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Title: Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (7 of 12) - Iohn the Yongest Sonne of Henrie the Second
Author: Holinshed, Raphael
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (7 of 12) - Iohn the Yongest Sonne of Henrie the Second" ***

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Iohn the yongest sonne of Henrie the second.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 1.]

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._ Chinon. Robert de Turneham. Sawmer.]

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._ Thomas de Furnes.]

Iohn the yoongest son of Henrie the second was proclaimed king of
England, beginning his reigne the sixt daie of Aprill, in the yeare
of our Lord 1199, the first of Philip emperour of Rome, and the 20 of
Philip king of France, K. William as yet liuing in gouernement ouer
the Scots. This man so soone as his brother Richard was deceased,
sent Hubert archbishop of Canturburie, and William Marshall earle of
Striguill (otherwise called Chepstow) into England, both to proclaime
him king, and also to sée his peace kept, togither with Geffrey Fitz
Peter lord chéefe justice, and diuerse other barons of the realme,
whilest he himselfe went to Chinon where his brothers treasure laie,
which was foorthwith deliuered vnto him by Robert de Turneham: and
therewith all the castel of Chinon and Sawmer and diuerse other
places, which were in the custodie of the foresaid Robert. But Thomas
de Furnes nephue to the said Robert de Turneham deliuered the citie
and castell of Angiers vnto Arthur duke of Britaine. For by generall
consent of the nobles and péeres of the countries of Aniou, Maine, and
Touraine, Arthur was receiued as the liege and souereigne lord of the
same countries.

[Sidenote: Strife amongst the English subiects on the other side of the

For euen at this present, and so soone as it was knowne that king
Richard was deceased, diuerse cities and townes on that side of the
sea belonging to the said Richard whilest he liued, fell at ods among
themselues, some of them indeuouring to preferre king John, other
labouring rather to be vnder the gouernance of Arthur duke of Britaine,
considering that he séemed by most right to be their chéefe lord,
forsomuch as he was sonne to Geffrey elder brother to John. And thus
began the broile in those quarters, whereof in processe of time insued
great inconuenience, and finallie the death of the said Arthur, as
shall be shewed hereafter.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._ The states assembled at Northampton.]

Now whilest king John was thus occupied in recouering his brothers
treasure, and traueling with his subiects to reduce them to his
obedience, quéene Elianor his mother by the helpe of Hubert archbishop
of Canturburie and other of the noble men and barons of the land,
trauelled as diligentlie to procure the English people to receiue their
oth of allegiance to be true to king John. For the said archbishop and
William Marshall earle of Striguill, being sent ouer into England (as
before you haue heard) to proclaime him king, and to kéepe the land
in quiet, assembled the estates of the realme at Northampton, where
Geffrey Fitz Peter lord chéefe iustice was present with other of the
Nobles, afore whom those lords whose fidelities were earst suspected,
willinglie tooke their oths of obedience to the new king, and were
assured by the same lords on his behalfe, that they should find him
a liberall, a noble and a righteous prince, and such a one as would
sée that euerie man should inioy his owne, and such as were knowne to
be notorious transgressors, should be sure to receiue their condigne

[Sidenote: Eustace Vescie sent into Scotland.]

They sent Eustace de Vescie also vnto William king of Scotland, to
signifie to him, that king John vpon his arriuall in England, would
satisfie him of all such right as he pretended to haue within the
English dominions. And thus was king John accompted and proclaimed
king of England by the generall consent of all the lords and barons of
the same. The names of the chéefe of those péeres that were sworne (as
you haue heard) are as followeth. Dauid earle of Huntington brother
vnto William king of Scots, Richard earle of Clare, Ranulfe earle of
Chester, William earle of Tutberie or rather Darbie, Walran earle of
Warwike, Roger Lacie constable of Chester, and William de Mowbraie,
with diuerse other, whose names I here omit, bicause I would not be
tedious and irksome to the readers.

Now the king of Scotland being informed by the lord Eustace Vescie (who
had maried his daughter) that there was some hope to be had on his
part, for the recouerie of such seigniories as he and his predecessours
somtime held in England, did further dispatch sundrie ambassadours with
full purpose to send them ouer into Normandie vnto king John, there to
require restitution of the countries of Northumberland and Cumberland,
with their appurtenances, and he promised also by his letters, that
if the same might be granted vnto him, in as ample manner as they had
béene in times past to his ancestors, he would gladlie doo his homage
to king John, as to the true & lawfull king of England for the same,
and furthermore yéeld to him his faithfull seruice against all men, so
often as he should be required thervnto. Howbeit when the archbishop
of Canturburie and the rest of the councell, vnderstood that these
ambassadors should passe through England, they would not suffer them
so to doo, but spéedilie sent Dauid earle of Huntington into Scotland
vnto the king his brother, requiring him earnestlie that he would not
send any ambassadours ouer as yet, but rather tarie, and take patience
a while, till the king should come ouer into England: which (as they
said) he purposed to doo verie shortlie.

King John also hauing vnderstanding of his purpose, sent ouer the said
lord Eustace againe vnto him with the like request, who in such wise
persuaded him, that he was contented to abide a time, in hope of the
better successe in his late attempted suit. And all this was doone
chéeflie by the working of the kings mother, whom the nobilitie much
honoured and loued. For she being bent to prefer hir sonne John, left
no stone vnturned to establish him in the throne, comparing oftentimes
the difference of gouernement betwéene a king that is a man, and a king
that is but a child. For as John was 32 yeares old, so Arthur duke
of Britaine was but a babe to speake of. In the end, winning all the
nobilitie wholie vnto hir will, and séeing the coast to be cleare on
euerie side, without any doubt of tempestuous weather likelie to arise,
she signified the whole matter vnto K. John, who foorthwith framed all
his indeuours to the accomplishment of his businesse.

[Sidenote: Quéene Elianors enuie against Arthur.]

[Sidenote: Constance dutchesse of Britaine.]

Surelie quéene Elianor the kings mother was sore against hir nephue
Arthur, rather mooued thereto by enuie conceiued against his mother,
than vpon any iust occasion giuen in the behalfe of the child, for that
she saw if he were king, how his mother Constance would looke to beare
most rule within the realme of England, till hir sonne should come to
lawfull age, to gouerne of himselfe. ¶ So hard it is to bring women to
agrée in one mind, their natures commonlie being so contrarie, their
words so variable, and their déeds so vndiscréet. And therfore it was
well said of one (alluding to their disposition and qualities,

[Sidenote: _Prep. lib. 2._]

    ----nulla diu foemina pondus habet.)

[Sidenote: Quéene Elianor passeth into Normandie.]

[Sidenote: The citie of Mauns take. _Matth._ _Paris._ _R. Houed._]

When this dooing of the quéene was signified vnto the said Constance,
she doubting the suertie of hir sonne, committed him to the trust
of the French king, who receiuing him into his tuition, promised to
defend him from all his enimies, and foorthwith furnished the holds in
Britaine with French souldiers. Quéene Elianor being aduertised hereof,
stood in doubt by and by of hir countrie of Guien, and therefore with
all possible spéed passed ouer the sea, and came to hir sonne John
into Normandie, and shortlie after they went foorth togither into the
countrie of Maine, and there tooke both the citie and castell of Mauns,
throwing downe the wals and turrets therof, with all the fortifications
and stonehouses in and about the same, and kept the citizens as
prisoners, bicause they had aided Arthur against his vncle John.

[Sidenote: K. John inuested duke of Normandie.]

[Sidenote: The citie of Angiers taken.]

After this, king John entring into Aniou, held his Easter at Beaufort
(which feast fell that yeare the 18 day of Aprill) and from thence he
went streight vnto Rouen, where on the sundaie next after Easter being
S. Marks day, he was girded with the sword of the dutchie of Normandie
in the high church there by the hands of Walter archbishop of Rouen.
And so being inuested duke of Normandie, receiued the oth according
to the custome, that he should defend the church, and mainteine the
liberties thereof, sée iustice ministred, good lawes put in execution,
and naughtie lawes and orders abolished. In the meane time his mother
quéene Elianor, togither with capteine Marchades entred into Aniou,
and wasted the same, bicause they of that countrie had receiued Arthur
for their souereigne lord and gouernour. And amongst other townes
and fortresses, they tooke the citie of Angiers, slue manie of the
citizens, and committed the rest to prison.

This enterprise being thus luckilie atchiued, the residue of the people
in those parties were put in such feare, that of their owne accord
they turned to their woonted obedience, séeming as though they would
continue still therein. The French king all this while conceiuing
an other exploit in his head, more commodious vnto him than as yet
to attempt warre against the Englishmen vpon so light an occasion,
dissembled the matter for a time, as though he would know nothing of
all that was doone, till the king should be otherwise occupied in
England about his coronation.

[Sidenote: K. John commeth ouer into England.]

In the meane season king John hauing set some stay in his businesse
on the further side of the sea, he left his mother still in Guien, to
defend that countrie against the enimies, and taking the sea, came ouer
himselfe into England, landing at Shorham, the 25 day of Maie. On the
next day, being Ascension éeue, he came to London there to receiue the
crowne. On the morow after being Ascension daie, when the Nobilitie
and commons were assembled, and the king brought into the church of
S. Peter at Westminster there to receiue his diademe; Hubert the
archbishop of Canturburie being chéefe in authoritie and honour, both
for his age and calling, spake these words or the like in substance
before the whole assemblie, as followeth.

Hubert the archbishop of Canturburies oration to the lords spirituall
and temporall in the presence of the king, &c.

Most honorable lords of the spiritualtie, and most graue and politike
péeres and barons of the temporaltie, you are come hither this day to
choose you a king, and such a one as (if néed should require) may be
able of himselfe to take such a charge vpon him, and (hauing vndertaken
the same) readie to execute that which he shall thinke to be expedient
for the profit of his subiects: we haue therefore one present héere
among vs, vpon whome harts and good willes of high and low, rich and
poore, doo generallie depend: a man I doubt not, but that for his owne
part will applie his whole endeuour, studie, and thought vnto that
onelie end, which he shall perceiue to be most profitable for the
common-wealth, as knowing himselfe to be borne not to serue his owne
turne, but for to profit his countrie, and to séeke for the generall
benefit of vs that are his subiects.

And albeit I am sure that you doo well know, how all these qualities
are most abundantlie planted in the person of John duke of Normandie
(a person of high prowesse and no lesse prudence, for the which yée
ought to iudge him right worthie of the gouernement) yet béeing in
doubt least the common fame should carrie you awaie, or least you
should turne your minds to the fauour of an other, as in respect of
some better right, by title of a more lawfull descent of inheritance
pretended by others than he hath to shew, I require you to giue eare
vnto my words: who bearing the state of two manner of persons, ought to
be profitable to my countrie, not onelie by example and exhortation,
but also by loialtie and good counsell, which hitherto I haue euer
studied to performe, and wherein (God willing) I meane to persist, so
long as I shall continue in this mortall and transitorie tabernacle.

Therefore whereas at this present we haue in hand to conclude vpon such
a weitie matter, which béeing once doone, cannot be vndoone, I commend
vnto you this John, euen with all my verie heart, and iudge that you
ought to accept him for your king, who in all things which he shall
ordeine, purpose, or take in hand, shall not faile so to answer your
opinions with his well dooing, and so satisfie your good expectations
alreadie conceiued of him with his diligent prouidence, that all the
whole realme shall not onelie like of and allow your dooing héerin, but
also with high commendation extoll the same to the verie stars. These
things do I promise vnto you, and so farforth as in me may lie, I dare
take vpon me all chances and perils that may procéed thereof.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Reg. Houed._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Additions to _Iohn Pike_.]

When the archbishop had ended his speach, diuerse held their peace,
and manie with great zeale saluted king John, whom the same daie the
said archbishop crowned at Westminster, after the maner then vsed with
great solemnitie, and no lesse reioising of all such as were present.
At the same time also he receiued the homages of the lords and barons
of the realme, and promised with all spéed to haue consideration of
things that apperteined as well to religion as to the due execution of
laws, whereby euerie man might come to inioie that which was his owne,
by right and due course of iustice. We find that there were present at
this solemnitie and coronation of king John, which was celebrated on
the Ascension day the 27 of Maie, archbishops and bishops to the number
of seauentéene, as Hubert archbishop of Canturburie, John archbishop
of Dubline, also the archbishop of Raguse, William bishop of London,
Gilbert bishop of Rochester, John bishop of Norwich, Hugh bishop of
Lincolne, Eustace bishop of Elie, Godfrey bishop of Winchester, Henrie
bishop of Exeter, Sefride bishop of Chichester, Godfrey bishop of
Couentrie, Sauarie bishop of Bath, Herbert bishop of Salisburie, Philip
bishop of Duresme, Roger bishop of saint Andrew in Scotland, and Henrie
bishop of Landaffe in Wales. The bishop of Duresme found himselfe
somewhat gréeued in the matter, making obiections, that the coronation
ought not to be celebrated without the presence of Geffrey archbishop
of Yorke: but it preuailed not.

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._]

[Sidenote: Willi[=a]m Marshall earle of Striguille.]

[Sidenote: Geffrey Fitz Peter created earle of Essex.]

Besides these bishops, there were of the temporall lords and earles,
Robert of Leicester, Richard of Clare, William of Tutburie, Hamlin of
Warren, William of Salisburie, William of Chepstow otherwise called
Striguille, Walran of Warwike, Roger Bigot, William of Arundell, and
Ranulfe of Chester, with manie other barons, lords, knights, and no
small multitudes of gentlemen and other common people. The same daie of
his coronation also, he inuested William Marshall with the sword of the
earledome of Striguille, and Geffrey Fitz Peter, with the sword of the
earledome of Essex. For although they were called earles, and exercised
the administration of their earledoms; yet were they not till that daie
girded with the sword of those earledoms, and so that day they serued
at the table with their swords girded vnto them.

[Sidenote: The archb. of Canturburie made lord chancellour.]

In like maner, Hubert the archbishop of Canturburie was made lord
chancellour of England; who as he vttered some words vnaduisedlie, that
shewed how he inwardlie reioised at the kings fauour toward him in
the gift of this office, and so gloried in the honour whereto he was
preferred (which he would neuer haue doone, if he had weied of worldlie
pompe as by his profession he ought, and as one asketh the question in
the same case:

    ----dic mini, nunquid
    Corporibus prosunt? certè nil; dic animísue?
    Tantundem, &c.)

[Sidenote: The saieng of the lord Bardolfe.]

[Sidenote: Ambassadors from the king of Scots.]

the lord Hugh Bardolfe said vnto him, yet not so softlie in his
eare, but that some ouerheard it; "My lord, to speake and not offend
you, suerlie if you would well consider the dignitie and honor of
your calling, you would not willinglie yéeld to suffer this yoke of
bondage to be laid vpon your shoulders, for we haue oftentimes heard
of a chancellour made an archbishop, but neuer an archbishop made a
chancellour till now." The coronation being thus ended, it was not
long yer there came ambassadors from the Scotish king, namelie William
the prior of May, William the prior of saint Colmes Ins, and one
William Hay, the which on the behalfe of the said Scotish king required
restitution of Northumberland and Cumberland, with the appurtenances,
promising that if the same were restored to him, he would serue
the king of England with all his power against all men then aliue;
otherwise, that is, if he could not haue those countries, which of
right to him apperteined by law, as he pretended, he would doo the best
he could to recouer them by force.

King John made answer héerevnto, that if his coosen the king of Scots
would come vnto him, he should be assured to receiue at his hands all
that was reason, as well in those demands, as in all other things. He
also sent to him the bishop of Duresme, to require him to come vnto
Notingham, where he would méet with him. Howbeit, king William refused
to come himselfe as then, but sent the bishop of saint Andrew, and
Hugh Malebisse to follow his suit, with promise to absteine from any
forceable inuasion of England, by the space of fortie daies, so that
he might within that terme haue some resolute answer from king John,
wherevnto he might stand either on the one side or the other.

[Sidenote: _N. Triuet._]

[Sidenote: The French K. inuadeth Normandie.]

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._]

Whilest these things were a dooing in England, Philip K. of France
hauing leuied an armie, brake into Normandie, and tooke the citie of
Eureux, the towne of Arques, and diuerse other places from the English.
And passing from thence into Maine, he recouered that countrie latelie
before through feare alienated. In an other part, an armie of Britains
with great diligence wan the townes of Gorney, Buteuant and Gensolin,
and following the victorie, tooke the citie of Angiers, which king John
had woon from duke Arthur, in the last yeare passed. These things being
signified to king John he thought to make prouision for the recouerie
of his losses there, with all spéed possible. And therevpon perceiuing
that the Scotish king meant not to méet with him at Notingham whither
he was come, and where he kept the feast of Whitsuntide, he determined
to passe the seas ouer into Normandie: but first he tooke order for the
gouernement and defense of the realme in his absence.

[Sidenote: L. William de Stuteuille.]

[Sidenote: Roger de Lacie conestable of Chester.]

[Sidenote: King John passeth ouer into Normandie.]

Wherevpon he deliuered the charge of the counties of Northumberland and
Cumberland, vnto the lord William de Stuteuille, with all the castels,
and other the appurtenances, which the lord Hugh Bardolfe before held,
and had in kéeping. He also deliuered vnto Roger de Lacie conestable
of Chester, the castell of Pomfret, hauing first the sonne and heire
of the same Lacie deliuered vnto him as an hostage for his loialtie
and faithfull obedience. This doone, he hasted vnto the sea side, and
sailed ouer into Normandie, landing first at Diep, and from thence went
to Rouen, whither he came vpon the sundaie before Midsummer day, which
was the 26 of June as W. Harison hath noted.

[Sidenote: A truce for fiftie daies.]

[Sidenote: The earle of Flanders.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: The league renewed betwixt England and Flanders.]

Immediatlie vpon his arriuall in those parts, there resorted vnto him
a great number of souldiers both horssemen and footmen, hoping to be
interteined, but by reason of ambassadours riding to and fro betwixt
the two kings, they came to a communication, and tooke truce for fiftie
daies. The earle of Flanders being certified thereof, was sorie in his
hart, and loth that the French king should come to any accord with the
king of England, and therefore to turne the mind of king John from the
purpose of peace, he came to visit him at Rouen, where they renewed
the league betwixt England & Flanders, to be the better able to defend
themselues from the French power: and withall determined fullie, that
immediatlie vpon the expiring of this last truce they would make the
French king warre, to reuenge their late receiued iniuries. The French
king aduertised by espials of their determination, prepared also for
the warres.

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._]

[Sidenote: The earle of Namure.]

[Sidenote: France interdicted.]

[Sidenote: Normandie interdicted.]

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._]

In this meane time it chanced, that Henrie earle of Namure, brother
to Philip earle of Flanders, and one Peter of Doway, a right valiant
knight, with his brother that was the elect bishop of Cambrey, were
taken prisoners in a skirmish, and presented to the French king.
Wherevpon the cardinall of Capua (being at the same time the popes
legat in France) interdicted that realme for the taking of the same
elect of Cambrey, & also all Normandie, for the deteining of the bishop
of Beauuois in prison (who had laine there a long time, & was taken
in the field after such manner as is before rehearsed) so that the
French king was glad to restore the elect of Cambrey to his libertie.
And likewise king John deliuered the bishop of Beauuois, who paied
two thousand marks, besides expenses of diet during the time of his
captiuitie, and furthermore tooke an oth, that he should neuer after
beare armour in the war against any christian or christians.

[Sidenote: Arthur duke of Britaine made knight.]

[Sidenote: The French kings demand.]

About the same time, king Philip made Arthur duke of Britaine knight,
and receiued of him his homage for Aniou, Poictiers, Maine, Touraine,
and Britaine. Also somewhat before the time that the truce should
expire; to wit, on the morrow after the feast of the Assumption of
our ladie, and also the day next following, the two kings talked by
commissioners, in a place betwixt the townes of Buteuant and Guleton.
Within thrée daies after, they came togither personallie, and communed
at full of the variance depending betwéene them. But the French king
shewed himselfe stiffe and hard in this treatie, demanding the whole
countrie of Veulquessine to be restored vnto him, as that which had
béene granted by Geffrey earle of Aniou, the father of king Henrie
the second, vnto Lewes le Grosse, to haue his aid then against king
Stephan. Moreouer, he demanded, that Poictiers, Aniou, Maine, and
Touraine, should be deliuered and wholie resigned vnto Arthur duke of

[Sidenote: Balun woon.]

[Sidenote: A peace betwixt king John & his nephue.]

But these, & diuerse other requests which he made, king John would not
in any wise grant vnto, and so they departed without conclusion of any
agréement. Therfore diuerse earls and barons of France, which before
that time had serued king Richard, repaired vnto king John, and tooke
an oth to assist him, and not to agrée with the French king without
his consent: and he likewise sware vnto them, not to make peace with
the French king, except they were therein comprised. In the moneth
of September, Jone king Johns sister, wife to Raimond earle of S.
Giles, and somtime quéene of Sicile, died at Rouen, and was buried at
Fonteuerard. The French king also tooke diuerse townes and castels, but
amongst other the castell of Balun, and raced the wals thereof downe
to the ground, wherewith William de Roches, generall of the armie of
Arthur duke of Britaine, was greatlie offended, and did so much by his
drift, that shortlie after a peace was concluded betwixt king John and
his nephue duke Arthur, though the same serued but to small purpose.

[Sidenote: Lauardin.]

[Sidenote: William de Roches.]

[Sidenote: The vicount of Tours.]

[Sidenote: The mistrust that duke Arthur had in his vncle king John.]

[Sidenote: Philip king Richards bastard son slue the vicount of

The French king hauing (as I haue said) ouerthrowne the wals of Balun,
besieged a fortresse called Lauardin, but king John comming with an
armie, caused him to raise his siege, and to withdraw himselfe to the
citie of Mauns, whither he followed, and compelled him (mauger his
force) to remooue from thence. All this while was William de Roches
busilie occupied about his practise, to make king John and his nephue
Arthur fréends, which thing at length he brought about, and therevpon
deliuered into king Johns hands the citie of Mauns which he had in
kéeping. Also the vicount of Tours came to the king of England and
surrendred vnto him the castell of Chinon, the kéeping whereof he
betooke vnto Roger de Lacie the conestable of Chester. But in the night
folowing, vpon some mistrust and suspicion gathered in the obseruation
of the couenants on K. Johns behalfe, both the said Arthur, with his
mother Constance, the said vicount of Tours, and diuerse other, fled
awaie secretlie from the king, and got them to the citie of Angiers,
where the mother of the said Arthur refusing hir former husband
the earle of Chester, married hir selfe to the lord Guie de Tours,
brother to the said vicount, by the popes dispensation. The same yere,
Philip bastard sonne to king Richard, to whome his father had giuen
the castell and honor of Coinacke, killed the vicount of Limoges, in
reuenge of his fathers death, who was slaine (as yée haue heard) in
besieging the castell of Chalus Cheuerell.

[Sidenote: Great flouds.]

[Sidenote: Variance betwixt the bishop of Durham and earle Patrike.]

Moreouer, there fell manie great flouds in England, and on the borders
of Scotland, by violence whereof diuerse bridges were borne downe,
and amongst other, the bridge at Barwike. For the building vp againe
whereof, some variance arose betwixt Philip bishop of Durham and earle
Patrike lord chéefe iustice of Scotland, and capiteine at the same time
of the towne of Barwike, who by the Scotish kings commandement would
haue repared againe the same bridge, which could not be doone, but that
the one end thereof must be builded on the bishop of Durhams ground,
which he would not suffer, till by the counsell of the lord William de
Stuteuille, he agréed, so that the conuention accorded and concluded
betwixt the king of Scots and his predecessour bishop Hugh might be
reserued inuiolable.

[Sidenote: A rate of y^e prices of wines.]

Furthermore, king John did set a rate vpon the prices of wines, as
Rochell wine to be sold for twentie shillings the tun, and not aboue.
The wine of Aniou for twentie foure shillings the tun, and no other
French wines aboue fiue and twentie shillings the tun, except it were
of such notable goodnesse as that some peraduenture for their owne
expenses would be contented to giue after twentie six shillings eight
pence for the tun, and not aboue. Moreouer, the galon of Rochell wine
he appointed to be sold at foure pence: and the galon of white wine
at six pence. It was also ordeined, that in euerie citie, towne, and
place where wine was vsed to be sold, there should be twelue honest
men sworne to haue regard that this assise should not be broken:
and that if they found any vintner that should from the pin sell
any wine by small measures contrarie to the same assise, his bodie
should be attached by the shiriffe, and deteined in prison, till other
commandement were giuen for his further punishment, and his goods
seized vnto the kings vse. Furthermore, if any persons were or should
be found to buy and sell by the hogshead or tun, contrarie to this
assise, they should be committed to prison, there to remaine, till
other order were taken for them: neither should there be any regrating
of wines that were brought into England. But this ordinance lasted not
long, for the merchants could not beare it, and so they fell to and
sold white wine for eight pence the gallon, & red or claret for six

[Sidenote: King John returneth into England.]

[Sidenote: _1200._]

[Sidenote: A subsidie.]

[Sidenote: He saileth againe into Normandie.]

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 2.]

[Sidenote: A peace concluded with a marriage.]

King John also came ouer from Normandie into England, and there leuied
a subsidie, taking of euerie ploughland thrée shillings. In the Lent
following, he went to Yorke, in hope to haue met the king of Scots
there, but he came not, and so king John returned backe, and sailed
againe into Normandie, bicause the variance still depended betwéene him
and the king of France. Finallie vpon the Ascension day in this second
yeare of his reigne, they came eftsoones to a communication betwixt the
townes of Vernon and Lisle Dandelie, where finallie they concluded an
agréement, with a marriage to be had betwixt Lewes the sonne of king
Philip, and the ladie Blanch, daughter to Alfonso king of Castile the 8
of that name, & néece to K. John by his sister Elianor.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Ra. Niger._]

In consideration whereof, king John, besides the summe of thirtie
thousand markes in siluer, as in respect of dowrie assigned to his said
néece, resigned his title to the citie of Eureux, and also vnto all
those townes which the French king had by warre taken from him, the
citie of Angiers onelie excepted, which citie he receiued againe by
couenants of the same agréement. The French king restored also to king
John (as Rafe Niger writeth) the citie of Tours, and all the castels
and fortresses which he had taken within Touraine: and moreouer,
receiued of king John his homage for all the lands, fées and tenements
which at anie time his brother king Richard, or his father king Henrie
had holden of him, the said king Lewes or any his predecessors, the
quit claims and marriages alwaies excepted. The king of England
likewise did homage vnto the French king for Britaine, and againe (as
after you shall heare) receiued homage for the same countrie, and
for the countie of Richmont of his nephue Arthur. He also gaue the
earledome of Glocester vnto the earle of Eureux, as it were by way of
exchange, for that he resigned to the French king all right, title &
claime that might be pretended to the countie of Eureux.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: The king c[=o]meth backe againe into England.]

By this conclusion of marriage betwixt the said Lewes and Blanch, the
right of king John went awaie, which he lawfullie before pretended vnto
the citie of Eureux, and vnto those townes in the confines of Berrie,
Chateau, Roux or Raoul, Cressie and Isoldune, and likewise vnto the
countrie of Veuxin or Veulquessine, which is a part of the territorie
of Gisors: the right of all which lands, townes and countries was
released to the king of France by K. John, who supposed that by his
affinitie, and resignation of his right to those places, the peace
now made would haue continued for euer. And in consideration thereof,
he procured furthermore, that the foresaid Blanch should be conueied
into France to hir husband with all spéed. That doone he returned into

¶ Certes this peace was displeasant to manie, but namelie to the earle
of Flanders, who herevpon making no accompt of king Johns amitie,
concluded a peace with king Philip shortlie after, and ment to make
warre against the infidels in the east parts, wherby we may sée the
discontented minds of men, and of how differing humors they be, so that
nothing is harder than to satisfie manie with one thing, be the same
neuer so good,

    ----ô cæcis mortalia plena tenebris
    Pectora, & ô mentes caligine circumseptas!

[Sidenote: _Ia. Meirs._]

But by the chronicles of Flanders it appeareth, that the earle of
Flanders concluded a peace with the French king in Februarie last past,
before that king John and the French king fell to any composition.
But such was the malice of writers in times past, which they bare
towards king John, that whatsoeuer was doone in prejudice of him or his
subiects, it was still interpreted to chance through his default, so
as the blame still was imputed to him, in so much that although manie
things he did peraduenture in matters of gouernement: for the which he
might be hardlie excused, yet to thinke that he deserued the tenth part
of the blame wherewith writers charge him, it might séeme a great lacke
of aduised consideration in them that so should take it. But now to
procéed with our purpose.

[Sidenote: _R. Houed._]

[Sidenote: King John is diuorsed.]

[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _R. Houed._]

King John being now in rest from warres with forren enimies, began to
make warre with his subiects pursses at home, emptieng them by taxes
and tallages, to fill his coffers, which alienated the minds of a
great number of them from his loue and obedience. At length also, when
he had got togither a great masse of monie, he went ouer againe into
Normandie, where by Helias archbishop of Burdeaux, and the bishop of
Poictiers and Scone, he was diuorsed from his wife Isabell, that was
the daughter of Robert earle of Glocester, bicause of the néerenesse
of bloud, as touching hir in the third degrée. After that, he married
Isabell the daughter of Amerie earle of Angolesme, by whome he had two
sonnes, Henrie and Richard, and thrée daughters, Isabell, Elianor, and

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._ Geffrey arch. of Yorke depriued.]

Moreouer, about this time, Geffrey archbishop of Yorke was depriued of
all his manours, lands, and possessions, by the kings commandement,
directed to the shiriffe of Yorkeshire for diuerse causes, for that he
would not permit the same shiriffe to leuie the dutie called Charugage,
that was; thrée shillings of euerie ploughland within his diocesse,
rated and appointed to be leuied to the kings vse, throughout all
parts of the realme. Secondlie, for that the same archbishop refused
to go ouer with the king into Normandie to helpe to make the marriage
betwixt the French kings sonne and his néece. Thirdlie, bicause he
had excommunicated the same shiriffe and all the prouince of Yorke:
wherevpon the king tooke displeasure against him, and not onelie
spoiled him (as I said) of his goods, but also banished him out of
the court, not suffering him to come in his presence for the space of
twelue moneths after.

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._ A councell called at Westminster by the
archbishop of Canturburie.]

[Sidenote: Arthur duke of Britaine doth homage to the king of England.]

[Sidenote: King John returneth into England.]

[Sidenote: The quéene is crowned.]

In this yeare also, Hubert archbishop of Canturburie held a councell
at Westminster against the prohibition of the lord chéefe iustice,
Geffrey Fitz Peter earle of Essex. In which councell or synod, diuerse
constitutions were made and ordeined for orders and customes to be vsed
touching the seruice and administration of sacraments in the church,
and other articles concerning churchmen and ecclesiasticall matters.
About the same time, king John and Philip king of France met togither
néere the towne of Vernon, where Arthur duke of Britaine (as vassall
to his vncle king John) did his homage vnto him for the duchie of
Britaine, & those other places which he held of him on this side and
beyond the riuer of Loir, and afterward still mistrusting his vncles
curtesie, he returned backe againe with the French king, and would
not commit himselfe to his said vncle, who (as he supposed) did beare
him little good will. These things being thus performed, king John
returned into England, and there caused his new married wife Isabell to
be crowned on the sundaie before the feast of S. Denise, the eight of

At the same time he gaue commandement vnto Hugh Neuill high iustice of
his forrests, that he should award his precepts vnto all forresters
within the realme, to giue warning to all the white moonks, that before
the quindene of S. Michaell they should remooue out of his forrests
all their horsses of Haraz, and other cattell, vnder the penaltie
to forfeit so manie of them, as after that day chanced to be found
within the same forrests. The cause that mooued the king to deale so
hardlie with them was, for that they refused to helpe him with monie,
when before his last going ouer into Normandie, he demanded it of
them towards the paiment of the thirtie thousand pounds which he had
couenanted to pay the French king, to liue in rest and peace, which he
coueted to haue done for reliefe of his people, and his owne suertie,
knowing what enimies he had that laie in wait to destroie him, and
againe, what discommodities had chanced to his father and brethren, by
the often and continuall wars. But now to procéed with other dooings.

[Sidenote: An ambassage sent vnto the K. of Scots.]

[Sidenote: The king of Scots came to the king of England at Lincolne.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._]

[Sidenote: _R. Houed._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

Immediatlie after the solemnization of the quéens coronation ended, he
sent Philip bishop of Duresme, Roger Bigot earle of Northfolke, and
Henrie de Bohun earle of Hereford, nephue to William king of Scotland,
and Dauid earle of Huntington, brother to the said king, and Roger de
Lacie conestable of Chester, the lord William de Vescie, and the lord
Robert de Ros, which had married two of the daughters of the said king,
& Robert Fitz Roger shiriffe of Northumberland, as ambassadours from
him vnto the foresaid William king of Scotland, with letters patents,
conteining a safe conduct for him to come into England, and to méet
with king John at Lincolne on the morrow after the feast of S. Edmund,
who gladlie granted therevnto, and so according to that appointment,
both the kings met at Lincolne the 21 day of Nouember. And on the
morrow after king John went to the cathedrall church, and offered vpon
the high altar a chalice of gold.

On the same day, vpon a hill without the citie, the king of Scots did
homage vnto king John, in the presence and sight of a great multitude
of people, swearing fealtie of life, limme, and worldlie honour vnto
king John, which oth he made vpon the crosse of Hubert archbishop of
Canturburie. There were present at that time, beside other Noblemen,
thrée archbishops, Canturburie, Yorke, and Raguse, with other bishops,
to the number of thirtéene, as Duresme, London, Rochester, Elie, Bath,
Salisburie, Winchester, Hereford, Norwich, S. Andrews in Scotland,
Landaffe, and Bangor in Wales, and Meth in Ireland, beside a great
multitude of earles, barons, and other Noblemen. When the king of Scots
had thus doone his homage, he required restitution of Northumberland,
Cumberland and Westmerland, which he claimed as his right and lawfull
heritage. Much talke was had touching this matter, but they could not
agrée, and therefore king John asked respit to consider of it till the
feast of Pentecost next insuing, which being granted, the king of Scots
the next morrow being the 23 of Nouember returned homewards, and was
conducted backe againe into his countrie by the same Noble men that
brought him to Lincolne.

The same day that the king of Scots tooke his iournie homewards from
Lincolne, the corps of Hugh bishop of that citie (latelie before,
departed this life at London, after his returne from the parts of
beyond the seas) was brought thither to be buried, the king and all the
bishops, earles and barons went to receiue it, and honoured his buriall
with their presence. On the morrow after being fridaie, he was interred
within the new church which he had builded. This Hugh was a Frenchman
by nation, borne at Granople, a man of a pregnant wit, and skilfull
both in science of holie scripture and humane knowledge. He was first
a regular canon, and after became a Carthusian moonke. King Henrie
the second mooued with the fame of his vertue and godlie life, sent
the bishop of Bath to bring him into England, and after he was come,
made him first abbat of Whithing in the diocesse of Welles, and after
created him bishop of Lincolne.

[Sidenote: A presumptuous part in a bishop.]

He was noted to be of a verie perfect life, namelie, bicause he would
not sticke to reprooue men of their faults plainelie and frankelie,
not regarding the fauour or disfauour of any man, in somuch that he
would not feare to pronounce them accurssed, which being the kings
officers, would take vpon them the punishment of any person within
orders of the church, for hunting and killing of the kings game within
his parkes, forrests and chases, yea (and that which is more) he would
denie paiments of such subsidies and taxes he was assessed to paie
to the vses of king Richard and king John, towards the maintenance
of their wars, and did oftentimes accursse by his ecclesiasticall
authoritie, such shiriffes, collectors, or other officers, as did
distreine vpon his lands and goods for to satisfie these kings of
their demands, alledging openlie, that he would not paie any monie
towards the maintenance of wars, which one Christian prince, vpon
priuate displeasure and grudge, made against another prince of the same
religion. This was his reason.

And when he came before the king to make answer to his disobedience
shewed herein, he would so handle the matter, partlie with gentle
admonishments, partlie with sharpe reproofes, and sometime mixing
merrie and pleasant spéech amongst his serious arguments, that often
times he would so qualifie the kings mood, that being driuen from
anger, he could not but laugh and smile at the bishops pleasant talke
and merrie conceits, so that it might well be said of him,

    Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit vtile dulci.

This maner he vsed, not onelie with the king alone, but with the father
and the two sonnes, that is to say, Henrie the second, Richard and
John, in whose time he ruled and gouerned the sée of Lincolne. He was
after his decesse, for the opinion which men conceiued of his holinesse
and vertues, admitted into the number of the saints.

Yée haue heard how king John had conceiued no small displeasure against
the moonks of the white order, for that they would not part with any
monie, excusing themselues that they might not doo it, without consent
of a generall chapiter of their order. Wherevpon the king had caused
them diuerse waies to be molested, but chéefelie in restreining them of
libertie to haue any horsses or other cattell going to pasture within
his forrests. They therefore taking aduise togither, chose foorth
twelue abbats amongst them of that order, the which in all their names
went to Lincolne, there to make suit to the king (comming thither at
this time to méet the king of Scots) that it would please him to remit
his displeasure conceiued against them, and to take them againe into
his protection.

This suit was so followed, although with some difficultie, that at
length, to wit, the sundaie after that the king of Scots had doone
his homage, through the helpe and furtherance of the archbishop of
Canturburie, they came to the kings spéech, and obteined so much, as
they in reason might desire: for he pardoned them of all his passed
displeasure, receiued them againe into his fauour, tooke them into
his protection, and commanded that all iniuries, gréeuances and
molestations should be reformed, redressed and amended, which in
respect of his indignation had béene offered and doone to them by any
manner of meanes. And to sée the same accomplished, writs were directed
vnto the shiriffes of the counties, bearing date from Lincolne the 27
of Nouember. And thus were those moonks for that time restored to the
kings fauour, to their great commoditie and comfort.

[Sidenote: Fiue moones.]

About the moneth of December, there were séene in the prouince of Yorke
fiue moones, one in the east, the second in the west, the third in the
north, the fourth in the south, and the fift as it were set in the
middest of the other, hauing manie stars about it, and went fiue or
six times incompassing the other, as it were the space of one houre,
and shortlie after vanished awaie. The winter after was extreamelie
cold, more than the naturall course had béene aforetime. And in the
springtime came a great glutting and continuall raine, causing the
riuers to rise with higher flouds than they had béene accustomed.

[Sidenote: _1201._]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 3.]

In the yeare 1201 king John held his Christmas at Gilford, and there
gaue to his seruants manie faire liueries and suits of apparell. The
archbishop of Canturburie did also the like at Canturburie, séeming
in déed to striue with the king, which of them should passe the other
in such sumptuous appareling of their men: whereat the king (and not
without good cause) was greatlie mooued to indignation against him,
although for a time he coloured the same, going presentlie into the
north, where he gathered of the countrie there no small summs of monie,
as it were by way of fining them for their transgressions committed in
his forrests.

From thence he returned and came to Canturburie, where he held his
easter, which fell that yeare on the day of the Annunciation of our
ladie, in the which feast he sat crowned, togither with his wife quéene
Isabell, the archbishop of Canturburie bearing the charges of them and
their trains while they remained there. At the feast of the Ascension
next insuing, king John set out a proclamation at Tewkesburie, that
all the earles and barons of the realme, and also all other that held
of him by knights seruice, should be readie in the feast of Pentecost
next insuing, with horsse and armour at Portesmouth, to passe ouer with
him into Normandie, who made their appearance accordinglie. Howbeit, a
great number of them in the end gat licence to tarrie at home, paieng
for euerie knights fée two markes of siluer for a fine, which then was
a great matter.

[Sidenote: _Rog. Houed._]

[Sidenote: The archbish. of Yorke restored.]

But he sent before him into Normandie William Marshall earle of
Striguille with an hundred knights or men of armes, which he had hired,
and Roger de Lacie with an other hundred men of armes to defend the
confines of Normandie against the enimies: and to his chamberleine
Hubert de Burgh he deliuered the like number of knights or men of armes
also, to kéepe the marshes betwixt England and Wales as warden of the
same. This doone, he pardoned his brother the archbishop of Yorke,
and restored him to all his dignities, possessions and liberties,
confirming the same vnto him in as full and large manner, as euer
Roger late archbishop of that sée had enioied the same: for the which
confirmation his said brother vndertooke to paie to the king within the
terme of one yeare the summe of a thousand pounds starling; and for the
assurance thereof, engaged his baronie to the king in pledge.

[Sidenote: Ambassadors sent to Scotland.]

[Sidenote: The king passeth ouer into Normandie.]

[Sidenote: He commeth to talke with the king of France.]

[Sidenote: King John entreth into Paris.]

[Sidenote: The league renewed.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _R. Houed._]

Moreouer, about the same time, the king sent Geffrey bishop of Chester,
and Richard Malebisse, with Henrie de Poisie, vnto William king of
Scotland, requiring him that the time appointed for him to make answer
touching his demand of Northumberland, might be proroged vntill
the feast of saint Michaell the archangell next insuing, which was
obteined, and then the king and quéene (being come to Portsmouth on the
mondaie in Whitsunwéeke) tooke the sea to passe ouer into Normandie,
but not both in one ship, so that the quéene with a prosperous gale
of wind arriued there at hir owne desire. But the king was driuen
by reason of a pirrie, to take land in the Ile of Wight, and so was
staied there for a time: howbeit, within a few daies after, he tooke
ship againe at Portsmouth, and so passed ouer into Normandie, where
shortlie after his arriuall in those parties he came to an enteruiew
with the king of France, néere to Lisle Donelie, where comming a long
time togither alone, they agréed so well, that within thrée daies
after, king John at the French kings request went into France, and was
receiued of him with much honour, first at S. Denise with procession of
the cleargie: and there lodging one night, vpon the morrow the French
king accompanied him vnto Paris, where he was receiued of the citizens
with great reuerence, the prouost presenting vnto him in the name of
the whole citie manie rich gifts for his welcome. K. Philip feasted him
also in his owne palace, & for his part gaue to him, to his lords, and
to his seruants manie great and princelie gifts. Morouer, the league
at this time was renewed betwixt them, and put in writing, with this
caution, that whether of them first brake the couenants; such lords on
his part as were become suerties for performance, should be released of
their allegiance which they owght to him that so should breake, & that
they might therevpon fréelie become subiects to the other prince.

[Sidenote: Walter Lacie meant to haue taken the lord Curcie.]

These things doone, at length when as king John had remained at Paris
with great mirth and solace certeine daies, the French king brought him
foorth of the citie, and tooke leaue of him in verie louing wise. After
this king John went to Chinon, & from thence into Normandie; about
which time there chanced some troubles in Ireland, for where Walter
Lacie vnder pretense of a communication that was appointed betwixt him
and John de Curcie, lord of Vlnester, meant to haue taken the said
Curcie, and for the accomplishment of his purpose set vpon him, slue
manie of his men, and for his safegard constreined Curcie in the end to
take a castell which belonged vnto Hugh Lacie, vpon faire promises made
to him by the same Hugh, to be preserued out of all danger, it came to
passe, that when he was once got in, he might no more be suffered to
depart. For the Lacies thought to haue deliuered him to king John, but
the seruants and fréends of the said Curcie made such cruell war, in
wasting and destroieng the lands and possessions that belonged vnto the
said Walter and Hugh Lacies, that finallie they were constreined to set
him againe at libertie whether they would or no.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Aid against the Turkes and infidels.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

At the same time also, the kings of France and England gaue large
monie towards the maintenance of the armie, which at this present went
foorth vnder the leading of the earle of Flanders and other, to warre
against the enimies of the christian faith, at the instance of pope
Innocent. There was furthermore granted vnto them the fortith part of
all the reuenues belonging to ecclesiasticall persons, towards the aid
of the christians then being in the holie land, and all such as well of
the Nobilitie as other of the weaker sort, which had taken vpon them
the crosse, and secretlie laid it downe, were compelled eftsoones to
receiue it now againe.

[Sidenote: Vnseasonable weather.]

[Sidenote: _Fabian._]

There chanced this yeare woonderfull tempests of thunder, lightning,
haile, and abundance of raine, in such wise, that mens minds were
greatlie astonied therwith: medowes and marsh grounds were quite
ouerflowne, bridges broken and borne downe, and great quantitie of
corne and haie lost and carried awaie, and diuerse men and women
drowned. Margaret mother of Constance, duches of Britaine, sister to
William king of Scots, and mother to Henrie Bohun earle of Hereford,
deceassed. This yeare also by the counsell and aduice of the burgesses
of London, there were chosen 35 of the most substantiall and wisest
men, which after the report of some writers, were called the councell
of the citie of London, out of which number the Maior and Bailiffes
were yearelie chosen.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _1202._]

[Sidenote: The French K. beginneth to make war against king John.]

In the yeare 1202 king John held his Christmasse at Argenton in
Normandie, and in the Lent following he and the French king met
togither, néere vnto the castell of Gulleton, and there in talke had
betwéene them, he commanded king John with no small arrogancie, and
contrarie to his former promise, to restore vnto his nephue Arthur duke
of Britaine, all those lands now in his possession on that side the
sea, which king John earnestlie denied to doo, wherevpon the French
king immediatlie after, began war against him, and tooke Buteuant,
Augi, and the castell of Linos. Moreouer, he besieged the castell of
Radepont for the space of eight daies, till king John came thither,
and forced him to depart with much dishonor. Howbeit after this, the
French king wan Gourney, and then returning to Paris, he appointed
certeine persons to haue the gouernement of the foresaid Arthur duke of
Britaine, and then sent him foorth with 200 men of armes into Poictou,
that he might bring the countrie also vnder his subiection.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Hugh earle of March.]

[Sidenote: The Poictouins reuolt from king John.]

[Sidenote: Arthur proclaimeth himselfe earle of Aniou, &c.]

Herevpon Hugh le Brun earle of March (vnto whome quéene Isabell the
wife of king John had béene promised in marriage, before that king John
was motioned vnto hir, and therefore bare an inward displeasure towards
the king of England, for that he had so bereft him of his promised
spouse) being now desirous to procure some trouble also vnto king John,
ioined himselfe with Arthur duke of Britaine, and found meanes to cause
them of Poictou (a people euer subiect to rebellion) to reuolt from
king John, and to take armour against him, so that the yoong Arthur
being incouraged with this new supplie of associats, first went into
Touraine, and after into Aniou, compelling both those countries to
submit themselues vnto him, and proclaimed himselfe earle of those
places, by commission and grant obteined from king Philip.

[Sidenote: Quéene Elianor.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

Quéene Elianor that was regent in those parties being put in great
feare with the newes of this sudden sturre, got hir into Mirabeau
a strong towne, situat in the countrie of Aniou, and foorthwith
dispatched a messenger with letters vnto king John, requiring him
of spéedie succour in this hir present danger. In the meane time,
Arthur following the victorie, shortlie after followed hir, and woone
Mirabeau, where he tooke his grandmother within the same, whom he
yet intreated verie honorablie, and with great reuerence (as some
haue reported.) ¶ But other write far more trulie, that she was not
taken, but escaped into a tower, within the which she was straitlie
besieged. Thither came also to aid Arthur all the Nobles and men of
armes in Poictou, and namelie the foresaid earle of March according to
appointment betwixt them: so that by this meanes Arthur had a great
armie togither in the field.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: K. John commeth vpon his enimies not looked for.]

King John in the meane time, hauing receiued his mothers letters, and
vnderstanding thereby in what danger she stood, was maruellouslie
troubled with the strangenesse of the newes, and with manie bitter
words accused the French king as an vntrue prince, and a fraudulent
league-breaker: and in all possible hast spéedeth him foorth,
continuing his iournie for the most part both day and night to come
to the succour of his people. To be briefe, he vsed such diligence,
that he was vpon his enimies necks yer they could vnderstand any thing
of his comming, or gesse what the matter meant, when they saw such a
companie of souldiers as he brought with him to approch so néere the
citie. For so negligent were they, that hauing once woone the towne,
they ranged abroad ouer the countrie hither and thither at their
libertie without any care. So that now being put in a sudden feare, as
preuented by the hastie comming of the enimies vpon them, and wanting
leisure to take aduice what was best to be doone, and hauing not time
in manner to get any armour on their backs, they were in a maruellous
trouble, not knowing whether it were best for them to fight or to flée,
to yéeld or to resist.

[Sidenote: Arthur duke of Britaine tak[=e]n prisoner.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

This their feare being apparent to the Englishmen (by their disorder
shewed in running vp and downe from place to place with great noise
and turmoile) they set vpon them with great violence, and compassing
them round about, they either tooke or slue them in a manner at their
pleasure. And hauing thus put them all to flight, they pursued the
chase towards the towne of Mirabeau, into which the enimies made verie
great hast to enter: but such spéed was vsed by the English souldiers
at that present, that they entred and wan the said towne before their
enimies could come néere to get into it. Great slaughter was made
within Mirabeau it selfe, and Arthur with the residue of the armie
that escaped with life from the first bickering was taken, who being
herevpon committed to prison, first at Falais, and after within the
citie of Rouen, liued not long after as you shall heare. The other of
the prisoners were also committed vnto safe kéeping some into castels
within Normandie, and some were sent into England.

King Iohn hauing gotten this victorie, and taken his nephue Arthur, he
wrote the maner of that his successe vnto his barons in England, in
manner as followeth.

[Sidenote: De Castre Erald.]

[Sidenote: 252 knights or men of armes besides demilances.]

Iohn by the grace of God king of England, and lord of Ireland, to all
his barons sendeth gréeting. Know yée that we by Gods fauour are in
sound and perfect health, and through Gods grace that maruellouslie
worketh with vs, on tuesdaie before Lammas daie, we being before
the citie of Mauns, were aduertised that our mother was besieged in
Mirabeau, and therfore we hasted so fast as we possibly might, so that
we came thither on Lammas daie, and there we tooke our nephue Arthur,
Hugh le Brun, Andrew de Chauenie, the vicount of Chateau Erald, Raimond
de Touars, Sauerie de Mauleon, and Hugh Bangi, and all other enimies
of Poictou that were there assembled against vs, to the number of two
hundred knights and aboue, so that not one of them escaped. Giue God
therefore thanks, and reioise at our good successe.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 4.]

The French king at the same time lieng in siege before Arques,
immediatlie vpon the newes of this ouerthrow, raised from thence, and
returned homewards, destroieng all that came in his waie, till he was
entred into his owne countrie. It is said that king John caused his
nephue Arthur to be brought before him at Falais, and there went about
to persuade him all that he could to forsake his fréendship and aliance
with the French king, and to leane and sticke to him being his naturall
vncle. But Arthur like one that wanted good counsell, and abounding
too much in his owne wilfull opinion, made a presumptuous answer, not
onelie denieng so to doo, but also commanding king John to restore vnto
him the realme of England, with all those other lands and possessions
which king Richard had in his hand at the houre of his death. For sith
the same apperteined to him by right of inheritance, he assured him,
except restitution were made the sooner, he should not long continue
quiet. King John being sore mooued with such words thus vttered by his
nephue, appointed (as before is said) that he should be straitlie kept
in prison, as first in Falais, and after at Roan within the new castell
there. Thus by meanes of this good successe, the countries of Poictou,
Touraine, and Aniou were recouered.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: King John eftsoones crowned.]

[Sidenote: _Rafe Cog._]

Shortlie after king John comming ouer into England, caused himselfe to
be crowned againe at Canturburie by the hands of Hubert the archbishop
there, on the fourtéenth day of Aprill, and then went backe againe
into Normandie, where immediatlie vpon his arriuall, a rumour was
spred through all France, of the death of his nephue Arthur. True it
is that great suit was made to haue Arthur set at libertie, as well by
the French king, as by William de Riches a valiant baron of Poictou,
and diuerse other Noble men of the Britains, who when they could not
preuaile in their suit, they banded themselues togither, and ioining
in confederacie with Robert earle of Alanson, the vicount Beaumont,
William de Fulgiers, and other, they began to leuie sharpe wars against
king John in diuerse places, insomuch (as it was thought) that so long
as Arthur liued, there would be no quiet in those parts: wherevpon it
was reported, that king John through persuasion of his councellors,
appointed certeine persons to go vnto Falais, where Arthur was kept in
prison, vnder the charge of Hubert de Burgh, and there to put out the
yoong gentlemans eies.

But through such resistance as he made against one of the tormentors
that came to execute the kings commandement (for the other rather
forsooke their prince and countrie, than they would consent to obeie
the kings authoritie héerein) and such lamentable words as he vttered,
Hubert de Burgh did preserue him from that iniurie, not doubting
but rather to haue thanks than displeasure at the kings hands, for
deliuering him of such infamie as would haue redounded vnto his
highnesse, if the yoong gentleman had béene so cruellie dealt withall.
For he considered, that king John had resolued vpon this point
onelie in his heat and furie (which moueth men to vndertake manie an
inconuenient enterprise, vnbeséeming the person of a common man, much
more reprochfull to a prince, all men in that mood being méere foolish
and furious, and prone to accomplish the peruerse conceits of their ill
possessed heart; as one saith right well,

    --------pronus in iram
    Stultorum est animus, facilè excandescit, & audet
    Omne scelus, quoties conceptabile tumescit)

and that afterwards, vpon better aduisement, he would both repent
himselfe so to haue commanded, and giue them small thanke that should
sée it put in execution. Howbeit to satisfie his mind for the time, and
to staie the rage of the Britains, he caused it to be bruted abroad
through the countrie, that the kings commandement was fulfilled, and
that Arthur also through sorrow and gréefe was departed out of this
life. For the space of fiftéene daies this rumour incessantlie ran
through both the realmes of England and France, and there was ringing
for him through townes and villages, as it had béene for his funerals.
It was also bruted, that his bodie was buried in the monasterie of
saint Andrewes of the Cisteaux order.

But when the Britains were nothing pacified, but rather kindled more
vehementlie to worke all the mischéefe they could deuise, in reuenge
of their souereignes death, there was no remedie but to signifie
abroad againe, that Arthur was as yet liuing and in health. Now when
the king heard the truth of all this matter, he was nothing displeased
for that his commandement was not executed, sith there were diuerse of
his capteins which vttered in plaine words, that he should not find
knights to kéepe his castels, if he dealt so cruellie with his nephue.
For if it chanced any of them to be taken by the king of France or
other their aduersaries, they should be sure to tast of the like cup.
¶ But now touching the maner in verie déed of the end of this Arthur,
writers make sundrie reports. Neuerthelesse certeine it is, that in the
yeare next insuing, he was remooued from Falais vnto the castell or
tower of Rouen, out of the which there was not any that would confesse
that euer he saw him go aliue. Some haue written, that as he assaied
to haue escaped out of prison, and proouing to clime ouer the wals
of the castell, he fell into the riuer of Saine, and so was drowned.
Other write, that through verie gréefe and languor he pined awaie, and
died of naturall sicknesse. But some affirme, that king John secretlie
caused him to be murthered and made awaie, so as it is not throughlie
agréed vpon, in what sort he finished his daies: but verelie king John
was had in great suspicion, whether worthilie or not, the lord knoweth.
Yet how extreamelie soeuer he delt with his nephue, he released and
set at libertie diuerse of those lords that were taken prisoners with
him, namelie Hugh le Brun, and Sauerie de Mauleon, the one to his great
trouble and hinderance, and the other to his gaine: for Hugh le Brun
afterwards leuied and occasioned sore warres against him, but Sauerie
de Mauleon continued euer after his loiall subiect, dooing to him verie
agréeable seruice, as hereafter may appeare.

[Sidenote: Guie sonne to the vicount of Touars.]

[Sidenote: Constance the mother of duke Arthur accuseth king John.]

The Lord Guie, sonne to the vicount of Touars, who had taken Arthurs
mother Constance to wife, after the diuorse made betwixt hir and the
earle of Chester, in right of hir obteined the dukedome of Britaine.
But king Philip after he was aduertised of Arthurs death, tooke the
matter verie gréeuouslie, and vpon occasion therof, cited king John
to appeare before him at a certeine day, to answer such obiections as
Constance the duches of Britaine mother to the said Arthur should lay
to his charge, touching the murther of hir sonne. And bicause king John
appeared not, he was therefore condemned in the action, and adiudged
to forfeit all that he held within the precinct of France, aswell
Normandie as all his other lands and dominions.

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The ordin[=a]nce for the assise of bread.]

About the same time the king caused a proclamation to be published for
the lawfull assise of bread to be made by the bakers, vpon paine to be
punished by the pillorie: which assise was approoued and assessed by
the baker of Geffrey Fitz Peter, lord chéefe iustice of England, and
by the baker of Robert de Tuinham. So that the baker might sell and
gaine in euerie quarter thrée pence, besides the bran, and two loaues
for the heater of the ouen, and for foure seruants foure halfepence,
for two boies a farthing, for allowance in salt an halfepenie, yest an
halfepenie, for candell a farthing, for fewell thrée pence, and for a
bulter an halfepenie. And this was the rate.

When wheat was sold for six shillings the quarter, then shall euerie
loafe of fiue manchet wey 41 shillings, and euerie loafe of cheat shall
wey 24 shillings. When wheat is sold for fiue shillings and six pence,
then manchet shall wey 20 shillings, and cheat 28 shillings. When wheat
is sold for fiue shillings, then manchet shall wey 24 shillings, and
the cheat bread 32 shillings. When wheat is sold for foure shillings
six pence, manchet shall wey 32 shillings, and cheat 42 shillings. When
wheat is sold for foure shillings, manchet shall wey 36 shillings, and
cheat 46 shillings. When wheat is sold for thrée shillings six pence,
then shall manchet wey 42 shillings, and cheat 54 shillings. When wheat
is sold for thrée shillings, manchet shall wey 48 shillings, and cheat
44 shillings. When wheat is sold for two shillings and six pence,
manchet shall wey 54 shillings, and cheat 72 shillings. When wheat is
sold for two shillings, manchet shall wey sixtie shillings, and cheat
foure pound. When wheat is sold for 18 pence the quarter, manchet
shall wey 77 shillings, & cheat foure pound and eight shillings. This
ordinance was proclaimed throughout the realme, as most necessarie and
profitable for the common-wealth.

[Sidenote: Great tempests.]

This yeare manie woonderfull things happened, for besides the sore
winter, which passed any other that had béene heard of in manie yeares
before, both for continuance in length and extreame coldnesse of
frosts, there followed grifelie tempests, with thunder, lightning, and
stormes of raine, and haile of the bignesse of hens egs, wherewith much
fruit & great store of corne was perished, beside other great hurts
doone vpon houses and yoong cattell. Also spirits (as it was thought)
in likenesse of birds and foules were séene in the aire flieng with
fire in their beaks, wherewith they set diuerse houses on fire: which
did import great troubles yer long to insue, and followed in déed, as
shall appeare hereafter.

[Sidenote: _1203._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

With this entrance of the yeare of our lord 1203, king John held his
Christmasse at Caen, where not hauing (as some writers say) sufficient
regard to the necessarie affaires of his wars, he gaue his mind to
banketting, and passed the time in pleasure with the quéene his
wife, to the great gréefe of his lords, so that they perceiuing his
retchlesse demeanour (or as some write, the doubtfull minds of the
Nobilitie which serued on that side, and were readie dailie to reuolt
from his obedience) withdrew their dutifull hearts from him, and
therefore getting licence, returned home into England.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 5.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: The French king inuadeth Normandie.]

[Sidenote: Roger de Lacie conestable of Chester taken.]

In this meane time the French king, to bring his purpose to full
effect, entred into Normandie, wasted the countries, and wan the townes
of Cowches, le Val de Rueil, and Lisle Dandele. Le Val de Rueil wis
giuen ouer without any great inforcement of assault, by two noble men
that had charge thereof, the one named Robert Fitz Walter, and the
other Saer de Quincie. Howbeit Lisle Dandele was valiantlie for a
certeine time defended by Roger de Lacie the conestable of Chester. But
at length they within were so constreined by famine and long siege,
that the said Lacie and others perceiuing it to be more honourable for
them to die by the sword, than to starue through want of food, brake
out vpon their enimies, and slue a great sort of the Frenchmen, but yet
in the end they were taken prisoners, and so these fortresses came into
the French kings hands.

[Sidenote: The pope sendeth his Nuncij into France.]

[Sidenote: _Gaguinus._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Radpont woone.]

The pope hearing of these variances betwixt the two kings, sent the
abbat of Casiner into France, accompanied with the abbat of Troisfons,
to mooue them to a peace. These two abbats tooke such paines in the
matter, that the kings were almost brought to agréement. But the French
king perceiuing himselfe to be aforehand in his businesse, sticked at
one article, which was to repaire all such abbeies as he had destroied
within the dominions of king John: and king John to doo the like by all
those that he had wasted within the French kings countries. The popes
Nuncij would haue excommunicated king Philip, bicause he would not thus
agrée. But king Philip appealing from them, pursued the warre, and
besieged the towne of Radpont. The souldiers within the towne defended
the first assault verie manfullie, and caused the Frenchmen to retire
backe: but king Philip meaning to haue the towne yer he departed, did
so inclose it about, that within ten daies he wan it, and tooke there
twentie men of armes, an hundred demilances, and twentie arcubalisters.

[Sidenote: Castell Galiard.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Hugh de Gourney reuolteth from king John.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: K. John commeth back into England.]

After this, when he had fortified this place, he went to castell
Galiard, which he besieged; and though by the high valiancie of Hugh de
Gourney the capteine there, the Frenchmen were manfullie beaten backe,
and kept out for a moneth and more, yet at length by streict siege
and neare approches hardlie made, the fortresse was deliuered into
the French kings hands. And in the end the said Hugh Gourney reuolted
from his obedience, deliuering also the castell of Mountfort vnto the
French king, which castell with the honor thereto apperteining king
John had giuen to the same Hugh, not verie long before. All this while
king John did lie at Rouen: but forsomuch as he could not well remedie
the matter as then, bicause he wanted such helpe as he dailie looked
for out of England, and durst not trust any of that side, he passed it
ouer with a stout countenance for a while, and would saie oftentimes to
such as stood about him; "What else dooth my coosen the French K. now,
than steale those things from me, which hereafter I shall indeuour my
selfe to cause him to restore with interest?" But when he saw that his
enimies would still procéed, and that no aid came out of England, he
came ouer himselfe, and landed at Portesmouth on S. Nicholas day.

King Philip doubting by vsing the victorie with too much rigor, least
he should bring the Normans into a desperate boldnesse, and so cause
them for safegard of their liues to hazard all vpon resistance, he
staied for a time, and withdrew his souldiers backe againe into France,
hauing not onelie furnished those places in the meane time which he had
wun, with strong garisons of his souldiers, but also appointed certeine
personages to trauell with the people, yet remaining in the English
subiection, to reuolt and turne from king John, to his obeisance and

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: A parlement at Oxenford.]

[Sidenote: _1204._]

[Sidenote: A subsidie granted.]

King John being returned into England, accused diuerse of his Nobles
for shewing themselues negligent and slothfull in aiding him, according
to his commandement, alledging furthermore, that being destitute of
their due and requisite seruice, he was constreined to lose his time
in Normandie, as not being able for want of their aid to resist his
enimies. Wherefore for this and other matters laid to their charges,
he did put them to gréeuous fines. By meanes whereof, and by leauieng
a subsidie of his people, he got togither an huge summe of monie. This
subsidie was granted him in a parlement holden at Oxenford, and begun
there vpon the second of Januarie 1204, wherein of euerie knights
fée was granted the summe of two markes and an halfe. Neither were
the bishops, abbats, nor any other ecclesiasticall persons exempted,
by meanes whereof he ran first into the hatred of the clergie, and
consequentlie of manie other of his subiects: so that they failed him
at his néed, whereby he often susteined no small damage, which he
might haue preuented and withstood, if he had béene so qualified with
discretion as to haue séene what was conuenient and what inconuenient
for his roiall estate. But

    Improba perniciem ingentem mortalibus affert,

as it did to him, which may be gathered by a due obseruation of the
consequence. ¶ This yeare the aire toward the north and east parts
séemed to be on a bright fire for the space of six houres togither. It
began about the first watch of the night, on the first of Aprill.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 6.]

[Sidenote: _Rafe Cog._]

[Sidenote: Ambassadors sent into France.]

[Sidenote: _1204._]

King John about the beginning of this sixt yeare of his reigne, sent in
ambassage to the French king the archbishop of Canturburie, the bishops
of Norwich and Elie, the earles Marshall and Leicester, to treat
with him of peace: but he was so far off from comming néere to any
reasonable motions, bicause he saw the world frame as he wished, that
still by demanding somewhat that might not be granted, he kept off, and
brought in such hard conditions, that it was not possible to conclude
anie agréement. And this he did of purpose, hoping within short time
to conquer all that the king of England possessed as yet on that
side the seas. He was the more vntoward to compound, for that he was
informed how Arthur the duke of Britaine was dispatched of his life,
and therfore not doubting but to haue manie to take part with him in
séeking reuenge of his death, he made that his chéefe quarell, swearing
that he would not ceasse to pursue the warre against king John, till
he had depriued him of his whole kingdome. So the ambassadors departed
without all hope to come to any agréement. ¶ This yeare Easter day fell
so high as it possiblie might, that is to saie, on saint Marks day.

[Sidenote: Towns wun by the French king.]

King Philip vnderstanding that king John remained still in England,
rather occupied in gathering of monie amongst his subiects, than in
making other prouision to bring them into the field (to the great
offense of his said people) thought now for his part to lose no time:
but assembling a mightie armie, he came with the same into Normandie,
and vpon his first comming, he wan the towne of Falaise, and shortlie
after was Dampfront deliuered vnto him by surrender. This doone, he
marched further into the countrie, and with his sudden inuasion so
oppressed the people euerie where, that they could haue no time to
make shift by flight to get into the townes. With this swiftnesse of
spéed, he brought also such a feare into the hearts of most men, that
he wan all the countrie of Normandie euen to Mount S. Michaell. The
inhabitants in euerie place submitted themselues, as those of Baieulx,
Constances, Liseux, and other townes thereabouts.

[Sidenote: Rouen besieged by the French king.]

Finallie, he came before Rouen, the principall citie of all the
countrie, and incamped so in sundrie places about the citie, that all
the issues, entries and waies were closed vp by his armie, being so
diuided into seuerall camps, that the distance was not great from one
to another, making a terrible shew to them within. At length after he
had prouided all things necessarie for his purpose, and taken good
aduise of his capteins how he should best imploie his force for the
winning of this citie (in which exploit he knew the full perfection of
all his passed conquests chéefelie to consist) he did manfullie assault
it, and they within as manfullie defended themselues, so that he got
little by the assaults and approches which he made. Wherevpon he fell
in hand to practise with the citizens to win them with méed, curtesie,
gentle spéech, and great promises. So that in fine, they within were
so mooued with such reasons as he vsed to persuade them withall, that
they made request for a truce to be had for certeine daies, within the
terme whereof if no succour came, they couenanted to yéeld without any
further trouble.

[Sidenote: The great fidelitie of the citizens of Rouen.]

[Sidenote: Rou[=e]n through famine is surrendred to the French king.]

This truce being obteined, ambassadours were sent from them of Rouen
into England, to signifie vnto king John the whole state of the citie,
and of the truce, so that if aid came not within the time appointed,
the citie must néeds be deliuered into the enimies hands. The king
hauing no armie in readinesse to send ouer, nor other shift to make for
the succour of the citie, permitted the ambassadours to depart without
comfort of any aid, who herevpon returning to Rouen, and reporting
what they had hard, séene, and found, brought the citie into great
sorrow. For whereas that citie had euer béene accustomed to glorie for
the great loialtie and faithfull fidelitie which the same had euer
shewed towards their liege lords and naturall princes; now the citizens
perceiued manifestlie, that vnlesse they would cast awaie themselues,
and lose all they had, they must of force yéeld into the hands of their
enimies. Wherefore to make their true allegiance more apparant to the
world, they staied the surrender as long as they had any store of
vittels within the citie to reléeue their fainting bodies withall: and
so in the end being vanquished with hunger, they submitted themselues
to the French king. Their submission being once knowne, caused all
those other townes which had not yéelded, to deliuer vp their keies
vnto the Frenchmen, as Arques, Vernueill, and others.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

Moreouer the townes in Poictou, Touraine, and Aniou, which king John
had recouered latelie before, did now againe (being in no small feare)
yéeld themselues vnto king Philip: so that of all the townes within
those countries, there remained none vnder the English obeisance, saue
onelie Rochell, Tours, Niorth, and a few other. Thus Normandie which
king Rollo had purchased and gotten 316 yeares before that present
time, was then recouered by the French men, to the great reproch
and dishonour of the English, in this yeare 1204. About this time
quéene Elianor the mother of king John departed this life, consumed
rather through sorow and anguish of mind, than of any other naturall

[Sidenote: By _Rafe Cogheshalls_ report this should séeme to haue
chanced in the daies of K. Henrie the second.]

[Sidenote: A fish like to a man.]

In this sixt yeare of king Johns reigne, at Oreford in Suffolke, as
Fabian saith (although I thinke he be deceiued in the time) a fish was
taken by fishers in their nets as they were at sea, resembling in shape
a wild or sauage man, whome they presented vnto sir Bartholomew de
Glanuille knight, that had then the kéeping of the castell of Oreford
in Suffolke. He was naked, and in all his lims and members resembling
the right proportion of a man; he had haires also in the vsuall parts
of his bodie, albeit that the crowne of his head was bald, his beard
was long and rugged, and his breast hairie. The knight caused him to
be kept certeine daies & nights from the sea, meat set afore him he
gréedilie deuoured, & did eat fish both raw and sod. Those that were
raw he pressed in his hand till he had thrust out all the moisture,
and so then did eat them. He would not or could not vtter any speach,
although to trie him they hung him vp by the héeles, and miserablie
tormented him. He would get him to his couch at the setting of the
sunne, and rise againe at the rising of the same.

One day they brought him to the hauen, and suffered him to go into the
sea, but to be sure he should not escape from them, they set thrée
ranks of mightie strong nets before him, so to catch him againe at
their pleasure (as they imagined) but he streightwaies diuing downe to
the bottome of the water, got past all the nets, and comming vp, shewed
himselfe to them againe that stood waiting for him, and dowking diuerse
times vnder water and comming vp againe he beheld them on the shore
that stood still looking at him, who séemed as it were to mocke them,
for that he had deceiued them, & got past their nets. At length after
he had thus sported himselfe a great while in the water, and that there
was no more hope of his returne, he came to them againe of his owne
accord, swimming through the water, and remained with them two moneths
after. But finallie, when he was negligentlie looked to, and now séemed
not to be regarded, he fled secretlie to the sea, and was neuer after
séene nor heard of.

[Sidenote: _John Stow._]

¶Thus much out of Rafe Cogheshall, who affirmeth that this chanced
in the daies of Henrie the second, about the 33 of his reigne, as
Iohn Stow in his summarie hath also noted. Which report of theirs in
respect to the strangenesse thereof might séeme incredible, speciallie
to such as be hard of beléefe, and refuse to giue faith and credit to
any thing but what their owne eies haue sealed to their consciences,
so that the reading of such woonders as these, is no more beneficiall
to them, than to carrie a candle before a blind man, or to sing a
song to him that is starke deafe. Neuerthelesse, of all vncouth and
rare sights, speciallie of monstruous appearances we ought to be so
farre from hauing little regard; that we should rather in them and by
them obserue the euent and falling out of some future thing, no lesse
miraculous in the issue, than they be woonderfull at the sudden sight.
This was well noted of a philosopher, who to the purpose (among other
matters by him touched) hath spoken no lesse pithilie than crediblie,

[Sidenote: _M. Pel. in scorp._]

    Nec fieri aut errore aut casu monstra putandum,
    Cùm certas habeant causas, vt tristia monstrent,
    Vnde illis nomen, quare & portenta vocantur.

The war was mightilie mainteined all this while betwixt them of Poictou
and Aquitaine, and manie sharpe incounters chanced betwixt the parties,
of which the one following the king of Englands lieutenant Robert de
Turneham, valiantlie resisted the other that held with the French king
vnder the conduct of William de Roches, & Hugh le Brun earle of March,
chiefe leaders of that faction. But Robert Turneham, togither with
Sauerie de Mauleon, and Gerard de Atie, bare themselues so manfullie,
that in all conflicts for the most part the victorie remained on their
sides. The Gascoignes also tooke part with king John, and continued in
dutifull obedience towards him, for the which their loialtie he was
readie to consider them with princelie gifts and beneficiall rewards,
in such bountifull wise, that he gaue vnto a Noble man of that countrie
named Moreue, the summe of 28 thousand marks, to leuie & wage thirtie
thousand men to aid him at his comming ouer into those parties. The
archbishop of Burdeaux, that was brother vnto the foresaid Moreue,
became suertie for performance of the couenants, and remained in
England a long time bicause the same couenants were not in all points

[Sidenote: _1205._]

The bishop of London was sent ambassadour from king John vnto the
emperour vpon certeine earnest businesse. The duke of Louaine, and the
earle of Bullongne were made friends by the French kings drift, and
promised to inuade England with an armie, and to make warre against
king John for the withholding of such lands and reuenues as they
claimed to be due vnto them, in right of their wiues. King Philip also
vndertooke to follow them within a moneth after they should be entred
into England, & thus did the French king séeke to make him strong with
fréends, which dailie fell from king John on ech hand. ¶ Godfrey bishop
of Winchester, that was son to the lord Richard de Lucie departed this
life. This yere the king was on Christmasse day at Tukesburie, where he
staied not past one day.

[Sidenote: An extreame frost.]

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 7.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Matth. Paris.]

[Sidenote: King John prepareth an armie to go into France.]

The 14 day of Januarie it began to fréeze, and so continued till the
22 of March, with such extremitie, that the husbandmen could not make
their tilth, by reason whereof in the summer following, corne began
to grow to an excessiue price, so that wheat was sold by the quarter
at 12 shillings of monie then currant. This yeare about the feast
of Pentecost, the king (by the aduice of his councell assembled at
Northampton) prepared a nauie of ships, mustered souldiers, and shewed
great tokens that he would renew the war, and séeke to be reuenged
of his enimie the French king. The Nobles of the realme indeuoured
themselues also to match the diligence of the king in this preparation,
vpon an earnest desire to reuenge the iniuries latelie doone to the

[Sidenote: _Rafe Cog._]

[Sidenote: The archbishop of Canturburie, and the earle of Penbroke
persuade the king to staie at home.]

Now when all things were readie, and the ships fraught with vittels,
armour, and all other prouisions necessarie, the king came to
Porchester, there to take the sea, purposing verelie to passe ouer into
France, in hope of such faire promises as his fréends of Normandie and
Poictou had made, in sending oftentimes to him, to procure him with
spéed to come to their succours. But as the king was readie to enter on
shipboord, Hubert archbishop of Canturburie, and William Marshall earle
of Penbroke came to him, and with manie great reasons went about to
persuade him to staie his iournie. Who although he was verie loath to
follow their counsell, yet they put foorth so manie doubts and dangers
that might follow of his departing the realme at that present, to the
hazarding of the whole state, that in the end (sore to his gréefe) he
was ouercome by their importunate persuasions, and so dismissing the
most part of his armie, appointed his brother the earle of Salisburie
with a certeine number of knights & men of armes to passe ouer into
Rochell, whither the lord Geffrey the kings base sonne was gone before
him, with manie other knights and men of armes.

[Sidenote: The king repenting him goeth backe to the sea side.]

[Sidenote: He goeth to the sea the 15 of Julie, as some authors haue.]

The lords and other that were dismissed, tooke it verie euill,
considering the great preparation that had béene made for that iournie.
But speciallie the mariners were sore offended, cursing the archbishop
and the said earle of Penbroke, that were knowne to be authors of so
naughtie counsell as they tooke this to be. It was thought there was
neuer so manie ships gotten togither at one time before, as were at
that present, to haue attended the king: for (as writers haue recorded)
there were to the number of fourtéene thousand mariners that had
brought their ships thither for that purpose. But as the breaking vp of
this voiage gréeued others, so it pinched the king so néere the heart,
that he being come backe from the sea side to Winchester, repented
so much that he had not gone forward with his iournie, that the next
daie he returned againe to the coast, and at Portesmouth entring the
sea with his ships, on the fiftéenth of Julie he sailed to the Ile of
Wight, and wafted vp and downe for the space of two daies togither,
till by aduice of his fréends he was persuaded not to aduenture to
passe ouer, sith his armie was dismissed and gone home, and so he
returned backe to the shore againe, arriuing at Scotland, néere vnto
Warham, the third daie after his setting foorth: yet such as were
behind, and hasted after him, thought verelie he had béene gone ouer,
and such a brute was spread ouer all, till at length in time the truth
was knowne.

At his comming backe (as some write) he charged certeine of the
Nobilitie with treason, bicause they did not follow him: wherevpon
shortlie after he punished them verie gréeuuouslie, and peraduenture
not without some ground of iust cause. For likelie it is that some
greater matter forced him to breake vp his iournie, than appeareth
in our writers, although Rafe Cogheshall setteth downe some reasons
alledged by the archbishop Hubert, and earle Marshall, to persuade him
not to depart the realme. But peraduenture other causes there were
also of farre more importance that constreined him so greatlie against
his mind & full resolution, both at the first, and now at this second
time to returne. ¶ Verelie to vtter my coniecture, it may be that vpon
his last determination to go ouer, he gaue new commandement to his
lords to follow him, and they peraduenture vsed not such diligence
in accomplishing his pleasure therein, as he looked they should haue
doone: or it may be, when the armie was once discharged, the souldiers
made such hast homewards, ech man towards his countrie, that it was no
easie matter to bring them backe againe in any conuenient time. But
howsoeuer it was, as it had béene vpon a change of purpose, he came
backe againe (as before yée haue heard.)

[Sidenote: The death of the archb. of Canturburie.]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

The thirtéenth of Julie Hubert archbishop of Canturburie departed this
life at Tenham, the king not being gratlie sorie for his death (as some
haue written) bicause he gathered some suspicion that he bare too much
good will towards the French king. In verie déed (as some write) the
archbishop repented himselfe of nothing so much, as for that he had
commended king John to the Noblemen and Péers of the realme, sith he
prooued an other manner of man than he looked to haue found him. This
archbishop had gouerned the sée of Canturburie eleuen yeares, eight
moneths, and six daies.

[Sidenote: An archbishop chosen.]

After his deceasse, the moonks of Canturburie without knowledge of
the king, chose one Reignold the subprior of their house to be their
archbishop, who secretlie went to Rome to obteine his confirmation of
the pope. Which thing bred much mischéefe and great discord betwixt
pope Innocent & king John, since the pope would not confirme the
election, bicause he saw some péece of secret practise, till he might
vnderstand and be certified by report of sufficient witnesse (for that
he wanted the letters commendatorie from the king) that the same
election was lawfull and orderlie made. Of this delaie also the moonks
being spéedilie aduertised, and to the end they might now recouer the
kings fauour, whome they had verie sore offended in not making him
priuie to the first election, they made request vnto him, that by his
nomination it might be lawfull for them to choose an other archbishop.

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: John Gray bishop of Norwich president of the councell.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Helias de Brantfield.]

The king gladlie herevnto assented, requiring them to grant their
voices vnto John Gray the bishop of Norwich, being both his chapleine
and president of his councell. The moonks to gratifie the king obeied
his request, and so electing the same bishop of Norwich, they sent
their procurators to Rome in the yeare following, to signifie the
same vnto the pope, and to require him to confirme this their second
election, as vnmindfull of their first, and clearelie adnihilating the
same to all intents and purposes. Amongst other that were sent to Rome
about this businesse, Helias de Brantfield was one, a moonke of great
estimation, and had in good credit with the king, who ministred vnto
them that were thus sent, sufficient allowance wherewith to beare their
charges and expenses.

[Sidenote: The bishops quarell with the moonks of Canturburie about the
election of an archbishop.]

[Sidenote: Gerard de Atie & Robert de Turnham tak[=e]n prisoners.]

Also at the same time the bishops that were suffragans to the sée of
Canturburie, sent their procurators to Rome, about a quarrell which
they had against the moonks there, for that the same moonks presumed
to procéed to the election of an archbishop without their consent,
hauing (as they alledged) a right by ancient decrées and customes to
be associat with them in the said elections. But how this matter was
answered, yée shall sée hereafter. In the meane time these and other
like things procured the pope to reiect both the elections, and of his
owne authoritie to nominate the third person, whereby the trouble begun
was not a little augmented (as you shall heare héereafter.) Now whilest
these procurators were thus occupied in Rome, Philip the French king
minding to conquer all that which king John yet held within France,
assembled an armie, and comming before the towne of Loches, wan it,
and tooke Gerard de Atie prisoner, that had so long time and with such
valiancie defended it. The same time also was Robert de Turnham taken
prisoner, who with great manhood had all this while repressed and
chastised the rebellious Poictouins.

[Sidenote: Hubert de Burgh a valiant capteine.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Chinon taken by force of assault.]

Moreouer, when the French king had woone Loches, he went to Chinon,
within the which Hubert de Burgh was capteine, a right valiant man of
warre as was any where to be found, who hauing prepared all things
necessarie for defense, manfullie repelled the Frenchmen, who inforced
themselues to win the towne with continuall assaults and alarms,
not suffering them within to rest neither day nor night, who yet
for certeine daies togither, by the valiant incouragement of their
capteine defended the towne, with great slaughter of the Frenchmen.
Neuerthelesse, at length beginning to despaire by reason of their
incessant trauell, certeine of them that were somewhat faintharted
stale ouer the walles in the night, and ran to the Frenchmen, and for
safegard of their liues instructed them of the whole estate of the
towne. The French vnderstanding that they within were in no small feare
of themselues, with such violence came vnto the walles, and renewed
the assault vpon all sides, that streightwaies they entred by force. A
great number of Englishmen were taken, and amongst other their capteine
the foresaid Hubert de Burgh. [This chanced on the vigill of S. John

After this, king Philip tooke diuerse other townes and castels in that
countrie, of the which some he raced, and some he fortified and stored
with garisons of his souldiers. This doone he passed ouer the riuer
of Loir, and wan a castell situat néere vnto a promontorie or head of
land called Grapelitum, which was woont to be a great succour & aid to
Englishmen arriuing on that coast. The occasion why he made wars thus
vpon the Britains, was (as some write) for that Guie duke of Britaine,
who had married the duches Constance, and succéeded in the duchie after
hir son Arthur, without regard to reuenge the death of the same Arthur,
was ioined in league with king John togither with Sauere de Mauleon,
and Almerike de Lusignian, lords of great honour, power, and stoutnesse
of stomach.

[Sidenote: _1206._]

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 8.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Montalban woone.]

[Sidenote: _Les annales de France._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: King John wan the citie of Angiers by assault.]

King John also in this meane while, mooued with the increase of these
his new associats, and also with desire to reuenge so manie iniuries
and losses susteined at the French kings hands, preparing an armie
of men, and a nauie of ships, tooke the sea with them and landed at
Rochell the ninth of Julie, where he was receiued with great ioy and
gladnesse of the people; and no small number of gentlemen and others
that inhabited thereabout repaired vnto him, offering to aid him to the
vttermost of their powers. He therefore with assured hope of good spéed
departed from thence, and wan the towne of Montalban, with a great
part of all the countrie thereabouts. Finallie he entred into Aniou,
and comming to the citie of Angiers, appointed certeine bands of his
footmen, & all his light horssemen to compasse the towne about, whilest
he, with the residue of the footmen, & all the men of armes, did go to
assault the gates. Which enterprise with fire and sword he so manfullie
executed, that the gates being in a moment broken open, the citie was
entred and deliuered to the souldiers for a preie. So that of the
citizens some were taken, some killed, and the wals of the citie beaten
flat to the ground. This doone, he went abroad into the countrie, and
put all things that were in his way to the like destruction. Then came
the people of the countries next adioining, of their owne accord to
submit themselues vnto him, promising to aid him with men and vittels
most plentifullie.

[Sidenote: The duke of Britaine and other of the king Johns fri[=e]nds

King John being verie ioyfull of this good successe, marched towards
Poictou, sending out his troops of horssemen to waste the countrie
on euerie side. In the meane while the French king being hereof
aduertised, came foorth with his armie readie furnished to resist king
John, and by the way encountred with the duke of Britaine, Sauerie de
Mauleon, and Almerike de Lusignian, which had béene abroad to spoile
the French kings countries. But being now ouerset with the kings
puissance, they were taken, and all their companie stripped out of
their armour, to their great confusion. This mishap sore weakened
the power and courage of king John. But the French king proud of the
victorie, kept on his iournie, and approching néere vnto the place
where king John was as then lodged, did cause his tents to be pitched
downe for the first night, and on the morrow after, as one desirous of
battell, brought his armie into the fields, ranged in good order and
readie to fight.

[Sidenote: Matth. West.]

[Sidenote: Matth. Paris.]

[Sidenote: This truce was concluded vpon All hallowes day.]

The like did king John, so that with stout stomachs and eger minds,
they stood there in the field readie to trie the matter with dint
of sword vpon sound of the warning-blast giuen by the trumpets.
Howbeit, by the mediation of certeine graue personages, as well of
the spiritualtie as of the temporaltie, which were in good estimation
with both the princes, a communication was appointed, which tooke
such effect, that a truce was taken betwixt them for the terme of
two yeares, the prisoners on either side being released by waie of
exchange: and thus the wars ceased for that time. Then king Philip
returned into France, and king John into England, where he landed at
Portesmouth the 12 of December.

[Sidenote: John Ferentino the popes legat.]

[Sidenote: The pope giueth sentence with y^e monks against the bishops.]

[Sidenote: Sée _Matt. Paris_ pag. 287 in the printed copie.]

About this time came one John Ferentino (so called peraduenture _A
ferendo_, a common name to all the whelps of that litter, for they
neuer came into the land as legats but they would be sure to carrie
out with them manie large legacies and vsurped duties) a legat from
the pope into England, and passing through the same as it were in
visitation, gathered a great summe of monie; and finallie at Reading
on the morow after saint Lukes day, celebrated a councell, which being
ended, he caused his coffers to be packed vp and sent awaie, hastening
himselfe after to depart the realme, and so taking the sea bad England
farewell. About the same season also pope Innocent confirmed the
authoritie and power which the prior and moonks of Canturburie had to
elect and choose the archbishop of that sée, giuing sentence against
the suffragans which claimed a right to be ioined with the said prior
and moonks in the election, as by a letter directed to the same
suffragans from the said pope it may more plainelie appeare.

[Sidenote: King John repaireth the citie of Angiers.]

After this it chanced that king John remembring himselfe of the
destruction of the citie of Angiers, which (bicause he was descended
from thence) he had before time greatlie loued, began now to repent
him, in that he had destroied it, and therefore with all spéed he tooke
order to haue it againe repaired, which was doone in most beautifull
wise, to his great cost and expenses, which he might haue saued, had
not his foolish rashnesse driuen him to attempt that, whereof vpon
sober aduisement afterwards he was ashamed. But what will not an
ordinarie man doo in the full tide of his furie; much more princes
& great men, whose anger is resembled to the roring of a lion, euen
vpon light occasions oftentimes, to satisfie their vnbrideled and
brainesicke affections, which carrie them with a swift and full streame
into such follies and dotages as are vndecent for their degrées. Hereto
assenteth the poet, saieng,

[Sidenote: _Mal. Pal. in suo cap._]

    ----magni regésque ducésque
    Delirant sæpe, & vitiorum peste laborant,
    Stultitijsque suis sæpe vrbes exitio dant,
    Imperiúmque sibi miserorum cæde lucrantur.

[Sidenote: _1207._]

[Sidenote: A tax leuied.]

[Sidenote: The archbishop of Yorke stealeth out of the realme.]

[Sidenote: A mightie tempest.]

Moreouer, in this yeare about Candlemasse, the K. caused the 13
part of euerie mans goods, as well of the spiritualtie, as of the
temporaltie, to be leuied and gathered to his vse, all men murmuring
at such dooings, but none being so hardie as to gainesaie the kings
pleasure, except onelie Geffrey the archbishop of Yorke, who therevpon
departing secretlie out of the realme, accursed all those that laid any
hands to the collection of that paiment, within his archbishoprike of
Yorke. Also vpon the 17 of Januarie then last past, about the middest
of the night, there rose such a tempest of wind vpon a sudden, that
manie houses were ouerthrowne therewith, and shéepe and other cattell
destroied and buried in the drifts of snow, which as then laie verie
déepe euerie where vpon the ground.

[Sidenote: The emperor Otho c[=o]meth into England.]

[Sidenote: Fiue thousand marks of siluer, as _Matth. West._ and _Matth.
Paruus_ doo write.]

This order of frier Minors began about this time, and increased
maruellouslie within a short season. And the emperour Otho came ouer
into England in this yeare, where he was most roiallie receiued by king
John, who taking councell with the said emperour to renew the warre
against the French king (bicause he was promised great aid at his hands
for the furnishing of the same) gaue vnto him at his departing foorth
of the realme, great summes of monie in hand towards the paiment of
such souldiers as he should leuie for this businesse.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 9.]

[Sidenote: Stephan Langton chosen archbishop of Canturburie by y^e
popes appointment.]

In the meane while, the strife depended still in the court of Rome
betwixt the two elected archbishops of Canturburie, Reginald and
John. But after the pope was fullie informed of the manner of their
elections, he disannulled them both, and procured by his papall
authoritie the moonks of Canturburie (of whome manie were then come to
Rome about that matter) to choose one Stephan Langton the cardinall of
S. Chrysogon an Englishman borne, and of good estimation and learning
in the court of Rome to be their archbishop. The moonks at the first
were loth to consent thereto, alledging that they might not lawfullie
doo it without consent of their king, and of their couent.

But the pope as it were taking the word out of their mouths, said vnto
them, "Doo yée not consider that we haue full authoritie and power in
the church of Canturburie: neither is the assent of kings or princes
to be looked for vpon elections celebrated in the presence of the
apostolike sée. Wherefore I command you by vertue of your obedience,
and vpon paine of curssing, that you being such and so manie here as
are sufficient for the election, to choose him to your archbishop,
whome I shall appoint to you for father and pastor of your soules." The
moonks doubting to offend the pope, consented all of them to gratifie
him, except Helias de Brantfield, who refused. And so the foresaid
Stephan Langton being elected of them, was confirmed of the pope, who
signified by letters the whole state therof to king John, commending
the said Stephan as archbishop vnto him.

[Sidenote: The moonks of Canturburie banished.]

[Sidenote: King John writeth to the pope.]

[Sidenote: How gainfull England was to the court of Rome.]

The king sore offended in his mind that the bishop of Norwich was
thus put beside that dignitie, to the which he had aduanced him,
caused foorthwith all the goods of the moonks of Canturburie to be
confiscate to his vse, and after banished them the relme, as well I
meane those at home, as those that were at Rome, and herewith wrote his
letters vnto the pope, giuing him to vnderstand for answer, "that he
would neuer consent that Stephan which had béene brought vp & alwaies
conuersant with his enimies the Frenchmen, should now enioy the rule
of the bishoprike and dioces of Canturburie. Moreouer, he declared in
the same letters, that he maruelled not a little what the pope ment,
in that he did not consider how necessarie the fréendship of the king
of England was to the sée of Rome, sith there came more gains to the
Romane church out of that kingdome, than out of any other realme on
this side the mountaines. He added hereto, that for the liberties of
his crowne he would stand to the death, if the matter so required.
And as for the election of the bishop of Norwich vnto the sée of
Canturburie, sith it was profitable to him and to his realme, he meant
not to release it.

"Moreouer, he declared that if he might not be heard and haue his
mind, he would suerlie restraine the passages out of this realme, that
none should go to Rome, least his land should be so emptied of monie
and treasure, that he should want sufficient abilitie to beat backe
and expell his enimies that might attempt inuasion against the same.
Lastlie of all he concluded, sith the archbishops, bishops, abbats,
and other ecclesiasticall persons, as well of his realme of England,
as of other his lands and dominions, were sufficientlie furnished with
knowledge, that he would not go for anie néed that should driue him
thereto, to séeke iustice or iudgement at the prescript of any forren

[Sidenote: The popes answer vnto the king.]

The pope greatlie maruelling hereat, wrote againe to the king,
requiring him to absteine from the spoiling of those men that were
priuileged by the canons of the church, "that he would place the moonks
againe in their house and possessions, and receiue the archbishop
canonicallie elected and confirmed, the which for his learning and
knowledge, as well in the liberall sciences, as in holy scripture,
was thought worthie to be admitted to a prebend in Paris: and what
estimation he himselfe had of him it appeared, in that he had written
to him thrice since he was made cardinall, declaring that although he
was minded to call him to his seruice, yet he was glad that he was
promoted to an higher roome; adding further, how there was good cause
that he should haue consideration of him, bicause he was borne within
his land, of father and mother that were his faithfull subiects, and
for that he had a prebend in the church of Yorke, which was greater
and of more dignitie than that he had in Paris. Whereby not onelie by
reason of flesh and bloud, but also by hauing ecclesiasticall dignitie
and office, it could not be but that he loued him and his realme with
sincere affection."

Manie other reasons the pope alledged in his letters to king John, to
haue persuaded him to the allowing of the election of Stephan Langton.
But king John was so far from giuing care to the popes admonitions,
that he with more crueltie handled all such, not onelie of the
spiritualtie, but also of the temporaltie, which by any manner means
had aided the forenamed Stephan. The pope being hereof aduertised,
thought good not to suffer such contempt of his authoritie, as he
interpreted it; namelie, in a matter that touched the iniurious
handling of men within orders of the church. Which example might
procure hinderance, not to one priuat person alone, but to the whole
estate of the spiritualtie, which he would not suffer in any wise to be
suppressed. Wherefore he decréed with spéed to deuise remedie against
that large increasing mischéefe. And though there was no spéedier waie
to redresse the same, but by excommunication, yet he would not vse it
at the first towards so mightie a prince, but gaue him libertie and
time to consider his offense and trespasse so committed.

[Sidenote: Bailiffes of London discharged and committed to ward.]

¶ These things being brought to this issue, the further narration of
them shall staie for a time, till I haue told you of a little trouble
which about this time happened in London. For vpon the seauenth of
June, the bailiffes of London, Roger Winchester and Edmund Hardell
were discharged, and Serle the mercer and Hugh of saint Albons chosen
in their roomes. The two former bailiffes were discharged and commited
to prison by the kings commandement, vpon displeasure taken against
them bicause they had resisted his purueier of wheat, and would not
suffer him to conueie anie of that kind of graine out of the citie,
till the citie was stored. The thirtie and fiue rulers of the citie,
hauing fulfilled the kings commandement to them directed for the
discharging of those bailiffes, and imprisoning them, did after take
aduice thither, and appointed a certeine number of themselues with
other to ride vnto the king, as then being at Langley, to obteine
pardon for the said bailiffes, and so comming togither, they made such
excuse in the matter, shewing further, that at the same season there
was such scarsitie of wheat in the citie, that the common people were
at point to haue made an insurrection about the same. By which means,
and through fréendship which they had in the court, the king was so
satisfied, that he released them from prison, and pardoned their

[Sidenote: The birth of king Henrie the third.]

[Sidenote: _N. Triuet._]

[Sidenote: _1208._]

[Sidenote: The pope writeth to the bishops.]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Nic. Triuet._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

Also vpon the first of October, Henrie the sonne of king John, begotten
of his wife quéene Isabell, was borne at Winchester, who after
succéeded his father in the kingdome. But now againe to our purpose.
The pope perceiuing that king John continued still in his former
mind (which he called obstinacie) sent ouer his bulles into England,
directed to William bishop of London, to Eustace bishop of Elie, and
to Mauger bishop of Worcester, commanding them that vnlesse king John
would suffer peaceablie the archbishop of Canturburie to occupie his
sée, and his moonks their abbie, they should put both him and his
land vnder the sentence of interdiction, denouncing him and his land
plainelie accurssed. And further he wrote expresse letters vnto all the
suffragans of the church of Canturburie, that they should by vertue of
their obedience, which they owght to the apostolike sée, receiue and
obeie the archbishop Stephan for their father and metropolitane.

[Sidenote: Romans, that is such chapleines strangers as belonged to the

These bishops with other to them associate, made instant request and
suit to the king for the obseruing of the popes commandement, and to
eschew the censures of the church, but that was in vaine: for the king
in a great rage sware, that if either they or any other presumed to put
his land vnder interdiction, he would incontinentlie therevpon send
all the prelats within the realme out of the same vnto the pope, and
seize all their goods vnto his owne vse. And further he added, that
what Romans soeuer he found within the precinct of any his dominions,
he would put out their eies, and slit their noses, and so send them
packing to Rome, that by such marks they might be knowne from all other
nations of the world. And herewith he commanded the bishops to packe
out of his sight, if they loued their owne health and preseruation.

[Sidenote: The mondaie in the passion wéeke saith _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: The king and realme put vnder the popes curse.]

Herevpon the said bishops departed, and according to the popes
commission to them sent, vpon the euen of the Annuntiation of our
Ladie, denounced both the king and the realme of England accursed, and
furthermore caused the doores of churches to be closed vp, and all
other places where diuine seruice was accustomed to be vsed, first at
London, and after in all other places where they came. Then perceiuing
that the K. ment not to stoope for all this which they had doone, but
rather sought to be reuenged vpon them, they fled the realme, and got
them ouer vnto Stephan the archbishop of Canturburie, to wit, William
bishop of London, Eustace bishop of Elie, Malger bishop of Worcester,
Joceline bishop of Bath, and Giles bishop of Hereford.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 10.]

[Sidenote: The dealing of the king after the interdiction was

The king taking this matter in verie great displeasure, seized vpon all
their temporalties, and conuerted the same to his vse, and persecuted
such other of the prelacie as he knew to fauour their dooings,
banishing them the realme, and seizing their goods also into his hands.
Howbeit the most part of the prelats wiselie prouided for themselues
in this point, so that they would not depart out of their houses,
except they were compelled by force, which when the kings officers
perceiued, they suffered them to remaine still in their abbies, and
other habitations, bicause they had no commission to vse any violence
in expelling them. But their goods they did confiscat to the kings vse,
allowing them onelie meat and drinke, and that verie barelie in respect
of their former allowance.

[Sidenote: An heauie time for churchmen.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

¶ It was a miserable time now for préests and churchmen, which were
spoiled on euerie hand, without finding remedie against those that
offered them wrong. It is reported that in the borders of Wales,
the officers of a shiriffe brought before the king a fellow which
had robbed and slaine a préest, desiring to vnderstand his pleasure
what should be doone with that offender: vnto whom the king made this
answer, "He hath slaine mine enimie, and therefore set him at libertie."

[Sidenote: Lord William de Breuse.]

The king also doubting least the pope should procéed further, and
absolue all his subiects of their allegiance which they owght to him,
and that his lords would happilie reuolt and forsake him in this his
trouble, tooke hostages of them whom he most suspected. And as the
messengers, which were sent abroad for that purpose, came vnto the lord
William de Breuse, requiring to haue his sonnes for the said purpose,
his wife (like a quick and hastie dame) taking the word out of hir
husbands mouth, made this round answer, "that she would not deliuer hir
sonnes vnto king John, who alreadie had slaine his owne nephue Arthur,
whome he ought rather honourablie to haue loued and preserued." These
words being signified vnto the king, set him in such an heat against
hir husband (though he rebuked hir sharpelie for the same) that the
said lord was glad togither with his wife and children to flée out of
the realme into Ireland for safegard of their liues.

[Sidenote: Lond[=o]n Bridge repaired.]

Whereas before this time London bridge was made of timber, and was
ruled, guided, & repaired by a fraternitie or colledge of préests; this
yéere by great aid of the citizens of London and others passing that
waie, the same bridge was begun to be made of stone. And in the same
yeare S. Marie Oueries in Southwarke was begun to be repaired. The
same yeare also, the citizens of London made such suit vnto the king,
that he granted vnto them by his letters patents, licence to choose to
themselues a maior, and two shiriffes euerie yeare. After which grant
vnto them confirmed, they chose for their maior Henrie Fitz Alwin, who
was sworne and charged at that present maior of that citie, vpon the
day of saint Michaell the archangell, in the said tenth yeare of king
John his reigne. On the same day and yeare, were Peter Duke & Thomas
Nele sworne for shiriffes. Thus the name of bailiffes from thenceforth
was clearelie extinguished.

[Sidenote: _John Stow._]

But here yée haue to vnderstand, that this Henrie Fitz Alwin had béene
maior of London long before this time, euen from the first yeare of
king Richard (as John Stow hath gathered out of ancient instruments and
records) vnto this present tenth yeare of king John, and now vpon grant
made to the citizens, that it should be lawfull for them to choose
euerie yeare a maior, and two shiriffes, for the better gouernment of
their citie, the said Henrie Fitz Alwin was newlie by them elected, and
likewise afterwards from yeare to yeare, till he departed this life,
which chanced in the yeare 1213, and fiftéenth of king Johns reigne, so
that he continued maior of the same citie of London, by the terme of
twentie and foure yeares.

[Sidenote: The signification of this word Maire.]

[Sidenote: _Wulf. Laz._]

[Sidenote: _Berosus._]

¶ Now therefore bicause it appeareth here how the gouernors of the
citie of London had their names altered for their greater honour, and
the state of gouernment thereby partlie changed, or rather confirmed;
I haue thought good (though verie bréefelie) to touch somewhat the
signification of this word Maire, before I procéed any further with
the rest of this historie. The ancient inhabitants of Franconia,
or Frankenland, from whome the Frenchmen are descended, and their
neighbors the old Saxons, of whom the Englishmen haue their originall,
being people of Germanie, and descended (as Berosus seith) of the old
Hebrues, haue reteined manie Hebrue words, either from the beginning,
or else borowed them abroad in other regions which they conquered,
passing by force of armes through a great part of the world. For no
doubt, by conuersation with those people whom they subdued, they
brought home into their owne countrie and toong manie borowed words, so
that their language hath no small store of them fetched out of sundrie
strange toongs.

Now among other old words remaining in their toong, this word Mar
was one, which in Hebrue signifieth Dominus, (that is to saie, lord)
but pronounced now somewhat corruptlie Maire. So as it is to be
supposed, hereof it came to passe that the head officer and lieutenant
to the prince, as well in London as in other cities and townes of the
realme, are called by that name of maior, though in the cities of
London and Yorke, for an augmentation of honour by an ancient custome
(through ignorance what the title of maire dooth signifie) they haue
an addition, and are intituled by the name of lord maire, where Maire
simplie pronounced of it selfe, signifieth no lesse than lord, without
any such addition. Thus much for the name of Maire. And now to procéed.

[Sidenote: _1209._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The eschequer remoued.]

King John holding his Christmasse this yeare at Bristow, set foorth a
commandement, whereby he restreined the taking of wild foule. About
the same time, Henrie duke of Suaben came into England from the
emperour Otho, and receiving no small portion of monie of the king,
departed backe into his owne countrie againe. In the vigil of the
Epiphanie also, the kings second sonne was borne, and named Richard
after his vncles name. And the court of the eschequer was remoued from
Westminster vnto Northampton. Moreouer in the same yeare, Walter Gray
was made lord chancellour, who in all thing studied to satisfie the
kings will and purpose, for the which he incurred great indignation of
the cleargie, and other that fauoured not the procéedings of the king.

¶ It was suerlie a rufull thing to consider the estate of this realme
at that present, when as the king neither trusted his péeres, neither
the nobilitie fauoured the king; no, there were verie few that trusted
one another, but ech one hid & hourded vp his wealth, looking dailie
when another should come and enter vpon the spoile. The communaltie
also grew into factions, some fauouring, & some cursing the king,
as they bare affection. The cleargie was likewise at dissention, so
that nothing preuailed but malice and spite, which brought foorth and
spred abroad the fruits of disobedience to all good lawes and orders,
greatlie to the disquieting of the whole state. So that herein we haue
a perfect view of the perplexed state of princes, chéeflie when they
are ouerswaied with forren & prophane power, and not able to assure
themselues of their subiects allegiance and loialtie. Whereto this
clause alludeth,

[Sidenote: _M. Pal. in suo Leo._]

    ----cruciat comes improbus ipsos
    Assidui metus atque timor, suspectáque ijsdem
    Omnia sunt: hinc insidias, hinc dira venena
    Concipiunt, soli nec possunt ire nec audent,
    Nec sine fas illis prægustatore comesse.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 11.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: A new oth of allegiance.]

[Sidenote: Alexander K. of Scots.]

King John notwithstanding that the realme was thus wholie interdicted
and vexed, so that no préests could be found to saie seruice in
churches or chapels, made no great account thereof as touching any
offense towards God or the pope: but rather mistrusting the hollow
hearts of his people, he tooke a new oth of them for their faithfull
allegiance, and immediatlie therevpon assembled an armie to go against
Alexander king of Scots, vnto whome (as he had heard) diuerse of the
nobilitie of this realme were fled, which Alexander was the second of
that name that had ruled the Scots, and latelie before was entred into
the rule as lawfull successor to the crowne of Scotland, by the death
of his father K. William.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The white moonks.]

In this meane while also Stephan archbishop of Canturburie lamenting
(as some haue reported) the state of his natiue countrie, and yet not
minding to giue ouer his hold, obteined of pope Innocent, that vpon
certeine dais it might be lawfull for an appointed number of préests
within the realme of England, to celebrate diuine seruice, that is
to say, for those of conuentuall churches once in the wéeke. But the
moonks of the white order were forbidden to vse that priuilege, bicause
in the beginning of the interdiction they had at the appointment of
their principall abbat presumed to celebrate the sacraments without the
popes consent or knowledge.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Alexander K. of Scots compoundeth for peace with king John.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

In like maner on the other side, king John hauing his armie in a
readinesse, hasted foorth towards the borders of Scotland, and comming
to the castell of Norham, prepared to inuade the Scots. But king
Alexander wanting power to giue him battell, sought to come vnto
some fréendlie agréement with him, and so by counsell of his lords,
casting off his armour, he came to the king, and for a great summe of
gold (or 11 thousand marks of siluer as some write) with much adoo he
purchased peace, deliuering two of his daughters in hostage for more
assurance of his dealing. Wherevpon king John, after his returne from
Norham, which was about the 24 of June, shewed himselfe not a little
displeased with those of the nobilitie, which had refused to attend
vpon him in that iournie, hauing receiued streit commandement from him
to attend vpon him at that time. Certes the cause why they refused to
follow him, was euident, as they said, in that they knew him to stand
accursed by the pope. About the same time also, when corne began to
wax ripe, to reuenge himselfe of them that had refused to go with him
in that iournie, he caused the pales of all the parks & forrests which
he had within his realme to be throwne downe, & the diches to be made
plaine, that the déere breaking out and ranging abroad in the corne
fields, might destroie & eat vp the same before it could be ripened,
for which act (if it were so in déed) manie a bitter cursse procéeded
from the mouths of the poore husbandmen towards the kings person, and
not vnworthilie. Moreouer in this season the Welshmen (which thing had
not béene séene afore time) came vnto Woodstoke, and there did homage
vnto the king, although the same was chargeable, aswell to the rich as
the poore so to come out of their countrie.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: A murther at Oxford.]

[Sidenote: Thrée thousand as saith _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Oxford forsaken of the scholers.]

[Sidenote: Hugh archdeacon of Welles made bishop of Lincolne.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

About the same time also, it chanced that a préest slue a woman at
Oxford, and when the kings officers could not find him that had
committed the murther, they apprehended thrée other préests not guiltie
of the fact, and streightway hanged them vp without iudgement. With
which crueltie others of the Vniuersitie being put in feare, departed
thence in great numbers, and came not thither againe of a long time
after, some of them repairing to Cambridge, and some to Reading to
applie their studies in those places, leauing Oxford void. The same
yeare one Hugh archdeacon of Welles, and kéeper of the kings great
seale, was nominated bishop of Lincolne; and herewithall he craued
licence to go ouer into France vnto the archbishop of Rouen, that
he might be consecrated of him. Wherewith the king was contented
and gladlie gaue him leaue, who no sooner got ouer into Normandie,
but he streight tooke the high waie to Rome, and there receiued his
consecration of Stephan archbishop of Canturburie. Now when the king
vnderstood this matter, and saw the dulnesse of the bishop, he was in
a wonderfull chafe toward him, and thervpon made port-sale of all his
goods, and receiued the profit of the reuenues belonging to the sée of
Lincolne for his own vse.

[Sidenote: Cementarius.]

¶ There liued in those daies a diuine named Alexander Cementarius,
surnamed Theologus, who by his preaching incensed the king greatlie
vnto all crueltie (as the moonks and friers saie) against his
subiects, affirming that the generall scourge wherewith the people
were afflicted, chanced not through the princes fault, but for the
wickednesse of his people, for the king was but the rod of the Lords
wrath, and to this end a prince was ordeined, that he might rule the
people with a rod of iron, and breake them as an earthen vessell, to
chaine the mighty in fetters, & the noble men in iron manacles. He
did sée (as it should séeme) the euill disposed humors of the people
concerning their dutifull obedience which they ought to haue borne
to their naturall prince king John, and therefore as a doctrine most
necessarie in that dangerous time, he taught the people how they were
by Gods lawes bound in dutie to obeie their lawfull prince, and not
through any wicked persuasion of busie heads and lewd discoursers, to
be carried away to forget their loiall allegiance, and so to fall into
the damnable sinke of rebellion.

He went about also to prooue with likelie arguments, that it
apperteined not to the pope, to haue to doo concerning the temporall
possessions of any kings or other potentats touching the rule and
gouernment of their subiects, sith no power was granted to Peter (the
speciall and chéefe of the apostles of the Lord) but onlie touching
the church, and matters apperteining therevnto. By such doctrine of
him set foorth, he wan in such wise the kings fauour, that he obteined
manie great preferments at the kings hands, and was abbat of saint
Austines in Canturburie: but at length, when his manners were notified
to the pope, he tooke such order for him, that he was despoiled of all
his goods and benefices, so that afterwards he was driuen in great
miserie to beg his bread from doore to doore, as some write. This did
he procure to himselfe by telling the trueth against that beast, whose
hornes were pricking at euerie christian prince, that he might set
himselfe in a seat of supremasie aboue all principalities: so that we
may saie,

    In audaces non est audacia tuta.

[Sidenote: _1210._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Jewes taxed.]

[Sidenote: A Jew hath his téeth drawne out.]

Furthermore, about the same time the king taxed the Jewes, and
gréeuouslie tormented and emprisoned them, bicause diuers of them would
not willinglie pay the summes that they were taxed at. Amongst other,
there was one of them at Bristow, which would not consent to giue anie
fine for his deliuerance: wherefore by the kings commandement he was
put vnto this penance, that euerie daie, till he would agrée to giue to
the king those ten thousand marks that he was seized at, he should haue
one of his téeth plucked out of his head. By the space of seauen daies
togither he stood stedfast, loosing euerie of those daies a tooth,
but on the eight day, when he should come to haue the eight tooth and
the last (for he had but eight in all) drawne out, he paid the monie
to saue that one, who with more wisedome and lesse paine might haue
doone so before, and haue saued his seauen téeth, which he lost with
such torments, for those homelie toothdrawers vsed no great cunning in
plucking them foorth (as may be coniectured.)

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 12.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: King John passeth ouer into Ireland.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Walter de Lacie.]

[Sidenote: The Ladie de Breuse & hir sonne taken.]

Whilest king John was thus occupied, newes came to him, that the Irish
rebels made foule worke and sore annoied the English subiects. He
therefore assembling a mightie armie, imbarked at Penbroke in Wales,
and so hasting towards Ireland, arriued there the twentie fiue of Maie,
and brought the people in such feare immediatlie vpon his arriuall,
that all those that inhabited vpon the sea coasts in the champaine
countries, came in, and yéelded themselues, receiuing an oth to be
true and faithfull vnto him. There were twentie of the chéefest rulers
within Ireland, which came to the king at his comming to Dublin, and
there did to him homage and fealtie as apperteined. The king at the
same time ordeined also, that the English lawes should be vsed in that
land, and appointed shiriffes and other officers to haue the order of
the countrie, to rule the same according to the English ordinances.
After this, he marched forward into the land, and tooke diuerse
fortresses and strong holds of his enimies, which fled before him, for
feare to be apprehended as Walter de Lacie and manie other. At length,
comming into the countrie of Meth, he besieged a castell, wherein
the wife of William de Breuse, and hir sonne named also William were
inclosed, but they found means to escape before the castell was woone,
though afterward they were taken in the Ile of Man, and sent by the
king into England, where they were so straitlie kept within the castell
of Windsor, that (as the fame went) they were famished to death.

[Sidenote: A present of white kine.]

[Sidenote: He himselfe escapeth.]

¶ We read in an old historie of Flanders, written by one whose name
is not knowne, but printed at Lions by Guillaume Rouille, in the
yeare 1562, that the said ladie, wife to the lord William de Breuse,
presented vpon a time vnto the quéene of England, a gift of foure
hundred kine, and one bull, of colour all white, the eares excepted,
which were red. Although this tale may séeme incredible, yet if we
shall consider that the said Breuse was a lord marcher, and had goodlie
possessions in Wales, and on the marshes, in which countries the most
part of the peoples substance consisteth in cattell, it may carrie with
it the more likelihood of truth. And suerlie the same author writeth
of the iournie made this yeare into Ireland, so sensiblie, and namelie
touching the manners of the Irish, that he séemeth to haue had good
informations, sauing that he misseth in the names of men and places,
which is a fault in maner common to all forreine writers. Touching the
death of the said ladie, he saith, that within eleuen daies after she
was committed to prison héere in England, she was found dead, sitting
betwixt hir sonnes legs, who likewise being dead, sate directlie vp
against a wall of the chamber, wherein they were kept with hard
pitance (as writers doo report.) William the father escaped, and got
away into France.

[Sidenote: The bishop of Norwich lord lieutenant of Ireland.]

[Sidenote: Irish monie reformed.]

[Sidenote: The king returneth into England.]

Thus the more part of the Irish people being brought vnder, he
appointed John Gray the bishop of Norwich, to be his deputie there,
remoouing out of that office Hugh Lacie, which bare great rule in that
quarter before. The bishop then being appointed deputie and chéefe
iustice of Ireland, reformed the coine there, causing the same to be
made of like weight and finenesse to the English coine, so that the
Irish monie was currant, as well in England, as in Ireland, being of
the like weight, forme, and finenesse to the English. Moreouer, those
that inhabited the wood-countries and the mounteine places, though they
would not as then submit themselues, he would not at that time further
pursue, bicause winter was at hand, which in that countrie approcheth
timelie in the yeare. Hauing thus subdued the more part of all Ireland,
and ordred things there at his pleasure, he tooke the sea againe with
much triumph, and landed in England about the thirtith day of August.

[Sidenote: An assemblie of the prelats at London.]

[Sidenote: A tax leuied.]

From hence he made hast to London, and at his comming thither, tooke
counsell how to recouer the great charges and expenses that he had
béene at in this iournie, and by the aduise of William Brewer, Robert
de Turnham, Reignold de Cornhill, and Richard de Marish, he caused
all the chéefe prelats of England to assemble before him at S. Brides
in London. So that thither came all the abbats, abbesses, templers,
hospitallers, kéepers of farmes and possessions of the order of
Clugnie, and other such forreners as had lands within this realme
belonging to their houses. All which were constreined to paie such
a gréeuous tax, that the whole amounted to the summe of an hundred
thousand pounds. The moonks of the Cisteaux order, otherwise called
white moonks, were constreined to paie 40 thousand pounds of siluer
at this time, all their priuileges to the contrarie notwithstanding.
Moreouer, the abbats of that order might not get licence to go their
generall chapter that yéere, which yéerelie was vsed to be holden,
least their complaint should mooue all the world against the king, for
his too hard and seuere handling of them.

[Sidenote: _1211._]

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 13.]

[Sidenote: King John goeth into Wales with an armie.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: White church I thinke.]

[Sidenote: Pandulph & Durant the popes legats.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

In the summer following, about the 18 day of Julie, king John with a
mightie armie went into Wales, and passing foorth into the inner parts
of the countrie, he came into Snowdon, beating downe all that came
in his way, so that he subdued all the rulers and princes, without
contradiction. And to be the better assured for their subiection in
time following, he tooke pledges of them, to the number of 28, & so
returned to Album Monasterium on the daie of the Assumption of our
ladie, from whence he first set foorth into the Welsh confines. In
the same yeare also, the pope sent two legats into England, the one
named Pandulph a lawier, and the other Durant a templer, who comming
vnto king John, exhorted him with manie terrible words to leaue his
stubborne disobedience to the church, and to reforme his misdooings.
The king for his part quietlie heard them, and bringing them to
Northampton, being not fare distant from the place where he met them
vpon his returne foorth of Wales had much conference with them; but at
length, when they perceiued that they could not haue their purpose,
neither for restitution of the goods belonging to préests which he
had seized vpon, neither of those that apperteined to certeine other
persons, which the king had gotten also into his hands, by meanes of
the controuersie betwixt him and the pope the legats departed, leauing
him accursed, and the land interdicted, as they found it at their

[Sidenote: _Fabian._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

¶ Touching the maner of this interdiction there haue béene diuerse
opinions, some haue said, that the land was interdicted throughlie,
and the churches and houses of religion closed vp, that no where was
anie diuine seruice vsed: but it was not so streit, for there were
diuerse places occupied with diuine seruice all that time, by certeine
priuiledges purchased either then or before. Children were also
christened, and men houseled and annoiled through all the land, except
such as were in the bill of excommunication by name expressed. But to
our purpose.

[Sidenote: Reginald erle of Bullongne.]

King John, after that the legats were returned toward Rome againe,
punished diuerse of those persons which had refused to go with him
into Wales, in like maner as he had doone those that refused to go
with him into Scotland: he tooke now of ech of them for euerie knights
fée two marks of siluer, as before is recited. About the same time
also, Reginald earle of Bullongne being accursed in like maner as king
John was, for certeine oppressions doone to poore men, and namelie to
certeine préests, fled ouer into England, bicause the French king had
banished him out of France.

[Sidenote: The like league was made in the same first yeare of king
John betwixt him & Ferdinando earle of Flanders.]

The chéefest cause of the French kings displeasure towards this earle,
may séeme to procéed of the amitie and league which was concluded
betwixt king John, and the said earle, in the first yeare of the said
king's reigne, whereby they bound themselues either to other, not
to make anie peace, or to take anie truce with the king of France,
without either others consent first thereto had, and that if after anie
agréement taken betwixt them and the king of France, he should chance
to make warre against either of them, then should the other aid and
assist him, against whom such ware should be made, to the vttermost of
his power.

This league was accorded to remaine for euer betwixt them and their
heires, with suerties sworne on either part: and for the king of
England, these, whose names insue, William Marshall earle of Penbroke,
Ranulfe earle of Chester, Robert earle of Leicester, Baldwine earle
of Albemarle, William earle of Arundell, Ralfe earle of Augi, Robert
de Mellet, Hugh de Gourney, William de Kaeu, Geffrey de Cella, Roger
conestable of Chester, Ralfe Fitz Water, William de Albanie, Robert de
Ros, Richard de Montfichet, Roger de Thoney, Saer de Quincie, William
de Montchenise, Peter de Pratellis, William de Poole aliàs de Stagno,
Adam de Port, Robert de Turneham, William Mallet, Eustace de Vescie,
Peter de Brus, William de Presennie, Hubert de Burgh, William de
Mansey, and Peter Sauenie. For the earle, these were suerties, Anselme
de Kaeu, Guy Lieschans, Ralfe the said earles brother, &c. But now to

After that the earle of Bullongne was expelled out of France (as before
ye haue heard) he came ouer to king John, and was of him ioifullie
receiued, hauing thrée hundred pounds of reuenues in land to him
assigned within England, for the which he did homage and fealtie vnto
him. Shortlie after this also, died William de Breuse the elder,
which fled from the face of king John out of Ireland into France, and
departing this life at Corbell, was buried at Paris in the abbeie of S.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

In the meane time pope Innocent, after the returne of his legats out
of England, perceiuing that king John would not be ordered by him,
determined with the consent of his cardinals and other councellours,
and also at the instant suit of the English bishops and other prelats
being there with him, to depriue king John of his kinglie state, and so
first absolued all his subiects and vassals of their oths of allegiance
made vnto the same king, and after depriued him by solemne protestation
of his kinglie administration and dignitie, and lastlie signified that
his depriuation vnto the French king and other christian princes,
admonishing them to pursue king John, being thus depriued, forsaken,
and condemned as a common enimie to God and his church. He ordeined
furthermore, that whosoeuer imploied goods or other aid to vanquish and
ouercome that disobedient prince, should remaine in assured peace of
the church, as well as those which went to visit the sepulchre of our
Lord, not onlie in their goods and persons, but also in suffrages for
sauing of their soules.

[Sidenote: P[=a]ndulph sent into France to practise with the fr[=e]nch
king, for king John his destruction.]

But yet that it might appeare to all men, that nothing could be
more ioifull vnto his holinesse, than to haue king John to repent
his trespasses committed, and to aske forgiuenesse for the same, he
appointed Pandulph, which latelie before was returned to Rome, with
a great number of English exiles, to go into France, togither with
Stephan the archbishop of Canturburie, and the other English bishops,
giuing him in commandement, that repairing vnto the French king, he
should communicate with him all that which he had appointed to be doone
against king John, and to exhort the French king to make warre vpon
him, as a person for his wickednesse excommunicated. Moreouer this
Pandulph was commanded by the pope, if he saw cause, to go ouer into
England, and to deliuer vnto king John such letters as the pope had
written for his better instruction, and to séeke by all means possible
to draw him from his naughtie opinion.

In the meane time, when it was bruted through the realme of England,
that the pope had released the people & absolued them of their oth of
fidelitie to the king, and that he was depriued of his gouernement
by the popes sentence, by little and little a great number both of
souldiers, citizens, burgesses, capteins and conestables of castels,
leauing their charges, & bishops with a great multitude of préests
reuolting from him, and auoiding his companie and presence, secretlie
stale awaie, and got ouer into France.

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The names of the noble men that c[=o]ntinued true vnto K.

Notwithstanding that diuerse in respect of the popes cursse, and
other considerations them mouing, vtterlie refused in this manner to
obeie king John, yet there were manie others that did take his part,
and mainteine his quarell verie earnestlie, as his brother William
earle of Salisburie, Alberike de Véere erle of Oxford, Geffrey Fitz
Peter lord chéefe iustice of England, also thrée bishops, Durham,
Winchester, and Norwich, Richard de Marish lord chancellour, Hugh
Neuill chiefe forrester, William de Wrothing lord warden of the
ports, Robert Veipount and his brother Yuan, Brian de Lisle, Geffrey
de Lucie, Hugh Ballioll, and his brother Barnard, William de Cantlow
and his son William Fulke de Cantlow, Reginald de Cornehull shiriffe
of Kent, Robert Braibrooke and his son Harrie, Philip de Louecotes,
John de Bassingborne, Philip March, Chatelaine of Notingham, Peter de
Maulley, Robert de Gaugy, Gerard de Athie and his nephue Ingelrand,
William Brewer, Peter Fitz Hubert, Thomas Basset, and Foulks de
Briant a Norman, with many other, too long here to rehearse, who as
fautors and councellors vnto him, sought to defend him in all causes,
notwithstanding the censures of the church so cruellie pronounced
against him; knowing that they were bound in conscience to sticke to
him, now speciallie in this general apostasie of his péeres and people.
For they were opinioned, that it was

[Sidenote: _Ouid. lib. 2. de Pont._]

    Turpe referre pedem, nec passu stare tenaci,
      Turpe laborantem deseruisse ratem.

[Sidenote: _1212._]

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

The same yeare king John held his Christmasse at Windsor, and in the
Lent following, on midlent sundaie being at London, he honoured the
lord Alexander sonne and heire to the king of Scots, with the high
order of knighthood. And (as I find it mentioned by some writers)
wheras he vnderstood how there were diuerse in Scotland, that
contemning their naturall lord and king by reason of his great age,
king John went thither with an armie to represse the rebels, and being
come thither, he sent his men of war into the inner parts of the
country, who scowring the coasts, took Guthred Macwilliam capteine of
them that moued sedition, whom king John caused to be hanged on a paire
of gallowes. This Guthred was descended of the line of the ancient
Scotish kings, and being assisted with the Irishmen and Scots that
fauoured not the race of the kings that presentlie reigned, wrought
them much trouble, as his father (named Donald) had doone before him,
sometime secretlie vnder hand, and sometime againe by way of open

[Sidenote: The Welshmen mooue rebellion.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 14.]

[Sidenote: King John hangeth the Welsh pledges.]

Shortlie after, the Welshmen began to sturre also, who rushing out of
their owne confines, fell vpon their next neighbours within the English
marshes, wasted the countrie, and ouerthrew diuerse castels flat to the
ground. Whereof the king hauing knowledge, assembled a mightie armie
out of hand, and comming to Notingham, he hanged vp the Welsh hostages
which the last yeare he had receiued, to the number of eight and
twentie yoong striplings. And by reason he was now set in a maruellous
chafe, he roughlie procéeded against all those whom he knew not to
fauor his case: some he discharged of their offices, other he depriued
of their capteineships and other roomes, & reuoked certeine priuileges
& immunities granted to moonks, préests, & men of religion.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: King John breaketh vp his armie.]

Furthermore, hauing his armie readie to passe on into Wales, he
receiued letters the same time, both from the king of Scots, and from
his daughter the wife of Leoline prince of Wales, conteining in effect
the aduertisement of one matter, which was to let him know, that if he
procéeded on his iournie, he should either through treason be slaine of
his owne lords, or else be deliuered to be destroied of his enimies.
The king iudging no lesse, but that the tenor of the letters conteined
a truth, brake vp his armie and returned to London. From whence he
sent messengers vnto all such lords as he suspected, commanding them
to send vnto him hostages for more assurance of their fidelities. The
lords durst not disobeie his commandement, but sent their sons, their
nephues, and other their kinsmen, accordinglie as he required, and so
his rancour was appeased for a time. But Eustace de Vescie, Robert Fitz
Walter, and Stephan Ridell, being accused and suspected of the K. for
the said treason, were glad to flée the realme, Vescie departing into
Scotland, and the other two into France.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]

[Sidenote: Saint Marie Oueries burnt.]

[Sidenote: _1213._]

[Sidenote: The deceasse of Geffrey the archbishop of Yorke.]

The same yeare, the church of S. Marie Oueries, and all the building
vpon London bridge on both sides the same, were consumed with fire,
which was iudged to be a signification of some mishap to follow. The
king held his Christmasse this yeare at Westminster, with no great
traine of knights about him. About the same time Geffrey archbishop of
Yorke departed this life, after he had remained in exile about a seauen
yeares. But now to returne againe to the practises of the popes legats.

[Sidenote: The French king prepared to inuade England.]

Ye shall vnderstand, the French king being requested by Pandulph
the popes legat, to take the warre in hand against king John, was
easilie persuaded thereto of an inward hatred that he bare vnto our
king, and therevpon with all diligence made his prouision of men,
ships, munition and vittell, in purpose to passe ouer into England:
and now was his nauie readie rigged at the mouth of Saine, and he in
greatest forwardnesse, to take his iournie. When Pandulph vpon good
considerations thought first to go eftsoones, or at the least wise
to send into England, before the French armie should land there, and
to assaie once againe, if he might induce the king to shew himselfe
reformable vnto the popes pleasure: king John hauing knowledge of the
French kings purpose and ordinance, assembled his people, and lodged
with them alongst by the coast towards France, that he might resist his
enimies, and kéepe them off from landing.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 15.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The great armie which K. John assembled togither.]

[Sidenote: The bishop of Norwich.]

Here writers declare, that he had got togither such an armie of men
out of all the parts of his realme, both of lords, knights, gentlemen,
yeomen, & other of the commons, that notwithstanding all the prouision
of vittels that might possible be recouered, there could not be found
sufficient store to susteine the huge multitude of them that were
gathered alongst the coast, namelie at Douer, Feuersham, Gipsewich, and
other places. Wherevpon the capteins discharged and sent home a great
number of the commons, reteining onelie the men of armes, yeomen, and
fréeholders, with the crossebowes and archers. There came likewise to
the kings aid at the same time, the bishop of Norwich out of Ireland,
bringing with him fiue hundred men of armes, & a great sort of other

To conclude, there was estéemed of able men assembled togither in the
armie on Barhamdowne, what of chosen men of armes, and valient yeomen,
and other armed men, the number of sixtie thousand: so that if they
had béene all of one mind, and well bent towards the seruice of their
king and defense of their countrie, there had not béene a prince in
christendome, but that they might haue béene able to haue defended the
realme of England against him. He had also prouided a nauie of ships
farre stronger than the French kings, readie to fight with them by sea,
if the case had so required.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Two knights of the temple.]

But as he lay thus readie, néere to the coast, to withstand and beat
backe his enimies, there arriued at Douer two Templers, who comming
before the king, declared vnto him that they were sent from Pandulph
the popes legat, who for his profit coueted to talke with him: for
he had (as they affirmed) meanes to propone, whereby he might be
reconciled, both to God and his church, although he were adiudged in
the court of Rome, to haue forfeited all the right which he had to his

[Sidenote: The legat Pandulph c[=o]meth ouer.]

The king vnderstanding the meaning of the messengers sent them backe
againe to bring ouer the legat, who incontinentlie came ouer to Douer,
of whose arriuall when the king was aduertised, he went thither, and
receiued him with all due honour and reuerence. Now after they had
talked togither a little, and courteouslie saluted each other (as the
course of humanitie required) the legat (as it is reported) vttered
these words following.

The sawcie spéech of proud Pandulph the popes lewd legat, to king Iohn,
in the presumptuous popes behalfe.

I doo not thinke that you are ignorant, how pope Innocent, to do that
which to his dutie apperteineth, hath both absolued your subiects of
that oth which they made vnto you at the beginning, and also taken from
you the gouernance of England, according to your deserts, and finallie
giuen commandement vnto certeine princes of Christendome, to expell you
out of this kingdom and to place an other in your roome; so worthilie
to punish you for your disobedience and contempt of religion: and that
Philip king of France, with the first being readie to accomplish the
popes commandement, hath an armie in a readinesse, and with his nauie
newlie decked, rigged and furnished in all points, lieth at the mouth
of the riuer of Saine, looking for a prosperous wind, that as soone as
it commeth about, he may saile therewith hither into England, trusting
(as he saith) with the helpe of your owne people (which neither name
you, nor will take you for their king) to spoile you of your kingdome
with small adoo, and to conquer it at his pleasure, for he hath (as he
sticketh not to protest openlie to the world) a charter made by all the
chéefest lords of England touching their fealtie and obedience assured
to him. Therfore, sith God for your iust desert is wroth with you, and
that you are as euill spoken of by all men, as they that come against
you be well reported, I would aduise you, that whilest there is a place
for grace and fauour, rather to obeie the popes iust demands, to whose
word other Christian princes are readie to giue eare, than by striuing
in vaine to cast awaie your selfe and all others that take your part,
or are bent to defend your quarell or cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: K. John deliuereth his crowne vnto Pandulph.]

These words being thus spoken by the legat, king John as then vtterlie
despairing in his matters, when he saw himselfe constreined to obeie,
was in a great perplexitie of mind, and as one full of thought, looked
about him with a frowning countenance, waieng with himselfe what
counsell were best for him to follow. At length, oppressed with the
burthen of the imminent danger and ruine, against his will, and verie
loth so to haue doone, he promised vpon his oth to stand to the popes
order and decrée. Wherefore shortlie after (in like manner as pope
Innocent had commanded) he tooke the crowne from his owne head, and
deliuered the same to Pandulph the legat, neither he, nor his heires
at anie time thereafter to receiue the same, but at the popes hands.
Vpon this, he promised to receiue Stephan the archbishop of Canturburie
into his fauour, with all other the bishops and banished men, making
vnto them sufficient amends for all iniuries to them doone, and so to
pardon them, that they should not run into any danger, for that they
had rebelled against him.

[Sidenote: Pandulph restoreth the crowne again to the king.]

Then Pandulph kéeping the crowne with him for the space of fiue daies
in token of possession thereof, at length (as the popes vicar) gaue it
him againe. By meanes of this act (saith Polydor) the fame went abroad,
that king John willing to continue the memorie hereof, made himselfe
vassall to pope Innocent, with condition, that his successors should
likewise from thencefoorth acknowledge to haue their right to the same
kingdome from the pope. But those kings that succéeded king John,
haue not observed any such lawes of reconciliation, neither doo the
autentike chronicles of the realme make mention of any such surrender,
so that such articles as were appointed to king John to obserue,
perteined vnto him that had offended, and not to his successors. Thus
saith Polydor.

[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._]

[Sidenote: England became tributarie to the pope.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

Howbeit, Ranulph Higden in his booke intituled Polychronicon, saith
indéed, that king John did not onelie bind himselfe, but his heires and
successors, being kings of England, to be feudaries vnto pope Innocent
and his successors popes of Rome, that is to say, that they should hold
their dominions of them in fée, yéelding and paieng yéerelie to the
sée of Rome the summe of seauen hundred marks for England, and thrée
hundred marks for Ireland. Furthermore, by report of the most autentike
and approoued writers, king John, to auoid all dangers, which (as he
doubted) might insue, despairing as it were in himselfe, or rather most
speciallie for lacke of loiall dutie in his subiects, consented to all
the persuasions of Pandulph, and so (not without his great hart-gréefe)
he was contented to take his oth, togither with sixtéene earles and
barons, who laieng their hands vpon the holie euangelists, sware with
him vpon perill of their soules, that he should stand to the iudgement
of the church of Rome, and that if he repented him, and would refuse to
stand to promise, they should then compell him to make satisfaction.
Héervpon, they being all togither at Douer, the king and Pandulph, with
the earls and barons, and a great multitude of other people, agréed and
concluded vpon a finall peace in forme as here insueth.

The charter of king Iohn his submission, as it was conueied to the pope
at Rome.

Iohannes Dei gratia rex Angliæ, omnibus Christi fidelibus hanc chartam
inspecturis, salutem in Domino. Vniuersitati vestræ per hanc chartam
sigillo nostro munitam, volumus esse notum, quod cùm Deum et matrem
nostram sanctam ecclesiam offenderimus in multis, & proinde diuina
misericordia plurimùm indigeamus, nec quid dignè offerre possimus
pro satisfactione Deo & ecclesiæ debita facienda, nisi nosmetipsos
humiliemus & regna nostra, volentes nosipsos humiliare, pro illo qui se
pro nobis humiliauit vsq; ad mortem, gratia sancti spiritus inspirante,
non vi interdicti nec timore coacti, sed nostra bona spontaneáq;
voluntate, ac communi consilio baronum nostrorum conferimus, & liberè
concedimus Deo & sanctis apostolis eius Petro & Paulo, & sanctæ Romanæ
ecclesiæ matri nostræ, ac domino papæ Innocentio, eiúsq; catholicis
successoribus, totum regnum Angliæ, & totum regnum Hyberniæ, cùm omni
iure & pertinentijs suis, pro remissione omnium peccatorum nostrorum,
et totius generis nostri, tam pro viuis quàm pro defunctis, & amodò
illa ab eo & ecclesia Romana tanquam secundarius recipientes &
tenentes, in præsentia prudentis viri Pandulphi domini papæ subdiaconi
& familiaris.

Exindè prædicto domino papæ Innocentio, eiúsque catholicis
successoribus, & ecclesiæ Romanæ, secundùm subscriptam formam fecimus &
iurauimus, et homagium ligium in præsentia Pandulphi; si coram domino
papa esse poterimus, eidem faciemus: successores nostros & hæredes de
vxore nostra in perpetuum obligantes, vt simili modo summo pontifici,
qui pro tempore fuerit, & ecclesiæ Romanæ, sine contradictione debeant
fidelitatem præstare, & homagium recognoscere.

Ad indicium autem huius nostræ perpetuæ obligationis & concessionis,
volumus & stabilimus, vt de proprijs & specialibus redditibus nostris
prædictorum regnorum, pro omni seruitio & consuetudine, quæ pro ipsis
facere debemus, saluis per omnia denarijs beati Petri, ecclesia Romana
mille marcas Esterlingorum percipiat annuatim: in festo scilicet sancti
Michaëlis quingentas marcas, & in Pascha quingentas: septingentas
scilicet pro regno Angliæ, & trecentas pro regno Hyberniæ, saluis nobis
& hæredibus nostris, iustitijs, libertatibus, & regalibus nostris.
Quæ omnia, sicut supra scripta sunt, rata esse volentes atque firma,
obligamus nos & successores nostros contra non venire, & si nos vel
aliquis successorum nostrorum contra hæc attentare præsumpserit,
quicunq; ille fuerit, nisi ritè commonitus resipuerit, cadat à iure

Et hæc charta obligationis & concessionis nostræ, semper firma
permaneat. Teste meipso, apud domum militum templi iuxta Doueram, coram
H. Dublinensi archiepiscopo, Iohanne Norwicensi episcopo, Galfrido
filio Petri, W. comite Sarisburiæ, Willielmo comite Penbroc, R. comite
Bononiæ, W. comite Warrennæ, S. comite Winton, W. comite Arundel, W.
comite de Ferarijs, W. Briwere, Petro filio Hereberti, Warino filio
Geroldi, 15 die Maij, anno regni nostri decimo quarto.

       *       *       *       *       *

This déed and instrument being written and ingrossed, the king
deliuered it vnto Pandulph, to take with him to Rome, there to make
deliuerie thereof to pope Innocent, and herewith did homage to the same
pope, in forme as followeth.

The words of fealtie made by king Iohn to the pope.

Ego Iohannes Dei gratia rex Angliæ, & dominus Hyberniæ, ab hac hora &
in antea, fidelis ero Deo & beato Petro et ecclesiæ Romanæ, & domino
meo papæ domino Innocentio, eiúsq; successoribus catholicè intrantibus.
Non ero in facto, in dicto, consensu vel consilio, vt vitam perdant vel
membra, vel mala captione capiantur. Eorum damnum si sciuero, impediam,
& remanere faciam si potero: alioquin eis quàm citiùs potero intimabo,
vel tali personæ dicam, quàm eis credam pro certo dicturam. Consilium
quod mihi crediderint, per se vel per nuncios suos seu literas
suas, secretum, tenebo, & ad eorum damnum nulli pandam me sciente.
Patrimonium beati Petri, & specialiter regnum Angliæ, & regnum Hyberniæ
adiutor ero ad tenendum & defendendum, contra omnes homines pro posse
meo. Sic me adiuuet Deus, & hæc sancta euangelia, Amen. Acta autem sunt
hæc, vt prædictum est, in vigilia dominicæ Ascensionis ad Doueram, Anno

In English thus.

Iohn by the grace of God king of England, and lord of Ireland, from
this houre forward, shall be faithfull to God and to saint Peter,
and to the church of Rome, and to my lord pope Innocentius, and to
his successours lawfully entring. I shall not be in word nor déed,
in consent or counsell, that they should lose life or member, or be
apprehended in euill manner. Their losse if I may know it, I shall
impeach and staie, so far as I shal be able, or else so shortlie as I
can I shall signifie vnto them, or declare to such person the which I
shall beléeue will declare the same vnto them. The counsell which they
shal commit to me by themselues, their messengers, or letters, I shall
kéepe secret, and not vtter to any man to their hurt to my knowledge.
The patrimonie of S. Peter, and speciallie the kingdomes of England
and Ireland, I shall indeuour my selfe to defend against all men to my
power. So helpe me God, and these holie euangelists, Amen. These things
were done on the éeue of the Ascension of our Lord, in the yeare 1213.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Fortie thousand marks of siluer saith _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: The French K. displeased for the reconciliation of K. John
with the pope.]

Pandulph hauing thus reconciled king John, thought not good to release
the excommunication, till the king had performed all things which he
had promised, and so with all spéed hauing receiued eight thousand
markes sterling in part of restitution to be made to the archbishop,
and the other banished men, he sailed backe into France, & came to
Roan, where he declared to king Philip the effect of his trauell, and
what he had doone in England. But king Philip hauing in this meane
while consumed a great masse of monie, to the summe of sixtie thousand
pounds, as he himselfe alledged, about the furniture of his iournie,
which he intended to haue made into England, vpon hope to haue had
no small aid within the realme, by reason of such bishops and other
banished men as he had in France with him, was much offended for
the reconciliation of king John, and determined not so to breake off
his enterprise, least it might be imputed to him for a great reproch
to haue béene at such charges and great expenses in vaine. Therefore
calling his councell togither, he declared vnto them what he purposed
to doo.

[Sidenote: The French king meaneth to procéed in his iournie against
the realme of England.]

All his Nobles in like manner held with him, and allowed his purpose
to be verie good and requisite, except the earle of Flanders named
Ferdinando who (in hope to recouer againe those townes, which the
French king held from him in Arthois, as Aire, and S. Omers) had ioined
secretlie in league with king John, and with the earle of Bullongne,
and therefore misliked the conclusion of their aduise. Howbeit king
Philip not being yet fullie certified hereof, caused his nauie to draw
alongest the coast towards Flanders, whither he himselfe hasted to go
also by land, that comming thither, he might from thence saile ouer
into England, and take land at a place to him assigned.

[Sidenote: The French K. inuadeth Flanders.]

[Sidenote: Gaunt besieged by the French king.]

Now it came to passe, that at his comming to Graueling, he had perfect
knowledge, that the earle of Flanders was ioined in league with his
enimies, wherfore he determined first to subdue the earle, least
whilest he should be out of his realme, some great trouble or sedition
might rise within his owne dominions. Therfore, leauing the enterprise
which he ment to haue made against England, he turned his power against
the earle of Flanders and first commanded his nauie to saile vnto the
port of Dam, whilest he himselfe kéeping on his iournie still by land,
tooke the town of Cassile, and likewise Ypres. From thence he went to
Bruges, and besieged the towne, but he could not win it at the first,
and therefore leauing a power of men to mainteine the siege before it,
he himselfe went to Gaunt, and thereto also laid his siege.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

In the mean time, the earle of Flanders perceiuing that he was not able
to resist so puissant an enimie as the French king, sent ouer in hast
vnto the king of England for aid. Wherevpon king John vnderstanding
that his aduersarie king Philip had turned all his force against the
earle of Flanders, and that thereby he was deliuered out of the feare
of the Frenchmens comming into England; that same nauie (which as
before is recited) he had put in a readinesse, conteining the number
of fiue hundred saile, he sent streight into Flanders with a strong
armie, both of horssemen and footmen, vnder the guiding of William duke
of Holland, William Longspée earle of Salisburie base brother to king
John, and Reignold earle of Bullongne.

These capteins being now passed foorth with their fléets into the maine
sea, espied anon manie ships lieng without the hauen of Dam (for the
number of ships of the French fléet was so great, that the hauen could
not receiue them all, so that manie of them laie at anchor without the
hauen mouth, and all alongst the coast.) Wherefore they sent foorth
certeine shallops, to espie whether they were fréends or enimies, and
what their number and order was. It chanced, that the same time the
men of warre which were appointed to kéepe the French fléet, were gone
foorth, togither with a great number of the mariners, to spoile and
fetch booties abroad in the countrie.

[Sidenote: The English men assaile the French ships.]

The English espials therefore, making semblance as though they had
béene some fishermen of those parts, came verie néere the French ships
lieng at anchor, and perceiuing them to be vnfurnished of people
necessarie to defend them, came backe to their companie, and declared
what they had séene, certifieng their capteins that the victorie was
in their hands, if they would make spéed. The capteins glad of these
newes, commanded their men to make them readie to giue battell, and
causing their mariners to make saile directlie towards the French
fléet, at their first approch they wanne those tall ships that laie
at anchor abroad before the hauen, without any great resistance, the
mariners onelie making request to haue their liues saued. The other
smaller vessels which (after the tide was gone) remained vpon the sands
(spoiling them first of their tackle and other things that would serue
to vse) they consumed with fire, the mariners escaping by flight.

[Sidenote: The English men wanne the French ships.]

Thus the Englishmen hauing dispatched this businesse with good
successe, did set vpon those ships that laie in harbrough within the
hauen. But here was hard hold for a while, bicause the narrownesse of
the place would not giue any great aduantage to the greater number. And
those Frenchmen that were gone abroad into the countrie, perceiuing
that the enimies were come, by the running awaie of the mariners,
returned with all spéed to their ships to aid their fellowes, and so
made valiant resistance for a time, till the Englishmen getting on
land, and ranging themselues on either side of the hauen, beat the
Frenchmen so on the sides, and the ships grapling togither on front,
that they fought as it had bin in a pitcht field, till that finallie
the Frenchmen were not able to susteine the force of the Englishmen,
but were constreined (after long fight and great slaughter) to yéeld
themselues prisoners.

The English capteins glad of this victorie gotten, contrarie to
expectation, first gaue thanks to God for the same, and then manning
thrée hundred of those French ships, which they had taken fraught with
corne, wine, oile, flesh, and other vittels, and also with armour, they
sent them awaie into England, and afterwards they set fire vpon the
residue that laie on ground, which were aboue an hundred, bicause they
were drawne vp so farre vpon the sands, that they could not easilie get
them out, without their further inconuenience. After this, comming on
land with their power, they marched foorth into the countrie in good
order of battell, to the end that if they should encounter with king
Philip by the way comming to the rescue of his ships, they might be
readie to giue them battell, which thing was not deuised, without good
and great consideration.

For king Philip being certified of the danger wherein his ships stood
by the sudden comming of his enimies, and therewithall being in good
hope to come to their succours in time, and yer the Englishmen had
wrote their full feat, he raised his siege, and made hast toward
the coast: but as he was comming forward towards his nauie, he was
aduertised that the enimies had woone all his whole fléet, and were
now marching foorth to méet him, and to giue him battell. Also it was
told him, how Ferdinando the earle of Flanders, being certified of the
victorie atchiued by his fréends, followed at his backe. Wherefore,
least he should séeme ouer rashlie to commit himselfe into manifest
perill, he staied a little from Bruges, and there incamped for that
day, as if he ment to abide the comming of his enimies.

[Sidenote: The French K. returneth into France.]

The next morrow he raised and returned towards France, the verie same
waie that he came, no man pursuing him. For the Englishmen contented
with that victorie which they had gotten, thought it not necessarie
to follow him with their further hazard. In the meane time, king John
receiuing newes of this prosperous victorie thus gotten by his people,
did woonderfullie reioise for the same, conceiuing an hope, that all
his businesse would now come forward and growe to good successe.

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Iacob. Meir._]

¶ This is the truth of this historie, as some authors haue set it
foorth. But Iames Meir in his discourse of Flanders declareth the
matter somwhat otherwise, as thus: Vpon the thursdaie before the
Pentecost (saith he) the English fléet setting vpon the French nauie,
which laie at anchor in the hauen of Dam, drowned certeine of the
French vessels, and tooke to the number of foure, which they conueied
awaie with them. Ferdinando the earle of Flanders hauing an armie of
men readie by land, was lodged the same time not far off from the coast
and therefore hearing what had chanced, came the next day, and ioined
with the Englishmen.

[Sidenote: The Englishmen and Flemings vanquished by the French force.]

There were yet remaining also diuerse other of the French ships
(besides those which the Englishmen had sunke and taken) which were
drawne vp further into the land ward. The earle of Flanders therefore,
and the English capteins iudged, that it should much hinder the French
kings attempts, if they might win those ships also with the towne of
Dam, wherin the king had laid vp a great part of his prouision for the
furniture of his warres. Héerevpon the Englishmen were set on land,
and ioining with the earls power, they marched strait towards Dam.
This was vpon Whitsun éeuen, on the which day, as they were most busie
in assaulting the towne and ships which laie there in the hauen, the
French king being come awaie from Gaunt, suddenlie set vpon them, and
though in the beginning he found sharpe resistance, yet in the end,
the Englishmen and Flemings ouerset with the great multitude of the
Frenchmen, were put to flight, and chased to their ships, with the
losse of two thousand men, besides those that were taken prisoners,
amongst the which were found to be 22 knights.

[Sidenote: The French king burneth his ships.]

The earle of Flanders with the earles of Bullen and Salisburie,
doubting to lose their ships, and late gotten bootie, sailed strait
into one of the Iles of Zeland called Walkeren. Then the French king
constraining them of Gaunt, Bruges, and Ypres, to deliuer vnto him
pledges, caused the towne of Dam, and his ships lieng there in the
hauen to be burned, doubting least they should come into the hands of
his enimies. This doone, he returned into France, leauing his sonne
Lewes and the earle of S. Paule in garrison at Lisle and Doway, and
for great sums of monie, which by agréement he receiued of the townes
of Gaunt, Bruges, and Ypres, he restored vnto them their pledges. Thus
saith Meire: and Matthew Paris differeth not much from him touching the
successe which chanced to the Englishmen by land. ¶ Héere will I staie
a while in the further narration of this matter, and touch by the way a
thing that happened to king John about this present time.

[Sidenote: An hermit named Peter of Pontfret, or Wakefield as some
writers haue.]

[Sidenote: _Sée M. Fox, tome first, pag. 331._]

There was in this season an heremit, whose name was Peter, dwelling
about Yorke, a man in great reputation with the common people,
bicause that either inspired with some spirit of prophesie as the
people beléeued, or else hauing some notable skill in art magike, he
was accustomed to tell what should follow after. And for so much as
oftentimes his saiengs prooued true, great credit was giuen to him
as to a verie prophet: which was no good consequence that therefore
his predictions comprised vndoubted euents. Naie rather, sith in this
pseudoprophet or false foreteller of afterclaps, these necessarie
concurrents (namelie,

    Si sensus atq; affectus compresserit omnes,
    Si spernens prorsus mortalia gaudia, sese
    Abdicet a curis terrenis, assiduóq;
    Conetur studio ad superos extollere mentem,
    Tunc etenim sapiens fiet, poterítq; futura
    Cernere, vel vigilans vel somno oppressus inerti,
    Hoc pacto cecinêre olim ventura prophetæ)

[Sidenote: The heremit and his sonne hanged.]

were wanting, and that he was contrarilie qualified to that which this
heptastichon comprehendeth, necessarilie it foloweth, that he was not
as he was taken, but rather a deluder of the people, and an instrument
of satan raised vp for the inlargement of his kingdome: as the sequele
of this discourse importeth. This Peter about the first of Januarie
last past, had told the king, that at the feast of the Ascension it
should come to passe, that he should be cast out of his kingdome. And
(whether, to the intent that his words should be the better beléeued,
or whether vpon too much trust of his owne cunning) he offered himselfe
to suffer death for it, if his prophesie prooued not true. Herevpon
being committed to prison within the castell of Corf, when the day by
him prefixed came, without any other notable damage vnto king John, he
was by the kings commandement drawne from the said castell, vnto the
towne of Warham, & there hanged, togither with his sonne.

The people much blamed king John, for this extreame dealing, bicause
that the heremit was supposed to be a man of great vertue, and his
sonne nothing guiltie of the offense committed by his father (if any
were) against the king. Moreouer, some thought, that he had much wrong
to die, bicause the matter fell out euen as he had prophesied: for the
day before the Ascension day, king John had resigned the superioritie
of his kingdome (as they tooke the matter) vnto the pope, and had doone
to him homage, so that he was no absolute king indéed, as authors
affirme. One cause, and that not the least which mooued king John the
sooner to agrée with the pope, rose through the words of the said
heremit, that did put such a feare of some great mishap in his hart,
which should grow through the disloialtie of his people, that it made
him yéeld the sooner. But to the matter againe.

[Sidenote: King John writeth to the archbishop & the other bishops to

King John (after his capteins in Flanders had sped so well as before
yée haue heard) prepared to make a voiage into Guien, not much
regarding the matter, in that the realme stood as yet interdicted. But
when he vnderstood by his lords, that they would not go with him except
the interdicting might first be released, and he clearlie absolued of
the popes cursse, to the end that Gods wrath and the popes being fullie
pacified towards him, he might with better spéed mooue and mainteine
the warres, he was constreined to change his purpose, and so comming
to Winchester, dispatched foorth a messenger with letters, signed with
the hands of foure and twentie earles and barons, to the archbishop
of Canturburie, and the bishops of London, Lincolne, and Hereford, as
then soiourning in France, requiring them with all the other banished
men to returne into England, promising them by his letters patents, not
onelie a sure safeconduct for their comming ouer, but that he would
also forget all passed displeasures, and frankelie restore vnto euerie
man all that by his means had béene wrongfullie taken from them, and as
yet by him deteined.

[Sidenote: The bishops doo returne.]

[Sidenote: They came to Winchester y^e 20 of Julie.]

[Sidenote: The K. knéeleth to the archbishop.]

The archbishop and the other bishops receiuing the kings letters, with
all spéed made hast to come into England, and so arriuing at Douer
the sixtéenth day of Julie, with other the banished men, they went to
Winchester, where the king yet remained, who hearing that the bishops
were come, went foorth to receiue them, and at his first méeting with
the archbishop of Canturburie, he knéeled downe at his féet, and
besought him of forgiuenesse, and that it would please him and the
other bishops also to prouide for the reléefe of the miserable state
of the realme. Herewith the water standing in diuerse of their eies on
both sides, they entred into the citie, the people greatlie reioising
to behold the head of the common-wealth agrée at length with the
members. This was in the yeare after the birth of our Sauiour 1213.

[Sidenote: The king praieth to be absolued.]

[Sidenote: He is absolued.]

[Sidenote: A quest of inquirie.]

King John required of the archbishop (hauing as then the popes power
in his hands, bicause he was his legat,) to be absolued, promising
vpon his solemne receiued oth, that he would (afore all things) defend
the church and the order of priesthood from receiuing anie wrongs.
Also, that he would restore the old lawes made by the ancient kings of
England, and namelie those of S. Edward, which were almost extinguished
and forgotten. And further, that he would make recompense to all men
whom he had by anie meanes indamaged. This doone, he was absolued
by the archbishop, & shortly after he sent his oratours to Rome, to
intreat with the bishop to take awaie the interdiction of the land. On
the morrow after also, the king sent his letters vnto all the shiriffes
of the counties within the realme, commanding them to summon foure
lawfull men of euerie towne belonging to the demeans of the crowne, to
make their appearance at S. Albons, vpon the 4 daie of August, that
they and other might make inquisition of the losses which euerie bishop
had susteined, what had béene taken from them, and what ought to be
restored to them as due for the same.

[Sidenote: The archbishop taketh possession of his sée.]

[Sidenote: The lords refuse to follow the king into France.]

The archbishop for that time taking his leaue of the king, went to
Canturburie, where he restored the moonks to their abbie, and then
tooke possession of his sée, being the two and fortith archbishop
that had ruled the same. In the meane time, the king repaired to
Portesmouth, there so take the sea to saile ouer into Poictow,
committing the rule of the realme vnto Geffrey Fitz Peter or Fitz
Péers, lord chéefe iustice, and to the bishop of Winchester, commanding
them to vse the counsell and aduise of the archbishop of Canturburie,
in governing things touching the common-wealth. Herewith there came
also to the king a great multitude of men of warre, alledging, that
they had spent in staieng for him, and his going ouer sea all their
monie, so that he must now néeds giue them wages, if he would haue them
to passe ouer with him into France. The which when he refused to doo,
he was constreined to take the water with his owne seruants, arriuing
about a thrée daies after at the Ile of Jersey: but perceiuing that
none of his lords followed him according to his commandement, as one
disappointed of aid, he returned backe againe into England, there to
take further order for this their misdemeanour.

[Sidenote: King Henrie the first his lawes.]

Whilest these things were thus in dooing, Geffrey Fitz Peter, and
the bishop of Winchester were come to S. Albons, togither with the
archbishop of Canturburie, and other bishops and péeres of the realme,
where the kings peace being proclaimed to all men it was on his behalfe
streitlie commanded, that the lawes of K. Henrie his grandfather should
be obserued vniuersallie within his realme, and that all vniust lawes
and ordinances should be abrogated. It was also commanded, that no
shiriffe, nor forrester, nor other minister of the kings, should vpon
paine of life and limme, take violentlie anie thing of any man by waie
of extortion, nor presume wrong anie man, or to fine anie man, as they
had afore time béene accustomed to doo.

[Sidenote: The archbishop menaceth to excommunicate those y^t assist
the king.]

After this, the king being come backe from his iournie, which he
purposed to haue made into Poictow, assembled an armie, and ment to
haue gone against those lords which had refused to go with him, but
the archbishop of Canturburie comming to him at Northampton, sought to
appease his mood, and to cause him to staie, but yet in his furious
rage he went forward till he came to Notingham, and there with much
adoo, the archbishop following him with threatning to excommunicate all
those that should aid him, procured him to leaue off his enterprise.

Then the archbishop (about the fiue and twentith day of August) came to
London, there to take aduise for the reformation of things touching the
good gouernement of the common-wealth. But here whilest the archbishop,
with other péeres of the realme deuised orders verie necessarie (as was
thought) for the state of the common-wealth, the king doubting least
the same should be a bridle for him to restreine his authoritie roiall
from dooing things to his pleasure, he began to find fault, and séemed
as though he had repented himselfe of his large promises made for his
reconciliation: but the archbishop of Canturburie so asswaged his mood,
and persuaded him, by opening vnto him what danger would insue both to
him and to his realme, if he went from the agréement, that he was glad
to be quiet for feare of further trouble.

[Sidenote: _RCog._]

[Sidenote: The earle of Tholouse.]

In this hurlie burlie also the lords and péeres of the realme (by the
setting on of the archbishop) were earnestlie bent to haue the king to
restore and confirme the grant which his grandfather king Henrie the
first had by his charter granted and confirmed to his subiects, which
to doo, king John thought greatlie preiudiciall to his roiall estate
and dignitie. The earle of Tholouse hauing lost all his possessions,
the citie of Tholouse onelie excepted, came ouer into England, &
rendred the said citie into the hands of king John, and receiued at
his departure, the summe of ten thousand marks as was reported, by the
bountifull gift of king John.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Geffrey Fitz Péers or Fitz Peter departeth this life.]

Vpon the second of October, Geffrey Fitz Peter earle of Essex and lord
chéefe iustice of England departed this life, a man of great power and
autoritie, in whose politike direction and gouernement, the order of
things perteining to the common-wealth chéefelie consisted. He was of
a noble mind, expert in knowledge of the lawes of the land, rich in
possessions, and ioined in blood or affinitie with the more part of
all the Nobles of the realme, so that his death was no small losse to
the commonwelth: for through him and the archbishop Hubert, the king
was oftentimes reuoked from such wilfull purposes, as now and then he
was determined to haue put in practise, in so much that the king, as
was reported (but how trulie I cannot tell) séemed to reioise for his
death, bicause he might now worke his will without anie to controll him.

[Sidenote: A cardinall sent into England.]

[Sidenote: The burgesses of Oxford require absolution.]

The same time, to wit, about the feast of saint Michaell, came Nicholas
the cardinall of Tusculane into England, sent from the pope, to take
awaie the interdiction, if the king would stand to that agréement which
he had made and promised by his oth to performe. King John receiued
this cardinall in most honorable wise, and gladlie heard him in all
things that he had to saie. This legat at his comming to Westminster,
deposed the abbat of that place, named William from his roome, for
that he was accused both of wasting the reuenues of the house, and
also of notable incontinencie. Moreouer the burgesses of the towne of
Oxford came vnto him to obteine absolution of their offense, in that
through their presumption, the thrée schollers (of whom ye haue heard
before) were hanged there, to the great terror of all the residue.
To be short, they were absolued and penance inioined them, that they
should strip them out of their apparell at euerie church in the towne,
and going barefooted with scourges in their hands, they should require
the benefit of absolution of euerie parish préest within their towne,
saieng the psalme of Miserere.

[Sidenote: A c[=o]nuocation called by the cardinall.]

After this, the said cardinall called a councell or conuocation of the
cleargie, to reforme such things touching the state of the church as
should be thought requisite. And though he handled not this matter with
such fauour and vprightnesse as the bishops wished on their behalfes,
yet he caused king John to restore the most part of all those goods
that remained vnspent, and also the value of halfe of those that
were consumed and made awaie, vnto those persons as well spirituall
as temporall, from whom they had béene taken in time of the discord
betwixt him and the pope. But before all things could be thus quieted
and set in order betwixt the king and the bishops, manie méetings were
had, as at London, Reading, Wallingford and in other places.

Now the archbishop and prelates for their parts thought this recompense
to be but small, in respect of the great losses and hinderances which
they had susteined: and to haue the whole restitution delaied, they
tooke it not well. Howbeit the cardinall leaned so to the kings side
(hauing receiued of him to the popes vse the charter of subiection of
the realmes of England and Ireland, now bulled with gold, where at the
first it was deliuered to Pandulph sealed onelie with wax.) But their
suit came to little effect, and in the end it fell out in such wise,
that their complaint was lesse regarded. Moreouer, the rating of the
value which the king should restore vnto the archbishop, and the other
bishops, was by agréement of the king and them togither, appointed vnto
foure barons indifferentlie chosen betwixt them.

[Sidenote: Restitution to be made to the bishops.]

[Sidenote: King John commended to the pope for an humble prince.]

At length notwithstanding that deuise took no place: for it was
otherwise decréed by the pope, that the king should restore to them
the summe of fortie thousand marks, of the which he had paid alreadie
twelue thousand, before the returne of the said archbishop and bishops
into the realme, and fiftéene thousand more at the late méeting had
betwixt them at Reading, so that there remained onelie 13000 behind:
for not onelie the king, but also the cardinall had sent to the pope,
requiring him to take direction in the matter, and to aduertise him,
that there was a great fault in the archbishop and his fellowes. In so
much that Pandulph which was sent to him from the legat, declared in
fauour of the king, that there was not a more humble and modest prince
to be found than king John, and that the archbishop and his fellowes
were too hard, and shewed themselues too couetous in requiring the
restitution that should be made to them for losses susteined in time of
the interdiction.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The presumption of the cardinall.]

[Sidenote: _1214._]

[Sidenote: Burton vpon Trent.]

[Sidenote: Dunstable.]

[Sidenote: A Synod.]

[Sidenote: Discord betwixt the cardinall and the archbishop of

Now the cause wherefore the legat and the king did send vnto the pope,
was this. There was some grudge betwixt the legat and the archbishop,
for that where the pope had written to the legat, how he should
(according to the order of the ancient canons of the church) place in
euerie bishops sée and abbeie (that was void) méet and able persons to
rule and guide the same, the legat presuming on that authoritie granted
him by the pope, without the aduise of the archbishop or other bishops,
tooke onelie with him certeine of the kings chapleins, and comming with
them to such churches as were vacant, ordeined in them such persons as
were nothing méet to take such charge vpon them, and that according
to the old abuse of England, as Matthew Paris saith. Wherevpon the
archbishop of Canturburie repining at such dooings, sent to the legat
as then being at Burton vpon Trent, two of his chapleins from Dunstable
(where he and his suffragans held as then a synod, after the feast of
the Epiphanie) commanding him by waie of appeale, in no wise to meddle
with instituting any gouernours to churches, within the precinct of his
iurisdiction, where such institutions belonged onelie to him.

Herevpon therefore the legat dispatched Pandulph to Rome vnto the
pope as is aforesaid, and the king likewise sent ambassadors thither,
as the bishop of Norwich, and the archdeacon of Northumberland, with
others, the which in the end so behaued themselues in their suit,
that notwithstanding Simon Langton the archbishops brother earnestlie
withstood them, as proctor for the bishops, yet at length, the pope
tooke order in the matter, writing vnto his legat, that he should
sée the same fulfilled, and then absolue the realme of the former
interdiction. In this meane time, king John made prouision to go
ouer into France (as after yée shall heare) but at his going ouer he
committed the whole ordering of this matter vnto the legat, and to
William Marshall the earle of Penbroke. The legat therefore vpon the
receipt of the popes bulles, called a councell at London, and there
declaring what was conteined in the same, he tooke bands for paiment of
the residue of the fortie thousand marks which was behind, being 13000
onelie, as before I haue said.

[Sidenote: Walter Gray bishop of Worcester is remooued to the sée of

[Sidenote: Monie sent into Flanders.]

[Sidenote: _Rafe Cog._]

[Sidenote: The earle of Flanders dooth homage to K. John.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The lands of y^e erle of Guisnes wasted.]

About the same time also, Walter Gray bishop of Worcester was remooued
to the gouernement of the sée of Yorke, which had béene vacant euer
since the death of the archbishop Geffrey. This Walter was the thrée
& thirtith bishop that gouerned that sée. But now to returne and
speake of the kings affaires in the parts beyond the sea. Ye shall
vnderstand, that hauing set his businesse in some good staie at home
with the legat, he applied his studie to the performance of his wars
abroad, and therefore he first sent monie into Flanders to paie the
souldiers wages, which he had sent thither to aid the erle there
against king Philip. Which earle came ouer this yeare into England, and
at Canturburie the king receiued him where he did homage to the king
for the whole earledome of Flanders: and on the other part, the king as
well to the said earle, as to such lords and bishops which came ouer
with him, declared his roiall liberalitie by princelie gifts of gold,
siluer, iewels, and pretious stones. After his returne, such capteins
as remained in his countrie with their bands at the king of Englands
paie, made a iournie into France, and wasted the lands that belonged
to the earle of Guisnes, wanne the castell of Bruncham, and raced it,
taking within it diuerse men of armes and demilances. They also wanne
by siege the towne of Aire, and burnt it. The castell of Liens they
tooke by assault, and slue manie souldiers that defended it, beside
those which they tooke prisoners.

Moreouer, they wasted and destroied the lands which Lewes the French
kings sonne was possessed of in those parts. In the meane time, king
John hauing prepared a mightie nauie, and a strong armie of valiant
soldiers, tooke sea at Portsmouth on Candlemas day, with his wife,
his sonne Richard, & Elianor the sister of Arthur duke of Britaine.
He had not many of his earles or barons with him, but a great number
of knights and gentlemen, with whome he landed at Rochell in safetie,
within a few daies after his setting foorth. He tooke ouer with him
inestimable treasure, as it was reported, in gold, siluer, and iewels.
Immediatlie vpon his arriuall at Rochell, the barons of Poictow
reuolted from the French king, and comming in to king John, did homage
vnto him, as to their king and souereigne lord.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 16.]

[Sidenote: Meireuent.]

[Sidenote: Geffrey de Lucignam.]

[Sidenote: Nouant.]

[Sidenote: Mountcounter.]

[Sidenote: Parthenay.]

[Sidenote: Jane the daughter of king John married to the erle of Marsh.]

But howsoeuer it was, after the truce began to expire which he had
granted vnto the earls of Marsh and Augi, on the friday before
Whitsunday he came with his armie before the castell of Meireuent,
which belonged vnto Geffrey de Lucignam, and on the day next insuing,
being Whitsun éeue, he wanne the same. On Whitsunday he laid siege vnto
Nouant, an other castell belonging to the same Geffrey, who as then was
lodged in the same, and also two of his sonnes: but within thrée daies
after that the siege was laid, the earle of Marsh came to king John,
and did so much preuaile, that through his means, both Geffrey and his
two sonnes were receiued to mercie, and king John put in possession of
the castell. After this, bicause king John was aduertised, that Lewes
the French kings sonne had now besieged Mountcounter, a castell that
was apperteining to the said Geffrey, he hasted thitherwards, and came
to Parthenay, whither came to him, as well the foresaid earle of Marsh,
as also the earle of Augi, and both they togither with the said Geffrey
de Lucignam, did homage to our king, and so became his liege men. The
same time also, the ladie Jane the kings daughter was affianced to
the said earle of Marsh his sonne, whereas the French king made means
to haue hir married to his sonne: but bicause king John doubted least
that suit was attempted but vnder some cloked pretense, he would giue
no eare thereto, but rather made this match with the earle of Marsh,
in hope so to assure himselfe of the said earle, that he might stand
him in no small stéed to defend his cause against his aduersaries of
France. But now to the doings in England.

[Sidenote: The interdiction released.]

¶ Ye haue heard before how pope Innocent (or rather Nocent, who was
the root of much mischiefe and trouble, which qualities are nothing
consonant to his name) according to that king John had required of him
by solemne messengers, directed his bulles vnto his legat Nicholas,
declaring vpon what conditions his pleasure was to haue the sentence of
interdiction released. Wherein first he commanded that the king should
satisfie and pay so much monie vnto the archbishop of Canturburie, and
to the bishop of London and Elie, as should fullie amount to the summe
of 40 thousand markes (with that which alreadie he had paied, which
was 27 thousand markes, at two seueral paiments, as vpon his accounts
appeared.) For true contentation and paiment to be made of the residue,
he ordeined that the king should be sworne, and also seale to an
obligation, and certeine suerties with him (as the bishops of Norwich
and Winchester, with the earles of Chester, Winchester and Marshall)
all which things were performed at this present, so that after the
assurance so taken for paiment of the od 13 thousand marks behind,
residue of the 40 thousand marks, the interdiction was taken vtterlie
awaie, and the land solemnelie released by the legat, sitting within
the cathedrall church of S. Paule at London, vpon the 29 of June, in
the yeare 1214, after the terme of six yeares, thrée moneths, and 14
daies, that the realme had béene striken with that dreadfull dart of
correction, as it was then estéemed.

[Sidenote: The emperor Otho.]

King John in the meane time remaining still in France, and finding at
the beginning fortune fauourable inough vnto him, by reason his power
was much increased by the aid of the Poictouins, determined to attempt
the winning of Britaine, for this cause specialie, that he might by so
dooing weaken the French kings power, and partlie also to withdraw him
from the wars of Flanders, on which side he had procured likewise the
French borders to be inuaded with great force, and that not onelie by
the earle and such capteins as he had sent thither, and reteined in
wages, but also by the emperour Otho, who in proper person came downe
into that countrie himselfe.

[Sidenote: K. John inuadeth Britaine.]

[Sidenote: The Britaines put to flight.]

[Sidenote: Peter the erle of Drieux his sonne taken prisoner.]

Herevpon king John went foorth with all his power of horssemen, and
entering into Britaine, made rodes through the countrie, wasting the
same euen to the walles of Naunts: but shortlie after the Britaines
assembled togither, vnder the leading of Peter, the son of Robert earle
of Drieux (the French kings vncle, who had maried the ladie Adela,
daughter to duke Guie of Britaine) and marching foorth into the field
to defend their countrie from the enimies, came to ioine with them in
battell. At the first there was a verie sharp incounter, but at length
the Britains being vanquished and put to flight, a great number of them
were taken prisoners, and amongst other their capteins, the foresaid
Peter was one, whom king John sent awaie with all the rest vnto
Angiers, to be kept in safegard vntill he should returne.

[Sidenote: The French kings sonne came to fight with king John.]

[Sidenote: K. John remoueth to Angiers.]

[Sidenote: The Poictouins subdued by the Fr[=e]nch.]

[Sidenote: The battell at the bridge of Bouins.]

After this, he besieged a castell that stood vpon the banke of the
riuer of Loir, called La Roch au moyne, inforcing his whole indeuour to
haue woone it. But yer he could atteine his purpose, he was aduertised
that Lewes the sonne of king Philip was comming towards him with a
great power to raise his siege. Wherefore hauing no great confidence
in the Poictouins, and vnderstanding that Lewes brought with him a
verie strong armie, he tooke aduise of his councell, who iudged that
it should be best for him to breake vp his siege and to depart, which
he did, and went streight waies to Angiers. Lewes (after king John was
thus retired) brought the Poictouins againe to subiection, and put
the chief authours of the rebellion to death. In the meane time also
his father king Philip with like successe, but in a foughten field,
vanquished the emperour Otho at the bridge of Bouins on the 28 day of
Julie, as in the historie of France more at large appeare. There among
other prisoners, the thrée earles of Flanders, Salisburie, and Bullogne
were taken.

[Sidenote: The saieng of king John.]

Now king John being aduertised of that ouerthrow, was maruellouslie sad
and sorrowfull for the chance, in so much that he would not receiue
any meat in a whole daie after the newes thereof was brought vnto him.
At length turning his sorrow into rage, he openlie said, that "since
the time that he made himselfe & his kingdom subiect to the church
of Rome, nothing that he did had prospered well with him." Indéed he
condescended to an agréement with the pope (as may be thought) more by
force than of deuotion, and therefore rather dissembled with the pope
(sith he could not otherwise choose) than agréed to the couenants with
any hartie affection.

[Sidenote: A truce taken betwixt the two kings of England & France.]

But to the purpose. Perceiuing himself now destitute of his best
fréends, of whom diuerse remained prisoners with the French king
(being taken at the battell of Bouins) he thought good to agrée with
king Philip for this present, by way of taking some truce, which by
mediation of ambassadours riding to and fro betwixt them, was at length
accorded to endure for fiue yeares, and to begin at Easter in the
yeare of our Lord, 1215. After this, about the 19 daie of October he
returned into England, to appease certeine tumults which began alreadie
to shoot out buds of some new ciuill dissention. And suerlie the same
spred abroad their blossoms so freshlie, that the fruit was knit before
the growth by anie timelie prouision could be hindered. For the people
being set on by diuerse of the superiours of both sorts, finding
themselues gréeued that the king kept not promise in restoring the
ancient lawes of S. Edward, determined from thencefoorth to vse force,
since by request he might not preuaile. To appease this furie of the
people, not onelie policie but power also was required, for the people
vndertaking an euill enterprise, speciallie raising a tumult or ioining
in a conspiracie are as hardlie suppressed and vanquished as Hydra the
monster hauing manie heads: and therefore it is well said, that

    ------comes est discordia vulgi,
    Námque à turbando nomen sibi turba recepit.

[Sidenote: A cloked pilgrimage.]

The Nobles supposing that longer delaie therein was not to be suffered,
assembled themselues togither at the abbeie of Burie (vnder colour of
going thither to doo their deuotions to the bodie of S. Edmund which
laie there inshrined) where they vttered their complaint of the kings
tyrannicall maners, alledging how they were oftentimes called foorth
to serue in the wars & to fight in defense of the realme, and yet
notwithstanding were still oppressed at home by the kings officers, who
(vpon confidence of the lawes) attempted all things whatsoeuer they
conceiued. And if anie man complained, or alledged that he receiued
wrong at their hands, they would answer by and by, that they had law
on their side to doo as they had doone, so that it was no wrong but
right which they did, and therfore if they that were the lords and
péeres of the realme were men, it stood them vpon to prouide that such
inconueniencies might be auoided, and better lawes brought in vse, by
the which their ancestours liued in a more quiet and happie state.

[Sidenote: The charter of K. Henrie the first.]

[Sidenote: A firebrand of dissention.]

There was brought foorth and also read an ancient charter made
sometime by Henrie the first (which charter Stephan the archbishop of
Canturburie had deliuered vnto them before in the citie of London)
conteining the grant of certeine liberties according to the lawes of
king Edward the confessor, profitable to the church and barons of the
realme, which they purposed to haue vniuersallie executed ouer all the
land. And therefore being thus assembled in the quéers of the church of
S. Edmund, they receiued a solemne oth vpon the alter there, that if
the king would not grant to the same liberties, with others which he
of his owne accord had promised to confirme to them, they would from
thencefoorth make warre vpon him, till they had obteined their purpose,
and inforced him to grant, not onelie to all these their petitions, but
also yéeld to the confirmation of them vnder his seale, for euer to
remaine most stedfast and inuiolable.

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

The chéefe cause that mooued the lords to this conspiracie, rose by
reason the king demanded escuage of them that refused to go with him
into Poictow: and they on the other part mainteined, that they were
not bound to paie it, for any warres which the king made in the parts
beyond the seas. But he to prooue that he ought to haue it declared how
in his fathers and brothers time it was paied, and therefore he ought
to haue it. Much adoo there was about this matter at the first broching
thereof, and more adoo there had béene, if the legats presence had not
somewhat staied the parties. But after they had gotten the charter of
king Henrie the first at the hands of the archbishop of Canturburie,
they made such a sinister interpretation thereof, that supposing it to
serue their turnes, they procéeded in their wilfull opinions (as aboue
is mentioned.)

[Sidenote: _1215._]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

Finallie it was determined amongst them, that shortlie after
Christmasse, they should go to the king, and require of him that they
might haue those laws restored, which he had promised to them (as is
aforesaid.) But forasmuch as they knew well that their sute would not
be thankfullie accepted, in the meane time they prouided themselues of
horsse, armour, and other furniture for the warre, thereby to be in the
better readinesse and safegard, if in exhibiting their request, the
matter did grow to any such inforcement. They appointed also diuerse
of the most ancient lords to mooue the said matter to the king, in all
their names, who was as then at Worcester, and being aduertised of
this conspiracie, as soone as the feast of Christmasse was past, he
went streight to London: thither came the lords also with like spéed,
leauing their men in the townes and villages abroad, to be readie vpon
any sudden warning to come vnto them, if néed should so require.

[Sidenote: The lords present their request to the king.]

[Sidenote: The K. promiseth to consider of their requests.]

Being come into his presence, they required of him that it might
please him, first, to appoint the exercise and vse of those ancient
lawes vnto them, by the which the kings of England in times past ruled
their subiects: secondlie, that according to his promise, he would
abrogate those newer lawes, which euerie man might with good cause
name méere wrongs, rather than lawes: and thirdlie they required of
him the performance of all other things, which he had most faithfullie
of late vndertaken to obserue. The king (though somewhat contrarie
to his nature) hauing heard their request, gaue them a verie gentle
answer. For perceiuing them readie with force to constreine him, if by
gentlenesse they might not preuaile, he thought it should be more safe
and easie for him to turne their vnquiet minds with soft remedies than
to go about to breake them of their willes by strong hand, which is a
thing verie dangerous, especiallie where both parts are of like force.
Therefore he promised them within a few daies, to haue consideration of
their request.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The king demandeth a new oth of allegiance of his subiects.]

[Sidenote: The king taketh on him the crosse.]

And to the intent they might giue the more credit to his words, he
caused the archbishop of Canturburie, and the bishop of Elie, with
William Marshall earle of Penbroke (vnto whom he had giuen his daughter
Elianor in marriage) to vndertake for him, and as it were to become
his suerties: which willinglie they did. Herewith the minds of the
Nobilitie being somewhat pacified, returned home to their houses. The
king soon after also, to assure himselfe the more effectuallie of the
allegiance of his people in time to come caused euerie man to renew his
homage, and to take a new oth to be faithfull to him against all other
persons. And to prouide the more suerlie for himselfe, on Candlemasse
day next insuing, he tooke vpon him the crosse to go into the holie
land, which I thinke he did rather for feare than any deuotion, as was
also thought by other, to the end that he might (vnder the protection
thereof) remaine the more out of danger of such as were his foes. In
which point of dissimulation he shewed himselfe prudent, observing the
counsell of the wiseman,

    ----inclusum corde dolorem
    Dissimula atq; tace, ne deteriora subinde
    Damna feras.

[Sidenote: The causes of the discord betwixt the king and his barons.]

[Sidenote: _Fabian._]

[Sidenote: _Caxton._]

[Sidenote: The earle of Chester.]

[Sidenote: _Hector Boet._]

[Sidenote: The kings couetousnesse.]

[Sidenote: The repining of the cleargie against the K.]

¶ Some say that a great part of this variance that chanced betwéene
king John and his barons, was bicause the king would without skilfull
aduise haue exiled the erle of Chester, and for none other occasion
than for that he had oftentimes aduised him to leaue his cruell
dealing, and also his accustomed adulterie with his brothers wife and
others. Other write that the same dissention rose by reason of the
great crueltie, and vnreasonable auarice, which the king vsed towards
all the states and degrées of his subiects, as well towards them of
the spiritualtie, as of the temporaltie. The prelats therefore of the
realme sore repining at his dooings, for that they could not patientlie
suffer such exaction to be leuied of their liuings (contrarie as they
toke it to the libertie of the church) found means through practise,
to persuade both the kings of Scotland and France to aid and support
them against him, by linking themselues togither with sundrie noblemen
of England. But these séeme to be coniectures of such writers as were
euill affected towards the kings cause.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: Robert Fitz Walter.]

[Sidenote: The archb. of Canturburie mooueth the K. to satisfie the
requests of the barons.]

Now therefore to the sequele of the matter. The king hauing sent awaie
the barons with a gentle answer, though he minded nothing less than to
satisfie them in that they did demand, bicause it made much against his
roiall prerogatiue: and therewith foreséeing that the matter would be
like to grow at length to be tried by force, he began to dout his owne
estate, and therefore prepared an armie, and fortified diuerse castels
and places with men, munition, and vittels, into the which he might
retire for his safetie in any time of néed. The barons which vnderstood
the kings diligence herein, and coniecturing thereof his whole intent,
made readie also their power, appointing for their generall one Robert
Fitz Walter, a man both excellent in counsell, and valiant in warre.
Herewith they came vnto the archbishop of Canturburie, presenting
vnto him a booke, wherein was conteined a note of all the articles of
their petitions, & required him to vnderstand the kings mind touching
the same. The archbishop coueting to extinguish the sedition (whereof
he himselfe had béene no small kindler) which was like to grow, if
the Nobilitie were not pacified the sooner, talked with the king, and
exhorted his grace verie instantlie to satisfie the requests of his
barons, and herewith did shew the booke of the articles which they had
deliuered vnto him.

[Sidenote: The king refuseth to gr[=a]nt their petitions.]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

The king, when he saw what they demanded (which in effect was a new
order in things touching the whole state of the common-wealth) sware
in a great furie, that he would neuer condescend vnto those petitions.
Whereof when the barons had knowledge, they gat them strait vnto
armour, making their assemblie at Stamford in the Easter wéeke, whither
they had drawne vnto them almost the whole Nobilitie, and gathered an
excéeding great armie. For the commons flocked vnto them from euerie
part, bicause the king was generallie hated of the more part of his

[Sidenote: The names of the lords that banded themselues against the

It was coniectured that there were in that armie the number of two
thousand knights, besides yeomen on horssebacke or demilances (as I
may call them) and footemen apparelled in diuerse sorts of armour. The
chéefe ringleaders of this power were these, whose names insue: Robert
Fitz Walter, Eustace Vescie, Richard Percie, Robert Roos, Peter de
Breuse, Nicholas de Stuteuill, Saer earle of Winchester, Robert erle
of Clare, Henrie earle of Clare, Richard earle de Bigot, William de
Mowbray, William de Cressey, Ralfe Fitz Robert, Robert de Vere, Foulke
Fitz Warren, Will. Mallet, William de Montacute, William de Beauchampe,
Simon de Kime, William Marshall the yoonger, William Manduit, Robert
de Montibigonis, John Fitz Robert, John Fitz Alane, G. Lauale, O.
Fitz Alane, W. de Hobrug, O. de Uales, G. de Gaunt, Maurice de Gaunt,
Robert de Brakesley, Robert de Mountfichet, Will. de Lanualley,
G. de Maundeuile earle of Essex, William his brother, William de
Huntingfield, Robert de Gresley, G. constable of Menton, Alexander de
Panton, Peter Fitz John, Alexander de Sutton, Osbert de Bodie, John
constable of Chester, Thomas de Muleton, Conan Fitz Helie, and manie
other; they had also of councell with them as chiefe the archbishop of

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 17.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The king sendeth to the lords.]

The king as then was at Oxford, who hearing of the assemblie which
the barons made, and that they were come to Brakesley, on the mondaie
next after the octaues of Easter, he sent vnto them the archbishop
of Canturburie, in whom he reposed great confidence, and William
Marshall earle of Penbroke, to vnderstand what they meant by that
their assembling thus togither. Wherevpon they deliuered to the same
messengers a roll conteining the ancient liberties, priuiledges and
customs of the realme, signifieng that if the king would not confirme
the same, they would not cease to make him warre, till he should
satisfie their requests in that behalfe.

[Sidenote: The barons giue a plausible name to their armie.]

[Sidenote: Northampton besieged.]

[Sidenote: They wan the towne but not the castell.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

The archbishop and the earle returning to the king, shewed him the
whole circumstance of that which the barons demanded, who tooke great
indignation thereat, and scornefullie said; "Why do they not aske to
haue the kingdome also?" Finallie, he affirmed with an oth, "that he
would neuer grant anie such liberties, whereby he should become a
slaue." Herevpon the archbishop and the earle of Penbroke returned to
the barons, and declared the kings deniall to confirme their articles.
Then the barons naming their hoast The armie of God and the holie
church, set forward, and first came vnto Northampton, and besieging the
towne, when they could not preuaile, bicause the same was well prouided
for defense aforehand, they departed from thence, and came towards
Bedford to besiege the castell there, in which Sir William Beauchampe
was capteine, who being secretlie confederate with them deliuered the
place incontinentlie into their hands.

[Sidenote: Bedford castell deliuered to the barons.]

Whilest they remained here a certeine time to fortifie and furnish
the castell with necessary prouision, there came letters to them from
London, giuing them to vnderstand that if they would send a conuenient
power of souldiers to defend the citie, the same should be receiued
thereinto at some méet and reasonable time in the night season by the
citizens, who would ioine with them in that quarell against the king
to the vttermost of their powers. The lords were glad of these newes,
to haue the chéefe citie of the realme to take part with them, and
therfore they sent foure bands of souldiers streightwaies thither,
which were brought into the citie in the night season (according to
order aforehand taken.) But as Matt. Paris saith, they were receiued
into the citie by Algate, the 24 of Maie being sundaie, whilest the
citizens were at masse. The next day they made open rebellion, tooke
such as they knew fauoured the king, brake into the houses of the
Jewes, & spoiled them.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The barons write to other of the nobilitie to ioine with
them against the king.]

The barons hauing thus gotten possession of the citie of London, wrote
letters vnto all those lords which as yet had not ioined with them in
this confederacie, threatning that if they refused to aid them now in
this necessitie, they would destroie their castels, manours, parkes,
and other possessions, making open warre vpon them as the enimies of
God, and rebels to the church. These were the names of those lords
which yet had not sworne to mainteine the foresaid liberties, William
Marshall earle of Penbroke, Rainulfe earle of Chester, Nicholas earle
of Salisburie, William earle Warren, William erle of Albemarle, H.
earle of Cornewall, W. de Albenie, Robert de Veipount, Peter Fitz
Herbert, Brian de Lisley, G. de Lucie, G. de Furniuall, Thomas Basset,
H. de Braibrooke, I. de Bassingborne, W. de Cantlow, H. de Cornwall,
John Fitz Hugh, Hugh de Neuill, Philip de Albenie, John Marshall,
and William Brewer. All these vpon receipt of the barons letters, or
the more part of them came to London, and ioined themselues with the
barons, vtterlie renouncing to aid king John.

[Sidenote: The king left desolate of fréends.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

Also the plées in the eschequer ceased, and the shiriffes staied from
executing their office. For there was none that would paie anie monie
to the kings vse, nor anie that did obeie him, in somuch that there
remained with him but onelie seuen horssemen of all his traine at one
time (as some write) though soone after he had a great power, which
came to him to the castell of Windsore, where he then laie, and meant
to haue led the same against the lords with all spéed. But hearing now
of this new rebellion of the Londoners, he changed his purpose and
durst not depart from Windsore, being brought in great doubt least all
the other cities of the realme would follow their example. Herevpon he
thought good to assaie if he might come to some agréement by waie of
communication, and incontinentlie sent his ambassadours to the barons,
promising them that he would satisfie their requests, if they would
come to Windsore to talke with him.

[Sidenote: The lords incamped betwixt Stanes and Windsore. K. John
commeth to them to talk of some pacification.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

Howbeit, the lords hauing no confidence in his promise came with
their armie within thrée miles of Windsore, and their pitcht downe
their tents in a medow betwixt Stanes and Windsore, whither king John
also came the 15 daie of June, and shewed such friendlie countenance
towards euerie one of them, that they were put in good hope he meant no
deceipt. Being thus met, they fell in consultation about an agréement
to be had. On the kings part (as it were) sate the archbishops of
Canturburie and Dublin, the bishops of London, Winchester, Lincolne,
Bath, Worcester, Couentrie, Rochester, and Pandulph the popes Nuncio,
with Almerike master of the knights templers: the earles of Penbroke,
Salisburie, Warren, Arundell, Alane de Galoway, William Fitz Gerald,
Peter Fitz Herbert, Alane Basset, Hugh de Neuill, Hubert de Burgh
seneschall of Poictou, Robert de Ropley, John Marshall and Philip
de Albenie. On the barons part, there were innumerable, for all the
nobilitie of England was in a maner assembled there togither.

[Sidenote: Magna Charta and Charta de Foresta.]

Finallie, when the king measuring his owne strength with the barons,
perceiued that he was not able to resist them, he consented to
subscribe and seale to such articles concerning the liberties demanded,
in forme for the most part as is conteined in the two charters Magna
Charta, and Charta de Foresta, beginning Iohannes Dei gratia, &c. And
he did not onlie grant vnto them their petitions touching the forsaid
liberties, but also to win him further credit, was contented that they
should choose out certeine graue and honourable personages, which
should haue authoritie and power to sée those things performed which he
then granted vnto them.

There were twentie fiue of those that were so elected, namelie these.
The earles of Clare, Albemarle, Glocester, Winchester, and Hereford:
also earle Roger, earle Robert, earle Marshall the yoonger, Robert
Fitz Walter the yoonger, Gilbert de Clare, Eustace de Vescie, Hugh
Bigot, William de Mowbray, the maior of London, Gilbert de la Vale,
Robert de Roos, John constable of Chester, Richard de Percie, John Fitz
Robert, William Mallet, Geffrey de Saie, Roger de Mowbray, William de
Huntingfield, Richard de Mountfichet, and William de Albenie. These
fiue and twentie were sworne to sée the liberties granted and confirmed
by the king to be in euerie point obserued, but if he went against the
same, then they should haue authoritie to compell him to the obseruing
of euerie of them.

[Sidenote: The chatelains of foure castels.]

Moreouer, there were other that were sworne to be obedient, and as
it were assistant vnto these fiue and twentie péeres in such things
as they should appoint, which were these. The earle of Arundell, the
earle Warren by his attornie, Henrie Doilie, Hubert de Burgh, Matthew
Fitz Herbert, Robert de Pinknie, Roger Huscarle, Robert de Newburgh,
Henrie de Pont Audoin, Rafe de la Hay, Henrie de Brentfield, Warren
Fitz Gerald, Thomas Basset, William de Buckland, William de saint
John, Alane Basset, Richard de Riuers, Hugh de Boneuale, Jordain de
Sackuille, Ralfe Musgraue, Richard Siflewast, Robert de Ropeley,
Andrew de Beauchampe, Walter de Dunstable, Walter Folioth, Foulkes
de Brent, John Marshall, Philip Daubnie, William de Perca, Ralfe de
Normandie, William de Percie, William Agoilum, Engerand de Pratellis,
William de Cirenton, Roger de Zuche, Roger Fitz Barnard, and Godfrie de
Grancombe. It was further ordered, that the chatelains or constables
(as I may call them) of the foure castels of Northampton, Killingworth,
Notingham, and Scarborow, should be sworne to the fiue and twentie
péeres, to gouerne those castels in such wise as they should haue in
commandement from the said fiue and twentie péeres, or from the greater
part of them: and that such should be placed as chatelains in the same,
as were thought to be most true and faithfull vnto the barons and the
realme. ¶ It was also decréed, that certeine strangers, as Flemings and
other, should be banished out of England.

The king herevpon sent his letters patents vnto the shiriffes of all
the counties of this realme, commanding them to sée the ordinances and
liberties which he granted and confirmed, to be diligentlie obserued.
And for the more strengthening of this his grant, he had gotten the
pope to confirme a like charter granted the yeare before. For the pope
(sith king John was become his obedient vassall, and the apostolike
king) easilie granted to gratifie both him and his lords herein, and so
was the grant of the liberties corroborated & made good with a double
confirmation, and so sealed, that it was impossible for them to be
separated in sunder, the kings grant being annexed to the popes bull.

[Sidenote: Rochester castell restored to the archb. of Canturburie.]

Immediatlie also vpon the confirmation now made by the king, diuerse
lords came to him, and required restitution of such possessions,
lands, and houses, as he had in his hands, the right whereof (as they
alledged) apperteined to them: but he excused the matter, and shifted
them off, till by inquest taken, it might appeare what right euerie man
had to those things which they then claimed: and furthermore assigned
them a daie to be holden at Westminster, which was the sixtéenth day
of Julie. But yer he restored at that time the castell of Rochester
vnto the archbishop of Canturburie, the barons hauing obteined a great
péece of their purpose (as they thought) returned to London with their
charter sealed, the date whereof was this: Giuen by our owne hand, in
the medow called Kuningsmede or Rimemede, betwixt Stanes and Windsore,
the fiftéenth of Iune, in the eightéenth yeare of our reigne.

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The kings impatiencie to sée himselfe brideled by his

Great reioising was made for this conclusion of peace betwixt the king
and his barons, the people iudging that God had touched the kings
heart, and mollified it, whereby happie daies were come for the realme
of England, as though it had béene deliuered out of the bondage of
Aegypt: but they were much deceiued, for the king hauing condescended
to make such grant of liberties, farre contrarie to his mind, was right
sorowfull in his heart, curssed his mother that bare him, the houre
that he was borne, and the paps that gaue him sucke, wishing that he
had receiued death by violence of sword or knife, in stéed of naturall
norishment: he whetted his téeth, he did bite now on one staffe, and
now on an other as he walked, and oft brake the same in péeces when
he had doone, and with such disordered behauiour and furious gestures
he vttered his gréefe, in such sort that the Noble men verie well
perceiued the inclination of his inward affection concerning these
things, before the breaking vp of the councell, and therefore sore
lamented the state of the realme, gessing what would follow of his
impatiencie and displesant taking of the matter.

Herevpon they said among themselues, "Wo be to vs, yea rather to the
whole realme that wanteth a sufficient king, and is gouerned by a
tyrant that séeketh the subuersion therof. Now hath our souereigne
lord made vs subiect to Rome, and to the Romish court, so that we must
hencefoorth obteine our protection from thence. It is verie much to be
feared, least we doo féele hereafter some further péece of mischéefe
to light vpon vs suddenlie. We neuer heard of any king that would not
gladlie indeuor to withdraw his necke from bondage & captiuitie, but
ours of his owne accord voluntarilie submitteth himselfe to become
vassall to euerie stranger." And thus the lords lamenting the case,
left the king, and returned to London (as before yée haue heard.)

[Sidenote: The king departeth into the Ile of Wight.]

[Sidenote: He sendeth ambassadors to the pope.]

But the king disquieted not a little, for that he was thus driuen to
yéeld so farre vnto the barons, notwithstanding as much as was possible
he kept his purpose secret, deuised by what means he might disappoint
all that had béene doone, and promised on his part, at this assemblie
betwixt him and the lords a pacification (as yée haue heard.) Wherefore
the next day verie late in the euening, he secretlie departed to
Southampton, and so ouer into the Ile of Wight, where he tooke aduice
with his councell what remedie he might find to quiet the minds of
his lords and barons, and to bring them vnto his purpose. At length
after much debating of the matter, it was concluded by the aduise of
the greater part, that the king should require the popes aid therein.
And so Walter the bishop of Worcester, & John the bishop of Norwich,
with one Richard Marish his chancellor, with all spéed were sent as
ambassadors from the king vnto pope Innocent, to instruct him of the
rebellion of the English Nobilitie, and that he constreined by force
had granted them certeine lawes and priuileges hurtfull to his realme,
and preiudiciall to his crowne.

[Sidenote: Hugh de Boues.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

Moreouer, sith that all this was doone by the authoritie of the pope
the king besought him to make the same void, and to command the barons
to obeie him being their king, as reason required they should. There
were also sent by him other messengers, as Hugh de Boues and others,
into diuerse parts beyond the sea, to bring from thence great numbers
of men of war and souldiers, appointing them to méet him at Douer, at
the feast of saint Michaell next insuing. He sent likewise vnto all his
chateleins and constables of castels within the realme, requiring them
to prouide themselues of all things necessarie for defense of the holds
committed to their charge, if they should chance to be besieged, though
it were on the next morrow.

His ambassadours and other messengers being thus dispatched, and hauing
but few persons left about him, or in maner none, except such of the
bishop of Norwich his seruants as he had borowed of him, he fell to
take prises as any ships came by suspected not to be his fréends,
so séeking to win the fauour of the mariners that belonged to the
cinke ports, and so lay close in the Ile of Wight and there about the
sea-coasts for the space of thrée moneths togither. In which meane
time, manie things were reported of him, some calling him a fisher,
some a merchant, and some a pirat and rouer. And manie (for that
no certeine newes could be heard of him) iudged that he was either
drowned, or dead by some other means. But he still looking for some
power to come ouer to his aid, kept himselfe out of the way, till the
same should be arriued, and dissembled the conceit of his reuenge and
hart grudge, till opportunitie serued him with conuenient securitie
to put the same in execution. Wherein he shewed himselfe discréet
and prouident, and did as in such a case one wiseman dooth counsell
another, saieng,

          --------sapiens irámque coërcet,
    Sæpè etiam vtiliter cedit, placidísque furentem
    Demulcet dictis, & dulcibus allicit hostem
    Blanditijs, donec deceptum in retia mittat.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: The ambassadours c[=o]ming to the popes presence declare
their message.]

The lords all this while lay at London, and began to doubt the matter,
bicause they could heare no certeine newes where the king was become:
for doubting (as I said) the suertie of his person, he conueied
himselfe secretlie from one place to another, lodging and taking his
diet oftentimes more meanlie than was decent for his estate: and still
he longed to heare how his ambassadours sped with the pope, who in the
meane time comming vnto Rome, and declaring their message at full,
tooke it vpon their solemne oth, that the right was on the kings side,
and that the fault rested onelie on the lords, touching the whole
controuersie betwéene them and him, who sought with great rigour and
against reason to bridle him at their pleasures.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

They shewed also a note of certeine articles conteined in the charter,
which séemed to make most for the kings purpose, and withall declared
that the king in open assemblie, where he and the barons met to talke
of such matters, had protested that the kingdome of England speciallie
apperteined (as touching the souereingtie) vnto the church of Rome,
whervpon he neither could nor ought without knowledge of the pope
to ordeine anie thing anew, or change ought within that kingdome in
preiudice thereof. Wherefore whereas he put himselfe and all the
rights of his kingdome by way of appealing vnder the protection of the
apostolike sée: the barons yet without regard had to the same appeale,
did seize into their possession the citie of London, and getting them
to armour, inforced the king to confirme such vnreasonable articles, as
there appeared for him to consider.

[Sidenote: The popes answer vnto the kings ambassadours.]

The pope hauing heard their tale, and considered of the articles,
with bending browes (in witnesse of his indignation) made foorth with
this short answer: "And is it so, that the barons of England doo go
about to expell their king, which hath taken vpon him the crosse, and
is remaining vnder the protection of the apostolike sée? And do they
meane indéed to translate the dominion that belongeth to the church of
Rome vnto another? By S. Peter we cannot suffer this iniurie to passe
vnpunished." Herevpon (crediting the ambassadours words) by the aduice
of his cardinals, he décréed that all those priuiledges, which the
king had granted vnto the lords and barons of this realme, as inforced
thereto by their rebellious attempt, should be accounted void and of
none effect. Also he wrote vnto the lords, admonishing them by his
letters that they should obeie their king, vpon paine of his cursse if
they should attempt anie thing that sounded to the contrarie.

[Sidenote: _Hect. Boetius._]

[Sidenote: Cardinall Gualo.]

¶ At the same time there was in the court of Rome (as Hector Boetius
saith) a cardinall named Gualo or Wallo, a verie couetous person, and
such a one (as in that place some are neuer wanting) which for monie
passed not what he did to further anie mans suit, without regard either
to right or wrong, by whose chiefe trauell and means the pope was
greatlie induced to fauour king Johns cause, and to iudge with him in
preiudice of the lords purposes, as before is expressed.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: The ambassadours returne from the pope.]

[Sidenote: The popes decrée is declared to the lords.]

[Sidenote: The barons will trie their quarel by dint of sword.]

But to procéed. The ambassadours being dispatched, and hauing the popes
prescript, and such other his letters with them as they had obteined
of him, returned with all spéed into England vnto the king (who was
come a litle before vnto Windsore castell) and there declared vnto
him how they sped. K. John being ioifull in that they had brought
the matter so well about for his purpose, caused the popes decrée to
be declared vnto the barons, commanding them streitlie to obeie the
same. The barons taking the matter grieuouslie to be thus mocked, with
great indignation both blamed king Johns vniust dealing, and the popes
wrongfull iudgement, in that he had pronounced against them, without
hearing what they had of right to alledge for themselues. Wherevpon
out of hand (notwithstanding the popes prohibition and prescript to
the contrarie) they determined to trie their cause by dint of sword,
and with all spéed assembled their powers, which for the greater part
they had latelie dismissed and sent home. They furnished the castell of
Rochester with a strong garrison of men, and placed therein as capteine
one William Albeney, a verie skilfull warriour.

[Sidenote: The K. sendeth eftsoons to the pope.]

[Sidenote: The king returneth into the Ile of Wight.]

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: The arriuall of forren souldiers to the kings aid. Sauerie
de Mauleon.]

[Sidenote: Ferdinando erle of Flanders.]

King John, after he vnderstood that the barons (contemning the popes
decrée and inhibition) were more offended and bent against him than
before, sent once againe to the pope, to aduertise him of their
disobedience and great contumacie shewed in refusing to stand to his
prescript. This doone, he returned to the Ile of Wight, and sailed
from thence to Douer, where diuerse of those his commissaries which he
had sent to hire soldiers in forren parts returned to him, bringing
with them out of diuerse countries such a multitude of souldiers and
armed men, that the onelie sight of them stroke the harts of all
the beholders with great feare and terror. For out of the parties
of Poictou and Gascoine, there came men of great nobilitie, and
right worthie warriours, as Sauerie de Mauleon, Geffrey and Oliuer
de Buteuile two brethren, hauing vnder them great numbers of good
souldiers and tall men of warre. Also out of Brabant there came
Walter Buc, Gerard de Sotignie, and one Godestall, with thrée legions
of armed men and crossebowes. Likewise there came out of Flanders
other capteins, with diuerse bands of souldiers, which Ferdinando
earle of Flanders (latelie returned out of the French captiuitie) for
old fréendships sake furnished and sent ouer to aid him against his
subiects, according as he had requested.

[Sidenote: Wil. de Albenie capteine of Rochester castell.]

[Sidenote: King John besiegeth the castell of Rochester.]

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

King John then hauing recouered strength about him, and being
aduertised that William de Albenie was entred into the castell of
Rochester with a great number of knights, men of armes and other
souldiers, hasted thither with his whole armie, and besieged them
within, inforcing himselfe by all waies possible to win the castell as
well by battering the walles with engines, as by giuing thereto manie
assaults: but the garison within (consisting of nintie and foure
knights beside demilances, and other souldiers) defended the place
verie manfullie, in hope of rescue from the barons, which laie as then
at London: but they comming forward one daies iournie vnto Dartford,
when they heard that the king was comming forward in good araie of
battell to méet them, vpon consideration had of their owne forces, for
that they were not able to match him with footmen, they returned backe
againe to the citie, breaking that assured promise which they had made
and also confirmed by their solemne oths, which was that if the castell
should chance to be besieged, they would not faile but raise the siege.

[Sidenote: Rochester castell is yéelded to the king.]

[Sidenote: The counsell of Sauerie de Mauleon.]

[Sidenote: Arcubalisters those y^t beare crossebowes.]

At length they within for want of vittels were constreined to yéeld it
vp vnto the king, after it had béene besieged the space of thrée score
daies: during which time they had beaten backe their enimies at sundry
assaults, with great slaughter and losse. But the king hauing now got
the possession of that hold, vpon gréefe conceiued for the losse of
so manie men, and also bicause he had line so long about it yer he
could winne it, to his inestimable costs and charges, was determined
to haue put them all to death that had kept it. But Sauerie de Mauleon
aduised him otherwise, lest by such crueltie, the barons in any like
case should be occasioned to vse the same extremitie towards such of
his people, as by chance might fall into their hands. Thus the king
spared the Nobles and gentlemen, sending William de Albenie, William
de Lancaster, William de Emeford, Thomas de Muleton, Osbert Gifford,
Osbert de Bobie, Odinell de Albenie, and diuerse other to the castell
of Corfe, there to be kept as prisoners. But Robert Charnie, Richard
Gifford, and Thomas de Lincolne were sent to Notingham, and so other
were sent to other places. As for all the demilances or yeomen (if I
shall so call them) and the arcubalisters which had slaine manie of his
men during the siege (as Matthew Paris saith) the king caused them to
be hanged, to put other in feare that should so obstinatlie resist him.

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

Neuerthelesse (as the booke that belonged to Bernewell abbie saith)
there was not any of them hanged, sauing one arcubalister onelie,
whome the king had brought vp of a child. But howsoeuer the king dealt
with them after they were yéelded, true it is (as by the same booke
it appeareth) there had béene no siege in those daies more earnestlie
inforced, nor more obstinatlie defended: for after that all the limmes
of the castell had béene reuersed and throwne downe, they kept the
maister tower, till halfe thereof was also ouerthrowne, and after kept
the other halfe, till through famine they were constreined to yéeld,
hauing nothing but horsseflesh and water to susteine their liues

[Sidenote: Hugh de Boues drowned.]

Here is to be remembred, that whilest the siege laie thus at Rochester,
Hugh de Boues a valiant knight, but full of pride and arrogancie, a
Frenchman borne, but banished out of his countrie, came downe to Calice
with an huge number of men of warre and souldiers to come to the aid of
king John. But as he was vpon the sea with all his people, meaning to
land at Douer, by a sudden tempest which rose at that instant, the said
Hugh with all his companie was drowned by shipwracke. Soone after the
bodie of the same Hugh with the carcases of other innumerable, both of
men, women, and children, were found not farre from Yermouth, and all
along that coast. There were of them in all fortie thousand, as saith
Matthew Paris, for of all those which he brought with him, there was
(as it is said) not one man left aliue.

The king (as the fame went, but how true I know not) had giuen by
charter vnto the said Hugh de Boues, the whole countrie of Northfolke,
so that he ment to haue expelled the old inhabitants, and to haue
peopled it with strangers. But whether this was so or not, sure it
is that he was verie sorowfull for the losse of this succor and aid
which thus perished in the seas, though it happened verie well for his
subiects of England, that should haue béene sore oppressed by such
multitude of strangers, which for the most part must néeds haue liued
vpon the countrie, to the vtter vndooing of the inhabitants wheresoeuer
they should haue come.

[Sidenote: _Rafe Cog._]

Héere is to be noted, that during the siege of Rochester (as some
write) there came out of France to the number néere hand of seauen
thousand men sent from the French king vnto the aid of the barons, at
the suit of Saer de Quincie earle of Winchester and other ambassadours
that were sent from the barons, during the time of this siege, although
it should séeme by Matthew Paris, that the said earle was not sent
till after the pope had excommunicated the barons (as after yée shall
heare.) The Frenchmen that came ouer at this first time landed at
Orwell, and at other hauens there néere adioining.

[Sidenote: Walter Graie elected archb. of Yorke.]

About this season, the canons of Yorke (bicause the archbishops sée
there had remained void a long time) obtaining licence of the king,
assembled togither about the election of an archbishop. And though the
king had once againe earnestlie mooued them to preferre Walter Graie
bishop of Worcester, yet they refused so to doo, and therefore chose
Simon de Langton, brother to the archbishop of Canturburie, which
election was afterward made void by the earnest trauell of the king to
the pope, bicause his brother the said archbishop of Canturburie was
known to fauour the part of the barons against him, so that the said
Walter Graie was then elected and promoted to the guiding of the sée of
Yorke, according to the kings speciall desire in that behalfe.

[Sidenote: The archb. of Canturburie fauoureth the barons part.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The barons denounced accurssed by the popes commandement.]

About the same time also, pope Innocent being certified, how the
barons of England would not obeie his prescript, iudged them enimies
to the church and gaue commandement to Peter the bishop of Winchester,
to the abbat of Reading, and to the subdeacon Pandulph, to pronounce
the sentence of excommunication against them. But they could not at
the first execute the popes commandement herein, by reason that the
archbishop of Canturburie, who fauoured the barons cause, would not
permit them. Wherefore the same archbishop was interdicted out of the
church, and from saieng diuine seruice, and also being cited to appeare
at Rome, was in danger to be depriued of his miter: had not certeine
cardinals intreated for him, and obteined his pardon. The archbishop
being gone to Rome, as well to excuse himselfe in this matter, as to
be present at the generall councell there holden at that time (for
he was readie to go take the sea thitherwards when the bishop of
Winchester and Pandulph came to him with the popes letters) the said
bishop of Winchester & Pandulph procéeded to the pronouncing of the
excommunication against the barons, renewing the same euerie sundaie
and holieday: albeit the barons (bicause none of them were expresselie
named in the popes letters) made none account of the censure, reputing
it as void, and not to concerne them in any manner of point. But now to
returne to king John.

[Sidenote: K. John diuideth his armie in two parts.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

After he had woone the castell of Rochester (as before you haue heard)
he hasted to S. Albons, and there diuided his armie into two parts,
appointing the one to remaine about London, whilest he himselfe with
the other might go into the north to waste and destroie the possessions
of certeine lords there, which (as he was informed) went about to
raise an armie against him. He made capteins of that armie which he
left behind him, his brother William earle of Salisburie, Sauerie de
Mauleon, Will. Brewer, Walter Buc, and others. He himselfe departed
from S. Albons about the 21 day of December, leading his said armie
northwards: in which were chiefe capteins these that follow, William
erle of Albemarle, Philip de Albeney, and John Marshall. Also of
strangers, Gerard de Sotigam, and Godstall, with the Flemings, the
crossebowes, and others.

[Sidenote: K. John goeth northward.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Notingham.]

[Sidenote: _1216._]

[Sidenote: Beauer castle summoned to yéeld.]

[Sidenote: William de Albeney.]

[Sidenote: Stodham.]

[Sidenote: Charnelles.]

[Sidenote: The castell of Beauoir rendered to the king.]

The first night he laie at Dunstable, and from thence passing forwards
towards Northampton, he destroied by the waie all the manours, places
and houses, which belonged to the aduersaries, and so kept on his
iournie till he came to Notingham, where he laie in the castell on
Christmasse day, and in the morning (being S. Stephans day) he went to
Langar, and lodged there that night, sending his summons in the morning
to the castell of Beauer, willing them within to yéeld. This castell
apperteined to William Albeney, who had committed the custodie thereof
vnto his sonne Nicholas de Albeney préest, to sir William de Stodham,
and to sir Hugh Charnelles knights: the which came to the king with the
keies of the castell, and surrendered the same vnto him, with condition
that he should be good to their master the said William Albeney, and
grant vnto them their horses and armour, wherwith they would remaine
with him vnder his peace and protection. On the next morrow (being
S. Johns day) the king went to the castell, and receiuing the same,
deliuered it to the kéeping of Geffrey Buteuile, and his brother Oliuer.

[Sidenote: Dunnington castell taken and raced.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

After this the castell of John Lacie at Dunnington was taken and
laid flat to the ground, by commandement of the king, who hauing
accomplished his will in those parties, drew towards Yorkeshire, and
at his comming thither destroied the houses, townes and manours of
those lords and gentlemen which were against him. It is horrible to
heare, and lothsome to rehearse the crueltie which was practised by the
souldiers and men of warre in places where they came, who counting no
honour or renowme more excellent, nor glorie (as warriours say)

    Maior nulla quidem quàm bello parta videtur,
    Horrida Mauortis tractare ferociter arma,
    Hostilíque suam temerare in sanguine dextram,

[Sidenote: K. John taketh y^e castell of Barwike.]

[Sidenote: Hugh de Balioll & Philip de Hulcotes.]

[Sidenote: Robert de Vepount, Brian de Lisle, Geffrey de Lucie.]

and therfore were wholie bent to spoile and ransacke the houses of the
people without pitie or compassion, besides the robberies, spoiles and
great outrages vsed by the souldiers generallie against the common
people. Few there were in that countrie of great lineage or wealth,
whom the king for their assembling themselues with the barons either
spoiled not, or put not to execution. Thus with his armie (to the
great desolation of the countrie) he passed foorth to the borders of
Scotland, and entring that realme, tooke the castell of Barwike, and
other places of strength in those parts, meaning to haue woone more
from the Scots, if other vrgent businesse had not called him backe
againe. This being doone, he committed the countrie which lieth betwixt
the riuer of These, and the confines of Scotland, to the kéeping of
Hugh de Balioll & Philip de Hulcotes, assigning to them such conuenient
number of men of warre as was thought expedient, and the custodie of
the castels in Yorkeshire he deliuered to Robert de Vepount, to Brian
de Lisle, and to Geffrey de Lucie.

[Sidenote: Mountsorell betwixt Leicester & Lugborough.]

[Sidenote: The earle of Salisburie with his armie inuadeth the
countries about London.]

Finallie, when he had so ordered things in the North parts as stood
with his pleasure, so that there remained no more but two castels, that
is to saie, Mountsorrell, and another in Yorkeshire that apperteined to
Robert de Roos in possession of the barons, he returned by the borders
of Wales into the south parts: and by all the way as he passed, he
shewed great crueltie against his aduersaries, besieging and taking
their castells and strong houses, of the which some he caused to be
fortified with garrisons of souldiers to his owne vse, and some he
raced. The like feats were wrought by the other armie in the parts
about London: for William earle of Salisburie, and Foukes de Brent,
with the other capteins which the king had left behind him there,
perceiuing that the citie would not easilie be woone by anie siege,
first furnished the castell of Windsore, Hertford, and Barkhamsted,
with such strong garrisons of souldiers as might watch, vpon occasion
giuen to assaile those that should either go into the citie, or come
from thence: they marched foorth with the residue of the armie, and
passing through the counties of Essex, and Hertford, Middlesex,
Cambridge, Huntington, they wasted the countries, and made the townes
become tributaries to them. As for the houses, manour places, parkes,
and other possessions of the barons, they wasted, spoiled and destroied
them, running euen hard to the citie of London and setting fire in the

[Sidenote: The castell of Hanslap.]

[Sidenote: Tunbridge castell.]

[Sidenote: Bedford tak[=e]n by Foukes de Brent.]

[Sidenote: Will. Beauchampe.]

[Sidenote: Castels deliuered to the kéeping of Foukes de Brent.]

In this meane time, whilest the king went forwards on his iournie
northwards, vpon the 18 of December last past, the castell of Hanslap
was taken by Foukes de Brent, which apperteined vnto William Manduit.
On the same day also was the castell of Tunbridge taken by the garrison
of Rochester, which castell of Tunbridge belonged to the earle of
Clare. Moreouer, the foresaid Foukes de Brent comming vnto Bedford, wan
both the towne and castell: for they that had the castell in kéeping,
after 7 daies respit (which they obteined at the hands of the said
Foukes) when rescue came not from the lord William Beauchampe their
maister, they deliuered it vnto the said Foukes. Vnto whom K. John gaue
not onlie that castell, but also committed to his kéeping the castells
of Northampton, Oxford and Cambridge.

[Sidenote: Foukes de Brent aduanced by marriage.]

[Sidenote: Rockingham, Sawey and Biham.]

[Sidenote: Barkhamsted.]

[Sidenote: Hertfort castell.]

The king had this Foukes in great estimation, and amongst other
waies to aduance him, he gaue to him in marriage Margaret de Riuers,
a ladie of high nobilitie, with all the lands and possessions that
to hir belonged. Moreouer, to William earle of Albemarle the king
deliuered the custodie of the castels of Rockingham, Sawey and Biham.
To one Ranulfe Teutonicus, the castell of Barkehamsted, and to Walter
Godreuill seruant to Foukes de Brent, he betooke the kéeping of the
castell of Hertford. Thus what on the one part, and what on the other,
the barons lost in maner all their possessions from the south sea vnto
the borders of Scotland, the king seizing the same into his hands,
and committing them to the kéeping of strangers, and such other as he
thought more trustie and conuenient. All this while the barons laie at
London banketting and making merrie, without attempting anie exploit
praise-worthie. But yet when they heard by certeine aduertisement, what
hauocke and destruction was made of their houses & possessions abroad,
they could not but lament their miseries, and amongst other their
complaints which they vttered one to another, they sore blamed the
pope, as a chéefe cause of all these euils, for that he mainteined and
defended the king against them.

[Sidenote: The barons accursed by name.]

Indéed about the same time pope Innocent, who before at the instant
suit of king John had excommunicated the barons in generall, did now
excommunicate them by name, and in particular, as these. First all
the citizens of London which were authors of the mischéefe that had
happened by the rebellion of the said barons. Also Robert Fitz Walter,
Saer de Quincie earle of Winchester, R. his sonne, G. de Mandeuille,
and W. his brother the earle of Clare, and G. his sonne, H. earle of
Hereford, R. de Percie, G. de Vescie, J. conestable of Chester, W. de
Mowbraie, Will. de Albenie, W. his sonne, P. de Breuse, R. de Cressey,
J. his sonne, Ranulfe Fitz Robert, R. earle Bigot, H. his sonne, Robert
de Vere, Foulke Fitz Warren, W. Mallet, W. de Mountacute, W. Fitz
Marshall, W. de Beauchampe, S. de Kime, R. de Montbigons, and Nicholas
de Stuteuille, with diuerse other.

[Sidenote: _Ralfe Cog._]

[Sidenote: The Ile of Elie spoiled.]

[Sidenote: _Polydor._]

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

The armie which king John had left behind him in the south parts, vnder
the leading of the earle of Salisburie and other, laie not idle, but
scowring the countries abroad (as partlie yée haue heard) came to S.
Edmundsburie, and hauing intelligence there, that diuerse knights,
ladies and gentlewomen that were there before their comming, had fled
out of that towne, and for their more safetie were withdrawne into the
Ile of Elie, they followed them, besieged the Ile, and assailed it on
ech side, so that although they within had fortified the passages, and
appointed men of warre to remaine vpon the gard of the same in places
where it was thought most néedfull; yet at length they entred vpon them
by force, Walter Bucke with his Brabanders being the first that set
foot within the Ile towards Herbie. For by reason the waters in the
fenes and ditches were hard frosen, so that men might passe by the same
into the said Ile, they found means to enter, and spoiled it fr[=o]m
side to side, togither with the cathedral church, carieng from thence
at their departure a maruellous great prey of goods and cattell.

[Sidenote: The lords send to the French kings sonne, offering to him
the crowne.]

The barons of the realme being thus afflicted with so manie mischéefes
all at one time, as both by the sharpe and cruell warres which the
king made against them on the one side, and by the enmitie of the pope
on the other side, they knew not which way to turne them, nor how to
séeke for reléefe. For by the losse of their complices taken in the
castell of Rochester, they saw not how it should any thing auaile them
to ioine in battell with the king. Therefore considering that they were
in such extremitie of despaire they resolued with themselues to séeke
for aid at the enimies hands, and therevpon Saer earle of Winchester,
and Robert Fitz Walter, with letters vnder their seales were sent vnto
Lewes the sonne of Philip the French king, offering him the crowne of
England, and sufficient pledges for performance of the same, and other
couenants to be agréed betwixt them, requiring him with all spéed to
come vnto their succour. This Lewes had married (as before is said)
Blanch daughter to Alfonse king of Castile, néece to king John by his
sister Elianor.

[Sidenote: French men sent ouer to the aid of the barons.]

[Sidenote: The saturday after the Epiphanie, saith _Rafe. Cog._]

Now king Philip the father of this Lewes, being glad to haue such
an occasion to inuade the relme of England, which he neuer looued,
promised willinglie that his sonne should come vnto the aid of the
said barons with all conuenient spéed (but first he receiued foure and
twentie hostages which he placed at Campaine for further assurance of
the couenants accorded) and herewith he prepared an armie, and diuerse
ships to transport his sonne and his armie ouer into England. In the
meane time, and to put the barons in comfort, he sent ouer a certeine
number of armed men, vnder the leading of the chatelaine of saint Omers
and the chatelaine of Arras, Hugh Thacon, Eustace de Neuille, Baldwin
Brecell, William de Wimes, Giles de Melun, W. de Beamont, Giles de
Hersie, Biset de Fersie, and others, the which taking the sea, arriued
with one and fortie ships in the Thames, and so came to London the
seauen and twentith of Februarie, where they were receiued of the
barons with great ioy and gladnesse. Moreouer the said Lewes wrote to
the barons, that he purposed by Gods assistance to be at Calice by day
appointed, with an armie redie to passe ouer with all spéed vnto their

[Sidenote: _Rafe. Cog._]

The fridaie before Candlemasse day, Sauarie de Mauleon, and other
capteines of the kings side, laid siege to the castell of Colchester,
but hauing intelligence that the barons which laie at London made
forward with all spéed to come to succour that castell, on the
Wednesday after Candlemasse day, being the third of Februarie, they
raised their siege, and went backe towards S. Edmundsburie.

In the meane while, the K. being gone (as yée haue heard) to the
borders of Scotland, a brute was raised that he was dead, and secretlie
buried at Reading. But this rumour had not time to worke any great
alteration, for after he had dispatched his businesse in the north,
as he thought expedient, he returned, and comming into the east parts
about the midst of Lent himselfe in person besieged the castell of
Colchester, and within a few daies after his comming thither, it was
deliuered vnto him by Frenchmen that kept it, with condition that they
might depart with all their goods and armour, vnto their fellowes at
London, and that the Englishmen there in companie with them in that
castell, might likewise depart vpon reasonable ransoms.

But although that couenant was kept with the Frenchmen, yet the
Englishmen were staied and committed to prison. Wherevpon when the
Frenchmen came to London, they were apprehended and charged with
treason for making such composition, whereby those Englishmen that were
fellowes with them in arms were secluded from so beneficiall conditions
as they had made for themselues. They were in danger to haue béene
put to death for their euill dealing herein, albeit at length it was
concluded that they should remaine in prison till the comming of Lewes,
vnto whose pleasure their cause should be referred.

After this the castell of Hidingham was woone, which belonged vnto
earle Robert de Vere. Then the king prepared to besiege London, but the
Londoners were of such courage, that they set open their gates, and
hearing of the kings approach, made readie to issue forth to giue him
battell: wherof the king being aduertised, withdrew backe, but Sauerie
de Mauleon was suddenlie set vpon by the Londoners, lost manie of his
men, and was sore hurt and wounded himselfe.

The king perceiuing that it would not preuaile him to attempt the
winning of the citie at that time, drew alongst the coast, fortified
his castels, and prepared a great nauie, meaning to encounter his
enimie Lewes by sea: but through tempest the ships which he had got
togither from Yarmouth, Dunwich Lin, and other hauens, were dispersed
in sunder, and manie of them cast awaie by rage and violence of the
outragious winds.

[Sidenote: King John once againe sendeth to the pope.]

Somewhat before this time also, when he heard of the compact made
betwixt the barons and his aduersaries the Frenchmen, he dispatched a
messenger in all hast to the pope, signifieng to him what was in hand
and practised against him, requiring furthermore the said pope by his
authorise to cause Lewes to staie his iournie, and to succour those
rebels in England which he had alreadie excommunicated. This he néeded
not haue doone, had he béene indued with such prudence and prowesse as
is requisit to be planted in one that beareth rule, of whom it is said,

    Cui si quando Deus rerum permittat habenas,
    Imperíjq; decus, tunc aurea secula fiunt,
    Tunc floret virtus, terrásque Astrea reuisit,
    Pax viget, & vitium duris cohibetur habenis,

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 18.]

[Sidenote: Cardinall Gualo.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The French kings allegations to the popes legat Gualo.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

whereas by meanes of defects in the contrarie, he bare too low a
saile, in that he would be so foolified as being a king, to suffer
vsurped supremasie to be caruer of his kingdome. But let vs sée the
consequence. The pope desirous to helpe king John all that he might
(bicause he was now his vassall) sent his legat Gualo into France,
to disswade king Philip from taking anie enterprise in hand against
the king of England. But king Philip though he was content to heare
what the legat could saie, yet by no meanes would be turned from
the execution of his purpose, alledging that king John was not the
lawfull king of England, hauing first vsurped and taken it awaie from
his nephue Arthur the lawfull inheritour, and that now sithens as
an enimie to his owne roiall dignitie he had giuen the right of his
kingdome awaie to the pope (which he could not doo without consent
of his nobles) and therefore through his owne fault he was worthilie
depriued of all his kinglie honor. For the kingdome of England (saith
he) neuer belonged to the patrimonie of S. Peter, nor at anie time
shall. For admit that he were rightfull king, yet neither he nor anie
other prince may giue awaie his kingdome without the assent of his
barons, which are bound to defend the same, and the prerogatiue roiall,
to the vttermost of their powers. Furthermore (saith he) if the pope
doo meane to mainteine this errour, he shall giue a perilous example
to all kingdomes of the world. Herewithall the Nobles of France then
present, protested also with one voice, that in defense of this article
they would stand to the death, which is, that no king or prince at his
will and pleasure might giue awaie his kingdome, or make it tributarie
to anie other potentate, whereby the Nobles should become thrall or
subject to a forren gouernour. These things were doone at Lions in the
quindene after Easter.

[Sidenote: Lewes the Fr[=e]nch kings sonne mainteineth his pretended
title to the crowne of England.]

[Sidenote: The priuilege of those that tooke vpon them the crosse.]

Lewes on the morrow following, being the 26 of Aprill, by his fathers
procurement, came into the councell chamber, and with frowning looke
beheld the legat, where by his procurator he defended the cause that
moued him to take vpon him this iournie into England, disprouing not
onelie the right which king John had to the crowne, but also alledging
his owne interest, not onelie by his new election of the barons, but
also in the title of his wife, whose mother the quéene of Castile
remained onelie aliue of all the brethren and sisters of Henrie the
second late king of England (as before ye haue heard.) The legat made
answer herevnto, that "king John had taken vpon him the crosse, as
one appointed to go to warre against Gods enimies in the holie land,
wherefore he ought by decrée of the generall councell to haue peace for
foure yeares to come, and to remaine in suertie vnder protection of
the apostolike sée." But Lewes replied thereto, that king John had by
warre first inuaded his castels and lands in Picardie, and wasted the
same, as Buncham castell and Liens, with the countie of Guisnes which
belonged to the fée of the said Lewes.

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._]

But these reasons notwithstanding, the legat warned the French king
on paine of cursing, not to suffer his sonne to go into England, and
likewise his sonne, that he should not presume to take the iournie in
hand. But Lewes hearing this, declared that his father had nothing to
do to forbid him to prosecute his right in the realme of England, which
was not holden of him, and therefore required his father not to hinder
his purpose in such things as belonged nothing to him, but rather to
licence him to séeke the recouerie of his wiues right, which he meant
to pursue with perill of life, if néed should require.

[Sidenote: The French kings sonne sendeth to the pope.]

[Sidenote: He commeth to Calice.]

The legat perceiuing he could not preuaile in his sute made to king
Philip, thought that he would not spend time longer in vaine, in
further treating with him, but sped him foorth into England, obteining
yet a safeconduct of the French king to passe through his realme. Lewes
in like maner, purposing by all meanes to preuent the legat, first
dispatched foorth ambassadours in all hast vnto the court of Rome
to excuse himselfe to the pope, and to render the reasons that most
speciallie mooued him to procéed forward in his enterprise against
king John, being called by the barons of England to take the crowne
thereof vpon him. This doone, with all conuenient spéed he came downe
to Calice, where he found 680 ships well appointed and trimmed, which
Eustace surnamed the moonke had gathered and prepared there readie
against his comming.

[Sidenote: He taketh the sea.]

[Sidenote: He landeth in Kent.]

[Sidenote: The lords doo homage vnto him.]

Lewes therefore foorthwith imbarking himselfe with his people, and all
necessarie prouisions for such a iournie, tooke the sea, and arriued
at a place called Stanchorre in the Ile of Tenet, vpon the 21 day of
Maie, and shortlie after came to Sandwich, & there landed with all his
people, where he also incamped vpon the shore by the space of thrée
daies. In which meane time there came vnto him a great number of those
lords and gentlemen which had sent for him, and there euerie one apart
and by himselfe sware fealtie and homage vnto him, as if he had béene
their true and naturall prince.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

King John about the same time that Lewes thus arriued, came to Douer,
meaning to fight with his aduersaries by the way as they should come
forward towards London. But yet vpon other aduisement taken, he changed
his purpose, bicause he put some doubt in the Flemings and other
strangers, of whome the most part of his armie consisted, bicause he
knew that they hated the French men no more than they did the English.
Therefore furnishing the castell of Douer, with men, munition, and
vittels, he left it in the kéeping of Hubert de Burgh, a man of notable
prowesse & valiancie, and returned himselfe vnto Canturburie, and from
thence tooke the high waie towards Winchester. Lewes being aduertised
that king John was retired out of Kent, passed through the countrie
without anie incounter, and wan all the castels and holds as he went,
but Douer he could not win.

[Sidenote: Rochester castell woone.]

[Sidenote: Lewes cometh to London.]

At his comming to Rochester, he laid siege to the castell there, and
wan it, causing all the strangers that were found within it to be
hanged. This doone, he came to London, and there receiued the homage
of those lords and gentlemen which had not yet doone their homage to
him at Sandwich. On the other part he tooke an oth to mainteine and
performe the old lawes and customes of the realme, and to restore to
euerie man his rightfull heritage and lands, requiring the barons
furthermore to continue faithfull towards him, assuring them to bring
things so to passe, that the realme of England should recouer the
former dignitie, and they their ancient liberties. Moreouer he vsed
them so courteouslie, gaue them so faire words, and made such large
promises, that they beléeued him with all their harts. But alas! Cur
vincit opinio verum?

[Sidenote: Noblemen reuolting fr[=o]m K. John vnto Lewes.]

[Sidenote: Simon L[=a]ngton chancellor to Lewes.]

The rumour of this pretended outward courtesie being once spred through
the realme, caused great numbers of people to come flocking to him,
among whome were diuerse of those which before had taken part with
king John, as William earle Warren, William earle of Arundell, William
earle of Salisburie, William Marshall the yoonger, and diuerse other,
supposing verelie that the French kings sonne should now obteine the
kingdome, who in the meane time ordeined Simon Langton afore mentioned,
to be his chancellour, by whose preaching and exhortation, as well
the citizens of London as the barons that were excommunicated, caused
diuine seruice to be celebrated in their presence, induced thereto,
bicause Lewes had alreadie sent his procurators to Rome before his
comming into England, there to shew the goodnesse of his cause and

[Sidenote: Cardinall Gualo commeth ouer into England.]

But this auailed them not, neither tooke his excuse any such effect
as he did hope it should: for those ambassadors that king John had
sent thither, replied against their assertions, so that there was
hard hold about it in that court, albeit that the pope would decrée
nothing till he hard further from his legat Gualo, who the same time
(being aduertised of the procéedings of Lewes in his iournie) with
all diligence hasted ouer into England, and passing through the middle
of his aduersaries, came vnto king John, then soiourning at Glocester,
of whome he was most ioifullie receiued, for in him king John reposed
all his hope of victorie. This legat immediatlie after his comming
did excommunicate Lewes by name, with all his fautors and complices,
but speciallie Simon de Langton, with bell, booke, and candle, as the
maner was. Howbeit the same Simon, and one Geruase de Hobrug deane of
S. Pauls in London, with other, alledged that for the right and state
of the cause of Lewes, they had alreadie appealed to the court of Rome,
and therefore the sentence published by Gualo they tooke as void.

[Sidenote: The more part of the strangers depart from the seruice of K.

[Sidenote: Castels woon by Lewes.]

At the same time also, all the knights and men of warre of Flanders
and other parts beyond the seas, which had serued the king, departed
from him, the Poictouins onelie excepted: and part of them that thus
went from him resorted vnto Lewes, and entred into his wages; but the
residue repaired home into their own countries, so that Lewes being
thus increased in power, departed from London, and marching towards
Winchester, he wan the castels of Rigat, Gilford, and Farnham. From
thence he went to Winchester, where the citie was yéelded vnto him,
with all the castels and holds thereabout, as Woluesey, Odiham, and

[Sidenote: William de Collingham a gentleman of Sussex.]

¶ Whilest the said Lewes was thus occupied in Sussex, about the
subduing of that countrie vnto his obeisance, there was a yoong
gentleman in those parts named William de Collingham, being of a
valorous mind, and loathing forren subiection, who would in no wise
doo fealtie to Lewes, but assembling togither about the number of a
thousand archers, kept himselfe within the woods and desert places,
whereof that countrie is full, and so during all the time of this
warre, shewed himselfe an enimie to the Frenchmen, slaieng no small
numbers of them, as he tooke them at any aduantage. O worthie gentleman
of English bloud! And O

    Grandia quæ aggreditur fortis discrimina virtus!

[Sidenote: Castels fortified by king John.]

In like manner, all the fortresses, townes, and castels in the south
parts of the realme were subdued vnto the obeisance of Lewes (the
castels of Douer and Windsore onelie excepted.) Within a little
while after, Will. de Mandeuille, Robert Fitz Walter, and William de
Huntingfield, with a great power of men of warre, did the like vnto the
countries of Essex and Suffolke. In which season, king John fortified
the castels of Wallingford, Corfe, Warham, Bristow, the Vies, and
diuerse others with munition and vittels. About which time letters came
also vnto Lewes from his procurators, whom he had sent to the pope,
by the tenor whereof he was aduertised, that notwithstanding all that
they could doo or say, the pope meant to excommunicate him, and did but
onelie staie till he had receiued some aduertisement from his legat

[Sidenote: The points wherewith king John was charged.]

The chéefest points (as we find) that were laid by Lewes his
procurators against king John were these, that by the murther committed
in the person of his nephue Arthur, he had béene condemned in the
parlement chamber, before the French king, by the péeres of France, and
that being summoned to appeare, he had obstinatelie refused so to doo,
and therefore had by good right forfeited not onelie his lands within
the precinct of France, but also the realme of England, which was now
due vnto the said Lewes as they alledged, in right of the ladie Blanch
his wife, daughter to Elianor quéene of Spaine. But the pope refelled
all such allegations as they produced for proofe hereof, & séemed to
defend king Johns cause verie pithilie: but namelie, in that he was
vnder the protection of him as supreme lord of England: againe, for
that he had taken vpon him the crosse (as before yée haue heard.) But
now to returne where we left.

[Sidenote: The Frenchmen begin to shew themselues in their kind.]

About the feast of saint Margaret, Lewes with the lords came againe
to London, at whose comming, the tower of London was yéelded vp to
him by appointment, after which the French capteins and gentlemen,
thinking themselues assured of the realme, began to shew their inward
dispositions and hatred toward the Englishmen, and forgetting all
former promises (such is the nature of strangers, and men of meane
estate, that are once become lords of their desires, according to the
poets words,

[Sidenote: _Iuuen. sat. 9._]

    Asperius nihil est humili cùm surgit in altum)

they did manie excessiue outrages, in spoiling and robbing the people
of the countrie, without pitie or mercie. Moreouer they did not onelie
breake into mens houses, but also into churches, and tooke out of the
same such vessels and ornaments of gold and siluer, as they could
laie hands vpon: for Lewes had not the power now to rule the gréedie
souldiers, being wholie giuen to the spoile.

[Sidenote: The castell of Norwich left for a prey to Lewes.]

[Sidenote: Lin.]

[Sidenote: Thomas de Burgh taken prisoner.]

But most of all their tyrannie did appeare in the east parts of the
realme, when they went through the countries of Essex, Suffolke
and Northfolke, where they miserablie spoiled the townes and
villages, reducing those quarters vnder their subiection, and making
them tributaries, vnto Lewes in most seruile and slauish manner.
Furthermore, at his comming to Norwich, he found the castell void of
defense, and so tooke it, without any resistance, and put into it a
garison of his souldiers. Also he sent a power to the towne of Lin,
which conquered the same, and tooke the citizens prisoners, causing
them to paie great summes of monie for their ransoms. Morouer, Thomas
de Burgh, chateleine of the castell of Norwich, who vpon the approch
of the Frenchmen to the citie, fled out in hope to escape, was taken
prisoner, and put vnder safekéeping. He was brother vnto Hubert de
Burgh capteine of Douer castell.

[Sidenote: Gilbert de Gaunt made earle of Lincolne.]

[Sidenote: Lincolne woone.]

[Sidenote: Holland in Lincolnshire inuaded.]

[Sidenote: Yorkeshire subdued to Lewes.]

Now when Lewes had thus finished his enterprises in those parts, he
returned to London, and shortlie therevpon created Gilbert de Gaunt
earle of Lincolne, appointing him to go thither with all conuenient
spéed, that he might resist the issues made by them which did hold the
castels of Notingham and Newarke, wasting and spoiling the possessions
and lands belonging to the barons néere adioining to the same castels.
This Gilbert de Gaunt then, togither with Robert de Ropeley, comming
into that countrie, tooke the citie of Lincolne, and brought all
the countrie vnder subiection (the castell onlie excepted.) After
that, they inuaded Holland, and spoiling that countrie, made it also
tributarie vnto the French. Likewise, Robert de Roos, Peter de Bruis,
and Richard Percie, subdued Yorke and all Yorkeshire, bringing the
same vnder the obeisance of Lewes. The king of Scots in like sort
subdued vnto the said Lewes all the countrie of Northumberland, except
the castels which Hugh de Balioll, and Philip de Hulcotes valiantlie
defended against all the force of the enimie.

And as these wicked rebels made a prey of their owne countrie, so the
legat Gualo not behind for his part to get something yer all should
be gone, vpon a falkonish or wooluish appetite fléeced the church,
considering that,

    ®Êd' hôrê parameibetai minêthê de toi ergon,
    ------ meletê de ti ergon ophellei,®

[Sidenote: The legat Gualo gathereth proxes.]

[Sidenote: Sequestrati[=o]n of benefices.]

and tooke proxies of euerie cathedrall church & house of religion
within England, that is to say, for euerie proxie fiftie shillings.
Moreouer, he sequestred all the benefices of those persons and
religious men, that either aided or counselled Lewes and the barons,
in their attempts and enterprises. All which benefices he spéedilie
conuerted to his owne vse, and to the vse of his chapleins.

[Sidenote: Lewes trauelleth in vaine to take Douer.]

[Sidenote: _Rafe Cog._]

In the meane time, Lewes was brought into some good hope thorough
meanes of Thomas de Burgh, whom he tooke prisoner (as before you haue
heard) to persuade his brother Hubert to yéeld vp the castell of Douer,
the siege whereof was the next enterprise which he attempted. For his
father king Philip, hearing that the same was kept by a garrison, to
the behoofe of king John, wrote to his sonne, blaming him that he left
behind him so strong a fortresss in his enimies hands. But though Lewes
inforced his whole endeuour to win that castell, yet all his trauell
was in vaine. For the said Hubert de Burgh, and Gerard de Sotigam, who
were chéefe capteins within, did their best to defend it against him
and all his power, so that despairing to win it by force, he assaied
to obteine his purpose, by threatening to hange the capteins brother
before his face, if he would not yéeld the sooner. But when that would
not serue, he sought to win him by large offers of gold and siluer.
Howbeit, such was the singular constancie of Hubert, that he would
not giue anie eare vnto those his flatering motions. Then Lewes in a
great furie menaced that he would not once depart from thence, till he
had woon the castell, and put all them within to death, and began to
assaile it with more force than before he had doone.

[Sidenote: Yermouth, Dunwich, & Gipswich ransomed.]

The barons also, which at this season lay at London, making a rode to
Cambridge, tooke the towne, and after went foorth into Northfolke and
Suffolke (as it were to gather vp such scraps as the French had left)
spoiling those countries verie pitifullie, churches and all. They
constreined the townes of Yermouth, Dunwich & Gipswich, to pay to them
great summes of monie by waie of ransoming. And at length returning by
Colchester, they vsed like practises there. From thence they returned
to London, and shortlie after, vnder the conduct of the earle of Neuers
(vpon a sudden) going to Windsore, they laid a strong siege about that
castell; in the which was capteine Ingelard de Athie, with sixtie
valiant knights, & other men of war of their suit, the which manfullie
stood at defense.

[Sidenote: Alexander K. of Scots doth homage to K. Lewes.]

[Sidenote: This Eustace had married the sister of K. Alexander.]

In the moneth of August, Alexander king of Scotland came through the
countrie vnto the siege of Douer, and there did homage vnto Lewes, in
right of his tenure holden of the kings of England, and then returned
home, but in his comming vp, as he came by castell Bernard in the
countrie of Haliwerkfolke (which apperteined vnto Hugh de Balioll) he
lost his brother in law the lord Eustace de Vescie, who was striken in
the forehead with a quarrell, as he rode in companie of the king néere
vnto the same castell, to view if it were possible vpon anie side to
win it by assault.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: The vicount of Melune discouereth the purpose of Lewes.]

[Sidenote: The vicount of Melune dieth.]

About the same time, or rather in the yeare last past as some hold,
it fortuned that the vicount of Melune, a French man, fell sicke at
London, and perceiuing that death was at hand, he called vnto him
certeine of the English barons, which remained in the citie, vpon
safegard thereof, and to them made this protestation: "I lament (saith
he) your destruction and desolation at hand, bicause ye are ignorant of
the perils hanging ouer your heads. For this vnderstand, that Lewes,
and with him 16 earles and barons of France, haue secretlie sworne
(if it shall fortune him to conquere this realme of England, & to be
crowned king) that he will kill, banish, and confine all those of the
English nobilitie (which now doo serue vnder him, and persecute their
owne king) as traitours and rebels, and furthermore will dispossesse
all their linage of such inheritances as they now hold in England. And
bicause (saith he) you shall not haue doubt hereof, I which lie here
at the point of death, doo now affirme vnto you, and take it on the
perill of my soule, that I am one of those sixtéen that haue sworne to
performe this thing: wherefore I aduise you to prouide for your owne
safeties, and your realmes which you now destroie, and kéepe this thing
secret which I haue vttered vnto you." After this spéech was vttered he
streightwaies died.

[Sidenote: The English nobilitie beginneth to mislike of the match
which they had made with Lewes.]

When these words of the lord of Melune were opened vnto the barons,
they were, and not without cause, in great doubt of themselues, for
they saw how Lewes had alredie placed and set Frenchmen in most of such
castels and townes as he had gotten, the right whereof indéed belonged
to them. And againe, it gréeued them much to vnderstand, how besides
the hatred of their prince, they were euerie sundaie and holidaie
openlie accursed in euerie church, so that manie of them inwardlie
relented, and could haue bin contented to haue returned to king John,
if they had thought that they should thankfullie haue béene receiued.

[Sidenote: The death of pope Innocent.]

[Sidenote: Honorius the third chosen pope.]

In this yeare, about the 17 of Julie, pope Innocent died, at whose
death (being knowen in England) all they that were enimies to king John
greatlie reioised, for they were in great hope that his successour
would haue rather inclined to their part, than to the kings. But it
fell out otherwise, for Honorius the third that succéeded the same
foresaid Innocent, mainteined the same cause in defense of king John,
as earnestlie or rather more than his predecessour had doone, sending
with all spéed his buls ouer into England to confirme Gualo in his
former authoritie of legat, commanding him with all indeuour to procéed
in his businesse, in mainteining the king against Lewes, and the
disloiall English nobilitie that aided the said Lewes. But now to our

[Sidenote: The hauocke which king John made in the possessions of his

[Sidenote: Northfolke and Suffolke.]

King John lieng all this while at Winchester, and hauing knowledge
how his aduersaries were dailie occupied in most hard enterprises,
as in besieging sundrie strong and inuincible places, sent forth his
commissioners to assemble men of warre, and to allure vnto his seruice
all such, as in hope of prey, were minded to follow his standard,
of the which there resorted to him no small number. So that hauing
gotten togither a competent armie for his purpose, he brake foorth of
Winchester, as it had béene an hideous tempest of weather, beating
downe all things that stood in his waie, sending foorth his people on
ech side to wast the countries, to burne vp the townes and villages, to
spoile the churches & churchmen. With which successe still increasing
his furie, he turned his whole violence into Cambridgeshire, where he
did excéeding great hurt. Then entring into the countries of Northfolke
and Suffolke, he committed the like rage, wast, and destruction, in
the lands and possessions that belonged vnto the earle of Arundell, to
Roger Bigot, William de Huntingfield, and Roger de Cressey.

[Sidenote: The siege raised from Windsor.]

The barons in the meane time that lay at siege before the castle of
Windsore, hearing that hauocke which king John had made in the east
parts of the realme, secretlie in the night season raised their camps,
and leauing their tents behind them, with all spéed made towards
Cambridge. But king John by faithfull espials, hauing aduertisement
of their intent, which was, to get betwixt him and the places of his
refuge, withdrew him and got to Stamford, yer they might reach to
Cambridge, so that missing their purpose, after they had taken some
spoiles abroad in the countrie, they returned to London. King John from
Stamford, marched toward Lincolne, bicause he heard that the castell
there was besieged.

[Sidenote: Gilbert de Gaunt fléeth from the face of king John.]

[Sidenote: Lin.]

[Sidenote: The abbeies of Peterburgh & Crowland spoiled.]

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

But those that had besieged it, as Gilbert de Gaunt, and others,
hearing that king John was comming towards them, durst not abide him,
but fled, and so escaped. The king then turned his iournie towards
the marshes of Wales, and there did much hurt to those places that
belonged to his aduersaries. After this also, and with a verie puissant
armie he went eftsoones eastwards, and passing through the countries,
came againe into the counties of Northfolke and Suffolke, wasting and
afflicting all that came in his waie, and at length comming to Lin, was
there ioifullie receiued. Then kéeping foorth northwards, he spoiled
the townes and abbeies of Peterburgh and Crowland, where a number of
the kings enimies were withdrawne into the church, but Sauerie de
Mauleon, being sent foorth to séeke them, found them in the church
the morrow after S. Michaell, and drew them out by force, spoiled the
house, and getting a great bootie and prey of cattell and other riches,
he with his people conueied the same awaie at his departing, after he
had ransacked euerie corner of the church, and other the houses and
places belonging to that abbeie.

[Sidenote: The losse of the kings carriages.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: King John falleth sicke of an ague.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: Laford.]

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

[Sidenote: King John departed this life.]

Thus the countrie being wasted on each hand, the king hasted forward
till he came to Wellestreme sands, where passing the washes he lost a
great part of his armie, with horsses and carriages, so that it was
iudged to be a punishment appointed by God, that the spoile which had
béene gotten and taken out of churches, abbeies, and other religious
houses, should perish, and be lost by such means togither with the
spoilers. Yet the king himselfe, and a few other, escaped the violence
of the waters, by following a good guide. But as some haue written,
he tooke such gréefe for the losse susteined in this passage, that
immediatlie therevpon he fell into an ague, the force and heat whereof,
togither with his immoderate féeding on rawe peaches, and drinking of
new sider, so increased his sicknesse, that he was not able to ride,
but was faine to be carried in a litter presentlie made of twigs, with
a couch of strawe vnder him, without any bed or pillow, thinking to
haue gone to Lincolne, but the disease still so raged and grew vpon
him, that he was inforced to staie one night at the castell of Laford,
and on the next day with great paine, caused himselfe to be caried vnto
Newarke, where in the castell through anguish of mind, rather than
through force of sicknesse, he departed this life the night before the
ninetéenth day of October, in the yeare of his age fiftie and one, and
after he had reigned seauentéene yeares, six moneths, and seauen and
twentie daies.

[Sidenote: _Caxton._]

¶ There be which haue written, that after he had lost his armie,
he came to the abbeie of Swineshead in Lincolnshire, and there
vnderstanding the cheapenesse and plentie of corne, shewed himselfe
greatlie displeased therewith, as he that for the hatred which he bare
to the English people, that had so traitorouslie reuolted from him
vnto his aduersarie Lewes, wished all miserie to light vpon them, and
therevpon said in his anger, that he would cause all kind of graine to
be at a farre higher price, yer manie daies should passe. Wherevpon a
moonke that heard him speake such words, being mooued with zeale for
the oppression of his countrie, gaue the king poison in a cup of ale,
whereof he first tooke the assaie, to cause the king not to suspect the
matter, and so they both died in manner at one time.

[Sidenote: _Gisburn & alij._]

There are that write, how one of his owne seruants did conspire with a
conuert of that abbeie, and that they prepared a dish of peares, which
they poisoned, thrée of the whole number excepted, which dish the said
conuert presented vnto him. And when the king suspected them to be
poisoned indéed, by reason that such pretious stones as he had about
him, cast foorth a certeine sweat, as it were bewraieng the poison, he
compelled the said conuert to tast and eat some of them, who knowing
the thrée peares which were not poisoned, tooke and eat those thrée,
which when the king had séene, he could no longer absteine, but fell
to, and eating gréedilie of the rest, died the same night, no hurt
happening to the conuert, who thorough helpe of such as bare no good
will to the K. found shift to escape, and conueied himselfe awaie from
danger of receiuing due punishment for so wicked a déed.

[Sidenote: The variable reports of writers, concerning the death of
king John.]

Beside these reports which yée haue heard, there are other that write,
how he died of surfeting in the night, as Rafe Niger; some, of a
bloudie flux, as one saith that writeth an addition vnto Roger Houeden.
And Rafe Cogheshall saith, that comming to Lin, (where he appointed
Sauerie de Mauleon to be capteine, and to take order for the fortifieng
of that towne) he tooke a surfet there of immoderat diet, and withall
fell into a laske, and after his laske had left him, at his comming to
Laford in Lindsey, he was let bloud: furthermore to increase his other
gréefes and sorrowes for the losse of his carriage, iewels and men,
in passing ouer the washes, which troubled him sore; there came vnto
him messengers from Hubert de Burgh, and Gerard de Sotegam capteins of
Douer castell, aduertising him, that they were not able to resist the
forceable assaults and engins of the enimies, if spéedie succour came
not to them in due time. Whereat his gréefe of mind being doubled, so
as he might séeme euen oppressed with sorrow, the same increased his
disease so vehementlie, that within a small time it made an end of his
life (as before yée haue heard.)

[Sidenote: _Bernewell._]

The men of warre that serued vnder his ensignes, being for the more
part hired souldiers and strangers, came togither, and marching foorth
with his bodie, each man with his armour on his backe, in warlike
order, conueied it vnto Worcester, where he was pompouslie buried in
the cathedrall church before the high altar, not for that he had so
appointed (as some write) but bicause it was thought to be a place of
most suertie for the lords and other of his fréends there to assemble,
and to take order in their businesse now after his deceasse. And
bicause he was somewhat fat and corpulent, his bowels were taken out of
his bodie, and buried at Croxton abbeie, a house of moonks of the order
called Præmonstratenses, in Staffordshire, the abbat of which house was
his physician.

¶ How soeuer or where soeuer or when soeuer he died, it is not a matter
of such moment that it should impeach the credit of the storie; but
certeine it is that he came to his end, let it be by a surfet, or by
other meanes ordeined for the shortening of his life. The manner is
not so materiall as the truth is certeine. And suerlie, he might be
thought to haue procured against himselfe manie molestations, manie
anguishes & vexations, which nipt his hart & gnawd his very bowels with
manie a sore symptome or passion; all which he might haue withstood
if fortune had béene so fauourable, that the loialtie of his subiects
had remained towards him inuiolable, that his Nobles with multitudes
of adherents had not with such shamefull apostasie withstood him in
open fight, that forren force had not weakened his dominion, or rather
robbed him of a maine branch of his regiment, that he himselfe had not
sought with the spoile of his owne people to please the imaginations of
his ill affected mind; that courtiers & commoners had with one assent
performed in dutie no lesse than they pretended in veritie, to the
preseruation of the state and the securitie of their souereigne: all
which presupposed plagues concurring, what happinesse could the king
arrogate to himselfe by his imperiall title, which was through his owne
default so imbezelled, that a small remanent became his in right, when
by open hostilitie and accurssed papasie the greater portion was pluckt
out of his hands.

Here therefore we sée the issue of domesticall or homebred broiles,
the fruits of variance, the game that riseth of dissention, whereas
no greater nor safer fortification can betide a land, than when the
inhabitants are all alike minded. By concord manie an hard enterprise
(in common sense thought vnpossible) is atchieued, manie weake things
become so defended, that without manifold force they cannot be
dissolued. From diuision and mutinies doo issue (as out of the Troiane
horsse) ruines of roialties, and decaies of communalties. The sinewes
of a realme is supposed of some to be substance and wealth; of other
some policie and power: of other some conuenient defenses both by
water and land: but a most excellent description of a well fortified
countrie is that of Plautus, set downe in most pithie words and graue
sentences: no lesse worthie to be written than read and considered. The
description is this.

[Sidenote: _Plaut. in Pers._]

    Si incolæ bene sunt morati pulchrè munit[=u] regn[=u] arbitror:
    Perfidia & peculatus ex vrbe & auaritia si exulent,
    Quarta inuidia, quinta ambitio, sexta obtrectatio,
    Septimum periurium, octaua indulgentia,
    Nona iniuria, decima quod pessimum aggressu scelus:
    Hæc nisi inde aber[=u]t c[=e]tuplex murus reb. secundis par[=u] est.

And therefore no maruell though both courtiers and commoners fell from
king John their naturall prince, and tooke part with the enimie; not
onelie to the disgrace of their souereigne, but euen to his ouerthrow,
and the depopulation of the whole land; sith these maine bulworks
and rampiers were wanting; and the contrarie in most ranke sort and
detestable manner extended their virulent forces.

But we will surceasse to aggrauate this matter, sith the same is
sufficientlie vrged in the verie course of the historie concerning his
acts and déeds, continued to the verie day of his death, and the verie
time of his buriall, whereof I saie thus much, that whether it was
his will to be interred, as is aforesaid, or whether his corpse being
at the disposing of the suruiuers, to elect the place as a conuenient
storehouse for a princes bones, I leaue it as doubtfull, and therefore
vndetermined, estéeming the lesse to labour therein, bicause the
truth can hardlie by certeintie be winnowed out, but by coniecturall
supposals aimed and shot at. Notwithstanding, in my poore iudgement it
is verie likelie (first in respect of the time which was superstitious
and popish; secondlie by reason of the custome of funerall rites then
commonlie vsed) that he was buried in the said place for order sake, &
his bodie (if I may presume so farre by warrant of mine author) wrapped
in a moonks cowle and so laid in his graue or toome. For the manner was
at that time, in such sort to burie their Nobles and great men, who
were induced by the imaginations of moonks and fond fansies of fréers
to beléeue, that the said cowle was an amulet or defensitiue to their
soules from hell and hellish hags, how or in what soeuer sort they
died; either in sorrow and repentance for sinne, or in blasphemie,
outrage, impatiencie, or desperation.

[Sidenote: _Humf. Lhloyd._]

[Sidenote: _Dauid Powell._]

This forme of funerals was frequented in Wales, hauing béene first
brewed and broched in England, from whence (if we may giue credit to
our late Chronographers) as from a poisoned spring it spred it selfe
into Wales. For the first abbeie or frierie that is read to haue béene
erected there, since the dissolution of the noble house of Bangor,
which sauoured not of Romish dregs, was the Twy Gwyn, which was builded
in the yeare 1146. Afterwards these vermine swarmed like bées, or
rather crawled like lice ouer all the land, and drew in with them
their lowsie religion, tempered with I wot not how manie millians of
abhominations; hauing vtterlie forgotten the lesson which Ambrosius
Telesinus had taught them [who writ in the yeare 540, when the right
christian faith (which Joseph of Arimathia taught the Ile of Aualon)
reigned in this land, before the proud and bloodthirstie moonke
Augustine infected it with the poison of Romish errors] in a certeine
ode, a part whereof are these few verses insuing,

    Gwae'r offeiriad byd,
    Nys angreifftia gwyd,
        Ac ny phregetha:
    Gwae ny cheidw ey gail,
    Ac ef yn vigail,
        Ac nys areilia:
    Gwae ny theidw ey dheuaid,
    Rhae bleidhie Rhiefeniaid,
        Ai ffon grewppa.

[Sidenote: Thus in English almost word for word.]

    Wo be to that préest yborne,
    That will not cleanelie wéed his corne,
        And preach his charge among:
    Wo be to that shepheard (I saie)
    That will not watch his fold alwaie,
        As to his office dooth belong:
    Wo be to him that dooth not kéepe,
    From rauening Romish wolues his shéepe,
        With staffe and weapon strong.

This (as not impertinent to the purpose) I haue recorded, partlie to
shew the palpable blindnes of that age wherein king John liued, as
also the religion which they reposed in a rotten rag, estéeming it as
a Scala coeli or ladder to life; but speciallie inferred to this end,
that we may fetch some light from this cléere candle (though the same
séeme to be duskish & dim) whereby we may be lead to conceiue in reason
and common sense, that the interrement of the king was according to
the custome then in vse and request, and therefore by all likelihoods
he was buried as the péeres and states of the land were woont to be in
those daies, after the maner aboue mentioned.

[Sidenote: King Johns children.]

But to let this passe as a cold discourse of a coffen of bones cottered
with clods of claie; you shall vnderstand that he left behind him
posteritie of both sexes. For he had issue by his wife quéene Isabell
two sonnes, Henrie who succéeded him in the kingdome, and Richard;
thrée daughters, Joane married to Alexander king of Scotland, Isabell
coupled in matrimonie with the emperour Frederike the second, and
Elianor whome William earle of Glocester had to wife. He had also
another daughter (as some haue left in writing) called Elianor.

He was comelie of stature, but of looke and countenance displeasant and
angrie, somewhat cruell of nature, as by the writers of his time he is
noted, and not so hardie as doubtfull in time of perill and danger.
But this séemeth to be an enuious report vttered by those that were
giuen to speake no good of him whome they inwardlie hated. Howbeit some
giue this witnesse of him (as the author of the booke of Bernewell
abbeie and other) that he was a great and mightie prince, but yet not
verie fortunate, much like to Marius the noble Romane, tasting of
fortune both waies: bountifull and liberall vnto strangers, but of his
owne people (for their dailie treasons practised towards him) a great
oppressour, so that he trusted more to forreners than to them, and
therfore in the end he was of them vtterlie forsaken.

¶ Verilie, whosoeuer shall consider the course of the historie written
of this prince, he shall find, that he hath béene little beholden to
the writers of that time in which he liued: for scarselie can they
afoord him a good word, except when the trueth inforceth them to come
out with it as it were against their willes. The occasion whereof (as
some thinke) was, for that he was no great fréend to the clergie. And
yet vndoubtedlie his déeds shew he had a zeale to religion, as it
was then accompted: for he founded the abbeie of Beauleau in the new
forrest, as it were in recompense of certeine parish-churches, which to
inlarge the same forrest be caused to be throwne downe and ruinated.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._ _Polydor._ & _alij._]

He builded the monasterie of Farendon, and the abbeie of Hales in
Shropshire; he repaired Godstow where his fathers concubine Rosamund
laie interred; he was no small benefactor to the minster of Lichfield
in Staffordshire; to the abbeie of Crokesden in the same shire, and
to the chappell at Knaresburgh in Yorkshire. So that (to say what I
thinke) he was not so void of deuotion towards the church, as diuerse
of his enimies haue reported, who of méere malice conceale all his
vertues, and hide none of his vices; but are plentifull inough in
setting foorth the same to the vttermost, and interpret all his dooings
and saiengs to the woorst, as may appeare to those that aduisedlie
read the works of them that write the order of his life, which may
séeme rather an inuectiue than a true historie: neuerthelesse, sith we
cannot come by the truth of things through the malice of writers, we
must content our selues with this vnfréendlie description of his time.
Certeinelie it should séeme the man had a princelie heart in him, and
wanted nothing but faithfull subiects to haue assisted him in reuenging
such wrongs as were doone and offered by the French king and others.

Moreouer, the pride and pretended authoritie of the cleargie he could
not well abide, when they went about to wrest out of his hands the
prerogatiue of his princelie rule and gouernement. True it is, that to
mainteine his warres which he was forced to take in hand as well in
France as elsewhere, he was constreined to make all the shift he could
deuise to recouer monie and bicause he pinched their pursses, they
conceiued no small hatred against him, which when he perceiued, and
wanted peraduenture discretion to passe it ouer, he discouered now and
then in his rage his immoderate displeasure, as one not able to bridle
his affections, a thing verie hard in a stout stomach, and thereby
missed now and then to compasse that which otherwise he might verie
well haue brought to passe.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._]

It is written, that he meant to haue become feudarie (for maintenance
sake against his owne disloiall subiects, and other his aduersaries)
vnto Miramumeline the great king of the Saracens: but for the truth of
this report I haue little to saie, and therefore I leaue the credit
thereof to the authors. It is reported likewise, that in time when the
realme stood interdicted, as he was abroad to hunt one day, it chanced
that there was a great stag or hart killed, which when he came to be
broken vp, prooued to be verie fat and thicke of flesh; "Oh (saith he)
what a plesant life this déere hath led, and yet in all his daies he
neuer heard masse." To conclude, it may séeme, that in some respects
he was not greatlie superstitious, and yet not void of religious
zeale towards the maintenance of the cleargie, as by his bountifull
liberalitie bestowed in building of abbeies and churches (as before yée
haue hard) it may partlie appeare.

[Sidenote: _Bale._]

In his daies manie learned men liued, as Geffrey Vinesaufe, Simon
Fraxinus aliàs Ash, Adamus Dorensis, Gualter de Constantijs first
bishop of Lincolne and after archbishop of Rouen, John de Oxford,
Colman surnamed Sapiens, Richard Canonicus, William Peregrine, Alane
Teukesburie, Simon Thuruaie, who being an excellent philosopher but
standing too much in his owne conceit, vpon a sudden did so forget
all his knowledge in learning, that he became the most ignorant of
all other, a punishment (as was thought) appointed him of God, for
such blasphemies as he had wickedlie vttered, both against Moses and
Christ. Geruasius Dorobernensis, John Hanwill, Nigell Woreker, Gilbert
de Hoiland, Benet de Peterburgh, William Paruus a moonke of Newburgh,
Roger Houeden, Hubert Walter, first bishop of Salisburie and after
archbishop of Canturburie, Alexander Theologus, of whome yée haue
heard before, Geruasius Tilberiensis, Syluester Giraldus Cambrensis,
who wrote manie treatises, Joseph Deuonius, Walter Mapis, Radulfus
de Diceto, Gilbert Legley, Mauricius Morganius, Walter Morganius,
John de Fordeham, William Leicester, Joceline Brakeland, Roger of
Crowland, Hugh White aliàs Candidus that wrote an historie intituled
Historia Petroburgensis, John de saint Omer, Adam Barking, John Gray an
historiographer and bishop of Norwich, Walter of Couentrie, Radulphus
Niger, &c. Sée Bale Scriptorum Britanniæ centuria tertia.

                         Thus farre king John.

  Transcriber's Notes:

  Punctuation normalised.

  Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

  Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

  Bold markup is enclosed in =equals=.

  Greek text is transliterated and enclosed in ®registration signs®.

  Superscript text is prefixed by ^.

  Characters with a macron are indicated as [=x] where "x" is the
  character with a macron.

  While the Greek accentuation is clearly defective, it has been
  retained as found.

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