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The woorthy voiage of Richard the first, K. of England into Asia, for the recoverie of Jerusalem out of the hands of the Saracens, drawen out of the booke of Acts and Monuments of the Church of England, written by M. John Foxe.

KING RICHARD the first of that name, for his great valure surnamed Ceur de Lion, the sonne of Henry the second, after the death of his father remembring the rebellions that he had undutifully raised against him, sought for absolution of his trespasse, and in part of satisfaction for the same, agreed with Philip the French king to take his voiage with him for the recoverie of Christes patrimonie, which they called the Holy land, whereupon the sayd king Richard immediately after his Coronation, to prepare himselfe the better towards his journey, used divers meanes to take up summes of money, and exacted a tenth of the whole Realme, the Christians to make threescore and ten thousand pounds, and the Jewes which then dwelt in the Realme threescore thousand.

Having thus gotten sufficient money for the exploite, he sent certaine Earles and Barons to Philip the French king in the time of his Parliament at S. Denis, to put him in mind of his promise made for the recoverie of Christs holy patrimonie out of the Saracens hands: To whom he sent word againe in the moneth of December, that he had bound himselfe by solemne othe, deposing upon the Evangelists, that he the yeere next following, about the time of Easter, had certainly prefixed to addresse himselfe toward that journey, requiring him likewise not to faile, but to bee ready at the terme above limited, appointing also the place where both the Kings should meete together.

In the yeere therfore 1190. King Richard having committed the government of this realme in his absence to the bishop of Ely then Chancellor of England, advanced forward his journey, and came to Turon to meet with Philip the French king, & after that went to Vizeliac, where the French king & he joyning together, for the more continuance of their journey, assured themselves by solemne othe, swearing fidelitie one to the other: the forme of whose oth was this.

That either of them should defend and maintaine the honour of the other, and beare true fidelitie unto him, of life, members & worldly honor, and that neither of them should faile one the other in their affaires: but the French King should aide the King of England in defending his land and dominions, as he would himselfe defend his owne Citie of Paris if it were besieged: and that Richard king of England likewise should aide the French king in defending his land and Dominions, no otherwise then he would defend his owne Citie of Roan if it were besieged, &c.

Concerning the lawes and ordinances appointed by K. Richard for his Navie, the forme therof was this.

  1. That who so killed any person on shipboord, should be tied with him that was slaine, and throwen into the sea.
  2. And if he killed him on the land, he should in like maner be tied with the partie slaine, and be buried with him in the earth.
  3. He that shalbe convicted by lawfull witnes to draw out his knife or weapon to the intent to strike any man, or that hath striken any to the drawing of blood, shall loose his hand.
  4. Also he that striketh any person with his hand without effusion of blood, shall be plunged three times in the sea.
  5. Item, who so speaketh any opprobrious or contumelious wordes in reviling or cursing one another, for so oftentimes as he hath reviled, shall pay so many ounces of silver.
  6. Item, a thiefe or felon that hath stollen being lawfully convicted, shal have his head shorne, and boyling pitch powred upon his head, and feathers or downe strawed upon the same, whereby he may be knowen, and so at the first landing place they shall come to, there to be cast up.

These things thus ordered, king Richard sending his Navie by the Spanish seas, and by the streights of Gibraltar , betweene Spaine and Africa , to meete him at Marsilia, hee himselfe went as is said to Vizeliac to the French king. Which two kings from thence went to Lions, where the bridge over the flood Rhodanus with preasse of people brake, and many both men and women were drowned: by occasion whereof the two kings for the combrance of their traines, were constrained to dissever themselves for time of their journey, appointing both to meet together in Sicily : and so Philip the French king tooke his way to Genua , and king Richard to Marsilia, where he remained 8. dayes, appointing there his Navie to meete him. From thence crossing over to Genua where the French king was, he passed forward by the coasts of Italy , and entred into Tiber not farre from Rome.

King Richard staying in Marsilia 8. dayes for his Navie which came not, he there hired 20. Gallies, and ten great barkes to ship over his men, and so came to Naples , and so partly by horse and wagon, and partly by the sea, passing to Falernum, came to Calabria , where after that he had heard that his ships were arrived at Messana in Sicilie, he made the more speed, and so the 23. of September entred Messana with such a noyse of Trumpets and Shalmes, with such a rout and shew, that it was to the great wonderment and terror both of the Frenchmen, and of all other that did heare and behold the sight.

To the said towne of Messana the French king was come before the 16. of the same moneth of September, and had taken up the pallace of Tancredus king of Sicily for his lodging: to whom king Richard after his arrivall eftsoones resorted, and when the two kings had communed together, immediately the French king tooke shipping and entred the seas, thinking to saile towards the land of Jerusalem: but after he was out of the haven, the winde rising contrary against him, returned him backe againe to Messana . Then king Richard (whose lodging was prepared in the suburbs without the Citie) after he had resorted againe and talked with the French king, and also had sent to Tancredus king of Sicily , for deliverance of Joane his sister (who had bin somtimes Queene of Sicily) and had obtained her to be sent unto him, the last day of September passed over the streight del Fare, and there getting a strong hold called de la Baguare, or le Bamare, and there placing his sister with a sufficient garrison, he returned againe to Messana .

The 2. of October king Richard wan another strong hold, called Monasterium Griffonum, situated in ye midst of the streight del Fare, betweene Messana & Calabria , from whence ye Monks being expulsed, he reposed there all his store and provision of victuals, which came from England or other places.

The Citizens of Messana seeing that the king of England had wonne the castle and Island de le Baguare, and also the Monasterie of the Griffons, and doubting least the king would extend his power further to invade their Citie, & get if he could the whole Isle of Sicilie, began to stirre against the Kings armie, and to shut the Englishmen out of the gates, and kept their walles against them. The Englishmen seeing that, made to the gates, and by force would have broken them open, insomuch that the King riding amongst them with his staffe, and breaking divers of their heads, could not asswage their fiercenesse, such was the rage of the Englishmen agaynst the citizens of Messana. The King seeing the furie of his people to be such that hee could not stay them, tooke boate, and went to the pallace of king Tancred, to talke of the matter with the French king, in which meane time the matter was so taken up by the wise handling of the ancients of the citie, that both parts laying downe their armour, went home in peace.

The fourth day of the sayd moneth of October, came to king Richard the Archbishop of Messana with two other Archbishops also with the French king, and sundry other Earles, Barons, and Bishops, to intreat of peace, who as they were together consulting, and had almost concluded upon the peace, the Citizens of Messana issuing out of the towne, some went up upon the mountains, some with open force invaded the mansion or lodging of Hugh Brune an English captaine. The noyse whereof comming to the eares of the King, hee suddenly breaking off talke with the French king and the rest, departed from them, and comming to his men, commanded them forthwith to arme themselves. Who then with certaine of his souldiours making up to the top of the mountaine (which seemed to passe their power to climbe) there put the Citizens to flight, chasing them downe the mountaines, unto the very gates of the citie, whom also certaine of the kings servants pursued into the citie, of whom five valiant souldiers & twentie of the kings servants were slaine, the French King looking upon, and not once willing to rescue them, contrary to his othe, and league before made with the king of England: for the French king with his men being there present, rode in the midst of them safely, and without any harme too and fro, and might well have eased the Kings partie, more then he, if it had so liked him.

This being knowen to the English hoste how their fellowes were slaine, and the Frenchmen permitted in the citie, and that they were excluded and the gates barred against them, being also stopped from buying of victuall, & other things, they upon great indignation gathered themselves in armes, brast open the gates, and scaled the wals, and so winning the citie, set up their flags with the English armes upon the wals: which when the French King did see, he was mightily offended, requiring the King of England that the Armes of France might also be set up, & joyned with his: but King Richard to that would in no case agree, notwithstanding to satisfie his minde, he was contented to take downe his Armes, and to commit the custodie of the citie to the Hospitalaries and Templaries of Jerusalem, till the time that Tancred king of Sicily and he should agree together upon conditions.

These things being done the fift and sixt day of October, it followed then upon the eight day of the same, that peace was concluded among the kings. In which peace, first king Richard, & Philip the French king renewed againe their oth and league before made, concerning their mutual aide and societie, during the time of that peregrination.

Secondly, peace also was concluded betweene king Richard and Tancred king of Sicily aforesaide, with conditions, that the daughter of Tancrede in case king Richard should die without issue, should be married to Arthur Duke of Britaine the kings Nephew and next heire to his crowne, whereof a formall charte was drawen, and letters sent thereof to Pope Clement being dated the ninth of November.

From this time untill Februarie the next yeere these two kings kept still at Messana , either for lacke of winde and weather, or for the repairing of their shippes. And in the aforesayde Februarie, in the yeere 1191. King Richard sent over his gallies to Naples , there to meete his mother Elinore, and Berengaria the daughter of Zanctius king of Navarre, whom he was purposed to marry, who by that time were come to Brundusium , under the conduct of Philip Earle of Flanders, and so proceeding unto Naples , they found the kings shippes wherein they sayled to Messana .

In this meane space, king Richard shewed himselfe exceeding bounteous and liberall to all men: to the French king first he gave divers shippes, upon others likewise he bestowed riche rewardes, and of his treasure and goods he destributed largely to his souldiers and servants about him, of whom it was reported, that he distributed more in one moneth, then any of his predecessors did in a whole yeere: by reason whereof he purchased great love and favour, which not onely redounded to the advancement of his fame, but also to his singular use and profite, as the sequele afterward prooved.

The first day of March following, he left the citie of Messana , where the French King was, and went to Cathneia, a citie where Tancredus king of Sicily then lay, where he was honorably received, and there remained with king Tancredus three dayes and three nights. On the fourth day when he should depart, the aforesaid Tancredus offred him many rich presents in gold and silver, and precious silkes, whereof king Richard would receive nothing, but one little ring for a token of his good will: for the which king Richard gave againe unto him a riche sworde. At length when king Richard should take his leave, king Tancred would not let him so depart, but needes would give him 4. great shippes, and 15. gallies, and furthermore hee himselfe would needes accompanie him the space of two dayes journey, to a place called Tavernium.

Then the next morning when they should take their leave, Tancredus declared unto him the message, which the French King a little before had sent unto him by the Duke of Burgundie, the contents whereof were these: That the King of England was a false Traytour, & would never keepe the peace that was betweene them: and if the sayd Tancredus would warre against him, or secretly by night would invade him, he with all his power would assist him, to the destruction of him and all his armie. To whom Richard the King protested againe, that he was no traytour, nor never had bene : and as touching the peace begun betwixt them, the same should never be broken through him: neither could he beleeve that the French King being his good lord, and his sworne Compartner in that voyage, would utter any such wordes by him. Which when Tancredus heard, he bringeth foorth the letters of the French king, sent to him by the Duke of Burgundie, affirming moreover, that if the Duke of Burgundie would denie the bringing of the said letters, he was readie to trie it with him by any of his Dukes. King Richard receiving the letters, and musing not a little upon the same, returneth againe to Messana . The same day that King Richard departed, the French king came to Tavernium to speake with Tancred, and there abode with him that night, and on the morowe returned to Messana againe.

From that time King Richard mooved in stomacke against King Philip, never shewed any gentle countenance of peace & amitie, as he before was woont: whereat the French king greatly marveiling, and enquiring earnestly what should be the cause thereof, word was sent him againe by Philip earle of Flanders from king Richard, what words he had sent to the king of Sicily , and for testimony thereof the letters were shewed, which he wrote by the duke of Burgundie to the king of Sicily : which when the French king understood, first he held his peace as guilty in his conscience, not knowing well what to answere. At length turning his tale to another matter, he began to quarrell with king Richard, pretending as though he sought causes to breake with him, and to maligne him: and therfore he forged (sayd he) these lies upon him, and all because he by that meanes would avoid to marry with Alise his sister, according as he had promised. Adding moreover that if he would so do, and would not marry the said Alise his sister according to his oth, he would be an enemy to him, and to his, while he lived.

To this king Richard sayd againe, that he could by no meanes marry that woman, forsomuch as his father had carnall copulation with her, and also had by her a sonne: for proofe whereof he had there presently to bring forth divers & sundry witnesses to the kings face, to testifie with him.

In conclusion, through counsell and perswasion of divers about the French king, agreement at last was made, so that king Philip did acquite king Richard from this bond of marrying his sister, and king Richard againe should be bound to pay to him every yeere for the space of five yeeres, two thousand markes, with certaine other conditions besides, not greatly materiall for this place. And thus peace being betweene them concluded the 28 day of the sayd moneth of March, the French king lanching out of the haven of Messana , the 22 day after in the Easter weeke, came with his armie to the siege of Achon.

After the departure of the French king from Messana , king Richard with his armie yet remaining behinde, arrived Queene Alinor the kings mother, bringing with her Berengaria the king of Navars daughter, to be espoused to king Richard: which being done, king Richard in April following, about the 20 day of the sayd moneth, departed from the haven of Messana with 150 great ships, and 53 great gallies well manned and appointed, and tooke his journey toward Achon: who being upon the Seas on Good friday about the ninth houre, rose a mighty South winde with a tempest, which dissevered and scattered all his Navie, some to one place, and some to another. The king with a few ships was driven to the Ile of Creta, and there before the haven of Rhodes cast anker. The ships that caried the kings sister, queene of Sicily, and Berengaria the king of Navars daughter, with two ships were driven to the Ile of Cyprus.

The king making great mone for the ships of his sister, and Berengaria his wife that should be, not knowing where they were become, after the tempest was overblowen, sent forth his gallies diligently to seeke the rest of his Navie dispersed, but especially the shippe wherein his sister was, and the maiden whom he should marry, who at length were found safe and merry at the port of Lymszem in the Ile of Cyprus, notwithstanding the two other ships, which were in their company before in the same haven, were drowned with divers of the kings servants and men of worship, among whom was M. Roger, called Malus Catulus, the kings Vicechancellour, who was found with the kings seale hanging about his necke.

The king of Cyprus was then Isakius (called also the Emperour of the Gryffons) who tooke and imprisoned all English men, which by shipwracke were cast upon his land, also invegled into his hands the goods and prises of them which were found drowned about his coastes, neither would suffer the ships wherein the two ladies were to enter within the port.

The tidings of this being brought to king Richard, he in great wrath gathering his gallies and ships together, boordeth the land of Cyprus , where he first in gentle wise signifieth to king Isakius, how he with his English men, comming as strangers to the supportation of the holy land, were by distresse of weather driven upon his bounds, and therefore with all humble petition besought him in Gods behalfe, and for reverence of the holy crosse, to let go such prisoners of his as he had in captivitie, and to restore againe the goods of them that were drowned, which he deteined in his hands, to be employed for the behoofe of their soules. And this the king once, twise, and thrise desired of the Emperour: but he proudly answering againe, sent the king word, that he neither would let the captives go, nor render the goods of them which were drowned.

When king Richard heard this, how light the Emperour Isakius made of his so humble and honest petition, & how that nothing could be gotten without violent force, eftsoones giveth commandement thorowout all his hoste to put themselves in armour and follow him, to revenge the injuries received of that proud and cruell king of Cyprus , willing them to put their trust in God, and not to misdoubt but that the Lord would stand with them, and give them the victory. The Emperour in the meane time with his people stood warding the Sea coasts, where the English men should arrive, with swords, billes, and lances, and such other weapons as they had, setting boordes, stooles, and chestes before them as a wall: few of them were harnessed, and for the most part all unexpert and unskilfull in the feates of warre.

Then king Richard with his souldiers issuing out of their ships, first set his bowemen before, who with their shot made a way for others to followe. The Englishmen thus winning the land upon them, so fiercely pressed upon the Gryffons, that after long fighting and many blowes, at last the Emperour was put to flight, whom king Richard valiantly pursued, and slue many, and divers he tooke alive, and had gone neere also to take the Emperour, had not the night come on and parted the battell. And thus king Richard with much spoyle, and great victory, returning to the port Towne of Lymszem, which the Townesmen had left for feare, found there great abundance of come, wine, oyle and victuals.

The day after the victory gotten, Joanna the Kings sister, and Berengaria the mayden, entred the Porte and Towne of Lymszem, with 50. great ships, and 14. galliots: so that all the whole Navie there meeting together, were 254. tall shippes, and above threescore galliots. Then Isakius the Emperour, seeing no way for him to escape by Sea, the same night pitched his tentes five miles off from the English army, swearing that the third day after, he would surely give battell to king Richard: but he preventing him before, suddenly the same morning before the day of battell should be, setteth upon the tentes of the Gryffons early in the morning, they being unawares and a sleepe, and made of them a great slaughter, insomuch that the Emperour was faine to runne away naked, leaving his tents and pavilions to the Englishmen, full of horses and rich treasure, also with the Imperial standerd, the lower part whereof with a costly streamer was covered, and wrought all with golde.

King Richard returning with victorie and triumph to his sister and Berengaria, shortly after in the moneth of May next following, and the 12. day of the said moneth, married the said Berengaria daughter of Zanctius, king of Navarre , in the yle of Cyprus at Lymszem.

The king of Cyprus seeing himselfe overmatched, was driven at length to yeelde himselfe with conditions to give king Richard 20000. markes in golde for amends of such spoyles as he had gotten of them that were drowned, also to restore all the captives againe to the king: and furthermore, he in his owne person to attend upon the king to the lande of Jerusalem, in Gods service and his, with 400. horsemen, and 500. footemen: in pledge whereof he would give to his hands his castles, and his onely daughter, and would hold his kingdome of him.

This done, and the Emperour swearing fidelitie to king Richard before Guido king of Jerusalem, and the prince of Antioche (who were come thither to king Richard a little before) peace was taken, and Isakius committed to the warde of certaine keepers. Notwithstanding shortly after he breaking from his keepers, was againe at defiance with the King: whereupon king Richard besetting the Iland of Cyprus round about with shippes and gallies, did in such sort prevaile, that the subjects of the land were constrained to yeelde themselves to the King, and at last the daughter of the Emperour, and the Emperour himselfe, whom king Richard caused to be kept in fetters of gold and silver, and to be sent to the citie of Tripolis.

These things thus done, and all set in order touching the possession of the Ile of Cyprus, the keeping whereof he committed to Radulphe soone of Godfrey Lord Chamberlaine, being then the first day of June upon the fift of the saide moneth, king Richard departed from the Ile of Cyprus, with his shippes and gallies toward the siege of Achon, and on the next morrowe came to Tyrus , where by procurement of the French king he was restrained by the Citizens to enter. The next day after, which was the first day of June, crossing the seas, he met with a great carak fraught with souldiers and men of warre to the number of a thousand and five hundred, which pretending to be Frenchmen, and setting foorth their flagge with the French armes, were indeede Saracens, secretly sent with wilde fire and certaine barrels of unknowen serpents to the defence of the towne of Achon, which king Richard at length perceiving, eftsoones set upon them and so vanquished them, of whom the most were drowned and some taken alive: which being once knowen in the citie of Achon, as it was a great discomfort to them, so it was a great helpe to the Christians for winning the citie.

The next day after which was the seventh of June, king Richard came to Achon, which at that time had bene long besieged by the Christians. After whose comming it was not long, but the Pagans within the citie, seeing their wals to be undermined and towers overthrowen, were driven by composition to escape with life and limme, to surrender the citie to the two kings.

Another great helpe to the Christians in winning the citie, was this. In the said city of Achon there was a secret Christian among the Saracens, who in time of the siege thereof used at sundry times to cast over the wals into the campe of the Christians, certaine bils written in Hebrue, Greeke, and Latine, wherein he disclosed to the Christians from time to time, the doings and counsels of the enemies, advertising them how and what way they should worke, and what to beware, and alwayes his letters began thus. In nomine Patris, & Filii, & Spiritus sancti Amen. By reason whereof the Christians were much advantaged in their proceedings: but this was a great heavines unto them, that neither he would utter his name, nor when the citie was got did they ever understand who he was.

To make of a long siege a short narration. Upon the twelfth day of July the yeere aforesaid, the Princes and Captaines of the Pagans, upon agreement resorted to the tent of the Templaries to commune with the two kings touching peace, and giving up of their citie: the forme of which peace was thus.

  1. That the Kings should have the citie of Achon freely and fully delivered unto them, with all which was therein.
  2. That 500. captives of the Christians should be restored to them, which were in Achon.
  3. That the holy crosse should be to them rendred, and a thousand Christian captives with two hundreth horsemen, whosoever they themselves would chose out of all them which were in the power of the Saladine.
  4. That they would give unto the Kings two hundreth thousand Bysants, so that they themselves should remaine as pledges in the Kings hands, for the performance hereof, that if in fortie daies, the aforesayd covenants were not accomplished, they should abide the Kings mercie touching life and limme.

These covenants being agreed upon, the Kings sent their souldiers and servants into the citie, to take a hundreth of the richest & best of the city, to close them up in towers under strong keeping, & the residue they committed to be kept in houses and in streetes, ministring unto them according to their necessities: to whom notwithstanding this they premitted, that so many of them as would be baptized and receive the faith of Christ, should be free to goe whither they would: wherupon many there were of the Pagans, which for feare of death pretended to be baptized, but afterward so soone as they could, revolted againe to the Saladine: for the which it was afterward commanded by the Kings, that none of them should be baptized against their wils.

The thirteenth day of the said moneth of July, King Philip of France, and king Richard, after they had obteined the possession of Achon, devided betweene them all things therein conteined as well the people as golde and silver, with all other furniture whatsoever was remaining in the citie: who in deviding the spoyle, were so good carvers to themselves that the Knights and Barons had but litle to their share, whereupon they began to shew themselves somewhat discontented, which being knowen of the kings, they sent them answere that their wils should be satisfied.

The twentieth day of July, king Richard speaking with the French King, desired him that they two with their armies, would binde themselves by othe to remaine there stil in the land of Jerusalem the space of 3. veeres, for the winning and recovering againe of those countreys: but he sayd he would sweare no such othe, and so the next day after king Richard with his wife and sister entred into the citie of Achon, and there placed himselfe in the kings pallace: The French king remayning in the houses of the Templaries, where he continued till the end of that moneth.

About the beginning of the moneth of August, Philip the French king after that he and King Richard had made agreement betweene Guido & Conradus the Marques, about the kingdome of Jerusalem, went from Achon to Tyrus , notwithstanding king Richard & all the Princes of the Christian armie with great intreatie desired him to tary, shewing what a shame it were for him to come so farre, and now to leave undone that for which he came, and on the 3. day of August departed from Tyrus , leaving the halfe part of the Citie of Achon, in the hands of the aforesayd Conradus Marques.

After his departure the Pagans refused to keepe their covenants made, who neither would restore the holy Crosse nor the money, nor their captives, sending word to king Richard, that if he beheaded the pledges left with him at Achon, they would choppe off the heads of such captives of the Christians, as were in their hands.

Shortly after this the Saladine sending great gifts to king Richard, requested the time limited for beheading of the captives to be proroged, but the king refused to take his gifts, and to graunt his request, whereupon the Saladine caused all the Christian captives within his possession forthwith to be beheaded, which was the 28. of August: which albeit king Richard understood, yet would not he prevent the time before limitted for the execution of his prisoners, being the 20. day of August: upon which day he caused the prisoners of the Saracens openly in the sight of the Saladines armie to loose their heads: the number of whom came to two thousand and five hundreth, save onely that certaine of the principal of them he reserved for purposes and considerations, especially to make exchange for the holy Crosse, and certaine other of the Christian captives.

After this king Richard purposed to besiege the Citie of Joppe, where by the way betwene Achon and Joppe, neere to a towne called Assur , Saladine with a great multitude of his Saracens came fiercely against the kings rereward, but through Gods mercifull grace in the same battell, the kings warriers acquited themselves so well, that the Saladine was put to flight, whom the Christians pursued the space of 3. miles, & he lost that same day many of his Nobles & Captaines, in such sort (as it was thought) that the Saladine was not put to such confusion 40. yeres before, and but one Christian Captaine called James Avernus in that conflict was overthrowen.

From thence king Richard proceeding further went to Joppe, and then to Ascalon , where he found first the citie of Joppe forsaken of the Saracens, who durst not abide the kings comming: Ascalon the Saladine threw downe to the ground, & likewise forsooke the whole land of Syria , through all which land the king had free passage without resistance: neither durst the Saracene Prince encounter after that with K. Richard. Of all which his atchevances the sayd K. Richard sent his letters of certificate as well into England, as also to the Abbot of Clara valle in France, well hoping yt he God willing should be able to make his repaire againe to them by Easter next.

Many other famous acts were done in this voyage by these two Kings, and moe should have bene, had not they falling into discorde dissevered themselves, by reason whereof Philip the French king returned home againe within short space: who being returned againe eftsoones invaded the countrey of Normandy , exciting also John the brother of king Richard, to take on him the kingdome of Englande in his brothers absence: who then made league upon the same with the French king, and did homage unto him, which was about the fourth yeere of king Richard. Who then being in Syria , and hearing thereof, made peace with the Turkes for three yeeres and not long after, king Richard the next spring following returned also, who in his returne driven by distresse of weather about the parts of Histria , in a towne called Synaca, was there taken by Lympold, Duke of the same countrey, and so solde to the Emperour for sixtie thousand Markes: who for no small joy thereof, writeth to Philip the French king, these letters here following. The letter of the Emperour to Philip the French king, concerning the taking of King Richard. “HENRICUS Dei gratia Romanorum Imperator, & semper Augustus, Dilecto & speciali amico suo, Philippo illustri Francorum Regi salutem, & sincerae dilectionis affectum. Quoniam Imperatoria Celsitudo non dubitat Regalem Magnificentiam tuam laetiorem effici, de universis quibus omnipotentia creatoris nostri nos ipsos, & Romanum Imperium honoraverit & exaltaverit, nobilitati tuae tenore praesentium declarare duximus, quod inimicus Imperii nostri, & turbator Regni tui Rex Angliae, quum esset in transeundo mare ad partes suas reversurus, accidit ut ventus rupta navi sua, in qua ipse erat, induceret eum in partes Histriae ad locum qui est inter Aquileiam, & Venetias. Ubi Rex, Dei permissione passus naufragium cum paucis evasit.

Quidam itaque fidelis noster Comes, Maynardus de Grooxce, & populus regionis illius, audito quod in terra erat, & considerato diligentius, qualem nominatus Rex in terra promissionis proditionem & traditionem, & perditionis suae cumulum exercuerat, insecuti sunt, intendentes eum captivare. Ipso autem Rege in fugam converso, ceperunt de suis octo milites : Postmodum processit Rex ad Burgum in Archiepiscopatu Salseburgensi, qui vocatur Frisorum, ubi Fridericus de Betesow, Rege cum tribus tantum versus Austriam properante, noctu sex milites de suis coepit: Dilectus autem Consanguineus noster Lympoldus Dux Austriae, observata strata saepe, dictum Regem juxta Denam in villa viciniori in domo despecta captivavit.

Cum itaque in nostra nunc habeatur Potestate, & ipse semper tua molestavit, & turbationis operam praestiterit, ea quae praemisimus, nobilitati tuae insinuare curavimus : scientes ea dilectioni tuae bene placita existere, animo tuo uberrimam importare laetitiam. Datum apud Ritheountum 5. Kalendas Janua.

King Richard being thus traiterously taken, and solde to the Emperour by the Duke of Austridge for 60000. markes, was there kept in custodie a yeere and 3. moneths.

In some stories it is affirmed, that King Richard returning out of Asia, came to Italy with prosperous winde, where he desired of the Pope to be absolved of an othe made against his will and could not obteine it: and so setting out from thence towards England, passing by the Countrey of Conradus the Marques, whose death (he being slaine a litle before) was falsly imputed by the French king to the king of England, there traiterously was taken (as is aforesayde) by Limpoldus duke of Austridge.

Albeit in another storie I finde the matter more credibly set forth: which saith thus. That king Richard slewe the brother of this Limpoldus, playing with him at Chesse in the French Kings Court: and Limpoldus taking his vantage, was more cruel against him and delivered him (as is sayde) to the Emperour. In whose custodie he was deteined during the time above mentioned, a yeere & 3 moneths. During which time of the kings endurance, the French king in the meane season stirred warre in Normandie : and Earle John the Kings brother, made stirre and invaded England, but the Barons and Bishops of the land mightily withstood him.

At length it was so agreed and concluded with the Emperour, that king Richard should be released for a hundreth and foure thousand pound: of which money part should remaine to the Duke of Austridge, the rest should be the Emperours. The summe of which money was here gathered and made in England of chalices, crosses, shrines, candlestickes and other Church plate, also with publike contribution of Friers, Abbots, and other subjects of the Realme: whereof part was presently paid, and for the residue remaining, hostages and pledges were taken, which was about the fift yeere of his reigne: and then it was obteined of the Pope, that Priestes might celebrate with Chalices of latten and tinne.

At what time this aforesaide money was payde, and the hostages given for the ransome of the King, I have an olde historic which saith, that the aforesaid Duke of Austridge was shortly after plagued by God, with 5. sundry plagues.

First, with the burning of his chiefe Townes.

2. With drowning of tenne thousand of his men in a flood happening no man can tell how.

3. By turning all the eares of his corne fieldes into wormes.

4. By taking away almost all the Nobles of his land by death.

5. By breaking his owne leg falling from his horse, which leg he was compelled to cut off with his owne hands, and afterwards died of the same: who then at his death is reported to forgive K. Richard 50000. marks, and sent home the hostages that were with him. And further a certaine booke intituled Eulogium declareth, that the sayd Limpoldus duke of Austrich fell in displeasure with the bishop of Rome, and died excommunicate the next yeere after, Anno 1196.

But thus, as you have heard, Richard the King was ransomed & delivered from the covetous captivitie of the Emperor, and returning home made an ende of his voyage for Asia, which was both honourable to himselfe and to all Christian states, but to the Saracens the enemies of Christianitie, terrible and dishonourable.

This historie of King Richards voiage to Jerusalem is very excellently and largely written in Latine by Guilielmus Neobrigensis, and Roger Hoveden.

Epitaphium Richardi primi regis Anglorum apud fontem Ebraldi.

SCRIBITUR hoc auro, rex auree, laus tua tota
aurea, materiae conveniente nota.
Laus tua prima fuit Siculi, Cyprus altera, Dromo
tertia, Caruanna quarta, suprema Jope.
Retrusi Siculi, Cyprus pessundata, Dromo
mersus, Caruanna capta, retenta Jope.

Epitaphium ejusdem ubi viscera ejus requiescunt.

VISCERA KAREOLUM, corpus fons servat Ebraldi,
& cor Rothomagus, magne Richarde, tuum.

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