M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

The history of England : written in French (Volume 1) online

. (page 94 of 360)
Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 94 of 360)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ing able to refolve to fubmit to Conan, call in Geoffrey,
Brother of the King of England, and own him for So-
vereign. Thus Geoffrey became Earl of Nantes immedi- Geoffrey
ately after his Expulfion out of Anjou, but he did not long ™£ Eart
enjoy his new Earldom. Bromot. '

After Henry had reduced Anjou, he returned to Eng- Hcnr ^' r ._
land. Upon his arrival he made a very advantagious oven Nor-
Treaty with Malcolm King of Scotland, who refigned to J^™ 6 ""
him Carlifle, Neiveajlle, and Bamborough-Cajlle, content- M _ p JU -._
ing himfelf with the Earldom of Huntington, which Prince Hovcd
Henry his Father had poflefs'd. This Reftitution was ^'"'i 1 '-
doubtlefs very juft, fince David, Grandfather of Mai- ^ u . We ft,
colm, caufed them to be furrendered to him by Treaties,
at a time when Stephen regarded his own Intereft more
than the publick Good. But in all appearance Henry's great
Power contributed more than any thing elfe to the King of
Scotland's Moderation (2).

It is furprizing that the Weljh, when Henry was grown , , j~,
fo formidable, fhould caufelefly venture to attack him/, War with
and make Incurfions into his Frontiers. The Ravages ""' ^ . '
they committed fo provoked the King that he refolv:d to Bn ' )mDt .
be feverely revenged. To this end he drew together a Gervas.
powerful Army, and marched into IFalcs, where he fiit all R - D ' c " c
to fire and fword. Upon his approach the Weljh retired
to their Mountains, where it was not poffible to reach
them, how much foever he endeavoured it. Nay, it hap-
pened one day, that his Van-guard running into a narrow
Defile, were intirely routed. The Terror this Accident
ftruck into the reft of the Englijh Troops, was farther in-
creafed by the imprudent Conducl of Henry de Effex, He-
reditary Standard-Bearer of England. Upon a Rumour
which run through the Army that the King was flain, he
threw down the Standard, and fled, crying out the King
is dead. This Action, for which he was afterwards punifh-
ed (3), threw the Englijh into fo great Confternation,
that, had not the King ihewn himfelf to them to revive
their Courage, he would have run the hazard of lofing
that day his whole Army. Notwithftanding thefe Ad-
vantages, the Weljh thought themfelves very happy that
the King, weary of fo troublefome a War, was pleafed to M. Paris,
grant them a Peace (4). By the Treaty he referved to
himfelf the Liberty of cutting through their Woods large
Roads, which might, whenever he had a mind, give him
entrance into their Country. He caufed them alfo to
furrender certain Caftles (5), taken by them during the
Troubles of the late Reign (6).

In the beginning of the next Year, Henrys Family ,,-g_
was encreafed by the Birth of a fecond Son (7), who 77, Birth
was named Richard. A few days after he renewed the
Ceremony of his Coronation in the Suburbs of Lincoln (%,
not daring to do it within the Walls of the City,
fhewed himfelf more fuperftitious in this point, or perhaps

F, mot,

nt Uoved.

(1) Thomas Baid, (nude Chancellor in 1155. See M. Pj™, and Tyrret, p. 301.) was of great Scivice to King J/.-ery : n this War. Gtruas. p. 1378.

(2) This Year was burn Maud, the King's Daughter. R. Diceto p. 531.

• (3) He was ihut up in the Monaltery of Reading, and had his Elbte confilcates. Brompt. p. JO+8. R. Diato. p. 5-5. M. Paris, p. 09,
(4.) He ordered a Fket to be got ready, in order to invade them by Sea j whereupon they lilbmitted to him, B —./.'. p. IO+3-

(5) Next Y-ar he repaired Rudhlar. and Bafingiverk caftles, and rounded Bajingwt rk M>n.iUry. Brompt. ibid. M. Paris.?. 96.

(6) This Year alfo Malcolm, King of Scotland, came to King Henry at Cb.fttr, and did him rkmage, Salw cmnibu; eUptitaiiiui fuis. Th- next

Year they met atCarliJle, but parted not very good Friends. Hovea\ p. 491,

(7) In Septtmitr, at Oxford, Bntrpt. p. 1047. M. W\fl, (8] At?/' >'

4 more,

Book VII.

5. H E N R Y II.

1 158. more con defcending to the prejudices of the People than
his Predeceflbi / iS7<?/>/.><'77.

A year after, a third Son was born to the King, who
was called Geoffrey. This fame year he was crowned a
third time at Worcejlcr, together with the Queen. Thefe
fuperfluous Coronations, very frequent in thofe days,
feem to be defigned only to amufe the People, and intimate


Birtb of
R. Diceto.
M. Paris.

Tb-Ki'f'and 10 tnem ' l ' lat tne King really intended to keep the Oath

i^ueen neul
wear their

Chr. Nor.
R. Diceto.
M. Paris.

The Death
cf Geoffrey
the King's

Affairs of





M- Paris.

M. Paris.


which was taken on thefe occafions. At this laft folem
nity, the King and Queen coming to the Oblation, laid
their Crowns on the Altar, and vowed never to wear them
more. From thenceforward the cuftom of the Kings
wearing their Crowns during the celebration of the great
Fcftivals, was by degrees difufed ; at Jeaft wefind but few
inftances in the following Reigns. About this time Henry
ordered the Money to be new coined, the current Coin
of the Kingdom being very much adulterated during the
Reign of Stephen (1).

Thefe peaceful employments not at all fuiting the war-
like temper of this Monarch, the death of his Bro-
ther Geoffrey, which happened foon after, gave him an op-
portunity of entering upon action. As foon as this Prince
was laid in his grave, the Duke of Bretagne feized the
City of Nantz, with the whole Earldom of that name (2).
But Henry claimed it as heir to his Brother, and to pro-
fecute his pretenfions, he palled into Normandy, with fo
confiderable Forces, that it plainly appeared he would not
be difappointed. Whilft he waited for the Seafon's per-
mitting him to enter upon his Expedition, he made a vi-
fit to the King of France, with defign to gain him to his
fide, or at leaft prevail with him to ftand neuter. He was
very fenfible, if Leivis interpofed not in this affair, the
Duke of Bretagnc could not give him much trouble.
Marriage of Amidft the Civilities he received from Lewis, he fo artfully
ST*"' e 't flattered him, that before they parted, a Marriage was
Margaret*/" concluded between Henry's eldeft Son, who was but five
France. years of age, and Margaret the French King's Daughter,
Diceto. an J n f ant f fi ve or f lx irion th s old. Having thus fe-
cured France, he went and headed his Army, with a re-
folution to take the City by force, if Conan refufed to give
him peaceable pofleffion. As Conan was by no means a
match for the King of England, he was conftrained to
give way to his Power. But the conqueft of Nantz was
not the only benefit Henry reaped by this Expedition. Be-
fore he quitted Bretagne, he made a Treaty with Conan,
whereby the Duke obliged himfelf to give his Daughter
Conjlance in marriage to Geoffrey, Henry's Son, who was
yet in his Cradle. By this marriage, celebrated five years
after, notwithstanding the Bridegroom's Youth, Geoffrey
became Duke of Bretagne upon the death cf his Father-

The large Dominions Henry pofTefTed, and the Earldom
of Nantz which he had lately acquired, with hopes of ad
ding one day to it

content him. His Ambition ftill increasing as he made
new Conquefts, he undertook to revive his Queen's title
to the Earldom of Tholonfc, which was of a very great
extent. His late Alliance with Lewis the Young, made
him hope that Monarch would give him as little difturb-
ance in Languedoc as in Bretagne, and leave him at liberty
to extend his Frontiers on that fide. But he was mistaken
in his conjectures. I fhall firft clear Queen Eleanor's
Title to Tholoufe, and then fee what was the iflue of that

William IV, Earl of Tholoufe, cotemporary with the
Conqueror, had but one Daughter called Philippa, married
to William VIII, Ezr\ of Poicliers, Eleanor's Grandfather.
By this marriage the Earldom of Tholoufe was to fall one
day to the Houfe of Pointers, which was alfo in pofTef-
fion of Guienne. But William, Father of Philippa, ima-
gined he could fecure it in his own Family, by felling it to
Raymond of St. Giles his younger Brother. This Sale,
real or pretended, would have been but a weak means to
deprive the Countefs of Pointers of her Father's Inheri-
tance, if certain Accidents had not favoured Raymond,
who continued in poSlefiion of the Earldom of Tholoufe,
after his Brother's death. The defign of the Earl of
Poicliers, Husband to Philippa, of mortgaging his De-
mefns to William Rufus, in order to equip himfelf for his
Voyage to the Holy-Land, being fruftrated by the death of
William, he applied himfelf elfewhere ; and at length
raifed the Money by mortgaging his Revenues for feveral
years. His Expences on this occafion, and his misfor-
tune in lofing all his Equipage, conftrained him to return
home, where however he could expect no Supplies, by
reafon his Revenues were all mortgaged. Raymond of St.
Giles embracing this juncture, offered him a confiderable

Sum, to renounce his Right to the Earldom of Tholoufe.
As matters then flood with the Earl of Poicliers, he rea-
dily listened to this propofal, and made an Agreement
with Raymond. By this Agreement, Raymond kept pof-
feffion of the EarlJom, which his Pofterity enjoyed after
him, without any difturbance from the Earl of Poi 'diet s y
or his Son William IX. After the death of this laft,
Lewis the Young, who married Eleanor his only Daughter
and Heir, revived the pretenfions of the Houfe of Poicliers
to the Earldom of Tholoufe. He maintained that the Sale
made by Earl William to Raymond was a feigned thing.
And fecondly, that Raymond impofed upon the cafy
nature of the Earl of Poicliers, and purchased his Right
at too cheap a rate. Laftly, That he had not even paid
the whole of the covenanted Sum. From hence he in-
ferred, that the bargain was void, and confequently Elea-
nor ought to polfefs whatever Philippa her Grandmother
was entitled to, repaying to the Earl of Tholoufe what the
Earl of Poicliers had received. Raymond V, who was
then Earl of Tholoufe, was extremely embarralTed on the
account of thefe pretenfions. In vain did he plead Pre-
fcription which is fomctimes of fervicc in private Affairs.
That was too weak a fence againft a Prince, who was
able to break through it by force of Arms. However,
after a long Negotiation the Affair was ended, by a mar-
riage between Earl Raymond and Con/lance, Sifter of
Lewis, aivj Widow of Eujlace, Son of King Stephen,
On account of this marriage Lewis dropped his pretentions,
and as long as he lived with Eleanor, the Earl of Tholoufe
remained unmolcfted.

Eleanor's fecond marriage created Raymond freSh disturb-
ances. Henry, who was pofleffed of the fame Rights the
King of France had relinquifhed, laid claim to the Earl-
dom of Tholoufe for the fame reafons Lewis had before
urged. Raymond again pleaded the Sale made to his Grand-
father; the Relignation of the Houfe of Poicliers ; be fides a
long Pofleffion, which exceeded the time allowed by the
Laws for a prefciiption. Upon thefe grounds he re-
folved to keep pofleffion of the Earldom. This was the
ftate of the cafe, which was to be decided by Arms. To
execute his project the more eafily, Henry made an Alli-
ance with Raymond Earl of Arragon and Barcelona, and
ingaged the King of Scotland to lend him a powerful
Aid (3). As foon as his Army was ready, he marched
towards Languedoc, took Cahors in his way, and went and
fat down before Tholoufe.

Lewis the Younger, who could not behold Henry's Great-
nefs without jealoufy, had ufed fuch expedition, that he



Pol. Virr

1 1 6r .

1 162.

Henry be-

Henry'i De

J'l" u f*
M. Well.

The Queen's
'iitle to
Cat. Hift.
des Comm.
de Toul.
Pol. Virg.
Chr. Nor.

had thrown himfelf into Tholoufe a few days before. The
large extent of that City, and the French King's Succours,
rendered the Siege fo difficult, that Henry did not think ?*? Tho "
himfelf able to accomplifh his Undertaking. Wherefore, Genas.
he raifed the Siege, and returned into his own Dominions. M«mi>
all Bretagne, were not fufficient to Mezerai fays, he might eafily have taken the City, if he j£° "X"

had not made a confeience of befieging his Sovereign. R. Diceto.
But one can hardly believe this to be the real motive of
his retreat, fince on other occafions he did not feem to
have fo great a regard for the King of France. Be this Fitz. Step,
as it will, he marched back to Normandy, leaving the cu-
ftody of Cahors to Thomas Becket his Chancellor. In his
return, he went into le Beauvoifis, where he committed
great Ravages, in revenge of the King of France's break-
ing his meafures. At the fame time, Simon, Earl of
Montfort, delivered to him his Caftles in the neighbourhood
of Paris, by means of which the communication with
Orleans was entirely cut off". The advantage thefe Caf- p e aceb t -
tles gave him, forced Lewis to fend Propofals for a cefla- *« Henry
tion of Arms, which was agreed upon for a year. Du- V! d Lew:s -
ring the Truce, the two Monarchs concluded a Peace, Hoved.
which confirmed the Treaty made at Paris, without any
mention of Tholoufe. So that Henry preferved, during his
life, his pretenfions to that Peerdom, and by his death
left them to his Succeflbr, who thought fit to refign

William Earl of Blois, Son of King Stephen, died in his Diceto.
return from theTholoufe Expedition, where he had attend- Hoved.
ed the King.

Pope Adrian dying in 1 1 59, the election of a new Pope ©«/i f
occafioned a Schifm, which long divided Chriftendom. Adrian IV.
The majority of the Cardinals elected Roland a Native of j^'ip"".
Siena, who took the name of Alexander III. The reft HovHkn.
chofe Cardinal Oclavian, who ftiled h\mfe\f Ficlor V. Al- Brompu
moft all the Chriftian Princes owned Alexander for Pope. G " vss -
But the Germans efpoufed the caufe of Viclor, who find-
ing himfelf Supported by the Emperor Barbaroffa, drove
his Rival out of Rome, and forced him to feek for Shelter
in France.

(1) See note on the Coin, at the end of this Reign, £?£.

(2) Whereupon Henry deprived him of the Earldom of Richmond, of which he was poffeffed in England. Brov.pt. p. 1049.

(3) He was accompanied, befides, with one of the Kings of Wales, and all the Earls and Barons of England, Normandy, Apltttin, Anpu, Gafcsgnc, Sec
For the Charge of this War, he raikd a Scutage, which amounted to one hundred and eighty thouiand Pounds. At this Siege died Hamo, Son at the Earl of
Cloeejler. Gervas. p, 1-381,

No. iz. Vol, I,

L 1 1




Vol. I.

1162. The lait Peace between the Kings of France aud Eng- Becket, whom they thought too much a Courtier, the 1163.

land was only, as hath been faid, a confirmation of the
Treaty of Paris; wherein a marriage between Henrys
eldeftSonand Margaret, Daughter of Lewis, was agreed
upon. The Princefs was to have for her Dower the City
of Glfors, and part of the Vexin, which, for that purpofe,
were to remain in the cuftody of the Knights Tem-
plars (1), till the marriage was folemnized. Purfuant to
this Treaty, Chancellor Becket was fent to Paris, with a
magnificent retinue, to demand the young Princefs, who
was to be educated in England till fhe became marriageable.
Marriage of Shortly after her arrival at London (2), Henry ordered the
Nuptials to be celebrated, though the Bridegroom was but
feven, and the Bride but three years old. Upon which
the Knights Templars, thinking he had fufficiently per-
formed his Promife, put him in pofieffion of Gifors. This
precipitation occafioned the renewal of the War between
the two Kings. Lewis complained that the King of Eng-
■■■ s land had bribed the Grand Mafter of the Temple. Henry
Hsmy ' maintained, that, having performed his part of the Treaty,
he had not injured the King of France in taking poffeffion
of Gifors. This war, which lafted but a very little while,
was ended by the mediation of Alexander III, lately ar-
rived in France. His Legates, who were fent before, pre-
•7/ "'Ctta paring the way for an Accommodation, the two Kings
jaidtbt W ent together to receive the Pope at Tony upon the Loire.
When they came near him, they both alighted, and, each
taking hold of a rein of his Bridle, conducted him to
the Lodgings prepared for him.

AH thefe events, namely, the Conqueft of Nantz, the

Chr. Nor.



M. Paris

M. V, .il.

AWai U-


Tree >y of
M Paris.
M. Weft.

Pope i : the
two Kings.

of the Data

King's Recommendation was fo urgent in his behalf, that
he was elected and confecrated a little before that Prince's
return (8). As foon as he faw himfelf fixed in that high fends the
ftation, he fent the Great Seal to his Benefactor, who Gna ' Sca !
little expected it; and fuddenly altering his manner o\~ a nd'al,enbh
living, he wore a Monk's Habit with Sackcloth aextmaya/Liv.
his skin, and kept only a few Domeftick Servants cloath-'J -
ed very plain. By thefe and feveral other things of the cervas! '
like nature, he {hewed, that he was refolved thoroughly M. Paris,
to reform his Life, or had fome great defign in his head.
It was fome time before his intentions could be difcovered,
till at length it was perceived, that on all occafions he was
afpiring to an independent Power.

I have already remarked in feveral places, how much The Rrafn
the Power of the Clergy was increafed to the prejudice of '^' h ' K '"Z''
the Royal Authority. Henry, who had feen very bad Ef- Becket.*
fects of it in the Reign of Stephen, refolved at his acceffion
to the Crown to endeavour to reduce this exorbitant
Power within due bounds. For that purpofe, he began
with the Nobility, that their Union with the Clergy
might the lefs obftruct his defigns. The Affairs which
employed him fome years in France, prevented him from
immediately fetting about this Work. But as foon as heGervas.
was clear of thefe Hindrances, he refolved to lofe no time,
and begin it the moment he returned to England. This
was the caufe of his fo earneftly recommending Becket to
be Archbifhopof Canterbury, becaufe he expected a greater
Compliance from him than any other. The bufinefs in
hand was the reforming feveral Abufes very detrimental

sftbe fore-
£J'n? E-

I 163.



r . S.


Siege of Thouloufe, the marriage of Prince Henry, and the to the State, but advantagious to the Clergy, and confe-

quently very difficult to be remedied, unlefs the Bifhops
themfelves lent their affiftance. There was need there-
fore of great Addrefs, and of acting in concert with the
Archbifhop of Canterbury, in fo nice an affair. To that
end, it was neceffary to fill the See with a Perfon on
wliom he could depend, and none feemed fo proper
as Becket, whom he had loaded with Favours. The
Archbifhop's returning the Great Seal, made the King
imagine he was miftaken in his conjectures. Perhaps his
vexation at this Proceeding caufed him not to humour
the pride of this Prelate, to whom he could not forbear,
at his arrival in England, to fhow fome Coldnefs. In
all likelihood, Becket had been acquainted with the King's
Defigns whilft Chancellor, and was then difpofed to ap-
prove them ; but, after his promotion to the Archbifhop-
rick, had taken a contrary refolution. Notwithftanding Becket re-
his Obligations to the King, he was determined to crofs/"'"" ""a*"
Henry thought he might "congratulate himfelf upon his him in the execution of his Projects. He flattered him- ^y^/
happinefs, when on a fudden the pride and obftinacy of felf with gaining immortal glory in a vigorous defence
one of his Subjects raifed a ftorm, the allaying of which of the Caufe of the Clergy, which was affectedly called
colt him a thoufand vexations, with the lofs of his Ho- the Caufe of God.

nour: I mean Thomas Becket. He was fon of a Citizen One of the greateft Grievances to be redreffed, was the /in Abufi
of London (3) by a Syrian Woman (4), and fpent his remifsnefs in punifhing Priefts convicted of any Crime. '*' K'"g
youth in the itudy of the Law. He grew fo famous at The Clergy having by degrees acquired an abfolute Power^"£°|^ "
the Bar, that he was taken from thence, and made Arch- over all that belonged to their Body, when a Clergyman B ro mpt.

was accufed, the matter was tried in the Ecclefiaftical Hov&l.
Court, from whence lay no appeal; but the Trials were
formed with fuch indulgence to thofe the Court could not
but condemn, that the molt enormous Crimes were punifh'd
only with Degradation, and others with a fhort Sufpen-
fion, or eafy Confinement. The Laity could not, with-
out extreme concern, fee themfelves fubject to the utmoft
eminent Office, Becket behaved to all the World with fo rigour of the Laws for Offences, which rendered Cler-
much pride and haughtinefe, as rendered him extremely gymen liable only to fome very flight Corrections, and
troublefome to his Equals, and infupportable to his Infe- loudly complained of it. On the other hand, the Clergy, Brompt.
riors. Above all things, he was a lover of Pageantry fure of impunity, daily committed upon the Laity Out-
and Show (7). He is faid in the War of Tholoufe, where he rages which they durft not repel, for fear of incurring a Pu-

nifhment. This Abufe, which was already carried too far,
increafed every day. It was proved in the prefence of the
King, that fince his acceffion to the Crown, above a hun-
dred Murders were committed in the Kingdom by theEc-
clefiafticks, of whom not one was punifh'd fo much as with

war with France, palled between the Years 1159 and
1 163. I have fufpended my judgment upon the particular
Dates of each, by reafon of the diverfity among Hifto-
rians on that head. Upon this account perhaps it is, that
a famous Modern has comprifed all thefe particulars with-
in the compafs of eight or nine Lines,

After fettling the Affairs which detained him in France

four years, Henry returned into England in 11 63. His

'■■'"»•■ prefent condition gave him room to hope nothing could

• ' '>' difturb his Happinefs. He had jult made a Peace with
France, which probably would be lafting. The Weljh re-
mained quiet in their own Country. The King of Scot-
land had given a fenfible proof of his defire to live in
Peace, by reftoring all the Places that might have occa-
fioned a War. On the other hand, England was in a pro-
found tranquillity, the Normans and Englijh being equally

dilhrbtd by fatisfied with their Sovereign. In this fo quiet a fituation


An a ■ uitl
M. Paris.

LUC ijai, Lilac uc «.) i«^"

deacon of Canterbury (5). In the beginning of this reign
he had certain Affairs to manage at Court, which gave
him opportunity of making himfelf known to the King,
and gaining his efteem and good-will. Henry conceiv-
incr a gteat opinion of his merit, quickly gave him a fen-
iible mark of his Efteem, by conferring on him the dig-
.,,,,, nity of Hiah-Chancellor (6). In the difcharge of this



M. Paris.
M. Well.

and Arch-

attended the King, to maintain at his own expence feven
hundred Knights, and twelve hundred Foot. But if he
W3s haughty to all others, he was not fo with regard to
the King. Upon all occafions he fhewed himfelf fo en-
tirely devoted to his Will, that the King confidered him

as one always ready to facrifice every thing to his fervice. Degradation, which was the ufual penalty enjoined in the
Whilft he was thus prepoffeffed in his favour, he received like cafes, by the Canons. What was ftill more aftonifh-
the news, in Normandy, of the death of Theobald Arch- ing, the Bifhops gloried in this their indulgence: They
bifhop of Canterbury. This appearing to him a favourable were of opinion they could not give furer marks of their

juncture to execute certain premeditated defigns, he re-
folded to procure the Archbiftioprick for Becket, as a Per-
fon who might be very ferviceable to him. How little
Inclination foever the Monks of St. Augujliris had for

Zeal for Religion and the Service of God, than by main-
taining, to the utmoft of their power, thefe pretended Im-
munities of the Clergy, and confequently all the Abufes
that fprung from thence.

( The Order of the Knights Templars, inftituted by Gtlafms in 1119, had the Name from dwelling in a part of the Temple at Jcrufjlcm, afligncd them

bs/s%ingBl>ld™<»- They were but nim atfirft, and their Bufinefs was to lead in their Armour, Chriftian Strangers and Pilgrims through the HtlyLand. Th-y

Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 94 of 360)