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The emperor gains the friendship of several princes and nobles. About the same time, namely whilst the pope was staying at Genoa, the Milanese and the Ligurians, as well as some Italians and Romans, and many of the nobles of Germany, conspired together, at the instigation of the pope, and one of the most powerful chiefs of the latter country, whom they call the landgrave, was encouraged to assume the imperial dignity, until he should be regularly elected, and, relying on the manifold assistance of the prelates and nobles, to make war against the tyrant Frederick, as a declared and general persecutor of the Church. His good name was blackened in no slight degree, and it was asserted that he did not walk with a firm step in the law of the Lord, being a confederate of Saracens, keeping Saracen harlots as his concubines, and doing other things unfit and too numerous to mention. But when the said landgrave was about to make this attempt, and was deliberating with his fellow-nobles, who had been summoned together for the purpose, as to what they should do, his friends told him that it would be rash to attempt it, and to trust himself to dubious chances when he now enjoyed peace and tranquillity, notwithstanding whatever the pope's party promised him. And whilst their opinions were thus hanging in the balance of suspense, the emperor, by making a rapid journey, came suddenly amongst them, with only a few attendants, who knew of these occurrences, and by his arguments diverted the effeminate mind of the said landgrave from his intentions, and before they parted, he and the landgrave became the closest friends and allies, and they mutually exchanged presents. Having thus managed this affair, then the emperor went away as secretly and suddenly as he had come.
Whilst these events were passing, the emperor, in order to strengthen his party, which his enemies believed was now greatly weakened, gave his daughter in marriage to one of the most powerful Greek chiefs, named Battacius, a man hateful and disobedient to the Church, and a schismatic; on hearing of which, the emperor's enemies were struck dumb with confusion.
Of the rebellion and base ireachery of the Welsh.
A.D. 1244.] RUMOURS REACH THE KING AT ST. ALBANS.
knowing how, and being unwilling to subinit their necks to the unknown laws of the kingdom of England, appointed David, the son of Llewellyn, and some other princes of Wales, as their leaders, and made a most bloody war against the king of England and his marquises, forgetting their charters and their oaths. They, however, were, by the king's command, for the preservation of his territories, bravely resisted by the earl of Clare, the earl of Hereford, Thomas of Monmouth, Roger de Michaut, and some other powerful and illustrious marquises, who, although they at the commencement of the contest got the worst of the battle, yet at length, as is the usual case in war, gained a victory over some of their enemies. In this battle a hundred men and more fell on both sides.
Divers rumours reach the king at St. Albans. At the feast of St. Barnabas, the king was at St. Albans, where he stayed three days, and whilst there, rumours of the insolence of the Welsh became frequent, and some messengers came to him with news which greatly disturbed and grieved him ; namely, that the election of Robert Passlow, his clerk, who had been elected to the bishopric of Chichester, was annulled, and that another person, named Richard de Wiche, had been suddenly appointed in his place ; for Master Martin, a prompt clerk of the pope, had been there to lay his hooked fingers on the revenues for the use and benefit of
Besides the aforesaid reports, he heard others; namely, that the king of Scotland had saucily sent a message to him that he did not hold the least particle of the kingdom of Scotland from him, the king of England ; that he ought not to do so, and would not. The friendship between these two kings had become very much lessened since the king of Scotland had formed a matrimonial alliance with the daughter of Engelram de Coucy, who, like all the French, was known to be one of the chief, if not the chief one, of the king of England's enemies. The king, therefore, determining to revenge the injuries done to him, readily encouraged and assisted those who were sustaining the contest against the Welsh, and promised them more effectual assistance with troops and money. After arranging the business connected with the state of affairs in Scotland, he took the bishopric of Chichester into his own hands, and would not allow the new bishop elect
to exercise any authority ; he also conceived great anger against those who had brought this matter about, and consented to it, but, above all, against the archbishop elect of Canterbury, whom he bitterly
accused of ingratitude, and of being a plotter of treason ever since the commencement of his promotion. And that he might not appear to reply in a lukewarm way to the message and insolence of the king of Scotland, he sent word confidentially to the count of Flanders (as being a faithful ally, and one bound to him by manifold obligations) to come with a body of troops to assist him against the king of Scotland, which request the count readily complied with. The recall of the bishop of Winchester and his reconciliation with
the king of England. About the same time, the king, taking wise counsel, recalled the bishop of Winchester in an amicable way from the continent, and, at the instance of the pope and some of his own nobles, who earnestly requested this favour for the bishop, he promised him his favour and the restitution of the property taken from him. The bishop then, with better expectations, took leave of the French king, returning him thanks for the benefits conferred on him by the king, in having received and protected him when an exile in his kingdom, and returned to England, where, after a prosperous voyage, he landed at Dover on the fifth of April. On his arrival, all the English, with the exception of those clerks and courtiers of the king who had sown the seeds of discord, and who were wounded by their own conscience, gave him their congratulations, saying, “ Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord.” For hopes were confidently entertained that he would, by his prudence and good sense, with which he abounded, strengthen the king, consolidate the kingdom, and bring his bishopric also to the best conditions. On his joyfully presenting himself before the king, he was received by him with a smiling and pleased look, as though he had always been free from all offence against the king; and their affection and pleasure increased in an extraordinary way, from day to day, according to the words of the poet,
Post inimicitias clarior extat amor, &c. [When clouds of quarrel disappear, Affection's sun becomes more clear.]
THE KING DEMANDS ASSISTANCE.
About this time B. archbishop elect of Canterbury, began, contrary to the expectations of all who had created him, to oppress the monks of Canterbury, with great severity and in a manner little becoming him, disposing everything in the priory more at his own pleasure than with any regard to
The wretched death of Engelram de Coucy. About the same time, as the month of August drew on, Engelram de Coucy, father of the queen of Scotland, met with his death in a remarkable way; whereupon John, his son, sent a body of troops by sea to assist the king of Scotland; but the king of England drove all whom he sent away by force. I say that the said Engelram, the old persecutor of the Church, but especially of the church of Clairvaux, which his ancestors had magnificently founded and built on his fee, died in a remarkable way; for he died, as it were, by a double death. Whilst living, he was a zealous builder up in material matters, but in spiritual matters a sad dissipator. One day, when travelling, he had occasion to cross a certain ford, when his horse's foot stumbled over some obstacle, and he fell backwards into deep water, into which he was unfortunately dragged by his stirrups; as he fell headlong, his sword escaped from the sheath and pierced his body, and thus drowned and pierced by his sword, he departed this life to reap the fruits of his ways. John, his son and heir of all his property, out of affection for his sister, the queen of Scotland, gave his advice and assistance as before stated, to the king her husband, and the latter also fortified the castles on the confines of England, and earnestly begged the assistance of the nobles his relations and neighbours against the king of England, who was plotting against him. The aid which was thus demanded in his time of need, was granted with a willing heart by some of the nobles, and the promised troops were sent to him in great numbers.
The king demands pecuniary assistance. In the same year, by a summons from the king, all the nobles of the whole kingdom, consisting of archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, earls, and barons, were convoked at London, where, at a council held in the refectory of Westminster, the king, in the presence of the nobles, with his own mouth, asked for pecuniary assistance, passing over in silence his design of making war on the king of Scotland. The reason which he openly gave to them for his demand was, that in the past year he had gone over into Gascony, by their advice, as he said, where he got indebted in a large sum of money, and that he could not release himself from that debt unless he was most effectually assisted by them ; to this the nobles replied that they would consult on the matter. When the nobles left the refectory, the archbishops, bishops, abbats, and priors met together in a private place by themselves, to deliberate on the matter, and at length asked the earls and barons if they would agree to their advice, in giving an answer, and making provision in this case ; to which the latter replied, that they would do nothing without the common consent of the whole community. By unanimous consent, therefore, there were chosen, on the part of the clergy, the archbishop elect of Canterbury, and the bishops of Winchester, Lincoln, and Worcester ; on behalf of the laity, Earl Richard, the king's brother, Earl Bigod, Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, and Earl W. Marshall; and on the part of the barons, Richard de Montfichet and John Baliol, and the abbats of St. Edmonds and Ramsey ; so that whatever those twelve might determine on, should be published to all in general, and that no terms should be offered to the king, unless by the general consent of all. And because the charter of liberties which the king had formerly granted, and for the observance of which Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, had given his oath, and become security, and had faithfully promised that the king would observe, was not yet put in force, and the assistance which they had so often given to the king had been productive of no advantage to him or the kingdom ; and because, through the want of a chancellor, briefs had been often granted contrary to justice, when they asked that a justiciary and chancellor should be appointed on their election, by whom the kingdom might be consolidated, as was the custom, he, the king, that he might not appear to adopt any new plan of proceedings on compulsion, refused to agree to their petition, but promised that he would amend the things complained of on their parts ; wherefore they were ordered to meet there again at the end of three weeks from the Purification of the Blessed Virgin ; they, the