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that, inasmuch as we have commanded the said letters to be revoked, as being obtained and sent to judges held in suspicion, by means of the suppression of truth and the assertion of falsehood, inviolably preserving the rights of the said archdeacon, you will, the said letters notwithstanding, all power of appeal withheld, show to him and his officers due obedience and respect, just as you paid the same to him before he set out on his road to the Apostolic See. And if not, such sentence as he or his officers shall think proper reasonably to pronounce upon you for the same, we do will to be ratified by us, and inviolably observed.”
Accordingly, upon the presentation of these and other letters of our lord the pope, which Honorius produced, Roger of Saint Edmund's making answer thereto, the judges delegate abovenamed, in consequence of the appeals made by both parties, and of the varying testimony of witnesses, having drawn up the case to the best of their ability, sent the cause to our lord the pope, to be determined by him; and the said Honorius and Roger prosecuted their appeals. The Letter of the Master of the Hospital at Jerusalem to the Prior
and his brethren throughout England. “ The Master of the Hospital at Jerusalem to the Prior of England, greeting. As rumours transpire, it is our desire to inform the minds of our friends thereof. Accordingly, in conformity with our usual custom, we were sending you the rumours that were circulating in the land of Jerusalem on the mournful occasion of the lately attempted passage; but, the ship being wrecked on the sea-coast of Tripolis, before Biblius, the bishop of Acre, and many most deserving men among our brethren, who had been despatched to you upon the affairs of the Holy Land, it so pleasing God, to the grief and sorrow of the whole people of Christendom, perished, together with many pilgrims both of noble and of the lower rank. Since this shipwreck, we believe that no ship has made a passage, at least it is so said by all; for some ships, on board of which were our messengers, making the attempt to proceed upon the voyage, after leaving Acre and sailing three days or more, having lost their sailyards through the usual violence of the winds and the tempests, returned to Tripolis, with great difficulty escaping shipwreck. Having, however, obtained such opportunity as we could, of a ship sailing, we have to inform your brotherhood, that that most wicked enemy of the Christians, Saphadin, the lord of Da
mascus, has been made lord of Babylon, for, like a perfidious and perjured man, he has expelled his nephew and others, whose rights to the succession he dreaded, from the kingdom of Babylon. There still flourish between him and the Sultan Aleph, and many others, great dissensions, which can never come to an end, and will never cease or fade away. Saphadin also, himself, being odious and abominable to his own followers, is in dread of domestic treachery, and, thinking himself safe in no place (as he has proved a traitor and perjured to his nephews, whom he is attempting also utterly to disinherit), does not dare go out of Babylon, a thing which, in the last year, has proved our safety and protection. For he had, in his boisterous manner, and going beyond all bounds, been making preparations to overrun us, and utterly to demolish the remnants of Christianity that still remained. But God has struck with the rod of His power the regions of Babylon in that river of Paradise, which used to water the lands of the enemy, so as to cause it not to flow, and in the past year it has sent forth no stream. In consequence of this, they are perishing by famine, and have lost their animals ; many of them have not scrupled to sell their sons, the rich the poor, the powerful the weak, that so they may preserve their lives from the famine, which they apprehend will be the result of the river being dried up, if it does not flow. Any prudent person indeed might imagine this, that if the river, by the will of God, should not flow, and thereby irrigate the fields, they will be in great danger of their lives. Consequently, infinite multitudes, compelled by necessity and the severity of famine, have now filled our lands like swarms of locusts, for the purpose of sustaining their bodies ; where some moil at the soil belonging to the Church, some, after the manner of beasts, feed upon the shrubs in the woods, while others, dying of hunger, are found in spots in the woods wondrously eaten away by worms and birds. Wherefore, we, putting our trust in the Lord, who, when He wills, puts an end to battles, do hope that He is about to make a beginning of shewing compassion upon the Christian people, when He thus bruises their enemies. There is also afforded matter for astonishment among the nations, in that, a certain Saracen, of youthful age and of low
Meaning the Nile. 3 This may possibly signify that they had to extract sustenance from the clay of the earth.
degree, having been brought up in simplicity among shepherds from his youth, has on a sudden appeared to all so learned, that all are in admiration of his wisdom; he also publicly preaches the name of Jesus Christ, and so successfully, that already, more than two thousand of the pagans have believed in him, and, at his exhortations, have become converted to our faith, and have been born again at the font of holy baptism, and grieve that they submitted to the pain of circumcision. How. ever, our enemies are exulting with unbounded joy, because they know that we are but few in number, and impoverished in means, and think that we are in want of troops. Wherefore, unto you do we cry with the voice of lamentation, and do piteously entreat you, that, among both the higher and the lower classes, you will think us worthy to be aided by your counsel and assistance, and will make it your care promptly to induce our lord the king of England, and whatever other persons you can, to aid us, and diligently advise them to come to our succour. For we tremble on account of their infinite resources, and the more so, as their wealth is increased by the merchandize brought by many merchants, a circumstance which strikes us all with greater alarm than usual; and considering that, whereas against the single kingdom of Babylon or of Damascus the whole people of the Land of Promise used to be hardly able to defend itself, at the present time two kingdoms, joined under one master, by their threats inspire terror in us, a residue so small in number. This is assuredly the true state of the Land of Promise and of the enemies of Christ; which, if it remained as at present, if we were to receive sufficient aid from Christendom, we should with the propitious favour of heaven, suppose ourselves able to avenge both the injuries of Christ and the disgraces of the Christians. Wherefore, good brother, as it suffices to say but little, you, knowing full well what necessities and how great are imposed upon us, hear now what beyond measure afflicts us. The land of the kingdom of Sicily is being ravaged both by the Germans and the Lombards, our house at Baroli has been deserted, our brethren remain within, (shut up] in the city; our houses outside, from which we received our support, have been brought to ruin, and no one is for staying in the city. Moreover, since you left the land, we have had no assistance whatever from the kingdom of Sicily up to the present time, and for this year past we have had to buy corn, wine, barley, flesh-meat, cheese, and all neces
saries for the whole of our houses and fortresses, upon all which the necessary outlay has been incalculable. Unless we shall receive some money from our houses beyond sea, we shall be unable to obtain it elsewhere; and it is now a long time since we have received anything whatever fo: the support of our expenditure. Know also, that we have incurred a great number of debts; and, awaiting your help anl that of our other good brethren, we do, by the love of God and our own, entreat you, so far as you can, by the first ship that makes her
in the month of March, to send us some assistance. Farewell.”
On hearing of this, our lord the pope Innocent sent a cardinal to the king of France and to the king of England, requesting that assistance might be given by their territories towards the relief of the land of Jerusalem; and accordingly, at his command the said kings agreed to give towards the relief of the land before-mentioned the fortieth part of all their revenues for one year. This the king of England ordered to be given from his rents, his escheats, and his wardages in England ; and he ordered that all the laymen of his territories should, in like manner, give the fortieth part of their revenues, as an alms-gift for the succour of the land of Jerusalem. Upon this occasion, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, at this time chief justice of England, wrote to the sheriffs and bailiffs of England to the following effect :The Letter of Geoffrey Fitz-Peter as to the collection of the fortieth part of revenues for the succour of the Holy Land.
“ Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, earl of Essex, to all the sheriffs in his jurisdiction, greeting. Know ye, that our Lord the king of England, at the instance and at the preaching of a certain cardinal sent into France by the Supreme Pontiff
, has, from the parts beyond sea,*
by the advice of his nobles, granted, for the succour of Holy Jerusalem, the fortieth part of the value of all his revenues and lands for one year, including those accruing from wards and escheats in his hands.
The same also has been voluntarily contributed by his nobles themselves beyond sea. At their instance also, our lord the king of England has, by his letters patent, written to all the nobles of England, begging and entreating that they will, with pure heart, and from motives of Christian love, make a like grant from the value of all their revenues and lands for the space of one year ; which, however, is neither conceded nor
4 In relation to France and Normandy.
demanded as a matter of right, or of custom, or of compulsion, or as based upon any other. Apostolical authority what
Wherefore, he has ordered that all the earls and barons in each jurisdiction shall immediately be advised and carefully urged, forthwith, each for himself, to make the said collection on his lands, in the following manner, namely; each is to contribute the fortieth part of the value of each vill that belongs to him, according to the sum at which it might be let to farm per annum. And if in the said vill there shall happen to be any tenants by knight service, they are to contribute the fortieth part in manner aforesaid: and if there shall be freeholders, they are likewise to pay a similar portion in manner aforesaid, on a computation of the annual rent which they are paying to their lords. This collection also they are to make by means of discreet and lawful persons, who both can and understand how, to perform the same, and who are to receive it from the earls and barons aforesaid. And after the same shall have been collected by their hands, the receivers of the said collection are to have it reduced distinctly and openly to writing how much they have received from each person, both earls as well as barons, knights, and freeholders; as also the names of each, and of the vills, and how much they have received from each, and to whom each vill belongs; all which they are to have duly registered. The sums also, received from the demesnes, and from the wards, escheats, and rents of our lord the king, they are to have separately registered. Also, if any clerk shall have a lay fee in any jurisdiction, or any tenants holding a lay fee, the said collection is to be made upon their lands by the said collectors in manner aforesaid. On the lands also of those who have assumed the cross, the said collection is to be made in manner aforesaid, but so that the money received from them is set apart from the rest; and the amount of the said money is to be set down, and the names of each person by whom the said money shall have been so paid is to be written beneath it, in order that those who shall have set out on the expedition, may promptly receive repayment of their money. Also, due care is to be taken that the said money is so collected, that each sheriff, together with the collectors, has it in readiness at the New Temple, in London, within fifteen days after the day of Saint Hilary, as also a register drawn up in manner
5 Than the suggestion of the cardinal legate.