Robert Henry.

The history of Great Britain : from the first invasion of it by the Romans under Julius Cæsar. Written on a new plan (Volume 3) online

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ment, he received him into favour ; reflored him his
eftate in England, which had been confifcated ; and
even permitted him to retain a great part of the king-
dom of Leinfler, to be held of the crown of England ;
but took the city of Dublin and all the towns on the
coafl into his own hands (51). All things being now
in readinefs for his Irilh expedition, the king embarked
his army on board a fleet of two hundred and forty
tranfports, at Milford-haven, and failing from thence,
with a fair wind, landed, October 26th, near Water-
ford, one of the towns refigned to him by Strongbow,
where he was received with joy. The fame of his
arrival foon fpread over all the country, and difpofed
the petty princes of thofe parts to make their fub-
miilions, and acknowledge him as their fovereign lord.
He entertained them with great civility ; and having
received their homage, and oaths of fealty, and im-
pofed a moderate annual tribute upon each, as an ac-
knowledgment of his fovereignty, he difmilled them

^49) G. Cambrenf. Expug. Hibern. 1. 1. c. 19. (50) Id. ibid,

^i) W. Neubrigen. 1. a^ c. 26.




with valuable prefents (52). From Waterford heA.D. 1171.
marched at the head of his army to Dublin, which he ^— v"^-*
entered, November 21ft, without having feen or
heard of any enemy. In this city he celebrated the
feftival of Chriftmas, in a wooden palace erected for
that purpofe, in which he not only entertained the
great men of his own court and army, but many of
the Irilh princes and chieftains, who were much fur-
prifed at the great plenty and variety of provifi-
ons (53). While he refided in this city, Roderic
king of Connaught, the fupreme monarch of Ireland,
had an interview, on the banks of the river Shannon,
with Roger de Lacy and William Fitzaldelm, com-
miffioners appointed to receive his homage, and fettle
his tribute, which they did j and by that tranfadion
the conqueft of the ifland was in a manner com-
pleted (54).

The king fpent the firft months of this year at A.D.117X.
Dublin, in regulating the affairs of his new domini- ^"^^'^5

• • • Tcturn into

ons, and in improving their police (which was very England,
imperfect), by introducing the Englifh laws and and voyage
cuftoms (55). The Irifh clergy, in the ads of a to Norman-
council held at Ca(hel, 25th March this year, con- ^»
fefs their obligations to their new fovereign on this ac-
count, in very ftrong terms, acknowledging, " That
'^ before his coming into Ireland, many evil cuftoms
*' had prevailed there, which by his power and vvif-
" dom were now abolifhed (56)." Soon after Can-
dlemas, Henry left Dublin, and took up his refidence
at Wexford, where he impatiently expe6ted nev/s
from England. But a fuccefnon of violent ftorms
interrupted all navigation between the tw© iflands for
feveral weeks. At length about the middle of Lent,
he received intelligence, that two legates from the
pope, about the affair of Becket's murder, had waited
tor him fome months in Normandy, and threatened to
lay all his dominions under an interdict, if he did not '
foon appear. Though he ardently defired to fpend
the fummer in Ireland, he immediately prepared for
his departure J and having put garrifons into all the

(5a) Benedift. Abbas, ann. 1171. p. a;. Expugnat. Hibern. 1. i,
c- 30. 31-
, (53) Expugnat. Hibern. 1. I.e. 3a. (54) Id. ibid.

(5j) M. Paris, p. 88. (56) Expugnat. Hibern. c. 34. p. 777.



A.Jy.iiyt, places of ftrength in his poiTellion, and appointed
Hugh de Lacy (a nobleman in whofe courage, wifdom,
and fidelity he repoi'ed the greateft confidence) gover-
nor of Dublin, and chief jufliciary of the kingdom,
he failed from Wexford on Eafter Monday, and in the
evening landed at Portfinnan in South Wales (57).
Faffing with as much expedition as poffible through
Wales and England, he embarked, together with his
fon the young king;, at Portfmouth, and landed at
Barficur in Normandy, on the 9th of May (58).
The king of France was fo much furprifed at the news
of hi? arrival,, that he cried out, " This Henry of
"• England rather files than either rides or fails (59)."
At an interview between thefe two monarchs foon
after, all their differences were, in appearance at
leaft, compromifed, and young king Henry, withiiis
queen, Margaret of France, were fent over into
England, and were both folemnly crowned at Win-
cheffer, Auguil: 27th, and immediately returned to
the continent. On the arrival of thefe perfonages,
a great council was held at Avranches, September
27 tb, in which the troublefome affair relating to the
murder of Thomas Becket was terminated, and king
Henry the father received abfolution from the pope*s
legates ; to procure which he promifed, am.ongfl
other things, to take the crofs next Chriflma?, for the
recovery of the Holy Land, and in the mean time to
give as much money to tne knights templars as would
maintain tv^o hundred knights a whole year for the
defence of Jerufalem (60), The king of France,
pretending to have a ffrong defire to fee his daughter
the young queen of England, and his fon-in-law,
they were fent to his court in November, where they
continued till they were remanded by Henry, who
began to be fufpicious that Louis, who never was his
real friend, might give his fon fome improper ad-
vice (61).

(57) Expugnat. Hibern, 1. I. c. 35, $6^ 37. Benedld. Abbas, p.
31, 3a, R. Hoveden. Annal. p. 303.

(58) Benedidl. Abbas, p, 1,$. (59) "^podigma Neuftrise, p. 448.
(60) See Brady's Hift. vol. I. Append, p. 61, 62,

(61) Benedid. Abbas, p.





Henry was in great profperity in the beginning of A. D. 1173,
this year, and his profperity feemed to be built on the ^'; -^
moft folid foundations. He was in the prime of life J^°Jj[P^'"^^^
— had a numerous family of fons and daughters, of againft
whom he was remarkably fond, and for whom he had Henry by
made the moft munificent provifions — his extenfive do- ^'^ ^°"*»
minions were in a ftate of the moft profound tranquil-
lity, and perfecSt fubmiflion to his authority — and his
friendfhip was courted by all the princes of Europe,
But, notwithftanding all thefe fair appearances, he
was really on the very brink of ruin. A mine wa$
ready to be fprung under him, which threatened his
deftru6tion. This mine was formed by his own fa-
mily, who were the objects of his ftrongeft affe6lion, and
of whom he had merited the warmeft returns of gra-
titude and duty. His eldeft fon Henry had fome good,
but many bad qualities. In particular-, he was fond
of flattery, extravagantly expenfive ; and his vanity
and ambition were both unbounded (62). Being
crowned at the age of fifteen, he became impatient
to reign independent of his father. This impatience
was inflamed by his mother queen Eleanor (who was
enraged at her hufband on account of his gallantries),
by her uncle Ralfe de Faye, by his father-in-law the
king of France, and, in a word, by all who were
about his perfon, or had any (hare in his favour (^63).
By thefe an unnatural confpiracy was formed for de-
throning Henry the father, and invefting young Henry
with all his authority. This plot was conducted with
'great fecrecy ; and befides the king of France, feveral
foreign princes were engaged in it, by extravagant
grants made to them by the young king;— as William
the Lion, king of Scotland, to whom were granted
the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland ;
— Philip earl of Flanders, to whom was granted the
earldom of Kent ; — his brother Matthew earl of Bou-
logne, to whom were granted the county of Mortain
in Normandy, and fome lands in England ; — and Theo-
bald earl of Biois, to whom were granted an annuity^
and all Henry's eftates in Touralne (64). Many of

(6a) Topographia Hiberniae Diillndl. 3. i, 49, 50. p. 753.

(63) W. Neubrigen 1. 2.. c. 2-7.

(64) Benedid Abbas, p. 50, 51.

Vol. IIL H the



of young
Henry to
his father.

A.D. 1173. the moft powerful barons, both in England and in all
'^-— v' — -' the provinces on the continent, were brought to join
in this confpiracy, together with the two young princes,
Richard and Geoffrey (65),
Undntiful The laft hand was put to this plot when young
behaviour Henry refided in the court of France, in the end of
the preceding year; and on his return from thence,
he demanded of his father the immediate and entire
pofiefiion either of the kingdom of England, or of
Normandy, Anjou, and Maine. On receiving a re-
fufal to this demand, he was at no pains to conceal
his dilcontent; and thenceforward behaved in the
moft offenfive manner to his too indulgent father. Of
this it will be fufficient to give one example. Hum-
bert earl of Maurienne and Savoy, being in the Eng-
lifh court at Limoges m the beginning of this year,
contra6ted his eldeit daughter Adelais to prince John,
king Henry's youngeft fon, February 2d, and in that
contract granted all his dominions to the prince, if he
died without male iffue, and a very confiderable part
of them, even though he {hould leave a fon. King
Henry being afked by the earl, what eftablifhment he
defigned to make for his f m, propofed the three cafties
of London, Chinon, and Merebeau. But to this he
could not by the moft earneft entreaties procure the
confent of the young king, who totally difregarded all
his father's folicitations, though in favour of his
brother, and for fo fmall a fliare of fo great an inheri-
tance (66).

On this king Henry removed feveral perfons from
Henry flies about his fon, who he imagined gave him bad advice,
from his and placed Others, of whom he hdd a better opinion,
father. [j^ their room. But this had no other efFe61:, than to
haften his flight into France, which he accomplilhed
about the middle of Lent. His afflicted father pur-
fued him as far as Alen^on ; but finding he could not
overtake him, and beginning to apprehend what foon
after happened, he applied himfeJf with great dili-
gence to put his frontier towns and cafties in the beft-
pofture of defence (67).


(65) Benedia Abbas, p. 51,52, S3-

(66) Id. p. 46.

(67) Id. p. 47. Trivet Chron, ann. 1173;.




The flight of the young king was the fignal of re- A.D. 1173-.

bell ion to all who were engaged in this confpiracy. — ^ '

He was foon after followed by his two brothers, Theconfpl-
Richard and Geoffrey, and by a prodigious number of ^^^^.^ ^^^ ^
the barons of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, and other
countries (68). Even queen Eleanor meditated a
flight to the court of her former hufband, from whom
(he had been divorced ; but being apprehended in dif-
guife, fhe was kept in fl:ri6t confinement (69). The
defedlion from king Henry the father on this occafion
became fo great that he knew not whom to truft ; and
the world in general gave him up for loft.

Though thefpirit of this brave prince was wounded wife con-
in the moll: tender part by the revolt of his two chil- duft of
dren, and on many of whom he had beftowed the kmgHenry.
greateft benefits, it was fo far from being broken,
that he never difplayed greater activity, wifdom, and
valour, than at this tryingjunclure. He fent ambafla-
dors to the court of France, to expoftulate with
Louis for encouraging and fupporting his fons in
their rebellion ; — he wrote, accounts of this event to
all the princes in Europe ; — he folicited the Pope to
launch the thunders of the church againft his undutiful
children, and their accomplices ; — he difpatched let-
ters to all the governors of his towns and caftles to be
upon their guard, and prepare for their defence; — and
to all his barons in whom he had any confidence, to be
in readinefs with their followers ; and he took no fewer
than twenty thoufand Braban^ons (a kind of foldiers of
fortune) into his pay (70).

It foon appeared that none of thefe precautions were open war
unneceflTary. For immediately after Eafter the flames in many
of war broke out at once in many different places, places.
The king of France, with young Henry, at the head
of a prodigious army, entered Normandy on one fide,
and invefted Verneuil. The earls of Flanders and
Boulogne entered it on the other, and laid fiege to
Aumale ; while the rebellious barons of Anjou,
Maine, Aquitaine, and Britanny, took the field, and

(68) W. Neubrigen. L 2. c 2y.

(69) Gervas Chron. p. 1424.

(70) R. Hoveden. Annal. p. 306,307. P. BleCns Epift. 15^ W,
Ncubrigen. 1. z. c. 27.

H 2 deiblated


A.D. 1173, defolated the royal demefnes in thefe provinces (71).

^"^ — "^ ' Nor did England enjoy greater tranquillity. For the
king of Scotland invaded Cumberland, befieged Car-
lifle, and deftroyed the adjacent country with fire and
fword ; while the vaffals of the rebellious earl of Lei-
cefter, and others, appeared in arms in the centre of
the kingdom (72).

Remarka- In the midft of all thefe dangers Henry continued

ble events ferene and cheerful, waitmg at Rouen with his Bra-

o IS war J3ancons, and a few of his faithful barons, for an op-
en the con- ^ . ' r. • , rr r. • 1 I

tinent. portunity to act With emcacy ; trultmg much to the
fl:rength of his fortified places, and to the fidelity and
valour of his garrifons. The earls of Flanders and
Boulogne appeared at firft the moft formidable of his.
enemies, having taken in a ihort time the towns of
Aumale, Neuchatel, and Driencourt. But at the laft
of thefe places the earl of Boulogne received a wound
in his knee, of which he died in a few days ; and his
brother the earl of Flanders was fo much affecled with
grief at this difafter, and with remorfe for the unna-
tural war in which he was engaged, that he retired
out of Normandy with his own troops, and thofe of
Boulogne (73). Delivered from thofe dangerous ene-
mies on that fide, Henry began to think of a£ting of-
fenfively againft his other foes. With this view he
marched from Rouen to attempt the relief of Ver-
neuil, which had been bravely defended, but was now re-
duced to great diftrefs for want of provifions. The
king of France treated the firft reports of his approach
with fcorn, as thinking them incredible. But when
he found them real, he raifed the fiege, and retired
into his own territories, Auguft 9th, with fuch preci-
pitation, that he left bis camp a prey to his enemies.
The French barons were fo much difcou raged with
this ill fuccefs, that, the legal time of their fervice
being ended, they difbanded (74). T he defection of
the barons of Britanny had Ijeen the moft general,
and they had done the greateft mifchief j and therefore
Henry, immediately after the diflblution of the French

{71) W. Neubrigen 1. 2, c. a?.
(7a) Benedi6l. Abbas, p. 54.

(73) R. Hoveden. Annal. p. 306* W. Neubrigen. 1. a. c. %%.

(74) Id. ibid. ' - -

, army.



army, detached a great body of his brave and trufty A.D. 1173.

Brabancons into that province, who defeated the rebels ^ — -v '

in a pitched battle, Auguft 20th, and (hut up all the
chiefs of them in the caftle of Doll, to v/hich they
had fled for refuge. As foon as Henry received this
agreeable nevi's, "he fet out from Rouen, and, travel-
ling all night, arrived at Doll next morning, and
prefled the fiege with fo much vigour, that the earl of
Chefter, the baron de Fougers, and about a hundred
other nobles, were obliged to furrender at difcretion,
Auguft 26th, and were fent to different prifons (75).
The news of thefe events ftruck fuch terror into the
rebellious barons in the other provinces, that they dif-
milTed their followers and retired to their caftles.
Thus were all the numerous enemies of Henry on the
continent diflipated in a few months, with little lofs
or labour.

Nor were his adverfaries In Britain more fuccefsful. Events of
For Richard- de Lucy, chief jufticiary, took the town ^f '^T^^ "^
of Leicefter, July 28th, which belonged ta Robert de
Bellomont, earl of Leicefter, the king's moft invete-
rate enemy, who was then with the young king in
France. After this, marching northward, with Hum-
phry de Bohun high conftable of England, and other
Ipyal barons, they compelled the king of Scotland,
who had committed the moft horrid ravage^ in the
Northern counties, to retire into his own dominions ;
into which they followed him, and would pro-
bably have committed equal ravages, if they had
not received intelligence that the earl of Leicefter had
landed near Walton caftle in Suffolk, October 17th,
with an army of Flemings. Carefully concealing
this intelligence from the king of Scots, they conclud-
ed a truce with that prince to the feaft of St. Hilary ;
and marched into the fouth with great expedition, en-
countered and defeated the earl of Leictfter's army
near St. Edmondfbury, November ift, taking that
earl, with his countefs, and feveraL noblemen, pri-
foners (76) Thus ended this active campaign, in
a manner equally glorious and happy to the el-

(75) W. Neubrigen. 1. a. c. 29.

(76) Benedi\a:. Abbas, p. 69, 70. M. Paris, p. 89.




A.D. 1173. der Henry ; who, in December, concluded a truce
*— ""V"**-^ with the kings of France and Scotland, from the

feaft of St. Hilary to the end of the Eafter holidays

next year (77).

A.D.1174. Though the operations of war were fufpended for

Plan of the fome months, by the truce and the feafon of the year,

confpirators preparations for it were going forward. The confede-

ooL^^L^ rates refolvino^ to make the moft vig-orous efForts, ef-
campaign. • ^ t^ 1 i r i r i 1

peciaJly agamft Lngland, formed the following plan

for the operations of the next campaign. While the
king of Scotland invaded the northern countries, the
young king Henry, with the earl of Flanders, whofe
ambition had conquered his remorfe, were to land in
the fouth, at the head of a powerful army of Flem-
ings ; and feveral Englilh earls, who had been per-
verted from their duty, were to rife with their fol-
lowers in different counties, to increafe the public
confufion. To detain the elder Henry on the conti-
nent, the king of France (accompanied by the two
young princes, Richard and Geoffrey) was to invade
Normandy with all his forces (78).
Operations ^^ confequence of this well-concerted plan, the
of the war. king of Scotland, at the expiration of the truce, en-
tered England with a great army, and fpread terror
and defolation over all the northern counties ; while
David earl of Huntington, brother to the king of
Scots, Robert earl of Ferrers, Hugh Bigot earl of
Norfolk, Roger de Mowbray, and the numerous vai-
lais of the two powerful earls of Leicefter and Chefter,
tkook the field at the head of their followers in their
refpeilive counties. If the young king, with the earl
ct Flanders, had landed at this time, lingland muff
have fubmitted to their authority. But by their de-
lays the vt^hole fcheme was difconcerted. Richard de
Lucy, with fome loyal barons, made head againit the
rebels in the centre of the kingdom ; v^^hile the well-
aftected nobility of Lincolnihire and Yorkihire, com-
manded and animated by Geoffrey, bifhop-eledt of
Lincoln, king Henry's natural fon by the fair Rofa-
mond, defeated Roger de Mowbray, and put a ftop 10

(77) Eenedid. Abbas, p. yz. {78) W, Neubrigen. 1. 2. c. 31, 32.



the progrefs of the king of Scotland, obliging him to A.D. 1174.
retire nearer to his own dominions (79). '— 7'~ ^

When things were in this pofture, king Henry, hav- p^^" .
ing put his territories on the continent in the beft ftate England,
of defence, embarked at Barfleur, July 8th, and land- andvifit
ed that evening at Southampton, bringing with him ^^^^^°"^^
the two queens, Eleanor and Margaret, with the cap- ^^^
tive earls of Chefter and Leicefier. Influenced by
motives, about which we can only form uncertain
gu Ifes, he haftened to Canterbury, to perform his
devotions at the (hrine of Thomas Becket, who was
now efteemed the guardian of the Knglifh nation, and
was become the favourite objedx of their adoration.
Having fpent a whole day^and night in proftration,
faffing, and prayer, before the tomb of Becket, and
expofed his naked fhoulders to the flagellations of the
monks, he received ablolution, and fet out for London ;
where he arrived, July 13th, — a day diffinguifhed by
one of the moft memorable and happy events of his
reign — the captivity of the king of Scotland (8o).

That prince had invefted Alnwick caifle ; and fan- King of

eying himfelf fecure from the approach of any enemy, Scotland

had fent out the bulk of his forces in three difterent ?^^"^"'
II- 1 I 1 T • • • loner.

bodies, to plunder tne adjacent countries, retaming

only his houfehoid troops about his perfon, to reffrain
the excurfions of the garrifon. The famous Ranulph
de Glanville, then fherifF of Yorklhire, afterwards '
chief jufticiary of Engl aid, receiving intelligence of
this ifate of things, collecfed a choice body of about
four hundred knights, with which he arrived at New-
caffle in the evening of July 12th. Here he halted a
few hours tore frefh his men and horfes, and miarching
about day-break, approached very near the enemy's
camp next morning, quite undifcovered, under the
cover of a thick fog. When the fog cleared up,
Alnwick caffle was feen at a fmall diltance, and the
king of Scots, v/ith about feventy knights, engaged
in the fafhionable exercife of tilting in a neighbour-
ing field. The king was not in the leaff alarmed at
the fight of thefe armed troops, believing them to
belong to his own fubje6f Duncan earl of Fife. Even

(79) R. Hoveden, p. 307, 308. W. Neubrigen. 1. 2. c. 3a. Bene-
di(St. Abbas', p. 73, 74. Anglia Sacra, 1. 1. p. 378, 379.
(80) W. Neubrigen. 1. a.c. 35.



A.D. 1174. wh^nhe difcovered that they were enemies, he was fo
"^^^^^v"***-^ far from attempting to fave himfelf by flight, that
ihaking his fpear, and crying to his attendants, " it
'' will now be feen who is a good knight," he boldly
advanced to the attack. But his horle being killed in
the firfl: encounter, he was thrown to the ground and
taken prifoner ; at which his foHowers were fo much
confounded that they either fled or yielded.
Confe- Henry being awakened from his fleep at midnight,

q«ences of \^y f^g meflenger who brought the news of this event,
a event, j^gp^ from his bed, and wept for joy, commanding all
his friends to be called to him immediately, and all
the bells of London to be rung to proclaim the happy
tidings (81). Nor was this exceflive joy without
foundation. Tor the captivity of the king of Scots
blafted all the fchemes of the confederates, and put
an end to the troubles of England almoft in a m.o-
ment. The Scotch army immediately retired, and
the feveral corps of which it was compofed quarrelling
amongft themfelves, gave their enemies ample revenge
for the injuries they had done them. The rebellious
barons laboured to anticipate one another in making
their fubmiflions, and giving up their caftlesj and
young Henry, with the earl of Flanders, who were
ready to fail with a great fleet and army, no fooner
heard of thefe events, than they laid afide all thoughts
of an invafion.
Thekmcr The king of France having fummoned all his no-

of France bility to attend him, with their follov^ers, marched at
befieges their head and fat down before Rouen, the capital of
Normandy, July 21ft, where he was fuon after join^
ed by young Henry and the earl of Flanders, with all
their forces which enabled him to pufli the fiege with
great vigour, and vvithout intermiflion. But the city
was defended with ecjual vigour, by the inhabitants,
and feveral loyal barons, who had thrown themfelves
into it with their vafTais, and repelled all the open af-
faults of the befiegers, and alfo defeated an attempt
that they had made to take it by iurprife, on St.
rence's day, Auguft loth, when a truce had been pro-
claimed (82).

(81) W. Neubrigen. 1, 2. c. 23. aj. Benedidt. Abbas, p. 77, 7&.
R. Hoveden, p. 308, 309.

(8a) W. Neubrigen. 1. 2. i. 36,



Henry, hearing of the danger of his Norman capi- A.D. 1174.
tal, and having fettled his affairs in hngland. em-^*^ — v — -^^
barked at Portfmouth. Augult 7th, with his Hraban- ^enry re-
^ons, and a thoufand Welfh, whom he had taken into 1^°^^° ,
his pay; carrying with him the king of Scots, and and raifes^*

Online LibraryRobert HenryThe history of Great Britain : from the first invasion of it by the Romans under Julius Cæsar. Written on a new plan (Volume 3) → online text (page 10 of 54)