M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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M. Weft.

for the performance of their Promife, to which they readi-
ly confented. Upon the arrival of the Hoftages at Paris,
Prince Lewis, then in Languedoc warring againft the Albi-
gcnj'es, came to the King his Father, to prepare for this
important expedition. Some Troops were immediately
fent to the Barons ( 1 ), with affiirances that he would
foon (2) follow in perfon with a greater Supply.

The preparations in France coming to the Pope's ears,
he difpatched thither one Gallo, as his Legate, to try to
put a flop to them. The Legate having an audience of
the King, forbad him in the Pope's name to carry his arms
into England, as being part of St. Peter's patrimony, and
j. threatncd all perfons whatfoever with Excommunication
that fhould, directly or indirectly, aflift the Englijh Ba-
rons. Philip regardlefs of thefe Threats, replied, that
England was no patrimony of St. Peter, for it was evi-
dent, King "John could not fubject his Kingdom, without
the confent of the States ; that an Act of fuch a nature
was beyond the power of any King, and that the Max-
ims which the Pope would introduce, were too pernicious
to all States to be received (3). The perfon that faid
this, was however the fame Philip, who three years before,
by the Pope's fole authority, thought himfelf entitled to
England : Which is a clear evidence that the Pope's exor-
bitant power, was not allowed from a religious principle,
but from a motive of intereft or fear. Thus the Court
of Rome received, at certain times, mortifications, which
fhe readily wink'd at, whilft, on other occafions, (he ex-
erted her authority, with extraordinary haughtinefs.

The Pope's prohibition not interrupting the French Ar-
rMiMusEng- niament, Lewis was foon ready to fail for England with a
Fleet of feven hundred Ships (4). Mean time 'John, who
went to Dover upon the firft news of the defign of the
French, not thinking himfelf able to hinder their defcent,
was retired to IVincheJler ; fo Lewis meeting no oppofi-
tion, landed his Troops at Sandwich (5) without molefta-
tion. After that, he marched againft Rochejler, which
made but a faint refiftance. The taking or that City
drew after it the whole County of Kent, except Dover
Caftle, where John had left a ftrong Garrifon with a brave
and faithful Governor (6).
The Abbot of Mean while, the Pope fent Gallo his Legate orders to
5r. Auguf- repair i.ito England, and folemnly publifh the Bull of ex-
communication againft the Barons. At the fame time he
commiffioned the Abbot of St. Augujlin's, to denounce
Prince Lewis excommunicated, the moment he fet foot in
England. Lewis endeavoured to divert this Blow, by re-
prefenting to the Abbot, in a Letter (7), his right to the
Crown of England. Among other reafons, he alledged,
that John mounting the Throne only by the confent of
the Barons, the fame authority might depofe him and put
another in his place (g). The Abbot not being gained
Ti'e Barons by his arguments, declared Prince Lewis and his Adherents
fmetrFul. excommunicated, purfuant to the Pope's exprefs orders.
M.'paris.' 5 ' But this was not fufficient to deter that Prince from his en-
terprize. As foon as he became mafter of Rochejler, he
marched to London, where the Barons (9) and Citizens
fwore Fealty to him, after his folemn Oath to reftore to
all their loft Inheritances, and to the Nation their antient
Privileges. It does not appear in the Englijh Hiftorians
that this Prince was crowned. However he certainly acted
as King, and difpofed of every thing relating to the Go-
vernment, as if he had been lawfully inverted with the
Royal authority ( 1 o). He made Simon Langtm his Chan-
cellor, who being incenfed againft the Pope, perfwaded
the Barons and Londoners to defpife the Court of Rome's
Cenfures, and notwithstanding the Interdict, to be pre-
fent at divine fervice, which was celebrated as ufual.
Lewis for his part readily confented to what was fo agree-

Lewi^ ar


M. Paris.

p. 282.

and takes

p- 1868.


lie makes
ton Chan-
ce!! r.
M, Paris.

able to his intentions. When he rcfolved upon this un- 1216.
deruking, he plainly forefaw, he fhould meet with obfta-
cles from the Pope, and therefore was determined not to
value his Cenfures. Herein he only followed the exam-
ple of his Father and the French Bifhops, who appealed to
the Pope when better informed, from the Sentence of In-
terdict denounced upon the whole Kingdom (n). Appeals
to a future general Council were not yet much in ufe, nor
the commodious diftinction between the Holy See and the
perfon of the Pope.

Lewis's Party daily increafing, as he continued his Pro- Lewi«*riw
grefs, he quickly became mafter of moft of the Southern £' ; ' ;
Counties. A her that he marched towards Norfolk and M. Paris.
Suffolk, which likewife fubmitted to him. During thefe P- Sl ,
fuccefles, he met with no refiftance except from IVilliam °"
de Collingham, who with a thoufand Archers, keeping
clofe to the Prince's Army, fell upon the French that
ftraggled for plunder (12). Shortly after, Lewis's Adhe-
rents in the North (15-) took the City of Tori, and defi-
red him to come into thofe parts to finifh the conqueft
of all the Country beyond the Humber (14). But whilft Utbefitgu
he was preparing for this expedition, he received a Let- „j c ,' t ' B
ter from the King his Father, reproving him for leaving rom,
behind him the Caftles of Dover and Wnidfor, which w '"d r or.
were of greater moment than the northern Counties \.%™'
Upon this he marched back to befiege Dover, whilft the M. Weft.
Englijh Barons, with their own Troops, inverted Windfor.
About the fame time, Alexander I. King of Scotland, pur- "H" Scotch
fuant to Lewis's Summons, came and did him Homage in v!"^"'
perfon, for the Lands he held of the Crown of Eng- u. p. 287.
land (15). Which done, Lewis and the Englijh Barons
fwore, that they would never make peace without his
knowledge. But this promife was not afterwards well per-
formed. A little after, John had the mortification to fee
himfelf deferted by the Flemijh and Poiclevin Troops,
whom Lewis had found means to entice away from his

Whilft thefe things pafTed in England, the Ambaffhdors Le*is'<fe-
fent by Lewis to Rome, were trying all ways, to vindicate ^J^ m " t
their mailer's claim to the Crown of England. Thev found- England be-
ed his right chiefly upon his marriage with Blanch of Caf-J :r " h ' Pc J"'
tile, pretending that John being lawfully depofed by the Ba- ^' 2 il"&t.
rons the Crown was devolved to Blanch his Niece. As the
account given by a Hiftorian (16) of the AmbafTadors
conference with Innocent, may ferve to clear this Affair,
it will not be amifs to relate fome ot the particulars. The TbeOH-ni-
Pope objected to the AmbafTadors, that fuppofing John was °"""" i R '-
lawfully depofed, his Children ought net to be involved in
his misfortune. But fuppofing his Children, young as
they were, to be partakers of their Father's crimes, Elea-
nor of Bretagne (17), who was ftill alive, preceded all
others. In fine, that the Emperor Otho, Son of Hen-
ry II's eldeft Daughter, ought manifeftly to go before
Blanch of Cajiile, who was born of the youngeft. The
AmbafTadors replied, Eleanor's Father and Otho's Mother
being dead, reprefentation could not take place, but the
Mother of Blanch being ftill living, her Daughter misht
juftly reprefent her. But, anfwered the Pope, why ihould
Blanch be preferred to the King of Cajiile her Brother,
and the Queen of Leon her eldeft Sifter ? This was a puz-
zling objection. But however, as on this occafion, the
thing was not fo much to give good reafons, as to alledge
fome good or bad, in order to fatisfy the Pope, the Am-
bafTadors were not at a lofs for an anfwer. They affirmed,
that when there were feveral Heirs, and the next of Kin
did not appear and put in his Claim, a more diftant rela-
tion might take poffefiion of the Inheritance, faving to the
other his right : That upon this foundation their mafter
had entered England, but if afterwards a nearer than he

(l) Under the Command of the Caftellan of St. Omars, the Caftellan of Arras, Hugh Chaeun, Euflace de Neville, Giles de Melun, Baldwin Bntel,
Witlam de JVin.es, William de Beaumont, Giles de lierji, and Brijec de Ferji j who came up the Thames to London on the 2;th of February. Some of the
Enghflj B-rons holding a Tournament with thefe French Noblemen, one of them mortally wounded Geoffrey de Mar.deville Earl of Efjtx, to the great
Gnel of his Patty. M. Paris, p. 279. (2) By Eafler. M- Paris, p. 280.

(3I Matthew Paris fays, that all the great Men of France unanimouily declared, they would maintain this point even to death, That no King or Prince,
'Without the Cottfent rf lis Barons, had Power to give away, or make ever his Kingdom, and thereby enjlave his Nobility, ^Thefe things were tran-
factcd at Lyons, ab-mt fifteen days after Eafler. M. Paris, p. 280. M. Weft. p. 275.

(4 S-x hundied Ship-, and fourfct re other VeiTels, called by M. Paris, Coggs. p. 281.

(5, Tht-y nrrt came to land, May 21. in the lfle of Tbanet, in a place called Stanbore ; but finding no body to moled them, they came and landed at
Sandwich. M. Pans, p. 282. (6) Hubert de Burgh. M. Paris.

{n, This Letter is ftill extant in Thorns, Hiftory of that Abbey. Col. 1868.

(8) Alluding to Archbiihop Hubert's Speech at his Coronation.

(9) The chief ot the Barons that retorted to him, were IVilliam Earl of Wairen, IVilliam Eul of Aiundel, William Earl cf Salisbury, William MareJeaU
the younger, ir. M. Paris, p. 282.

(10) He fummoned, on the fourteenth of June, the King of Scotland and all the great Men of Errlar.d to do him Homage, or forthwith to depart the
Kingd m. M. Pans. p. 282.

(11; Pope Boniface VUl, upon a quarrel with Pbiltp, excommunicated him, and abfolved his Subiefh from their Allegiance, which fo ineenfed him, that
he got the Cope condemned in a Synod for Simony, Murder, Atheifm, Adultery, &c ; and his Boll, wherein he afferted that he was fupreme Lord in Tem-
porals, was burtt by the Parliament of 1 arts, and by the States of France, who declared againft the papal Uuirpations.

(12) Hugh de Neville furrendrcd to him the Caftle of Marlborough ; and William de Mandevil/e, Robert Fitz. Walter, and William de HuntingfielJ
reduced Ej/ix and Suffolk to his obedience. Jn the mean time King John furnilhtd the Caftles of Wallingford, Corfe, Warbam, Biflol, the Devifes, &c.
with Arms .ind Provifions. M. Paris, p. 282, 283.

(13) Commanded by Robert de Ros, Peter de Bras, and Richard de Parcy. M. Paris, p. 185.

(14) Lewis marched through the eaftern parts of England, and fpoiled EJfex, Suffolk, ar.d Norfolk, feized upon the Caftle of Norwich, reduced Lyn, and
made all thofe Counties tributary. Gilbert de Cant furrendred Lincolnfbire to him ; and took Lincoln, M. Pans, p. 285, 286.

(iS) He alio fubdued Northumberland for Lewis. M. Paris, p. 286.

(16) Matthew Paris, An. 1216, hath fet forth at large the Reafons prelented to the Pope on Lewis's behalf, with the Pope's Replies, which contain
not only the clear m Vs Controverfy, but alfo many curious points in the feudal Law of that Age. See M.Paris, p. 2S3 iSj.

(17) Arthur's, Sifter, in Ct rinnemeat in Brijlol Caftle,


Book VIII.



1216. fhould claim, he fhould be always ready to give him a rea-
sonable fatisfa&ion. Innocent was forced to be fatisfied with
this reply, alledged not fo much to prove the Juftice of
Lewis's Title, as to fhow a Deference to the Pope in deba-
ting the matter before him. Whatever his decifion might
be, Lewis was refolved to profecutc his pretended right,
which he grounded much more upon force than equity.

The French and Etlglifb Troops being employed in the
Siesre of Dover and Windfor, John, who till then thought
himfelf too weak to venture to take the field, left JVin-

mong other things, he made it a Mayor-Town, and t4i6i

John risiia-

k" '■ ■■■

«»</ Stiff Jk.

M Paris.

P. ■•;,..

M. Well.

battle, he retired to an advantageous Poft near Stanford,
where it would have been very difficult to attack him (2)
He took care not to hazard a battle, apprchcnfive as he

prefentcd tiie firft Mayor with his own fword, which is Cundeni
ftill carefully kept there. However, as he found himfelf*"'''™*
prefted by the Barons, and fearing his T reaffirm were nol
fdfe at Lynn, he refolved to remove them to a certain m. i
place in Lincolnshire, where he intended to retire. He very P- 2i; ;>
narrowly efcaped drowning with his whole Army in the
large Marfh (4), which parts the two Counties of Lim > 'n
and ^Norfolk, Before he was quite over, the Tide coming
up the River Well-flrcam, which overflows the Marfrn
:he/ier, and marched into Norfolk and Suffolk, where he land at High-water put him in extreme danger. But H • '■■ all
committed great ravages ( 1 ). But hearing the Barons if he efcaped himfelf he could not fave his Baggage, ''.'' °U't*
had raifed the Siege of Windfor, with intent to give him which was all fwallowed up by the Waters. He arrived/"*

that night at Swines-head Abbey, where he lodged. His M. Pari*,
vexation for his lofs, which was irretrievable in his pre- M ' Wcft *
fent circumftances threw him into a violent Fever, which
was, that the Officers of his Army, moft of whom were was heightened by inconfiderately eating Peaches (;). On
Subject of the King of France, would make their Peace the morrow, not being able to ride, he was carried in a
with Lewis by
induced to avoid
from prolonging

hope, the Englijh would quickly grow weary of the French, but ten years of age, his Heir. The care of his Sal- **. Piriai
who began already to take very much upon them, never vation employed his thoughts during the reft of his fickntfs ''' 2X8 '
troubling themfelves to conform to their temper and ways, which put an end to his days on the 1 8th of Odder 1216
'/wV/'s expectations were not groundlefs. The Barons were in the fifty firft year of his age, after an unhappy k
extremely grieved to fee all the rewards diftributed to the of (eventeen years, feven months, and ten days. His Bo-
Foreigners, and their own Inheritances beftowed on the Fa- dy was carried to Worcejler according to his own order and
vorites of the Prince whom they had fent for, as if the En- buried with little Funeral Pomp in the Cathedral where
ASc<re!df glifl) had no right to the conquefts that were making. But his Tomb [with his Image upon it] is ftill to be feen (6).

all this would not perhaps have been fufficient to engage Some will have it that he was poifoned by a Monk ofT. Wikej.
them to take other meafures, if what they learnt from the Swines-head Abbey ; but that is very improbable, fince it K
mouth of the Vifcount de Melun, one of Lewis's prime is not mentioned by any of the Cotemporary Hiftorians (7). Hcln ' nBfo '' 1
Confidents, had not as it were forced them to think of If this Prince's character be drawn according to Mat- <n. cb

e King of trance, would make their Peace tne morrow, not being able to ride, he was carried in a

y fome notable Treachery. He was further Litter to Sleford Caftlc, from whence the next day he & maket

oid fighting, by the advantages he expected proceeded to Newark. Here finding his illnefs encreafe *" l * r '"'

ng the War. He believed he had reafon to he made his will, and appointed Henry his eldeft Son, then Nevmk.*'

covered b

the P'feount
of Melun.

Kl r 1' 1-

M. Paris.

their fafety. If certain Hiftorians are to be credited, this
Nobleman being feized by a mortal diftemper at London,
caufed fuch of the Barons as were ported there for the fe-
curity of the City, to be fent for. When they came, he
told them, he could not forbear difcovering a fecret, which

thew Paris, his chief Hiftorian, he muft be reprefentcd as "0
one of the vileft Wretches that ever lived. But, as I have J ohn-
elfewhere obferved, the Hiftories of Princes, who have had
any contefts with the Court of Rome, are to be read with
great caution. It is better therefore, without regarding the

Remarks on
this Secret.

lay heavy upon his confeience, and if longer concealed particular Sentiments and Expreffions of the Hiftorians
from the Englijh would infallibly bring them into utter de- folely to examine the Actions of this Monarch, in order
ftru&ion. Then he difclofed to them, that the Prince was to difcover his Temper and Inclinations. It is certain
refolved to banifh all the Barons that had taken arms one muft frame a very difadvantagious Idea of him when
againft King John, as Traytors to their Country (3). He his unjuft proceedings with regard to his Brother Richard
added, this refolution was taken in a Council of fixteen are conlidered : The Death of Prince Arthur his Nephew
French Lords, ( of whom he himfelf was one, ) and confirm- of which he never cleared himfelf thoroughly : The per-
ed by the Prince with an oath. He declared upon the word petual Imprifonment of Eleanor of Bretagne his Niece ;
of a dying man, what he faid was true, and ought to be the His putting away Avifa of Glocefler : His extreme Indo-
lefs queftioned as he was juft going to appear before the Tri- lence, when Philip Augujlus was conquering his Domini-
ons in France : His bafe refignation of his Crown to the
Pope : His Breach of Faith with his Barons : And laftly,
his bringing into the Kingdom an Army of foreign Mer-

bunal of God. The French Hiftorians call this fecret a
fiction. It muft be confeft, it is hard to conceive what
fhould induce Prince Lewis to make fuch an Oath before-
hand, in the prefence of fixteen Witneffes, fuppofing he cenaries, to be revenged on his Subjects. However if one
intended thereby to infinuate, that this would be a means had a mind to undertake his vindication upon moft of
amply to reward their fervices. For it would have been thefe Articles, it would not perhaps be fo difficult as it

feems at firft fight. But without meddling with a Subject,
which would lead me too far, I fhall content my felf with
faying of this Prince, what I elfewhere faid of William
Rufus : That finding in King John fcarce one valuable

very imprudent to reveal fo early fo black a defign. How-
ever, whether the thing was true, or invented to fow
difcord between the French and Englijh, this pretended
fecret being whifpered about, made a very deep impreffion

on the minds of the Barons. It had the greater effecl, as Qualification, it is not worth while to ftay to juftify fome
it agreed with the fufpicions the Barons had already con- particular actions, though it evidently appears, that the
Several Ba- ceived of the French. From thenceforward many began Writers of his Life have drawn him in blacker colours
'nt'uLim °{ t0 re P ent °f calling in the Foreigners, and ferioufly to than he deferved. This Prince had great failings, which
the King, think of returning to the obedience of their Sovereign, would not have been fo vifible or fo aggravated by the Hif-
M. Paris. Nay, no lefs than forty privately gave the King affu- torians, had he been Cotemporary with a King of France o(
ranees of their good intentions. But the reft durft not lefs Policy and Ambition, with a Pope of lefs Pride and

John tarries
bis Crown
to Lyn.
M. Paris.

He grants
that town

venture to truft a Prince whom they had fo grievoufly of-
fended, and with whole cruel and revengeful temper they
were too well acquainted.

Mean tiij*e that unhappy Prince was in perpetual mo-

more Confeience, and with a Nobility of a lefs turbulent
Spirit. As for raifing Taxes, without the confent of the
States, it may be faid, it was not very unufual fince Wil-
liam the Conqueror, as the Reader may have obferved in

tion, not knowing whom to truft, being fufpicious of his fome former Reigns. And yet this is what feveral mo-
own friends. For which reafon he carefully avoided fight- dern Hiftorians bitterly exclaim againft, as if in thofe days
ing, and inceffantly marched from place to place, to England enjoyed the fame privileges as at prefent. It is
break the meafures of his Enemies. He thought himfelf eafy to fee things were then upon a different foot, when
fAtci\ in the County of Norfolk, where he chofe the little it is confidered, that there was a neceffity to recur to the
Town of Lynn to fecure his Treafures, his Crown, time of the Saxon Kings, to find the foundations of thefe
Sceptre, and other things of value. This Town had ex- privileges.

King John's fortune never agreed with his temper.
He was a lover of eafe and quiet, and his fortune was to

itPnvi- P re 'fed for him fuch Affection and Loyalty, that as a
Itgu. mark of his gratitude he granted it great privileges. A-

(1) Particularly upon the Ertates belonging to thenar! oMrundel, Roger Biiot, Wslliaa di Huntingfeld, Roger de Crcfei, &c. M. rarit, p. 286.

(2) From thence he advanced towards the Confines of Walts, where he took and razed the Caftles belonging to the Barons that fided with Lrviis,
M. Paris, p. 287.

(3 ) Rapin fays, to lb.ir King and Country ^ but King is not mentioned in M. Boris, who adds, and dejlroy their Poftcrity,

(4) The Watties between a pl.ee called the Cicfs Keys in Norfolk, and For/dike in Holland in Lmcolnfmre.
(51 Ai.d alfo attended with a Flux. M. tans, p. 286.

(6) His Tomb of grey Mdible is placed between the Choir and the high Altar: The Figure of the King as \y% as the Life, and the BinSopj, St. 01-
•wald and St. Wulfion, at his Head in little, with their Cenfers in their Hands, are carved in Stone, which feems to be as ancient as the time of Henry \{\,
But the Altar Temb on which 'tis placed is of a m< dern Fabr ck. There is no infeription. Sand/. Ger.eal. p. 85.

(7) Caxton is the firft that mentions it in Englijh, from whom Speed and Baker have borrowed it. He fays, that the King hearing it faid how cheap
Cern then was, anfwered, He ivou'd e're /org make it fo dear, that a Penny - Loaf Jbould be fold jor a Shilling. At which a Monk there preient took fucbj
Indignation, that he went and put the poyfon of a Toad into a Cup of Wine, and came and drank to the King, which nude him pledge him the more rea-
dily. But finding himfelf very much out of order upon it, he asked for the Monk, and when it was told him he was dead, Cod cave mercy upon me
(lays the King) I doubled as much. But it is a very improbable Story, for a Man to poilbn himfelf to be revenged of another. But Walter Hemirgfjrd tella
it a different way } he fays, The Abbot perfwaded the Monk to poifon the King, becaufe he would have lain with his Siller ; and that he did it by a difh
Of Pears which he poifoned ali but three, and then prefenting them to the King, he bid him taftc them himfelf, which he did eating only the three that
he had marked ; and fo efcap-d, whihl the King was poifoned with the reft. From Htmingjord, Hidden and Knighton copied thu Story, which is not mea-
tion'd by any Hiftorian that lived within fixty Years of that Time, See Knighton, p. 24x5,


?8o the & I S T R T if E N G L A N & Vol. t

tn6. be perpetually in action. He was fit neither for Profpe- of Excommunication. We muft therefore diftinguifh two izi6.

rity nor Adverfity. The former rendered him extremely Periods in this Prince's Reign. The firft include? the

infolent, and the latter furprifingly dejected. So that a time from his Coronation, to his Rcfignstion cf the Crown

middle Fortune would doubtlefs have been mofi fui table to to the Pope. During this fpace, if he was not in great

his Temper. efteem, at leaft it does not appear he was fo odious, as his

M. Puis. He is accufed of exceeding his Father Henry II, in Luft, ill Conduct afterwards rendered him. The fecond Period

HaniiiEfcri a Failing which Princes are feldom very reproachfully tax'd begins at his Refignation, and ends with his Life. It can-

with, unlefs there is a fettled defign to defame them for not be denied, that during this Period, his Subjects, had a

other reafons. It can't be denied, that the Monks have ftrong Averfion to him. And yet, if his Government

endeavoured to paint King John in the blacked colours, in be confidered feparately from his perfonal qualities, it may

jw. Paris, order to excufe the Pope's proceedings againft him. This be faid to be none of the worft. He was the firft or

f- *43- evidently appears in the Calumny caft on his memo- chiefeft, that apoointed thofe excellent forms of Civil Go-

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