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Author: Raphael Holinshed
Editor: Michael Best
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Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1587 (Selection)


45[Challenges in Scotland and Normandy]

The coronation being thus ended,Ambassadors from the king of Scots. it was not long ere there came ambassadors from the Scottish king, namely William the prior of May, William the prior of Saint Colmes Ins, and one William Hay, the which on the behalf of the said Scottish king required restitution of Northumberland and Cumberland with the appurtenances, promising that if the same were restored to him he would serve the king of England with all his power against all men then alive; otherwise, that is, if he could not have those countries, which of right to him appertained by law as he pretended, he would do the best he could to recover them by force. King John made answer hereunto that, if his cousin the king of Scots would come unto him, he should be assured to receive at his hands all that was reason, as well in those demands as in all other things. He also sent to him the Bishop of Durham, to require him to come unto Nottingham where he would meet with him. Howbeit, King William refused to come himself as then but sent the Bishop of Saint Andrew, and Hugh Malebisse to follow his suit, with promise to abstain from any forcible invasion of England by the space of forty days, so that he might within that term have some resolute answer from King John, whereunto he might stand either on the one side or the other.

46The French King invadeth Normandy. Whilst these things were a-doing in England, Philip, king of France, having levied an army, broke into Normandy and took the city of Évreux, the town of Arques, and divers other places from the English. And passing from thence into Maine, he recovered that country lately before through fear alienated. In another part, an army of Bretons with great diligence won the towns of Gornay, Boteavant and Gensolin, and following the victory took the city of Angers, which King John had won from Duke Arthur in the last year passed. These things being signified to King John, he thought to make provision for the recovery of his losses there with all speed possible. And thereupon perceiving that the Scottish king meant not to meet with him at Nottingham whither he was come, and where he kept the feast of Whitsuntide, he determined to pass the seas over into Normandy; but first he took order for the government and defence of the realm in his absence.

47William de Stuteville. Whereupon he delivered the charge of the counties of Northumberland and Cumberland unto the Lord William de Stuteville, with all the castles and other the appurtenances, which the lord Hugh Bardolf before held and had in keeping. He also delivered unto Roger de La Cie, constable of Chester, Roger de La Cie constable of Chester. the castle of Pomfret, having first the son and heir of the same La Cie delivered unto him as an hostage for his loyalty and faithful obedience.King John passeth over into Normandy. This done, he hasted unto the sea side and sailed over into Normandy landing first at Dieppe, and from thence went to Rouen, whither he came upon the Sunday before Midsummer day, which was the 26th of June as William Harrison hath noted.

48[A truce negotiated with Scotland]

Immediately upon his arrival in those parts, there resorted unto him a great number of soldiers, both horsemen and footmen, hoping to be entertained; but by reason of ambassadors riding to and fro betwixt the two kings, they came to a communication and took truce for fifty days. A truce for fifty days. The Earl of Flanders, being certified thereof, was sorry in his heart, and loath that the French king should come to any accord with the king of England, and therefore to turn the mind of King John from the purpose of peace The Earl of Flanders. The league renewed betwixt England and Flanders. he came to visit him at Rouen, where they renewed the league betwixt England and Flanders to be the better able to defend themselves from the French power; and withal determined fully that immediately upon the expiring of this last truce they would make the French king war to revenge their late received injuries. The French king, advertised by espials of their determination, prepared also for the wars.

49In this mean time it chanced, that Henry Earl of Namure, The Earl of Namure. brother to Philip Earl of Flanders, and one Peter of Doway, a right valiant knight, with his brother that was the elect Bishop of Chambrai, were taken prisoners in a skirmish and presented to the French king. Whereupon the Cardinal of Capua (being at the same time the pope's legate in France) interdicted that realm for the taking of the same elect of Chambrai,France interdicted. Normandy interdicted. and also all Normandy for the detaining of the Bishop of Beauvois in prison (who had lain there a long time and was taken in the field after such manner as is before rehearsed) so that the French king was glad to restore the elect of Chambrai to his liberty. And likewise King John delivered the Bishop of Beauvois, who paid two thousand marks, besides expenses of diet during the time of his captivity, and furthermore took an oath that he should never after bear armor in the war against any Christian or Christians.

50[King Philip demands King John's territories]

About the same time, Arthur Duke of Brittany made knight. King Philip made Arthur, Duke of Brittany, knight, and received of him his homage for Anjou, Poitiers, Maine, Touraine, and Brittany. Also, somewhat before the time that the truce should expire, to wit, on the morrow after the feast of the Assumption of our Lady, and also the day next following, the two kings talked by commissioners in a place betwixt the towns of Boteavant and Le Goulet. Within three days after, they came together personally and communed at full of the variance depending between them. But the French king showed himself stiff and hard in this treaty, demanding the whole country of Volquessen to be restored unto him,The French king's demand. as that which had been granted by Geoffrey Earl of Anjou, the father of King Henry the Second, unto Louis le Gros, to have his aid then against King Stephen. Moreover, he demanded that Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Touraine should be delivered and wholly resigned unto Arthur Duke of Brittany.

51But these, and divers other requests which he made, King John would not in any wise grant unto, and so they departed without conclusion of any agreement. Therefore divers earls and barons of France which before that time had served King Richard repaired unto King John and took an oath to assist him, and not to agree with the French king without his consent; and he likewise swore unto them not to make peace with the French king except they were therein comprised. In the month of September, Joan, King John's sister, wife to Raimond Earl of Saint Giles and sometime queen of Sicily, died at Rouen, and was buried at Fontevraud. The French king also took divers towns and castles, but amongst other the castle of Ballon, and razed the walls thereof down to the ground, wherewith William de Roches, general of the army of Arthur Duke of Brittany, was greatly offended, and did so much by his drift that shortly after a peace was concluded betwixt King John and his nephew Duke Arthur, though the same served but to small purpose.A peace betwixt King John and his nephew.

52[The viscount of Limoges killed by Richard's bastard son]

The French king having (as I have said) overthrown the walls of Ballon, besieged a fortress called Lavardin, Lavardin. but King John, coming with an army, caused him to raise his siege and to withdraw himself to the city of Le Mans, whither he followed and compelled him (maugre his force) to remove from thence. All this while was William de Roches busily occupied about his practise William de Roches. to make King John and his nephew Arthur friends, which thing at length he brought about, and thereupon delivered into King John's hands the city of Le Mans which he had in keeping.The viscount of Thouars. Also the viscount of Thouars came to the king of England and surrendered unto him the castle of Chinon, the keeping whereof he betook unto Roger de La Cie the Constable of Chester. But in the night following, upon some mistrust and suspicion gathered in the observation of the covenants on King John's behalf, both the said Arthur, The mistrust that duke Arthur had in his uncle King John. with his mother Constance, the said Viscount of Thouars, and divers other, fled away secretly from the king and got them to the city of Angers, where the mother of the said Arthur, refusing her former husband the Earl of Chester, married her self to the lord Guy de Thouars, brother to the said viscount, by the pope's dispensation. The same year, Philip bastard son to King Richard, to whom his father had given the castle and honor of Cognac, killed the Viscount of Limoges, Philip, King Richard's bastard son killed the Viscount of Limoges. in revenge of his father's death, who was slain (as you have heard) in besieging the castle of Châlus Cheverel.

53Moreover, there fell many great floods in England,Great floods. and on the borders of Scotland, by violence whereof divers bridges were borne down, and, amongst other, the bridge at Berwick. For the building up again whereof, some variance arose betwixt Philip, Bishop of Durham and Earl Patrick, lord chief justice of ScotlandVariance betwixt the bishop of Durham and Earl Patrick. and captain at the same time of the town of Berwick, who by the Scottish king's commandment would have repaired again the same bridge, which could not be done but that the one end thereof must be builded on the Bishop of Durham's ground, which he would not suffer, till by the counsel of the lord William de Stutevile he agreed, so that the convention accorded and concluded betwixt the king of Scots and his predecessor Bishop Hugh might be reserved inviolable.

54[Controlling the price of wines]

A rate of the prices of wines. Furthermore, King John did set a rate upon the prices of wines, as Rochelle wine to be sold for twenty shillings the tun and not above. The wine of Anjou for twenty-four shillings the tun, and no other French wines above five and twenty shillings the tun except it were of such notable goodness as that some peradventure for their own expenses would be contented to give after twenty-six shillings eight pence for the tun and not above. Moreover, the gallon of Rochelle wine he appointed to be sold at four pence and the gallon of white wine at six pence. It was also ordained that in every city, town, and place where wine was used to be sold there should be twelve honest men sworn to have regard that this assize should not be broken, and that if they found any vintner that should from the pin sell any wine by small measures contrary to the same assize, his body should be attached by the sheriff and detained in prison, till other commandment were given for his further punishment, and his goods seized unto the king's use. Furthermore, if any persons were or should be found to buy and sell by the hogshead or tun, contrary to this assize, they should be committed to prison, there to remain till other order were taken for them; neither should there be any regrating of wines that were brought into England. But this ordinance lasted not long for the merchants could not bear it, and so they fell to and sold white wine for eight pence the gallon and red or claret for six pence.

55[Lewis and Blanch married to confirm the peace between England and France]

King John returneth into England. King John also came over from Normandy into England, and there levied a subsidy, taking of every plough land three shillings. In the Lent following, he went to York in hope to have met the king of Scots there, A subsidy. but he came not, and so King John returned back and sailed again into Normandy, because the variance still depended between him and the king of France. He saileth again into Normandy. Finally, upon the Ascension day in this second year of his reign, they came eftsoons to a communication betwixt the towns of Vernon and L'Isle d'Andely, where finally they concluded an agreement, with a marriage to be had betwixt Louis, the son of King Philip, and the Lady Blanche, A peace concluded with a marriage. daughter to Alfonso King of Castile the eighth of that name, and niece to King John by his sister Eleanor.

56In consideration whereof, King John, besides the sum of thirty thousand marks in silver as in respect of dowry assigned to his said niece, resigned his title to the city of Évreux, and also unto all those towns which the French king had by war taken from him, the city of Angers only excepted, which city he received again by covenants of the same agreement. The French king restored also to King John (as Rafe Niger writeth) the city of Tours, and all the castles and fortresses which he had taken within Touraine; and moreover received of King John his homage for all the lands, fees and tenements which at any time his brother King Richard, or his father King Henry had holden of him, the said king Louis or any his predecessors, the quit-claims and marriages always excepted. The king of England likewise did homage unto the French king for Brittany, and again (as after you shall hear) received homage for the same country, and for the county of Richmond of his nephew Arthur. He also gave the earldom of Gloucester unto the Earl of Évreux, as it were by way of exchange, for that he resigned to the French king all right, title and claim that might be pretended to the county of Évreux.

57By this conclusion of marriage betwixt the said Louis and Blanche, the right of King John went away, which he lawfully before pretended unto the city of Évreux, and unto those towns in the confines of Berry, Chateau Roux or Raoul, Cressy and Issoudun, and likewise unto the country of Vexin or Volquessen, which is a part of the territory of Gisors; the right of all which lands, towns and countries was released to the king of France by King John, who supposed that by his affinity and resignation of his right to those places the peace now made would have continued for ever. And in consideration thereof, he procured furthermoreThe king cometh back again into England. that the foresaid Blanche should be conveyed into France to her husband with all speed. That done he returned into England.

58¶ Certes this peace was unpleasant to many, but namely to the Earl of Flanders, who hereupon, making no account of King John's amity, concluded a peace with King Philip shortly after, and meant to make war against the infidels in the east parts; whereby we may see the discontented minds of men, and of how differing humors they be, so that nothing is harder than to satisfy many with one thing, be the same never so good,

59O caecis mortalia plena tenebris
Pectora, et o mentes caligine circumseptas
[Stultitiae]!

60But by the chronicles of Flanders it appeareth that the Earl of Flanders concluded a peace with the French king in February last past before that King John and the French king fell to any composition. But such was the malice of writers in times past, which they bore towards King John, that whatsoever was done in prejudice of him or his subjects it was still interpreted to chance through his default, so as the blame still was imputed to him, in so much that although many things he did peradventure in matters of government, for the which he might be hardily excused, yet to think that he deserved the tenth part of the blame wherewith writers charge him it might seem a great lack of advised consideration in them that so should take it. But now to proceed with our purpose.

61[King John taxes the English people]

King John, being now in rest from wars with foreign enemies, began to make war with his subjects' purses at home, emptying them by taxes and tallages to fill his coffers, which alienated the minds of a great number of them from his love and obedience. At length also, when he had got together a great mass of money, he went over again into Normandy, where, by Helias, Archbishop of Bordeaux, and the Bishop of Poitiers and Scone he was divorced from his wife Isabel that was the daughter of Robert Earl of Gloucester, King John is divorced. because of the nearness of blood, as touching her in the third degree. After that, he married Isabel, the daughter of Amerie Earl of Angoulême, by whom he had two sons, Henry and Richard, and three daughters, Isabel, Eleanor, and Jane.

62Moreover, about this time, Geoffrey Archbishop of York deprived. Geoffrey, Archbishop of York was deprived of all his manors, lands, and possessions, by the king's commandment directed to the sheriff of Yorkshire, for divers causes, for that he would not permit the same sheriff to levy the duty called carucage, that was three shillings of every plough land within his diocese, rated and appointed to be levied to the king's use throughout all parts of the realm. Secondly, for that the same archbishop refused to go over with the king into Normandy to help to make the marriage betwixt the French king's son and his niece. Thirdly, because he had excommunicated the same sheriff and all the province of York, whereupon the king took displeasure against him, and not only spoiled him (as I said) of his goods, but also banished him out of the court, not suffering him to come in his presence for the space of twelve months after.

63[Arthur pays homage to King John]

A council called at Westminster by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In this year also, Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury held a council at Westminster against the prohibition of the lord chief justice, Geoffrey FitzPeter Earl of Essex. In the which council or synod divers constitutions were made and ordained for orders and customs to be used touching the service and administration of sacraments in the church, and other articles concerning churchmen and ecclesiastical matters. Arthur duke of Brittany doth homage to the king of England. About the same time, King John and Philip king of France met together near the town of Vernon, where Arthur, Duke of Brittany (as vassal to his uncle King John), did his homage unto him for the duchy of Brittany and those other places which he held of him on this side and beyond the river of Loire, and afterward, still mistrusting his uncle's courtesy, he returned back again with the French king and would not commit himself to his said uncle, who (as he supposed) did bear him little good will. These things being thus performed, King John returned into England,King John returneth into England. The queen is crowned. and there caused his new married wife Isabel to be crowned on the Sunday before the feast of Saint Denise, the eighth of October.

64At the same time he gave commandment unto Hugh Neville, high justice of his forests, that he should award his precepts unto all foresters within the realm, to give warning to all the white monks, that before the quindene of Saint Michael they should remove out of his forests all their horses of Haraz, and other cattle, under the penalty to forfeit so many of them as after that day chanced to be found within the same forests. The cause that moved the king to deal so hardly with them was for that they refused to help him with money when, before his last going over into Normandy, he demanded it of them towards the payment of the thirty thousand pounds which he had covenanted to pay the French king to live in rest and peace, which he coveted to have done for relief of his people and his own surety, knowing what enemies he had that lay in wait to destroy him, and again what discommodities had chanced to his father and brethren by the often and continual wars. But now to proceed with other doings.

65[The king of Scotland pays homage to King John]

Immediately after the solemnization of the queen's coronation ended, An embassage sent unto the King of Scots. he sent Philip, Bishop of Durham, Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, and Henry de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, nephew to William king of Scotland, and David, Earl of Huntington, brother to the said king, and Roger de La Cie, constable of Chester, the lord William de Vesey, and the lord Robert de Ros, which had married two of the daughters of the said king, and Robert FitzRoger sheriff of Northumberland as ambassadors from him unto the foresaid William king of Scotland, with letters patentsThe king of Scots came to the king of England at Lincoln. containing a safe conduct for him to come into England and to meet with King John at Lincoln on the morrow after the feast of Saint Edmund, who gladly granted thereunto, and so, according to that appointment, both the kings met at Lincoln the 21st day of November. And on the morrow after King John went to the cathedral church and offered upon the high altar a chalice of gold.

66On the same day, upon a hill without the city, the king of Scots did homage unto King John in the presence and sight of a great multitude of people, swearing fealty of life, limb, and worldly honor unto King John, which oath he made upon the cross of Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury. There were present at that time, beside other Noblemen, three archbishops, Canterbury, York, and Raguse, with other bishops, to the number of thirteen, as Durham London, Rochester, Ely, Bath, Salisbury, Winchester, Hereford, Norwich, Saint Andrews in Scotland, Llandaffe, and Bangor in Wales, and Meth in Ireland, beside a great multitude of earls, barons, and other noblemen. When the king of Scots had thus done his homage, he required restitution of Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland, which he claimed as his right and lawful heritage. Much talk was had touching this matter, but they could not agree, and therefore King John asked respite to consider of it till the feast of Pentecost next ensuing, which, being granted, the king of Scots the next morrow being the 23rd of November returned homewards, and was conducted back again into his country by the same noblemen that brought him to Lincoln.

67[The death of Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln]

The same day that the king of Scots took his journey homewards from Lincoln, the corpse of Hugh, bishop of that city (lately before, departed this life at London, after his return from the parts of beyond the seas), was brought thither to be buried. The king and all the bishops, earls, and barons went to receive it, and honored his burial with their presence. On the morrow after, being Friday, he was interred within the new church which he had builded. This Hugh was a Frenchman by nation, born at Grenoble, a man of a pregnant wit, and skilful both in science of holy scripture and human knowledge. He was first a regular canon, and after became a Carthusian monk. King Henry the Second, moved with the fame of his virtue and godly life, sent the Bishop of Bath to bring him into England, and after he was come, made him first abbot of Whithing in the Dioceses of Wells, and after created him Bishop of Lincoln.

68He was noted to be of a very perfect life, namely, because he would not stick to reprove men of their faults plainly and frankly, not regarding the favor or disfavor of any man, insomuch that he would not fear to pronounce them accursed, which, being the king's officers, would take upon them the punishment of any person within orders of the church for hunting and killing of the king's game within his parks, forests and chases, yea (and that which is more) he would deny payments of such subsidies and taxes as he was assessed to pay to the uses of King Richard and King John,A presumptuous part in a bishop. towards the maintenance of their wars, and did oftentimes accurse by his ecclesiastical authority such sheriffs, collectors, or other officers, as did distrain upon his lands and goods for to satisfy these kings of their demands, alleging openly that he would not pay any money towards the maintenance of wars which one Christian prince, upon private displeasure and grudge, made against another prince of the same religion. This was his reason.

69And when he came before the king to make answer to his disobedience showed herein, he would so handle the matter, partly with gentle admonishments, partly with sharp reproofs, and sometime mixing merry and pleasant speech amongst his serious arguments, that often times he would so qualify the king's mood, that, being driven from anger, he could not but laugh and smile at the bishop's pleasant talk and merry conceits, so that it might well be said of him,

70Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.

71This manner he used, not only with the king alone, but with the father and the two sons -- that is to say, Henry the Second, Richard and John, in whose time he ruled and governed the See of Lincoln. He was, after his decease for the opinion which men conceived of his holiness and virtues, admitted into the number of the saints.

72Ye have heard how King John had conceived no small displeasure against the monks of the white order for that they would not part with any money, excusing themselves that they might not do it without consent of a general chapter of their order. Whereupon the king had caused them divers ways to be molested, but chiefly in restraining them of liberty to have any horses or other cattle going to pasture within his forests. They therefore, taking advice together, chose forth twelve abbots amongst them of that order, the which in all their names went to Lincoln, there to make suit to the king (coming thither at this time to meet the king of Scots) that it would please him to remit his displeasure conceived against them and to take them again into his protection.

73This suit was so followed, although with some difficulty, that at length -- to wit, the Sunday after that the king of Scots had done his homage -- through the help and furtherance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, they came to the king's speech, and obtained so much as they in reason might desire, for he pardoned them of all his passed displeasure, received them again into his favor, took them into his protection, and commanded that all injuries, grievances and molestations should be reformed, redressed and amended, which in respect of his indignation had been offered and done to them by any manner of means. And to see the same accomplished, writs were directed unto the sheriffs of the counties, bearing date from Lincoln the 27th of November. And thus were those monks for that time restored to the king's favor, to their great commodity and comfort.

74[Five moons seen]

Five moons. About the month of December, there were seen in the province of York five moons, one in the east, the second in the west, the third in the north, the fourth in the south, and the fifth as it were set in the midst of the other, having many stars about it, and went five or six times encompassing the other, as it were the space of one hour, and shortly after vanished away. The winter after was extremely cold, more than the natural course had been aforetime. And in the springtime came a great glutting and continual rain, causing the rivers to rise with higher floods than they had been accustomed.

75In the year 1201 King John held his Christmas at Guilford, and there gave to his servants many fair liveries and suits of apparel. The Archbishop of Canterbury did also the like at Canterbury, seeming indeed to strive with the king which of them should pass the other in such sumptuous apparelling of their men; whereat the king (and not without good cause) was greatly moved to indignation against him, although for a time he colored the same, going presently into the north, where he gathered of the country there no small sums of money as it were by way of fining them for their transgressions committed in his forests.

[King John travels to Normandy]

76From thence he returned and came to Canterbury, where he held his Easter, which fell that year on the day of the Annunciation of our Lady, in the which feast he sat crowned together with his wife queen Isabel, the Archbishop of Canterbury bearing the charges of them and their trains while they remained there. At the feast of the Ascension next ensuing, King John set out a proclamation at Tewkesbury that all the earls and barons of the realm, and also all other that held of him by knights service, should be ready in the feast of Pentecost next ensuing with horse and armor at Portsmouth to pass over with him into Normandy, who made their appearance accordingly. Howbeit, a great number of them in the end got licence to tarry at home, paying for every knight's fee two marks of silver for a fine, which then was a great matter.

77But he sent before him into Normandy William Marshall Earl of Striguil with an hundred knights or men of arms which he had hired, and Roger de La Cie with an other hundred men of arms to defend the confines of Normandy against the enemies; and to his chamberlain Hubert de Burgh he delivered the like number of knights or men of arms also to keep the Marches betwixt England and Wales as warden of the same. This done,The archbishop of York restored. he pardoned his brother the Archbishop of York and restored him to all his dignities, possessions and liberties, confirming the same unto him in as full and large manner as ever Roger, late Archbishop of that See, had enjoyed the same; for the which confirmation his said brother undertook to pay to the king within the term of one year the sum of a thousand pounds sterling, and for the assurance thereof engaged his barony to the king in pledge.

78Moreover, about the same time,Ambassadors sent to Scotland. the king sent Geoffrey, Bishop of Chester, and Richard Malebisse, with Henry de Poisy, unto William king of Scotland, requiring him that the time appointed for him to make answer touching his demand of Northumberland might be prorogued until the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel next ensuing, which was obtained; and then the king and queen (being come to Portsmouth on the Monday in Whitsunweek) took the sea to pass over into Normandy, but not both in one shipThe king passeth over into Normandy. so that the queen with a prosperous gale of wind arrived there at her own desire. But the king was driven by reason of a pirate to take land in the Isle of Wight, and so was stayed there for a time. Howbeit, within a few days after he took ship again at Portsmouth, and so passed over into Normandy, where shortly after his arrival in those parts he came to an interview with the king of France near to L'Isle d'Andely, where coming a long time together alone, they agreed so well,He cometh to talk with the king of France. that within three days after King John at the French king's request went into France and was received of him with much honor, first at Saint Denise with procession of the clergy; and there, lodging one night, upon the morrow the French king accompanied him unto Paris where he was received of the citizens with great reverence,King John entereth into Paris. the provost presenting unto him in the name of the whole city many rich gifts for his welcome. King Philip feasted him also in his own palace, and for his part gave to him, to his lords, and to his servants many great and princely gifts. Moreover, the league at this time was renewed betwixt them and put in writing, with this caution,The league renewed. that whether of them first broke the covenants, such lords on his part as were become sureties for performance should be released of their allegiance which they ought to him that so should break, and that they might thereupon freely become subjects to the other prince.

79These things done, at length whenas King John had remained at Paris with great mirth and solace certain days, the French king brought him forth of the city and took leave of him in very loving wise.

80After this, King John went to Chinon, and from thence into Normandy, about which time there chanced some troubles in Ireland; for where Walter La Cie -- under pretence of a communication that was appointed betwixt him and John de Curcy,Walter La Cie meant to have taken the lord Curcy. lord of Ulnester -- meant to have taken the said Curcy, and for the accomplishment of his purpose set upon him, slew many of his men, and for his safeguard constrained Curcy in the end to take a castle which belonged unto Hugh La Cie upon fair promises made to him by the same Hugh to be preserved out of all danger, it came to pass that when he was once got in he might no more be suffered to depart. For the La Cies thought to have delivered him to King John, but the servants and friends of the said Curcy made such cruel war in wasting and destroying the lands and possessions that belonged unto the said Walter and Hugh La Cie that Finally they were constrained to set him again at liberty whether they would or no.

81Aid against the Turkes and infidels.At the same time also, the kings of France and England gave large money towards the maintenance of the army which at this present went forth under the leading of the Earl of Flanders and other to war against the enemies of the Christian faith, at the instance of Pope Innocent. There was furthermore granted unto them the fortieth part of all the revenues belonging to ecclesiastical persons towards the aid of the Christians then being in the holy land; and all such as well of the nobility as other of the weaker sort which had taken upon them the cross, and secretly laid it down, were compelled eftsoons to receive it now again.

82Unseasonable weather. There chanced this year wonderful tempests of thunder, lightning, hail, and abundance of rain, in such wise that men's minds were greatly astonished therewith. Meadows and marsh grounds were quite overflown, bridges broken and borne down, and great quantity of corn and hay lost and carried away, and divers men and women drowned. Margaret mother of Constance, Duchess of Brittany, sister to William, King of Scots, and mother to Henry Boun, Earl of Hereford, deceased. This year also by the counsel and advice of the burgess of London there were chosen 35 of the most substantial and wisest men, which, after the report of some writers, were called the council of the city of London, out of which number the Mayor and Bailiffs were yearly chosen.