William Edmondstoune Aytoun.

The life and times of Richard the First, surnamed Coeur-de-Leon, king of England / y William E. Aytoun online

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Ma tu de' pensier nostri ultimo segno

Espugnar di Sinn le nobil mura,

E sottrare i Christian! al girco indegno,

Di servitn cosi spiacente, e dura,

Fondando in Falestina n novo Regno,

Ou' habbia la pieta sede sicura:

Ne ia chi neghi al Peregrin devoto

D' adorar la gran tomba, e sciorre il voto.

Tissa Giermalemmt Liberals.






THE only records of our earlier English history
are the Histories and Chronicles of the Monks, the
solitary class of men who then cultivated litera-
ture and science, or had sufficient leisure or learning
to depict the stirring events which perpetually passed
around them. These histories are all written in
Latin; for the English language, as now spoken,
did then not exist no amalgamation of the Nor-
man and Saxon tongues had been effected the
first was the language of the higher, and the latter,
of the lower classes. Such records are very valu-
able, since, as they could not be intended for publi-
cation, but were written for the exclusive use of
the Monasteries or Abbeys to which the authors
belonged, we find them generally accurate and faith-
ful, as will be seen in almost every instance when
collated together. From these sources, therefore, our


later historians have been forced to draw the
materials for their works, and have entered more
or less minutely into the history, policy, and
events, of each successive reign.

Notwithstanding the great amount of talent,
learning, and industry, which has been brought to
the task, it is plain, that the authors of the long and
continuous Histories of England from its nominal
commencement must, in order to keep their works
within a reasonable compass, have omitted much
valuable information, illustrative of the feelings and
manners of the times, and also avoided such minor
occurrences as did not produce a marked effect upon
the state and policy of the country. For the same
reason, they have been forced to notice, very slightly,
the politics of other countries, by which our own were
often influenced and guided. Thus, the popular
histories of England, in referring to the remoter
periods, do little more than exhibit a faint out-
line, leaving a wider field to speculation than to

This is peculiarly the case with regard to the
reign of Coeur-de-Lion. Not one of our English
monarchs has achieved a wider fame than Richard,
and yet his personal history is, perhaps, of all
others, least studied or generally understood. All
men know that he rebelled against his father, but


comparatively few are aware of the causes which
led to that rebellion. All know that he conducted
a crusade to the Holy Land, and there encountered
Saladin, but few, save laborious students, are ac-
quainted with the real extent of his conquests,
or the causes which drove him back, almost a
fugitive, to Europe. As for his subsequent imprison-
ment, the story of Blondel de Nesle, unsupported
by any competent testimony, yet daily quoted as
an historical fact, is a strong proof of the looseness
of our general information. Yet hardly any period,
of the romantic ages at least, is more interesting,
or better entitled to a close examinination at our

I have therefore attempted in this volume to give
as clear and distinct, and, at the same time, as par-
ticular a narrative, of the principal events which
occurred at home and abroad during the reign of the
Lion-hearted monarch, as I could obtain from the
old records to which my attention was directed ;
and at the same time I have endeavoured to keep
Richard personally in view throughout, except where
it appeared necessary to go somewhat back, in order
to give an idea of the origin of events which were
to be developed in the course of the narrative.
Some apology might otherwise be due for the sketch
of the Crusades, and progress of the Latin kingdom


in Palestine, contained in the fifth and sixth chap-
ters of this volume ; but so much of the interest of
this reign is derived from the Holy Wars, and so ex-
traordinary is the history of the origin and establish-
ment of a Christian dynasty in Syria, that I felt
myself justified in so far departing from the main
object of the work.

The authorities which I have principally consulted
are as follows: Rogeri de Hoveden Annalium
Pars prior, et posterior Matthsei Paris, Monachi
Albanensis, Angli, Historia Major Gulielmi Neubri-
gensis Historia, sive Chronica Rerum Angli carum
Benedictus, Abbas Petroburgensis, de Vita et Gestis
Henrici II. et Ricardi I. Chronica Gualteri Hem-
ingford, Canonici de Gisseburne Ge offry Vine-
sauf's Itinerarium Regis Anglorum Ricardi, et
aliorum, in Terram Hierosolymarum, &c. I have
also received much information from the works of
the Arabian writers Bohadin and Abulfeda; very
interesting in so far as regards the movements, con-
duct, and feelings, of the Saracens, and more par-
ticularly of Saladin, the great Asiatic opponent of
Richard. In addition to those I have frequently
had occasion to refer to the French historians of the
Crusades, viz.: Foulchier de Chartres, Odon de
Deuil, Guillaume de Tyr, Bernard le Tresorier,
and Jacques de Vitry. Most of those last are


to be found in M. Guizot's splendid work, " Col-
lection des Memoires sur 1'Histoire de France,"
for which the world of letters has much reason to
be grateful. It is still to be regretted that no
attempt has been made to reprint the works of our
earlier historians in a similar form. The task might
be too great for one individual, but could be easily
forwarded by the co-operation of the learned societies
or clubs, who have already done something to res-
cue our ancient literature from oblivion. Such edi-
tions as that of the Chronicon de Lanercost, presented
to the Maitland Club by the late respected Mr.
Campbell of Blythswood, would, if placed within
reach of the public, be found of invaluable service to
the scholar and the student.

In conclusion, it may be proper to state, that the
object of the following pages is merely to reproduce
the material, which has not been collected without
some pains and labour, in a popular form. If, in
the opinion of those best qualified to judge, he
shall be thought to have effected this, and to have
made more perspicuous a somewhat obscure portion
of the pages of English history, the utmost wish of
the author will be gratified.

Edinburgh, March 1, 1840.




The Norman Conquest State of England during the Reign of
Stephen Accession of Henry II. His Family Dissensions
with France Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canter-
bury His Character Privileges of the Clergy Collision
between them and the King Constitutions of Clarendon
Disgrace of Becket Expedition against Wales Richard
affianced to Adelais, Daughter of Louis of France Corona-
tion of the young Prince Henry Return of Becket to
England His Murder Conquest of Ireland Henry is
reconciled to the Pope Rebellion of his Sons and his
Queen Eleanor League of the Princes with the King of
France Military Operations and Conference at Gisors
Inroad of the Scots and Rebellion of the English Nobles
Return of Henry to England His Penance Capture of
the King of Scots Henry is reconciled to his Sons Rich-
ard in Guienne State of the Holy Land and Embassy
from Queen Sybilla Insolent Behaviour of Heraclius,
Patriarch of Jerusalem . . . .1


Disputes among the Princes Refusal of Richard to do Ho-
mage to his Brother War in Guienne Prince Henry
takes the Cross His Death Conduct and Death of Geoffry
Cause of the Disputes between Richard and his Father
His Alliance with Philip of France The Third Crusade
preached by William Archbishop of Tyre Preparations for
the Crusade Saladin's Tithe .Intrigues of Philip and
Richard Incursions on Touraine Conference of Bon-
Moulins Final Rupture between Henry and Richard
Interference of the Legate-cardinal of Anagni Spirited
Behaviour of Philip War in the Territory of Maine
Peace concluded at Azay Narrative of the Conference
there Death of Henry II. His Obsequies, Character, and
Family . . . . . .28




Richard's Policy on his Accession to the Throne Amicable
Adjustment with Philip Eleanor appointed Regent
Order of Richard's Coronation Disturbance caused by
the Intrusion of the Jews Outrages against that People
in different Parts of England, and horrible Massacre at
York Richard's Preparations for the Crusade Anecdote
of the Bishop of Durham Disposal of the Crown-Lands
and public Offices Homage of the King of Scotland
remitted Embassy from Philip William Longchamp,
Bishop of Ely. appointed Chancellor and Justiciary
Richard crosses over to France Final Arrangements
before his Departure Great Meeting at Vezelai Richard
arrives at Marseilles His personal Appearance, Temper,
and Reputation . . . . .52


Arrival of Richard at Messina His Reception by King Tan-
cred Disturbances with the Natives Their Attack upon
the English Richard takes Messina by Assault Dispute
with Philip Richard makes a Treaty with Tancred
Builds the Castle of Mategriffon Encounter of Richard
and William de Barres The Abbot Joachim of Haute-
pierre Domestic History Queen Eleanor arrives in Sicily
with the Princess Berengaria of Navarre Tancred reveals
to Richard the Treachery of Philip Marriage of Richard
and Adelais finally broken off Richard leaves Messina
Seizure of some of his Ships at Cyprus, and Attempt of
the Emperor Isaac to seize on his Sister and Berengaria
Richard takes Limesol, and defeats the whole Army of the
Cypriots with a few of his Knights Treachery of Isaac
Richard takes Famagosta and Nicosia Arrival of Guy of
Lusignan, whose Party is adopted by the King Marriage
of Richard and Berengaria Richard leaves Cyprus
Encounters and sinks a large Turkish Trireme Arrives
at Acre .....


State of Palestine after the first Crusade Hostility of the
Turks Capture of Edessa by Noureddin The Second
Crusade preached by Saint Bernard Expedition of Louis



VII. and the Emperor Conrad III. Misfortunes of the
Germans, and Treachery of the Greek Emperor, Manuel
Great Defeat of the Germans in Cappadocia Arrival of
the French in Asia Passage of the Mseander Battle of
Laodicea Arrival of the Crusaders in Palestine Siege of
Damascus Dissentions among the Syrian Nobles Return
of the Crusaders Military Orders of Knighthood The
Hospitallers The Templars Antioch attacked by Noured-
din Death of Baldwin III. Amaury's Egyptian Expe-
dition Shiracouch and Saladin despatched to Egypt
Defeat of Amaury Egypt occupied by Saladin for the
Caliph of Bagdat: Death of Noureddin ; of Amaury
Baldwin IV. and V. Guy de Lusignan elected King of
Jerusalem Quarrel with Count Raymond, of Tripoli
Great Preparations by Saladin for the Invasion of the
Holy Land ..... 106


Advance of Saladin Combat of the Turks and Templars
Death of Gamier of Naplouse, Grand Master of the Hos-
pitallers Reconciliation of Lusignan and Raymond of Tri-
poli Battle of Tiberias and Defeat of the Christians
Conduct of Saladin after the Battle His further Con-
quests Siege and Surrender of Jerusalem Generosity
of the Sultan History of Conrad, Marquis of Mont-
serrat His arrival at Tyre Defence of that City Valour
of a Spanish Cavalier Destruction of the Turkish Fleet
Abandonment of the Siege New Crusade preached in
Europe Expedition of the Emperor Frederick BarbaVossa
His death Saladin repulsed at Tripoli Lusignan set at
liberty Refusal of the Marquis Conrad to admit him \ntgf
Tyre Commencement of the Siege of Acre Arrival of
new Crusaders Great Buttle fought before the Town
Gallantry of the Knights Templars The Christians besieged
in their Camp Arrival of the Count of Champagne
Isabella divorces Humphrey of Thoron and marries the
Marquis of Montserrat, who claims the Crown of Jeru-
salem Arrival of the German Crusaders, under Fre-
derick, Duke of Suabia New Attack upon Acre, and
Gallantry of Duke Leopold 'of Austria Death of the
Duke of Suabia, and Return of the Germans Privations
of the Christian Army during the Siege . . 139




Joy of he Crusaders at Richard's Arrival at Acre ; and Jea-
lousy of Philip and the Marquis Conrad State of the Siege
Richard's Illness Unsuccessful Attack upon the City
by Philip Death of Alberic Clement, Marshal of France
Richard continues the Siege; effects a Breach, but is re-
pulsed Offer by the Garrison to capitulate refused Gene-
ral Assault upon the City, and final Surrender Further
Disagreement between Richard and Philip Dispute for
the Crown of Jerusalem finally settled Departure of Philip
from the Holy Land Saladin puts to death the Christian
Captives ; and Richard in return causes the Garrison of
Acre to be beheaded Preparations for the Campaign
March to Caiphas Attack of the Turks repelled Order
of the March Arrival at Cesarea Hardships of the Cru-
saders Skirmish near Cesarea The Army are harassed
by the Saracens during their advance inland Want of
Provisions Arrival at the River of Assur, and prepara-
tions for a general Engagement . . . 1 70


Battle of Assur, and Defeat of the Saracens Death of
James D'Avesnes Arrival of the Crusaders at Joppa
Saladin destroys the Fortifications of Ascalon Adventure
of Richard Combat between the Templars and Saracens
Negotiations of Conrad and Richard with Saladin
Quarrels amongst the Crusaders Their advance to Ascalon
Defection of the Dukes of Austria and Burgundy The
French retire to Acre Disputes of the Pisans and Genoese
Alarming intelligence from England and proposed Return
of Richard Conrad of Montserrat and Tyre elected King
of Jerusalem Account of the Haussassiz Conrad mur-
dered by the Emissaries of the Old Man of the Moun-
tain Marriage of Count Henry of Champagne with Isa-
bella, whereby he acquires the Crown of Jerusalem . 199




The Duke of Burgundy returns to the Army Capture of
Darutn Richard makes over the Island of Cyprus to Guy
of Lusignan Advance to Bethanopolis Skirmishes with
the Saracens, and Valour of the Earl of Leicester and
the Bishop of Salisbury Siege of Jerusalem proposed
Capture of a valuable Caravan by Richard Retreat from
Bethanopolis Final Defection of the French and Disper-
sion of the Crusaders Saladin takes Joppa, whereupon
Richard sails to the Relief of the Garrison The English
land and recover the Town Desperate Engagement with
the Saracens Personal Daring of Richard and final Victory
Noble Conduct of Malek-el-Adel Proposals of Peace
accepted The Christians visit Jerusalem Interview be-
tween the Sultan and the Bishop of Salisbury Richard
accepts an Escort from the Templars and departs for Europe
Lands near Trieste His Adventures and Capture at
Vienna by the Duke of Austria . . . 232


Government of England during the third Crusade Disputes
between the Chancellor and the Bishop of Durham Op-
pressive Conduct, of the former, and Intrigues of Prince
John Assault upon the Archbishop of York The Chan-
cellor is deposed Interference of the Pope in his behalf
Return of Philip from the Crusade He prepares to invade
Normandy The Duke of Austria transfers the Custody of
Richard to the Emperor Henry General excitement
throughout Europe at the news of his Imprisonment
Measures taken by the English Government Accusation
and Appearance of Richard before the Germanic Diet
His Ransom fixed John enters into a Treaty with Philip,
who invades Normandy The Ransom is raised in England
Richard arrives at Sandwich Reduces Nottingham Cas-
tle Is recrowned at Winchester Receives a Visit from
William of Scotland Crosses to Normandy, and pardons
his Brother John . . . 261




Military Operations in Normandy Defeat of the French
Tournaments first established in England Disputes of the
Archbishops of Canterbury and York Richard's Conduct
towards his Brother and Nephews Proposed Marriage
between Otho of Saxony and the Daughter of William the
Lion Policy of the Church of Rome Negotiations with
the Emperor War with France continued Letter from
the Old Man of the Mountain Its Authenticity discussed
Scandalous Behaviour of Philip to the Danish Princess
Riot in London History and Death of William Fitz-
Osbert Character and Conduct of Hubert Archbishop of
Canterbury and of Hugh Bishop of Lincoln Dispute
with the Archbishop of Rouen, and Fortification of Andeli
Marriage of Richard's Sister Joanna, and Succession of
William Longespee to the Earldom of Salisbury . .291


State of Bretagne Prince Arthur The Earl of Flanders
enters into an alliance with Richard Military Operations
in France The Bishop of Beauvais taken Prisoner His
Letter to the Pope, and the Reply Laws for the Encour-
agement of Manufactures, &c. in England Its State at the
Time Death of Saladin New Crusade from Germany
Death of Henry of Champagne Of the Emperor Henry
and of Pope Celestine Otho elected Emperor New
War with France The French routed at Gamages and
Courcelles Peace concluded between the two Countries
Philip accuses John of Treachery, which is disproved
Richard in Aquitaine Demands a Treasure found by the
Viscount of Limoges Besieges the Castle of Chaluz Is
wounded by an Arrow from the Walta His Death and
Character ; . . . . .322

NOTES (Appendix) . . . . . . .351






The Norman Conquest State of England during the Reign of Ste-
phen Accession of Henry II. His Family Dissensions with
France Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury His
Character Privileges of the Clergy Collision between them
and the King Constitutions of Clarendon Disgrace of Becket
Expedition against Wales Richard affianced to Adelais, Daughter
of Louis of France Coronation of the young Prince Henry
Return of Becket to England His Murder Conquest of Ire-
land Henry is reconciled to the Pope Rebellion of his Sons
and his Queen Eleanor League of the Princes with the King
of France Military Operations and Conference at Gisors In-
road of the Scots and Rebellion of the English Nobles Return of
Henry to England His Penance Capture of the King of Scots
Henry is reconciled to his Sons Richard in Guienne State
of the Holy Land and Embassy from Queen Sybilla Insolent
Behaviour of Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

IT is difficult to decide whether the Norman
conquest, by means of which the system of chivalry
was introduced into England, was at first produc-
tive of salutary or of noxious effects. ' Although that
system, hy the powerful aid of fiction, appears to us
now, like a dazzling day-dream, surrounded with
adventitious glory, there was much in its nature


opposed to the progress of social improvement, and to
that state of fraternization which constitutes the
safeguard and prosperity of kingdoms. Still it was
of use as a transition from greater barbarism, such
as prevailed in England during the rule of the
Saxons ; and since, from its own nature, it could not
be of long continuance, but must be and was modi-
fied by the expansion of the virtues of which it con-
tained the germ, whereas the other state held out no
promise of further improvement, the Norman con-
quest may be considered in nearly the same light as
the Roman invasion, which first reclaimed the
English savage from the hands of untutored nature.
It is not our purpose to trace the progress of the
new dynasty to a remoter period than the accession
of Henry II. When that monarch ascended the
throne, he found his insular possessions in a state of
the utmost desolation and distress. The civil war,
which throughout the whole of Stephen's reign raged
with unceasing violence, arose from the competition
for the crown, between that monarch and Matilda
the mother of Henry, and produced the most baleful
effects upon the country at large. Stephen's autho-
rity was never sufficiently grounded to restrain his
powerful vassals from committing excesses, which
in that rude and lawless age were both frequent
and cruel. Many of the barons, without espousing
the party of either candidate, retired to their castles,
and, collecting around them gangs of desperate ruf-
fians, commenced a system of plunder and pillage of
their neighbours' property. Where castles were want-
ing, churches were seized and fortified ; the house of
God became in the most literal sense a den of thieves :


and, in short, so miserably weak was the executive
power, that the life and property of none could be
considered safe. Even the thunders of the church,
usually esteemed so terrible, were disregarded by
these marauders. Priests suffered equally with lay-
men, and the whole country was thrown into a state
of anarchy and confusion. The reconciliation of Ste-
phen and Matilda, and the appointment of Henry a9
successor to the crown, tended but little to restore
England to tranquillity ; nor was it until the death
of Stephen and the accession of Henry, that the
rebellious barons were compelled to acknowledge the
paramount authority of the king.

In the year 1154, Henry II., being then in his
twenty-first year, ascended the throne of England*
No monarch, perhaps, ever commenced his reign
under more promising auspices ; few have met with
a larger share of vexation, hostility, and disappoint-
ment. Even before he succeeded to his English
possessions, he was one of the most powerful princes
in Christendom. From his father he inherited Anjou
and Touraine, from his mother, Maine and Nor-
mandy ; and with his wife, Eleanor of Poitou, the
divorced spouse of Louis of France, he received the
seven important provinces of Poitou, Saintonge, Au-
vergue, Perigord, Angoumois, Limousin andGuienne.
As vassal of the French king he was at least as
powerful as his feudal lord, and far more so when to
his other possessions he added the sovereignty of
England. Rich, active, and enterprising, he was
hailed on his arrival, by his new subjects, with every
demonstration of joy; and the commencement of his
career seemed to promise a long and uninterrupted
B 2


course of prosperity to himself and to the realm.
His first care was to suppress the power of those
nobles who, during the previous reign, had grown up
from vassals into lawless and independent chiefs, and
to deprive them of those castles which were now
transformed into the strongholds of rohbery and
rapine. In this he succeeded, though not without
some opposition ; but the barons being constantly
engaged in petty warfare with each other, could not
make any united or effectual resistance, and conse-
quently were gradually overcome and deprived of
their immoderate power. Having so far succeeded
in reinstating the tranquillity of the country, Henry
turned his attention towards the northern frontier,
and without much difficulty received from Malcolm,
the minor king of Scotland, the three coimties of
Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland,
in exchange for the earldom of Huntingdon.

As our sketch of the events occurring during
Henry's reign must short, owing to the
abundance of materials presented to us in that after-
stage of English history, which it is our present pur-
pose to elucidate, we cannot give a detailed account
of the many wars and political negociations in which
that prince was concerned, but shall only allude to
the most remarkable as bearing upon the history of
his son. Henry, by his wife Eleanor, had eight chil-
dren William, who died in infancy, Henry, Rich-
ard, Geoffry, John, and three daughters, besides
other offspring, the fruit of illegitimate amours.
With the view to strengthen his alliance \vith the
French king, and furthermore to prevent certain dis-
putes touching his patrimonial territories, which were


likely to arise from a disputed clause in his father's
will, Henry had no sooner established himself firmly
in his English dominions, than he entered into a

O '

treaty by which Henry, his eldest surviving son,
was affianced to Margaret the infant daughter of

Online LibraryWilliam Edmondstoune AytounThe life and times of Richard the First, surnamed Coeur-de-Leon, king of England / y William E. Aytoun → online text (page 1 of 26)