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still theirs, long after they had renounced the simple and self-denying principle of their original institution, and stood as princes among the nations preeminent in pride and luxury); and never were such deeds of resistless daring performed on the plains of Palestine; for with even more enthusiasm than that of the new-made knight, sworn to follow that lord from whom he had received his gilt spur, did the Templar follow through thickest dangers his holy "Beau Sceantand with as heart-stirring recollections as those of the knight "true and loyal," when the lamentations of his prisoned lady-love struck on his ear, did the knight of St. John gaze on the crescent-surmounted towers of Jerusalem, and reecho the nightly call of the heralds, "Remember the Holy sepulchre."
An order pledged to so holy a service could not but find favour in the eyes of a queen, whose two uncles had successively swayed the warrior-sceptre of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and whose bones had been honoured by enshrinement beneath the very roof of the Holy sepulchre. Maude therefore welcomed its representatives with every mark of honour, and gave them the manor of Cowley in Oxfordshire, called subsequently, from its becoming one of their preceptories, Temple Cowley. Stephen also bestowed on them the manor of Cressing, in Essex, which became the first in rank of the sixteen preceptories which belonged to this order in England. The principal house of the Templars, to which all the preceptories were alike subordinate,*wo5^:at their first admission into the land, in Holborn, on the
site of what is now Southampton Buildings; their other establishment, which yet bears the name, not having been erected until 1183. Like the Knights of St. John, the Templars seem to have been popular, and to have obtained by gifts and legacies much valuable property; like the Knights of St. John, too, they frequently took part in the political struggles of the following century, and, like them, mostly on the side of the people.
The brief season of tranquillity too swiftly passed over, and in February 1138 David of Scotland marched an army, consisting mostly of the then barbarous natives of Galloway, across the border, and carried fire and sword into almost every town and village throughout Northumberland. The earl of Gloster, too, taking advantage of this declaration of war, sent messengers from Normandy to Stephen, solemnly renouncing his allegiance; while Bristol, Dover, and Leeds, towns of which he was the feudal lord, together with some others held by his partizans, immediately revolted. A second time, as soon as the feast of Easter was past, did the king of Scots re-assemble his army, and again crossing the border, at the head not merely of his regular vassals, but a swarm of barbarians whom love of plunder had brought together, ravaged the northern counties. From the united testimony of contemporary historians, the atrocities of this army far exceeded even those of the ferocious Norsemen: every village through which they passed was plundered and set on fire; the majpjjlty.qf. t}ie inhabitants were massacred ; and those who frkhfi th'cir youth or beauty were spared, were tied together with ropes, and driven onward by lance points, for the purpose of being sold into slavery. But what, even more than all this, excited the horror of the chroniclers, was the peculiar hostility this savage multitude seemed to bear to the Christian religion. Churches and monasteries shared the same fate with the villages; and the shuddering priest beheld the crucifix torn down and broken in pieces on account of the precious metal, the wine of the chalice dashed in his face, and the consecrated wafer trampled under foot. In vain did the northern nobles send supplication to Stephen for aid; his presence was absolutely required in the southern parts of the kingdom, and his army was too feeble to admit of being weakened by division. Thus June and July passed away; while the Scots, encouraged by the inadequate resistance, poured down in almost countless numbers, entered Yorkshire, and advanced within a few miles of the archiepiscopal city. Again was message sent to the king, but, unable to repair thither himself, he at length determined to commit the defence of the north to the barons of those parts; sending, however, a well appointed company of horse under the conduct of Bertrand de Baliol. Ere this succour arrived, all the northern barons had assembled at York ; where, alarmed at the numbers of the enemy, distrusting the fidelity of many of their body, and despairing of succour from the king, they were ready to give up all thoughts of defence; when the venerable Archbishop, he who in his earlier days Jiad# de£ejaded so warmly the claims of his see agamfet'tl^tf jlncte3 power of king and primate, stood up, and demanding their attention, both as king's lieutenant for those parts and as their chief spiritual guide, exhorted them to set forth. Kindling with his subject, the aged prelate dwelt on the atrocities of this barbarian army; assured them that every parish priest throughout his province, clothed in holy vestments and cross in hand, should form their vanguard; that the prayers of all the faithful would accompany them on their holy warfare; and that he himself would go before them, not with lance or brand, but with the staff of spiritual rule and the holy banner of St. Peter.
The enthusiastic address of the feeble but highminded old man, who, unable to walk, had risen from his litter to address them, acted like an electric shock on the desponding company. Wholly dismissing their former fears, they pledged each other instantly to set out and give battle to the enemy; and when, just at this moment of strong excitement, Bertrand de Baliol with his company of horse appeared before the city gate, they hailed the unexpected re-inforcement as an omen of happiest augury—as a direct manifestation of the will of Heaven.
Determined to keep alive the strong religious impression, archbishop Thurstan appointed a three days' fast, at the close of which he solemnly confessed, absolved, and blessed them. Then he caused his litter to be prepared; and understanding that the Scottish army was near North Allerton, he assembled the barons and their followers, determined to advance at their head. Not until after much efefeaf j^w^ijfld the old man be dissuaded from his purpose. At length, however, he was prevailed upon to remain, and before the altar of his own cathedral offer up those prayers which were considered by the enthusiastic company necessary to the success of their cause.
On the 22nd of August the knights and nobles and vassals of that small but gallant army set forth. Among them we find the names of Walter de Gant, Gilbert de Lacy, Richard de Courcy, the literary Walter 1'Espec (he who procured the precious volume of Geffrey of Monmouth for the fair Custance la Gentil), and Richard Ferrers earl of Derby, and Bernard de Baliol, and Robert de Bruce, and William earl of Aumerle,—all proud names in their country's annals. Onward they proceeded, the archbishop's chaplain bearing the archiespiscopal staff before them, while the gallant banner of Aumerle, with its "cross patonce vairy," waved proudly in the van. But banner of earthly noble, however high or however distinguished, was not sacred enough for those who had pledged themselves to holy church to conquer or to die; they therefore reared the tall mast of a ship upon a wheeled carriage; at the top they placed the silver pyx, with the consecrated wafer, and beneath, the three holy banners of St. John of Beverly, St. Wilfred of Ripon, and St. Peter of York. This was the celebrated "Standard," whose title has given the distinguishing name to the battle fought under its protecting auspices. The moment it was raised, Walter 1'Espec mounted the carriage, and exhorted the good company to behave like men and like