M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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break it, believed the only way to be fafe, was to put him-
felf under the Pope's powerful Protection. Purfuant to this
refolution, he fent a trufty Meffenger to his Holinefs, to
inform him of what palled, and entreat him to grant him
his affiftance in fo preffing a neceffity. His requeft was
attended with a very handfome Prefent, in order to ob-
tain more readily what he defired (8). Innocent was
overjoyed at the news of the Diflention, like to break
out between the King and the Barons. If any thing was
capable of depriving him of the Sovereignty lately acquired
over the Kingdom of England, it was, doubtlefs, a ftrict
and hearty Union between the King and the Nobles.
The Refignation extorted from John, was of itfelf fo re-
pugnant to all Right, and (o full of nullities, that it mutt
have fallen to the ground, if the King and his Subjects
could have been brought to fo necelTary a Union. And
therefore nothing being more agreeable to the Pope, than
to fee the King and the Barons in no way to fupport one
another, he refolved to make their Difcord a means, more
firmly to eftablifh his Authority in the Kingdom 9'. To 1214,
that end, without difcovering his knowledge of the Con- ^'P'f,
federacy of the Barons, he fent (10) Cardinal Nicholas J"'?'" ^"
Bifhop of Tufculum, (now Frafcati,) as his Legate into EogW
England, with power to relax the Interdict, and recon- Aa - " ub -
cile the King and the Clergy, cencerning the promifed w ^K 74 *
reftitution. John offering a hundred thoufand Marks, p. 246. '
the Legate ieemed fatisfied with the Sum ; but the Bi-



( rl \f. Pjns bys, it had hitherto been deferred, under pretence that the Archbifhop of Canterbury was to come over, and perform it in Perfrn, on the



behalf.



(2) July li. M. P.



: not obliged to attend the King,



• I ) After lnvin? appointed the Bifhop of JVir.ibiJIcr, and Geoffrey Fitx-Ptttrt Regents of the Kingdom. Ibid.

(4.) Raipn dt Cufgibal lays the mifcarriage of thij Voyage chiefly upon the Barons of the North, who beinf, fummoncd, affirmed, they weie ant ob-
hg.ed to tollow him, according to the Tenure of their Eifatcs. This is a clear evidence, that the Barons of the Realm were r
when he made War of his own head, but on y in cafe of an Invalion fiom abroad, or a Rebellion at home,
i- Abfque judicio Curia: fure. M. Paris, p. 139.

(6) His words were, That the King had fwern he would abolilh unjull Laws, and reftore the good ones, namely, thofe of Ediwd. Idem, p. - - 3 .

(7) Seethe Charter at the end ot this Reign.

(S) Noverat enim Rex, & multiplier didicerat experientia, qu d Papa fupcr omnes Mortales ambitiofus erat 3c fuperbus, pecuniaeque fitilor infat - bilis *
ad omnia Seclera pro pramiis datis vel promillis, cereum & prcclivum, tSc. M. Par,,, An. 1213. Raf.n.

(9) This year died oc-fry Fuz- r.;er,, Julticiary of England. He was a generous and learned Man, and the main fupport of the Kingdom • fo that at
n s deitn, EnjJar.J became like a Ship without a Rudder. He had the chief hand in the management of all aftiraj and was mere feared, thin lo-ed bv

/ B *i. »f ." w " brou S ht to Kin B J"" of Ws de-lb, he laid, Now J /ball be K,»g and Urd of Er.eland, M. Pir:s, p. sao,
(lo; About M:cbjtbr.a, s. lb,4, j, 3^5, * J ' z *

No '4. Vol. I. Zzz ^



274



the BISTORT of ENGLAND.



Vol. I.



121



■14. (hops openly rejected this offer, ehufing rather to let the

Kingdom groan under the intolerable Burden of an Inter-

v ,bt,dima»dt di<a, than recede in the lead: from their Pretenfions. The

a band Re Legate was not difpleafetl with their obftinacy, which

f>V>*'i°»°) g a y e jjim an occafion to acquaint the King with the

m' Paris." orders he had received from the Pope. He reprefented" to

him, he could never expect to live in Peace, till he had

■put himfelf entirely under the Protection of the Apottulick

See : " That therefore, it was neceffary to make a fecond

" Refignation of his Crown, the firit being liable to many

" Exceptions : That afterwards the. Pope, finding himfelf

" indifpenfably obliged to Support him, would infallibly

" free him from all his troubles."

« i r ,. John found himfelf in an ill fituation ; furrounded with

John !•:>;/■ •:.'J J . ' . T .

it, it. ' difficulties, and having almolt as many hnemies as .Lords
Ibid. j n the Kingdom, he had no other refuge but the Pope's

Protection. Accordingly, though this Protection could
not be obtained but by a fecond refignation of his Crown,
he was once more perfwaded to that fervile Compliance.
This refolution being taken, he convened a general Af-
fembly at Wejiminjier, where, in the prefence of all the
Lords, he folemnly refigned a fecond time his Crown to
the Pope, with all the Formalities the Legate was pleafed
to require. He figned alfo another Charter, wherein care
was taken to fupply all the defeats of the former. To
render it more authentick, it was fealed with Gold, the
firft being fealed only with Wax. Then the King de-
livered it to the Legate, for the ufe of the Pope his ma-
tter. It was not difficult for the confederate Barons to
perceive, their Secret was difcovered, and that 'John's fe-
cond refignation, was the price of the Pope's Protection.
Xangton As nothing was more oppofite to their defign of recover-
*"*"#': "' ' n £ tne ' r antient Privileges, than the Vaffalage to which
'John had fubjeCted the Kingdom, Cardinal Langton fo-
lemnly proteited againft it, and laid his Proteftation upon
the Altar.

Innocent having notice of Langton's Proteftation, was
extremely incenfed, that a Cardinal mould act fo directly
contrary to the Interefts of the Holy See. He durft not
however fall upon him, for fear of putting the whole King-
dom in commotion, and inducing the Englijh to join with
Langton in defence of their Liberties. Indeed, it was by
no means proper to let the Nation feel fo foon the weight
of their new Servitude. On the contrary, it was the
Court of Rome's Intereft to let her Rights lie dormant a
while, that the Englijh, perceiving no alteration, might be
lit Pope lefs inclined to fhake off their late Yoke. Mean time, the
"'f™'"'" Pope however took occafion to mortify the Archbifhop,
ti'iKlcir.t by impowering his Legate, Cardinal Nicholas, to fill all the
"Benrfius. vacant Benefices in England. The Legate abufed his
M. Vans, power molt fhamefully. Not content with conferring the
atwfabU Benefices on Italians, on his Relations and Creatures, he
Pxuer. even gave fome to Perfons unborn. Langton, angry that his
Langton op- Commiflion fhould be given to another, took occafion from
p c 'L. ' the Legate's ill Conduct to appeal to the Pope againft his
M. Paris, Proceedings, and fent his Brother Simon to Rome to profe-
P'=47>-+ s> cute the Appeal. He found Innocent little inclined to give
ear to complaints againft the Legate, who had juit done
him fuch fignal Services. Befides, Pandulph, who was
fent to Rome with the Charter fealed with Gold, had very
much blafted the Credit of the Archbifriop, and all the
IhiUuri i& Englijh Lords. He reprefented them as turbulent Perfons,
is taken "J/, and extolled the King as the molt pious of Princes. This
ami ,1 -very account caufed Innocent, regardlefs of Langton's Remon -
"rI'iIi "'tim Frances, to difpatch orders to his Legate to take off" the
gran te it to Interdict (i), which had now lafted above fix years. As
"" Bi/h'.fi- for the Satisfaction demanded by the Clergy, he ordered,
w ' p. : 49- the King fhould pay but forty thoufand Marks, in lieu of
all the reltitution.

Thus ended this grand affair, which rendered the King
of England the Pope's Vaflal and Homager. An Event of
this nature affords ample matter for reflections, which
the Reader is left to make. I fhall content my felt" with
obferving, that, if in the firft Negotiation, the Pope
would have been fatisfied with exaCting from John fo mo-
derate a reltitution, things would then have been, doubt-
lefs, adjufted. For that was the only obitacle to a re-
conciliation, fince the Nuncio's were pleafed with all the
Aft. Pub. re ^ °f tne king's Propofals. But John had not yet refign-
T. i.p.iS;. ed his Crown to the Pope, whereas after his refignation,
the hundred thoufand Marks offered by him, were reduced
to forty thoufand. The Clergy, who were in hopes of
receiving immenfe Sums for this reltitution, were very
much difeppointed. Neverthelefs, not daring to contradict
the Pope's exprefs orders, they were forced to be fatisfied



with a very moderate Sum, in comparifon of what thev i ; : a.
expeCted. The Bifliops however found means to indem-
nify themfejves, by not giving any fhare of the fortv
thoufand Marks to the inferior Clergy and Monafierits.
Thefe lalt made their complaints to the Legate ; but
could get no other anfwer, fave onlv, that having no
orders from the Pope, it was not in his power to give
them any redrefs.

John finding himfelf freed, though to his eternal fhame, John r«n-i«
from an affair, which had created him fo much trouble, "-' ,Vjr ""'
refolved to profecute the deiign which the difobedience ot ^"pari
the Barons had obliged him to give over. He hoped to
meet with more Submiffion from his SubjeCts, fince the
Pope had openly declared himfelf his ProteCtor, than whilft
he lay under the Sentence of Excommunication. After mak- A3. Pjb.
ing the neceffary Preparations for fo important an Enter- T ' '-P- lSl
prize (2), he came to Rochel with a numerous Army, and ^jy£,
entering Poitlou, fubdued that Province with the fame Poiaou, and
eafe it was taken from him. Encouraged by this good '.""" An ~
Succefs, he marched into Anjou, and rebuilt the Walls of J M.Pari^
Angers, which he had formerly demolilhed. This fudden p- *4*«
attack furprized Philip, who being then employed in the
Low-Countries, in an important War with the Emperor,
and the Earl of Flanders, could not timely enough oppofe
this new Enemy. However, his Son Prince Lewis, railing p •„
an Army with all poiiible expedition, advanced towards LewisjPtpf
Anjou, whilft the Englilh were befieging the ftrong Caftle b " P"g"f>'
of La Roche au Maine. The approach of the French Ar-
my caufing to vanifh John's hopes of being able to continue
the Siege, he refolved to raife it, and give Lewis battle.
But the Poiclevins refuting to follow him, he was not only
forced to relinquifh that defign, but even to retreat with
fome precipitation. The French Hiftorians fay, he was _. ,
briskly attacked in his retreat, and received a great lofs.
The Englijh, on the contrary affirm, that Lewis, fatis-
fied with raifing the Siege, retired without purfuing him.
Notwithftanding 'this accident, 'John had Troops fuflicient
to expeCt a good iflue of the War, had it continued. But Philip £«/*»
the news of the Battle of Bovin.es, gained by Philip in '*« Battkof
Flanders, made him think of retreating. This Victory, ?T nc r. .

* ° J ' John obtains

the molt confiderable France had ever obtained (;;), making a True*,
John apprehenfive the whole burden of the War would lie Adt - l>u! '»
upon him, demanded a Truce for five years, by the Me- __'..', ? '* *
diation of the Pope's Legate. Though a famous Hiftorian M. Pjris,
affirms, Philip granted this Truce only at the preflingP' I S°. Z SU
Inftances of the Pope, it may be prefumed, he was not
very unwilling to confent to it. For he could not defire
any thing more advantagious, than to fee the Englijh re-
turn home, fince he could gain but little upon them,
whereas he had a great deal to lofe (4).

We are now come to the third Period of King John's qb t third
Reign, which was no lefs full of troubles and misfortunes P Jr ' °f
than the two former. We have feer. him in the two firft, i oh "„ s
ftruggling with two foreign Powers, who triumphed over
him. In this we fhall fee him contending with his own
SubjeCts, and reduced, in order to fupport himfelf in the
Throne, to lay wafie his own Kingdom, with an Army
of divers Nations, and at length behold a foreign Prince
receive the Oath of Fealty from the Englijh.

After being expofed to fo many misfortunes, John, as Ttt p arcr j
it feemed, thought at the ex pence of his honour, to pafs leagaefir
the refidue of his Life in Peace. But his Lot was other- tht R'tf"'-
wife. His part ConduCt, mixt with Haughtinefs, Caprice, "i" ,; : .;i'.
Tyranny, Imprudence, Cowardice, had bred among his
SubjeCts a general difcontent, that could not fail of pro-
ducing ill EffeCts. As he loft the People's Efteem, the
Barons became lefs tradable. Their hopes of fucceeding in
their deiigns, were properly built on the little Affection ot
the People for their Sovereign. As toon as the King was
returned from his French Expedition, the Barons, who
had always their former Projects in view, relolvcd to de-
mand in a Bodv, the Re-eftablifhmcnt of their Privileges.
Under colour of a Pilgrimage, the chief Earls and Barons
met at St. Emuud's-Lury, where they came to a refolu- ' .^/*
tion, to demand of the King the confirmation of the Char-
ter of Henry I. This Charter, as was obferved, contain-
ed in fubftance, the Liberties enjoyed by the People of
England, during the Dominion of the Saxon Kings. Be-
fore they parted, it was agreed, that immediately after
Chrijhnas, they would go to the King in a Body, and pre*
fent him their Petition. Mean time, every one went to his
own home, to provide himfelf with Men,Horfes, and Arms,
to be .in condition to compel the King, it there was occa-
fion, to grant their defires. But before I proceed, it will
not be amifs to examine the occafion of this Quarrel.






(ill' was taken off, July 2. T. Wika, p. 37 ; or 'June 29, according to M- Parit, p. 249.

{-) He embarked, with his Queen, at Portfmoutb, Feb i. Idem. p. 24S.

(3) Tl-.i famous tattle was fought on ihe 27th of J'./)', between Tournay and Lijle. Though the Allies, mix. the Etip?r:r Oih, Ferdinand Earl of
7 tanderij w ith the Dukes of Lovatn and Brabant, had no lei's than a hundred and twenty thoufand Men, and though the King of Ftar.ce lia.l not neai fo rr. it
and was moreover thrown off his Horle and trod under foot, yet at length he entirely vanquifhed his Enemies. Otbo was pal to ii . he, ar.a rjit i fome time at"
wnii grid ; live F.arls were taken Prifoners, one, lit whiclj was William Long-Sward, King Join's bafe Brother. No Prinrr after ;h;t .iared to ■■ i htiar.a
PUlip. Ckt, Mailrot, p. 230, &c, (4) John returned to England, OBtt. so. At. Pt*f>, p. 251.

6 Now



Book VIII.



7. J O H N.



1 z 1 4.



Now the foundation of the Barons pretenTions, and of the Parties had kept up their refpeilive pretentions. When.



fixjm.
lion of
Ktngl

Barmt
ttitfisni



King's refufal of what they fo earneftly demanded, was
as follows.
*a- It cannot be denied, that in the Reigns of the firft
'*» Norman Kings, and particularly under William the Con-
"pL- 1 ueror i tne Englijh were opprefied. They were fo un-
jultly dealt with, that not an Englijhman was left in pof-
feifion of any confidcraBlc Fee (1). The Normans and 0-
tlier Foreigners were decked with their fpoils. At that
time the Englijh, who had fo great caufe to complain, in
vain alledged their privileges ; all ears were deaf to their
complaints. On the contrary, the Normans thought it no



the King was weak, or in fuch circumltanc.es as pel
ted him not to contend, the Barons tried to get the Li
ties of the Englijh reftored, and the Prince not knowing
what to do better, put them oft" with fair promife , u 'hi
lie had no defign to perform. But, under able Kir
who were in prosperity, the contcfl was ftifltd, and tlie
Barons waited for a more favorable opportunity to eom|
their ends, '['hey thought they had now met with one,
and refolved to improve it. John's ciixumltance, wcrejuft
as they wifhed. Hated and defpifed bv the People, to
whom he had given great occafions of difcontent, he could



275

I .2 J 4.



injuftice for the King to ufe a defpotick power, as long as it never hope to regain their affection. On the othei hand,

was for their advantage. The Laws of Edward the Con- he was without hopes of afliftance from King Philip, i.i.

fijjor were in fuch difrepute, that it was almoft treafon molt mortal enemy. Much lefs could he expect any Sut

to mention them. But when once thefe fame Normans couis from the Emperor his Nephew, or the Earl of Flat

faw themfelves firmly fettled on their new acquilitions, ders, who were equally crufhed by the Battle of Bw'mes,

they began to perceive how dangerous it was to live under Neither was it likely, that the King of Scotland won]

an arbitrary Power, which might deprive them of what poufe the quarrel of a Prince, with whom he was extreme-

the Conqueror had given their Anceftors. Therefore by de- Jy difpleafed. As for the afliftance John might expect

grces they put on the Englijl) genius, wholly addiitcd to from the Pope, as it was to conlift oniv of fpiritua! Arms,

liberty, and wanted to have the Saxon Laws re-eftablifhed. the Barons were in no concern about it ; well knowing

All diftinction between the two Nations was intirely re- fuch Weapons have no edge, but what fear, and the cir-

moved. Every one was delirous of being Englijl) rather cumftances ot time and place give them. But as they hid

than Norman. Probably this was the chief reafon why reafon to hope, the People would join with them, in de-

the Norman Language prevailed not in England, notwith- fence of their common intcrefls, they were not afraid

ltanding the care and pains of William I. to that end. the Pope's Thunder-bolts would do them much hurt.

Upon all fair occafions, the Normans fpoke like true Eng- 'John therefore was neceflarily forced to yield on this occa-

lijhmen, and earneftly demanded the revival of the Laws fion ; for having loft the French Provinces, he had no re-

of Edward. They particularly took advantage of the fuge againft the Englijh.

circumftances of Jl'illiam Rufus, Henry I, and Stephen, Full of thefe hopes, and holding themfelves fure of fuc- 121$-,

when they mounted the Throne. As thefe Princes had cefs, the Barons(2) came to the King at London {-,), and ' n < ?■•"■<•>

not properly any right to the Crown, they were forced demanded in plain and exprefs terms, the re-eftablifh- '«"","'' /"/■

to be indulgent to their Subjects, and promife them the ment (4) of the Laws of tit. Edward, with the other the 1

re-eftablifhment of their antient Laws. Indeed, what the rights and privileges contained in the Charter of Henry I. s '- Edward,

Barons demanded would have been very right in the mouth They alledged, they required only, what he himfelf had M „''"' s '

of an Englijhman ; but thefe fame pretenfions, with re- promifed with a folemn Oath, before he received his ab-

fpecT: to the Normans, might be very juftly contefted. Ac- folution, and for that reafon, their moft humble petition

cordingly we have feen in thehiftory of thefe three Princes, could not be looked upon as an innovation, much lefs as

though they folemnly promifed to revive thefe Laws, they proceeding from a fpirit of Rebellion. This petition, though

never heartily fet about the being as good as their word, expreffed in the moft refpeitful terms, alarmed the King.

Neverthelefs thofe folemn and repeated engagements gave As he found, they had taken their refolution in cafe it

the Barons of the Norman Race, a right which they had was rejected, he believed his beft courfe would be to gain

not before. The circumftances of the three firft Norman time. He defired them therefore to ftay for his anfwer Tbe King

Kings, when they afcended the Throne, were therefore till Eajler, affuring them, he would then declare his inten- t"" f ""

the true caufe [of thefe wrong proceedings, which after- tions. Though it was very eafy to fee, the King only '*"J u, •' r •

wards became fo prejudicial to their Succeffors. They fought to amufe them, they were afraid of being blamed,

knew, their Norman Subjects had no right to demand the fhould they refufe this delay, and retire (<;).

revival of the Saxon Laws, which mull have been evi- Mean time, the King taking advantage of this delav, "' "mat

dently violated, to fettle them in the Eftates they pofTef- caufed the Oath of Fealty to be renewed by all his Sub 't^;/ ' ,

fed in England. But neceffity compelled thefe Princes to jefts, and Homage by all his immediate Vafials. After of all 1

promife what they never intended to perform. The Char- which, he took upon him the Crofs (6), as if he intended •""•*'' '■'■

tcr of Henry I, was never executed either by himfelf or to go to the Holy-Land, to the end he might fhelter him- w ', 1 .'* r,! >

any of his Succeflbrs. What care foever was taken to felf under the Church's protection (7). On the other hand, Ac!. Pub.

fend Copies to the principal Monafteries, it was with great the Pope being informed of the Barons petition, ferit them T- 1- 1-*9 6 >

difficulty that a fingle one was found, a hundred years a Letter, exhorting them to continue in obedience to their' 97-

after, and fhewn by Cardinal Langton to the Lords. If Sovereign ; but that did not hinder them from profecutino-

therefore the rights of the Barons are originally confider- their defign.

ed, they muft be concluded to be built upon no good As foon as Eajler was come, the great Men met at Tvc Baront

foundation ; becaufe the principal Fiefs were in the hands Stanford, confifting of almoft all the Nobility, and making/

of the dependents of thofe, to whom they were granted a powerful Army, in which were above two thoufand *£f {" k ''

by William the Conqueror. But on the other fide, it muft Knights, befides other Horfe and Foot, armed with divers M. Paris,

be confefs'd, that the many folemn promifes of all the Kings Weapons (S). The King, who was at Oxjord in expec-P z 54«

iince the Conqueror, to reftore the Saxon Laws, com- ration of their coming, hearing of their number and pof-

monly called the Laws of St. Edward, gave the Englijh ture, did not think fit to expofe his Perfon in a confe-

Normans a very plaufible right to demand the performance rence with them. Before they advanced any nearer (9), he

thereof. fent the Earl of Pembroke (10) to know, what the Laws

From what has been faid it may be eafily inferred, that and Liberties were, which they mentioned in their peti-

if the Barons thought themfelves intitled to demand the tion. Upon which, they delivered a long memorial of

le-eflablifhment of the privileges of the Englijh Nation, the Laws and Cuftoms obferved in the time of the Saxon

John believed himfelf no lefs authorized to refufe it. This Kings ; declaring, if the King would not confirm them,

conteft remaining undecided during feveral Reigns, both they were refolved to compel him, by feizing his Caftles.



(■', Xot only Knights Fee;, and par' of Knights Fees, but alfo Honours and Baronies ( which were the greater Fees ) were called Fees. And not without
Caufe, tor, except they were held by grand bcrjeanty only, they were ulually compofed ot Knights Fees. In general, Fee is a Name applicable to all Sci<;-
neuries, H.n defnn Fee, Hon de fa Barony, is as much as to lay, cut of bn Barony. It may be obferved, that Feoffment liinitied originally the Cr?nt of a
Feud or Fee. Neaerthelefs, by Cuftom it came afterwards to fignify alio, a Grant ( with Livery and Seirin ) of a free Inheritance, to ,1 Man and his Hiir
refp-ct being had rather to the Perpetuity of the Elt.ite granted, than the Feudal Tenure. And this has been called a Fecftmcnt in Fee firr.pl:. Out of the
Fee-fimple there has been derived another kind of inheritable filiate, which has been called a conditional Fee, or Fee- tail. There aie likewile Feerirruj::,
for Life- See i\.aJox't Dijftrt. on Chart, and Infirum. p. 4.



5

Rote



(2) The Karnes of the Barons were, Robert Filx-Walter, Eujiacc de Vefci, Ruh.ird d- Pircy, Robert de Rofi, Peter de Bruu, Nicholas de SlulevilU
aer Earl of Wmebejler, Robert and Henry F.arls of Cla'e, Ro^et Bigod Earl of Norfolk ar.d Xuljilh, William de Munbrey, Roger de Creijfl , Ranufoo F:rz-
loberl, Robert de Ver, Ful>. Fitz-Warm, William Mallet, William de Montaaite, William de Beaucbamp, S. de Kimc, William Marejcbalt the younger,
William Mavdut, Roger de Mont -Began, J obn Fim Robert, Jobn Fttz-A'-an, ('. Oe Laval, 0. FitX-tfhrr, JV. de Hcbrug, O.deVall, G.dc Gar.l, Mau-
rice deCant, R. de Bracitfte, R. de M-nJicbet, W. de Lanmalei, G. de Mandevllle Earl of Filer. William h:s Drther, IV-.lham de Huntin Jield, Robert de
Hrejln, G. Conflable of Meutum, Alexander de Pomtum, Piter Fitxjtbn, Alexander de Sutun, Oibert de Bobi, John Conllable of Cbejier, Tbmai dt



Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 116 of 360)