, and as the matter requireth.

Previous Next