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A Fleete of Englishmen, Danes, and Flemmings, arrived at Joppa in the Holy land, the seventh yeere of Baldwine the second king of Hierusalem. Written in the beginning of the tenth booke of the Chronicle of Hierusalem, in the 8. yeere of Henry the first of England.

Chap. 1.

AT the same time also in the seventh yeere of the raigne of Baldwine the Catholike king of Hierusalem, a very great warrelike Fleete of the Catholike nation of England, to the number of about seven thousand, having with them more men of warre of the kingdom of Denmarke, of Flanders and of Antwerpe, arrived with ships which they call Busses, at the haven of the citie of Japhet, determining there to make their abode, untill they having obtained the kings licence and safeconduct, might safely worship at Hierusalem. Of which navie the chiefest and best spoken repairing to the king, spake to him in this maner. Christ preserve the Kings life, and prosper his kingdome from day to day; Wee, being men and souldiours of Christian profession, have, through the helpe of God, sayled hither through mightie and large seas, from the farre countreys of England, Flanders, and Denmarke, to worship at Jerusalem, and to visit the sepulchre of our Lord. And therefore we are assembled to intreat your clemency touching the matter, that by your favour and safe conduct we may peaceably goe up to Jerusalem, and worship there, and so returne.

Chap. 2.

THE king favourably hearing their whole petition, granted unto them a strong band of men to conduct them, which brought them safely from all assaults and ambushes of the Gentiles by the knowen wayes unto Jerusalem and all other places of devotion. After that these pilgrims, & new Christian strangers were brought thither, they offering unto our Lord their vowes in the temple of the holy sepulchre, returned with great joy, and without all let unto Joppa ; where finding the king, they vowed that they would assist him in all things, which should seeme good unto him: who, greatly commending the men, and commanding them to be well entertained with hospitality, answered that he could not on the sudden answere to this point, untill that after he had called his nobles together, he had consulted with my lord the Patriarch what was most meet and convenient to be done, and not to trouble in vaine so willing an army. And therefore after a few dayes, calling unto him my lord the Patriarch, Hugh of Tabaria, Gunfride the keeper and lieutenant of the tower of David, and the other chiefest men of warre, he determined to have a meeting in the city of Rames, to consult with them what was best to be done.

Chap. 3.

WHO, being assembled at the day appointed, and proposing their divers opinions & judgements, at length it seemed best unto the whole company to besiege the city Sagitta, which is also called Sidon , if peradventure, through Gods helpe, and by the strength of this new army, by land and sea it might be overcome. Whereupon all they which were there present, and required that this city should be besieged, because it was one of those cities of the Gentiles which continually rebelled, were commended, and admonished of the king every one to go home, and to furnish themselves with things necessary, and armour for this expedition. Every one of them departed home; likewise Hugh of Tabaria departed, being a chiefe man of warre against the invasions of the enemies, which could never be wearied day nor night in the countie of the Pagans, in pursuing them with warre and warlike stratagemes all the dayes of his life. Immediatly after this consultation the king sent ambassadours to all the multitude of the English men, requiring them not to remove their campe nor fleet from the city of Japhet, but quietly to attend the kings further commandement. The same ambassadours also declared unto the whole army, that the king and all his nobility had determined to besiege and assault the city Sagitta by sea and by land, and that their helpe and forces would there be needfull; and that for this purpose, the king and the patriarch were comming downe unto the city of Acres, and that they were in building of engins, and warlike instruments, to invade the walles and inhabitants thereof: and that in the meane season they were to remaine at Japhet, untill the kings further commandement were knowen. Whereupon they all agreed that it should so be done according to the kings commandement; and answered that they would attend his directions in the haven of Japhet, & would in all points be obedient unto him unto the death.

Chap. 4.

THE king came downe to Acres with the patriarch, and all his family, building, and making there by the space of fortie dayes engins, and many kindes of warlike instruments: and appointing all things to be made perfectly ready, which seemed to be most convenient for the assaulting of the city. Assoone as this purpose and intent of the king was come unto the eares of the inhabitants of Sagitta, and that an invincible power of men of warre was arrived at Japhet to helpe the king, they were greatly astonied, fearing that by this meanes, they should be consumed and subdued by the king by dint of sword, as other cities, to wit, Caesaria, Assur , Acres, Cayphas, and Tabaria were vanquished and subdued. And therefore laying their heads together, they promised to the king by secret mediatours, a mighty masse of money of a coyne called Byzantines: and that further they would yeerely pay a great tribute, upon condition that ceasing to besiege and invade their city, he would spare their lives. Whereupon these businesses were handled from day to day betweene the king and the citizens, and they sollicited the king for the ransomming both of their city and of their lives, proffering him from time to time more greater gifts. And the king for his part, being carefull and perplexed for the payment of the wages which he ought unto his souldiers, harkened wholy unto this offer of money. Howbeit because he feared the Christians, least they should lay it to his charge as a fault, he durst not as yet meddle with the same.

Chap. 5.

IN the meane space Hugh of Tabaria being sent for, accompanied with the troopes of two hundred horsemen and foure hundred footmen, invaded the countrey of the Grosse Carle called Suet, very rich in gold and silver most abundant in cattle frontering upon the countrie of the Damascenes, where hee tooke a pray of inestimable riches and cattle, which might have suffised him for the besiege of Sagitta, whereof he ment to impart liberally to the king, and his companie. This pray being gathered out of sundry places thereabout, and being led away as farre as the citie of Belinas, which they call Caesaria Philippi, the Turkes which dwelt at Damascus , together with the Saracens inhabitants of the countrie perceiving this, flocking on all partes together by troopes, pursued Hughes companie to rescue the pray, and passed foorth as farre as the mountaines, over which Hughes footemen did drive the pray. There beganne a great skirmish of both partes, the one side made resistance to keepe the pray, the other indevoured with all their might to recover it, untill at length the Turkes and Saracens prevailing, the pray was rescued and brought backe againe: which Hugh and his troopes of horsemen, suddenly understanding, which were on the side of the mountaines, incontinently rid backe upon the spurre, among the straight and craggie rockes, skirmishing with the enemies, and succouring their footemen, but as it chanced they fought unfortunately. For Hugh, being unarmed, and immediatly rushing into the middest of all dangers, and after his woonted manner invading and wounding the infidels, being behinde with an arrowe shot through the backe which pierced thorough his liver and brest, he gave up the ghost in the handes of his owne people. Hereupon the troopes of the Gentiles being returned with the recovered pray, and being devided through the secret and hard passages of the craggie hilles, the souldiers brought the dead bodie of Hugh, which they had put in a litter, into the citie of Nazareth , which is by the mount Thaber, where with great mourning and lamentation, so worthie a prince, and valiant champian was honourably and Catholikely interred. The brother of the said Hugh named Gerrard, the same time lay sicke of a grievous disease. Which hearing of the death of his brother, his sicknesse of his body increasing more vehemently through griefe, he also deceased within eight dayes after, and was buried by his brother, after Christian maner.

Chap. 6.

AFTER the lamentable burials of these so famous Princes, the King, taking occasion of the death of these principall men of his armie, agreed, making none privie thereto, to receive the money which was offered him for his differring off the siege of the citie of Sagitta, yet dissembling to make peace with the Saracens, but that he ment to go through with the worke, that he had begunne. Whereupon sending a message unto Japhet, hee advised the English souldiers to come downe to Acres with their fleete, and to conferre and consult with him touching the besieging and assaulting of the citie of Sagitta, which rising immediatly upon the kings commaundement, and foorthwith hoysing up the sayles of their shippes aloft with pendants and stremers of purple, and diverse other glorious colours, with their flagges of scarlet colour and silke, came thither, and casting their ancres, rode hard by the citie. The king the next day calling unto him such as were privie & acquainted with his dealings, opened his griefe unto the chiefe Captaines of the English men and Danes, touching the slaughter of Hugh, and the death of his brother, and what great confidence he reposed in them concerning these warres: and that nowe therefore they being departed and dead, he must of necessity differre the besieging of Sagitta, & for this time dismisse the armie assembled. This resolution of the king being spred among the people, the armie was dissolved, and the Englishmen, Danes and Flemings, with sailes and oares going aboard their fleete, saluted the king, and returned home unto their native countries.

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Joppa (Israel) (3)
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