Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

City of Jerusalem, the City of the living God, in favour of which his name was invoked, the earth was alarmed and trembled, because the King of heaven had lost His own land, the land upon which His feet had stood. But the blessing of God being diffused from the Apostolic See throughout the whole earth, the friends of the Cross of Christ, as your holiness is not unaware, vying with each other, pressed onwards to assume the sign of the Cross on their foreheads and on their shoulders, and to avenge the injuries done to that Holy Cross. Among these and ourselves was divided the task undertaken by us of thus serving the living God, on assuming the sign of the Cross for the

purpose of defending the scenes of His death which had been made holy by His precious blood, and which the enemies of the Cross of Christ had hitherto disgracefully profaned; and within a short time after the arrival of my lord the king of the Franks at Acre, there, by the guidance of the Lord, did we also arrive; shortly after which the noble city of Acre was surrendered to my lord the king of the Franks and ourselves, the lives being saved of the Saracens who had been sent for the purpose of defending and protecting it, and an agreement being fully confirmed on the part of Saladin that he would give up to us the Holy Cross, and one thousand five hundred captives alive, a day being appointed for the due performance of the said covenants. However, the time having expired, and the stipulation which he had agreed to being utterly disregarded, we put to death about two thousand six hundred of the Saracens whom we held in our hands, as we were bound to do; retaining, however, a few of the more noble ones, in return for whom we trusted to recover the Holy Cross and certain of the Christian captives. After this, the king of the Franks having returned home, and the ruins and breaches in the walls of the city of Acre being duly repaired, and the city properly fortified with trenches and a wall, we agreed that at Joppa we would promote the interests of Christianity and pursue the object of our vow; and, together with ourselves, the duke of Burgundy with the French placed under his command, the count Henry with his men, and many other earls and barons, and an innumerable body of people, determined to proceed. As between Acre and Joppa there was a very considerable distance, and a very long road, we at length, after much toil, and a severe loss of men, came down to Cæsarea. Saladin, also, on the same march lost a great number of his men. After the people of God had taken breath for a

time at that place, we pursued our intended route towards Joppa. Our vanguard having gone before and pitched their tents at Assur, Saladin with a mighty host of Saracens made an attack upon our rear-guard; on which, by the favouring grace of the Divine mercy, he was put to flight by only four battalions who faced about against him, and for a whole league was pursued in his flight by the entire troops of the Christians ; in consequence of which, such a slaughter took place of the more noble Saracens whom Saladin had with him, namely, in the vicinity of Assur, on the vigil of the Nativity of Saint Mary the Virgin, being Saturday, that Saladin had experienced none like thereto on any one day in the preceding forty years. We, however, by the grace of God, lost not one that day, with the exreption of one very valiant man, Jacques de Avennes, and much endeared to the whole army by his merits, who was ever ready and devoted, like a stay and support to the army, in all holiness and in the sincerity of the faith, for many years past, to serve God in the army of the Christians. After this, by the guidance of the Lord, we arrived at Joppa, and strengthened that city with trenches and a wall, making it our purpose in every quarter to promote the interests of Christianity to the utmost possible extent. Since the day of the discomfiture of Saladin above-mentioned, he has not dared to engage with the Christians, but, like a lion in his den, has been secretly lying in ambush in the more elevated places for the purpose of slaying the friends of the Cross like sheep destined for slaughter. Accordingly, on hearing that we were marching towards Ascalon with hasty steps, he overthrew that place and levelled it with the ground, and has now deserted and set at nought the whole land of Syria, as though he had been utterly bereft of the benefit of all counsel and assistance; in consequence of which, we consider it to be a ground for sanguine hopes, that in a short time, by the bounty of God, the inheritance of the Lord will be entirely regained. And as the inheritance of the Lord has already in some measure been regained, and we have in the recovery thereof endured all the heat and burden of the day, and have now exhausted all our money, and not only our money, but our strength and body as well; we do notify unto your brotherhood that we are not able to remain in the country of Syria beyond the festival of Easter. The duke of Burgundy, with the Franks placed under his command, count Henry, with his men, and the other earls, barons, and knights, who, in the service of God have

expended their means in behalf of God, will return home, unless through the skilful effects produced by your preaching, timely provision shall be made for them, in men, by whom the land may be peopled and defended, and in money, which they may expend more freely in the service of God. Wherefore, falling at the feet of your holiness and shedding tears, we do proffer our humble entreaties, and do most earnestly beseech you that in such manner as becomes your duty and your honor, you will make it your endeavour to induce the princes and noblemen throughout all Christendom, and the rest of the people of God, to give their services to the living God, and to prompt them so to do. And therefore, after the said festival of Easter, let it be for them to defend and protect the kingdom of the Lord, of which we, by the mercy of God, will, by the said time of Easter, more fully gain possession. And be it the care of your diligence to act with such earnestness in this respect, that nothing may through neglect on your part be lost, of that which the common advantage of all Christendom so ardently awaits. And for this reason it is that we do at this early period direct to your holiness our letters with reference to the interests of Christianity; to the end that we may not be reproached with slothfulness and negligence, in case we had in any way neglected to forewarn a man of such position and of so holy a life on the urgent interests of Christendom. Therefore, in such manner as before we had resolved on this expedition, you encouraged us and the rest of the people of God to enter the service of God, and to restore His inheritance to Him, so now as well does the most urgent necessity call upon you, with all earnestness to arouse the people of God to act as hereinbefore mentioned. Witness ourselves, at Joppa, on the first day of October.”

It is also to be observed that, immediately after the rout of Saladin, the pagans who were in Ascalon and Joppa abandoned those places, not daring to await the arrival of the king of England ; accordingly, the king of England found them both deserted, and fortified them with castles and trenches. Shortly after this, the king of England having gone one day to some gardens about a mile from Joppa, to walk there, he fell asleep, on which a multitude of pagans surprised him, and aroused the king from his slumbers ; immediately on which, he mounted his horse, and manfully withstood the Saracens. However, William de Pratelles, one of his household, was there

taken prisoner, and Reginald, his comrade, was slain ; one also of the king's chargers was taken there, and its leader slain, and the king only escaped through his prowess. When the king was mounting his horse, his belt, enriched with gold and precious stones, fell off, which was found by William de Corneburg, and afterwards restored to the king. Saphadin, the brother of Saladin, also sent back his horse to the king, who returned to Joppa. After this, the king fortified the castle of Planes, and the castle of Maen, and stayed at Joppa till nearly the Nativity of our Lord.

In the meantime, a serious dissension arose in England between the king's chancellor and John, earl of Mortaigne, the king's brother, relative to the castle of Lincoln, which the chancellor besieged, having expelled Gerard de Camville from the keepership and the office of sheriff of Lincoln; which former office the chancellor gave to William de Stuteville, and made him sheriff as well. But while the said chancellor was besieging the castle of Lincoln, the castle of Nottingham and the castle of Tickhill, which belonged to the king, were surrendered to earl John, who immediately sent word to the chancellor that, unless he quickly gave up the siege, he would visit him with a rod of iron.

Consequently, the chancellor, being alarmed at the commands of John, earl of Mortaigne, broke up the siege; and, through the mediation of many of the bishops, and other faithful servants of our lord the king, they appointed a day for an interview, at which an agreement was made between them on the following terms :

“Be it known to all men to whom this present writing shall come, that the dispute that has arisen between the earl of Mortaigne and our lord the chancellor has been, through the mediation of the archbishop of Rouen, and the bishops of Durham, London, Winchester, Bath, Rochester, and Coventry, and other faithful servants of our lord the king, set at rest; inasmuch as the earl of Mortaigne has restored to our lord the king, by the hands of the lord archbishop of Rouen, the castles of Tickhill and of Nottingham, to be given into the charge of William Marshal and William de Wendenal; that is to say, the castle of Nottingham to William Marshal, and the castle of Tickhill to William de Wendenal; which said castles they shall, having made oath thereto, keep to the honor of and in fealty to our lord the king, until such time as

VOL. II.

he shall return; and when he shall return, then they shall do therewith according to his will and command. And if, which God forbid, it shall so happen that our lord the king shall depart this life during the pilgrimage, then the said persons shall, without detaining the same or any delay, deliver up the before-mentioned castles to the said earl. And if it shall so happen that, in the meantime, our lord the chancellor shall be guilty of any excesses against the said earl, and, on being requested to make amends for the same with out delay, in conformity with the advice and opinion of the said lord archbishop of Rouen and others of the household of our lord the king and of his court, shall refuse so to do, then they shall restore and give up the said castles to the said earl. These other castles also, with the honors thereof granted to him by our lord the king, have been delivered into the charge of faithful servants of our lord the king; that is to say, the castle of Wallingford has been given up to the lord archbishop of Rouen, the castle of Bristol to the lord bishop of London, the castle of the Peak to the lord bishop of Coventry, the castle of Bolsover to Richard of the Peak, and, if the said Richard should decline it, the lord bishop of Coventry is to take it, the castle of Eye to Walter Fitz-Robert, the castle of Hereford to earl Roger Bigot, the castles of Exeter and of Launceston to Richard Revel; who have in like manner sworn that, as they owe fealty to our lord the king, they will faithfully keep the same for his service. And, further, three castles, which belong to the crown of our lord the king, have been delivered in trust as follows: the castle of Windsor to the earl or Arundel, the castle of Winchester to Gilbert de Lacy, and the castle of Northampton to Simon de Pateshull, who have in like manner sworn that, as they owe fealty to our lord the king, they will faithfully keep the same for his service. It has been further agreed, that bishops, abbats, earls, barons, vavasors, and freeholders shall not, at the will of justices or deputies of our lord the king, be disseised of their lands and chattels,28 but shall be dealt with by judgment of the court of our lord the king, according to the lawful customs and assizes of the realm, or according to the command of our lord the king. And in like manner the lord John shall cause similar provisions to be made in his lands.

And, if any person shall presume to do otherwise, at the prayer of the before

28 “ Caballis," in the text, is clearly a mistake for “ catallis.”

« AnteriorContinuar »