Chronicles of the Kings of England
Henry II and Richard I Compared
Topic Henry II Richard I

KING Stephen being dead, Henry Duke of Anjou , by his Father Geoffrey Plantagenet, succeeded him in the Kingdom of England by agreement; whom he preceded by right, as being Son and Heir of Maude, sole Daughter and Heir of King Henry the first; and was Crowned at Westminster Westminster Abbey , by Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury, on the seventeenth of December, in the year 1155. and was now a greater Prince than any of his Ancestors had been before : and indeed, the Kingdom of England, the Dukedom of Normandy, and the Dukedom of Anjou in his own right; and in the right of his Wife Queen Eleanor, the Duchy of Guyen Gascony , and the Earldom of Poitou being all united in his person, made him a Dominion of a larger extent then any Christian King had at that time. ​

He was born at Le Mans in Normandy , in the year 1132. a great joy to his Father Geoffrey Duke of Anjou; a greater to his Mother Maude the Empress ; but so great to his Grandfather King Henry the first, that it seemed to make amends for his Son William, whom unfortunately he had lost before by shipwreck . The years of his childhood were spent at home under the care of his Parents: at nine years old or thereabouts, he was brought by his Uncle Robert Earl of Gloucester into England, and placed at Bristol , where under the tuition of one Matthew his Schoolmaster, to instruct him in learning, he remained four years , after which time he was sent into Scotland , to his great Uncle David King of Scots, with whom he remained about two years, initiated by him in the principles of State, but chiefly of his own estate: and being now about fifteen years of age, was by him Knighted, and though scarce yet ripe for Arms, yet as a fruit gathered before its time, was mellowed under the Discipline of his Uncle Robert, one of the best soldiers of that time. And now the Duke his Father not able any longer to endure his absence, sent with great instance to have him sent over to him; for satisfying of whose longing, Earl Robert provided him of passage, and conducted him himself to the Sea side, where he took his last farewell of him. Being come into Anjou, his Father, perhaps overjoyed with his presence , not long after died, leaving him in present possession of that Dukedom, being now about nineteen years of age: when shortly after he married Eleanor, the late Wife of Louis King of France, but now divorced . A year or two after, he came again into England, where after some velitations with King Stephen, they were at last reconciled, and his succession to the Crown of England, ratified by Act of Parliament. Not long after he went again into France, and presently fell to besiege a Castle which was detained from him by the French King: in the time of which siege, news was brought him of King Stephen's death; which one would have thought should have made him hasten his journey into England; yet he resolved not to stir till he had won the Castle: which resolution of his being known to the Defendants, they surrendered the Castle; but yet no sooner, but that it was six weeks after before he came into England, when he was now about the age of three and twenty years.


Of his coming to the Crown, and of his Coronation.

KING Richard, the first of that name, after his Father's Funeral, went to Rouen , where he settled the state of that Province; and from thence came into England, where he was Crowned King at Westminster Abbey , by the hands of Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, the third day of September, in the year 1189 . And herein this Prince is more beholding to Writers then any of his Predecessors : for in speaking of their Crowning, they content themselves with telling where, and by whom they were Crowned: but of this Prince, they deliver the manner of his Crowning, in the full amplitude of all circumstances; which perhaps is not unfit to do, for satisfaction of such as are never like to see a Coronation; and it was in this manner. First, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rouen , Trier, and Dublin, with all the other Bishops, Abbots, and Clergy , appareled in rich Copes, and having the Cross, holy Water, and Censers carried before them; came to fetch him at the door of his Privy Chamber ; and there receiving him, they led him to the Westminster Abbey , till they came before the high Altar, with a solemn Procession. In the middle of the Bishops and Clergy, went four Barons, bearing Candlesticks with Tapers; after whom came Geoffry Godfrey de Luci , bearing the Cap of Maintenance, and John Marshall next to him, bearing a massive pair of Spurs of Gold; then followed William Marshal Earl of Striguil Chepstow , alias Pembroke , who bare the Royal Scepter, in the top whereof was set a Cross of Gold; and William de Patricke Earl of Salisbury going next him, bare the Warder or Rod, having on the top thereof a Dove. Then came three other Earls, David, Brother to the King of Scots, the Earl of Huntingdon , John the King’s Brother, Earl of Mortaigne Cornwall , and Robert Earl of Leicester, each of them bearing a Sword upright in his hand, with the scabbards richly adorned with Gold. The Earl of Mortaigne Cornwall went in the midst between the other two; after them followed six Earls and Barons, bearing a Checker Table, upon the which were set the King's Scutcheons of Arms; and then followed William Mandeville Earl of Albemarle Essex , bearing a Crown of Gold a great height before the King, who followed having the Bishop of Durham on the right hand, and Reynold Reginald Bishop of Bath on the left; over whom a Canopy was born: and in this order he came into the Westminster Abbey , where before the high Altar, in the presence of the Clergy and the people, laying his hand upon the holy Evangelists, and the relics of certain Saints , he took a solemn Oath that he should observe peace, honour and reverence to Almighty God, to his Church, and to his Ministers, all the days of his life; also that he should exercise upright Justice to the people committed to his charge, and that he should abrogate and disannul all evil Laws and wrongful Customs , if any were to be found in the precinct of his Realm; and maintain those that were good and laudable . This done, he put off all his garments from his middle upwards, but only his shirt, which was open on the shoulders, that he might be anointed. Then the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed him in three places; on the head, on the shoulder, and on the right arm; with Prayers in such case accustomed. After this, he covered his head with a linen cloth hallowed, and set his Cap thereon; and then after he had put on his Royal Garment, and his uppermost Robe, the Archbishop delivered him the Sword, with which he should beat down the enemies of the Church: which done, two Earls put his shoes upon his feet, and having his Mantle put on him, the Archbishop forbad him on the behalf of Almighty God, to presume to take upon him this Dignity, except he faithfully meant to perform those things which he had there sworn to perform; whereunto the King made answer, that by God's grace he would perform them. Then the King took the Crown beside the Altar, and delivered it to the Archbishop, which he set upon the King’s head, delivering to him the Scepter to hold in his right hand, and the Rod Royal in his left hand: and thus being Crowned, he was brought back by the Bishops and Barons, with the Cross and Candlesticks, and three Swords, passing forth before him unto his Seat: When the Bishop that sang the Mass, came to the Offertory, the two Bishops that brought him to the Church, led him to the Altar, and brought him back again. The Mass ended, he was brought with solemn Procession into his Chamber: and this was the manner of this King’s Coronation. But at this solemnity there fell out a very disastrous accident: For this Prince not favouring the Jews, as his Father had done, had given a strict charge, that no Jew should be admitted to be a spectator of the solemnity: yet certain Jews, as though it had been the Crowning of their King Herod, would needs be pressing in; and being put back by Officers set of purpose, it grew to be a brabble, and from words to blows, so as many Jews were hurt, and some slain: and thereupon a rumour was suddenly spread abroad, that the King had commanded to have all the Jews destroyed. Whereupon it is incredible what rifling there was of Jews houses, and what cutting of their throats : and though the King signified by public Declaration, that he was highly displeased with that which was done, yet there was no staying the fury of the multitude till the next day; so often it falls out, that great solemnities are waited on with great disasters ; or rather indeed, as being connatural, they can hardly be asunder. ​

Early Reign

His first Acts after he came to the Crown.

He began his reign as Solomon would have begun it, if he had been in his place: for, first he made choice of wise and discreet men to be his Counsellors : then he banished out of the Realm all strangers, and especially Flemmings, with whom the Kingdom swarmed; as of whom King Stephen had made use in his wars, amongst whom was William of Ypres, lately before made Earl of Kent. Castles which by King Stephen's allowance had been built, he caused to be demolished , (of which there were said to be eleven hundred and fifteen) as being rather Nurseries of rebellion to the Subject, then of any safety to the Prince. He appointed the most able men of that profession, to reform abuses of the Laws , which disorder of the wars had brought in: He banished many Lords, who against their Oath had assisted King King Stephen against him; as thinking that men once perjured, would never be faithful: and to the end he might be the lesse pressing upon the people with Taxations, he resumed all such Lands belonging to the Crown , which had any way been aliened or usurped; as thinking it better to displease a few then many: and many other things he did, which in a disjointed State were no less profitable and expedient, then requisite and necessary.

Of his first Acts after he was Crowned.

HE began with his Mother Queen Eleanor, whom upon her Husband's displeasure, having been kept in Prison sixteen years ; he not only set at liberty, but set in as great authority, as if she had been left the Regent of the kingdom . The next he gratifies was his Brother John; to whom he made appear, how much the bounty of a Brother was better then the hardness of a Father . For he conferred upon him, in England, the Earldoms of Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset, Nottingham, Derby , and Leicester ; and by the marriage of Isabel, daughter and heir to the Earl of Gloucester , he had that Earldom also; as likewise the Castles of Marlborough , and Ludgershall , the Honours of Wallingford, Tickhill , and Eye, to the value of 4000. Marks a year: an estate so great, as were able to put a very moderate mind into the humour of aspiring, of which Princes should have care. Concerning his affianced Lady Adela, it may be thought strange, that having desired her so infinitely when he could not have her, now that he might have her, he cared not for her: but the cause was known, and in every mans mouth; that she was now but his Father's leavings : yet he would not send her home but very rich in Jewels, to make amends, if it might be, for the loss of her Virginity: though this was somewhat hard on his part, when the Father had taken all the pleasure, that the Son should afterward pay all the charges. But by this at least he made a quiet way for his marriage now concluded, and shortly after to be consummated in Sicily with Berengaria the Daughter of Garsyas Sancho King of Navarre . And now his mind is wholly set upon his long intended voyage to the Holy Land , for which he thinks not the treasure left by his Father to be sufficient, which yet amounted to nine hundred thousand pounds: but forecasting with himself the great charge it must needs be, to carry an Army so long a journey, he seeks to enlarge his provision of money by all the means he can devise . Not long before, Hugh Pudsey Puiset had been advanced to the Bishopric of Durham; and now for a great sum of money he sold him the Earldom: and then said merrily amongst his Lords , Do ye not think me a cunning man, that of an old Bishop can make a young Earl? From the Londoners he drained also great sums of money, and made them recompense in Franchises and Liberties, which they had not before. He made also great sales: to the the King of Scots, he sold the Castles of Berwick and Roxburgh , for ten thousand pounds : to Godfrey Luci , Bishop of Winchester, the Manors of Wargrave and Le Mans : to the Abbot of St. Edmundsbury Bury St. Edmunds , the Manor of Mildenhall , for one thousand Marks of silver: to the Bishop of Durham, the Manor of Sadborow ; and when it was marveled that he would part with such things, he answered, that in this case he would sell his City of London, if he could find a Chapman. But the worst way of all was, that pretending to have lost his Signet, he made a new one, and made Proclamation, that whosoever would safely enjoy what under the former Signet was granted, should come to have it confirmed by the new; whereby he raised great sums of money to himself, but greater of discontentment in his Subjects. By these, and such like means, he quickly furnished himself with money: and now it remained only to consider, to whose care he should commit the government of the Kingdom in his absence; and after deliberation, he made choice for the North parts, of Hugh Bishop of Durham; joining in Commission with him, Hugh Biddulph , and William Brunell: and for the South parts, he appoints William Longchamp Bishop of Ely, and Chancellor of England, and for his greater strength , caused the Pope to make a Legat of all England and Scotland: and for Normandy, and Aquitaine , Robert Earl of Leicester ; all men eminent for prudence and uprightness, and which is most of all, for loyalty: and indeed to make a man fit for such employment , all these virtues must concur . As for his Brother John, he knew very well his aspiring mind, and therefore would have tied him to live in Normandy, and not to come into England till his return; but that their Mother Queen Eleanor interceded, and passed her word for him: and that nothing might be left unprovided for, he appointed his Nephew Arthur, the Son of his Brother Geoffrey Duke of Britanny to be his Successor, if himself should fail . And now, Undique convenere, vocat jam carbasus auras: every man is ready to take Shipping, and no stay now but for a Wind; only some say that King Richard before his departing, calling his Lords and Knights unto him, and swearing them to be true; gave to every of them a blew Ribbon to be known by; from whence the first occasion of the Order of the Garter is thought to begin . ​ ​ ​

Troubles during the Reign

His Troubles during his Reign.

He had no Competitors, nor Pretenders with him for the Crown; and therefore his troubles at first were not in Capite, struck not at the root, as King Stephen's did: but were only some certain siblings at inferior parts; till at last he brought them himself into his own bowels: For what was the trouble in his first year with the Welsh; but as an exercise rather to keep him in motion, then that it needed to disquiet his rest? for though they were mutinous for a time, while they looked upon their own Bucklers; their Woods and Mountainous passages: yet as soon as King Henry did but show his sword amongst them, they were soon reduced to obedience for the present , and to a greater awfulness for the future. It is true, Henry Earl of Essex that bore the King’s Standard, was so assaulted by the Welsh, that he let the Standard fall to the ground , which encouraged the Welsh, and put the English in some fear, as supposing the King had been slain; but this was soon frustrated to the Welsh, and punished afterward in the Earl, by condemning him to be shorn a Monk, and put into the Abbey of Reading, and had his lands seised into the King’s hands.And what was his trouble with Malcolm King of Scots, but a work of his own beginning? for if he would have suffered him to enjoy that which was justly his own, Cumberland and Huntingdonshire , by the grant of King Stephen, and Northumberland, by the gift of his Mother Maude the Empress; he might have stayed quietly at home, and needed not at all to have stirred his foot; but he could not endure there should be such parings off from the body of his Kingdom: and therefore went with an Army into the North, where he won not, but took Northumberland from him, with the City of Carlisle , and the Castles of Newcastle and Bamburgh : and merely out of gratefulness, in remembrance of the many courtesies done him before , by David King of Scots; he left him the County of Huntington, but yet his with condition to owe fealty, and to do homage to him for it. And what was his trouble with his brother Geoffrey , but a Bird of his own hatching; For his Father Geoffrey , Duke of Anjou, had three sons, Henry, Geoffrey , and William: and dying, he left his Dukedom of Anjou to his eldest Son Henry, but to hold no longer then till he should come to be King of England, and then to deliver it up to his second Son Geoffrey : and he made his Lords to swear, not to suffer his body to be buried, until his son Henry had taken his Oath to do it; which Oath Henry afterward, in reference to his Father's body, did take: but as he took it unwillingly, so he willingly broke it, and sent presently to Adrian the then Pope, for a Dispensation of his Oath: which granted, he enters Anjou with an Army, and takes from his brother Geoffrey , being little able to make resistance, not only the Dukedom of Anjou, but some other Cities also, which his Father had absolutely given him for his maintenance: yet out of brotherly kindness was content to allow him a Pension of a thousand pounds a year: which brotherly kindness was so unkindly taken by his brother Geoffrey , that it broke his heart; and within a short time after died .

And thus these troubles begun by Henry himself, were soon ended; but now a trouble is coming on, begun by Louis King of France, and this is like to stick longer by him: For King Louis not having yet digested King Henry’s marriage with his divorced wife Eleanor, seeks all opportunities to express his spleen, by doing him displeasure ; and a fit opportunity was now offered: for there fell out a difference between Raymond Earl of Saint-Gilles , and Henry King of England, about the Earldom of Toulouse , which Raymond possessed , and Henry claimed: in this difference, King Louis takes part with Raymond, as pretending to be the juster side. Hereupon are great Forces provided on both sides, and it was like to have come to a dangerous battle ; but that by mediation of friends, a peace was made; and to make the Peace the firmer, a marriage was concluded between Henry, King Henry’s eldest Son, scarce yet seven years of age: and Margaret, daughter of King Louis not past three : who was delivered to King Henry to bring up till fit years for consummation. This was then thought a strong link to hold them in friendship, but it proved afterward a cause to make the greater breach: and indeed when a son is once matched into a Family, the Father must never look from thence afterward to have a good wish; seeing the Daughter thus matched can have no advancement, but by the advancement of her Husband; and he none, at least, none so well, as by the ruin of his Father: yet this broke not out till some years after. It was now about the sixteenth year of King Henry’s reign, and his Son Henry grown to be seventeen years of age, when it came into the King's mind to have his Son Henry crowned King, and reign with himself in his own time; partly out of indulgence to his Son, but chiefly, as having found by his own experience, that Oaths for Succession are commonly eluded: but Oaths for present Allegiance, as being Verba de prasenti, can have no evasion: and pleasing himself with this conceit, he acquaints his Lords with his purpose, and cause his Son Henry to be crowned King by the hands of Roger Archbishop of York ; and all the Lords to swear Allegiance to him: at the Feast of which solemnity, King Henry to honour his Son, would needs carry up the first dish to his Table; whereupon the Archbishop Roger standing by, and saying merrily to the new King: What an honour is this to you, to have such a waiter at your Table? Why (saith he) what great matter is it for him that was but the son of a Duke, to do service to me, that am the Son of a King and Queen? Which the old King hearing, began to repent him, now it was too late, of that he had done: For indeed the honour which by God's Commandment , children are to do their Parents, is by such making them their equals, in a manner abolished; at least it gives them stomachs to take more upon them then is fit. But King Henry passed it over, and meant to set the best side outward. Notwithstanding this ill success of King Henry, yet King Louis of France soon after, did the like to his Son Philip, and caused him to be crowned King in his own life time, Paris, Anno 1179.

And now King Louis took displeasure that his Daughter was not crowned as well as her Husband, and therefore to satisfy him in that point, King Henry sent his son Henry and his wife Margaret into England, and cause them both to be crowned by Walter Rotrou Archbishop of Rouen : and shortly after, the young King Henry and his Wife go back to King Louis her Father, and by him with great joy, and variety of sports were entertained. In the time of their being there, King Louis partly out of his old spleen to King Henry, and partly to make his Son-in-law more absolute; falls oftentimes into conference with him, and finding his hot spirit to be fit tinder for such fire, tells him, it was a shame he should suffer himself to be made a stale; have the title of a King, and not the authority: and that as long as he stood in such terms, that which seemed an honour, was indeed a disgrace: With which words of King Louis , the young King Henry was set afloat, and from that time forward, stuck not openly to oppose his Father : whereof his Father having intelligence, sent messengers to King Louis , desiring him from the King their Master, to be a means to bring his Son to more moderation. But King Louis hearing the Ambassadors name their Master King, with an angry countenance said unto them; What mean you by this to call him King, who hath passed his Kingdom over to his son? and with this answer sent them away. To this evil, another worse was added: that Queen Eleanor his wife enraged with jealousy of her husband's Concubines, both incensed her Son Henry, and persuaded also two other of her sons, Richard and Geoffrey , to join against their Father; telling them, it would be better for them that their Brother should prevail, who could not choose but allow them better maintenance, then their Father did allow . With these persuasion they pass over into Normandy, and join with their Brother Henry; who emboldened by their assistance, grows now more insolent then he was before; that when messengers were sent to him from his Father, requiring him to lay down his Arms, and to come lovingly to him: he proudly made answer, that his Father must not look he would lay down his Arms, unless himself first would lay down his authority, and resign the Kingdom . And now Louis King of France, calling together the great Lords of his Kingdom, and with them William King of Scots, Hugh Earl of Chester, Roger Mowbray, Hugh Bigod , and other of his Sons party, they all take their Oaths to assist the young King Henry with all their power, and thereupon all in one day, the French invade Normandy, Aquitaine and Britanny ; the King of Scots Northumberland; and King Louis the City of Vernoill Vernoil-le-Fourrier , which he brought to that distress, that it was agreed by the Inhabitants, if it were not succored within three days, then to surrender it. King Henry hearing of this agreement, promised to succor them by that day. But here King Louis used a trick, gets that by fraud, which he could not do by force; for he sends to King Henry, that if he were willing to have peace with his Sons, he should meet him at a place appointed, at such a time, and he doubted not to effect it . King Henry glad of such an offer, and with that gladness perhaps blinded, and not suspecting any deceit, promised to meet; and coming to the place at the day, which was the day he should have succored Vernoill Vernoil-le-Fourrier , he stayed there all day looking for King Louis coming; who instead of coming, sent word to Vernoill Vernoil-le-Fourrier , that King Henry was defeated; and therefore their hope of succor was in vain: whereupon the Citizens thinking it to be so indeed, because he came not according to his promise, surrendered the Town: which King Louis finding himself unable to hold, set it on fire, and so departed. But King Henry when he perceived the fraud, followed him with his Army, and took a bloody revenge of his fraud, with the slaughter of many of his men. At the same time also King Henry’s forces encountered Hugh Earl of Chester, and Robert Fulger, who had taken Dole in Britanny , took them Prisoners, and brought them to King Henry: and about the same time likewise in England, Robert Earl of Leicester thinking to surprise Raynold Earl of Cornwall, and Richard Lacy, King Henry's Generals, at unawares, was himself by them overthrown, and the Town of Leicester taken; which only the site of the place defended from being battered to the ground. Robert Earl of Leicester being thus defeated, passed over into France, and being supplied by King Louis with greater forces then before, is together with Hugh Bigod sent back into England, to draw the country to Henry the son's party ; who at first assault take Norwich: and then sitting down before Bury, they are in a great battle , by Richard Lacy, and other of King Henry's Captains, overthrown with the slaughter of ten thousand men, and as many taken prisoners; amongst whom Earl Robert himself. Yet were not Roger Mowbray and Hugh Bigod so daunted with this overthrow, but that together with David William the King of Scots brother, they gather new Forces, and invade Northumberland and Yorkshire, when Robert Scoccee, Ralph Granula Ranulf de Glanvill , William Vesci, and Barnard Bayliol Bernard de Balliol II (of whom Baynard's Castle in London, first took the name) Knights of those parts, assemble together, and fighting a great battle with them, overthrew them, and took the King of Scots prisoner, with many others . Yet is not Hugh Bigod daunted with this neither, but gathers new Forces, and takes Norwich; and Robert Ferris Ferrers , Nottingham: the news whereof, when King Henry the Son heard, he recovered new spirits, and obtaining new assistance from King Louis , prepares himself afresh for war: which King Henry the Father hearing, returns speedily into England; and to appease Saint Thomas Becket's Ghost, goes to visit his tomb , and there asks him forgiveness. This done, he goes into Suffolk, and at Framlingham Castle, which belonged to Hugh Bigod , stay with his Army, when suddenly moved, by what instinct, no man knows, (unless the appeasing of Saint Thomas's Ghost did work it) both Hugh Bigod delivers up his Castle into King Henry's hands, and likewise Robert Roger Mowbray , Robert Ferris Ferrers , and many others of that party, come voluntarily in, and submit themselves to the King’s mercy . Hereupon King Henry returns to London, about which time he committed his wife Queen Eleanor to prison, for her practices against him In the mean time, King Louis understanding that Normandy was but weakly guarded, together with his Son the young King Henry, and Philip Earl of Flanders ; he besieged Rouen ; which the King’s Forces valiantly defended, till he came himself in person; and thereupon King Louis despairing of any good to be done, sends messengers to King Henry for a truce, and appointed a day to meet at Gisors , where he doubted not to make a reconcilement between his Sons and him; K. Henry agreed willingly, but the meeting nothing was done: It seems it was but one of King Louis his old tricks to come fairly off. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

After this truce made with King Louis , King Henry hearing that his Son Richard had in the mean time possessed himself of a great part of the Province of Poitou goes thither with an Army, where Richard at last, after some hesitation, as doubting his Forces, submits himself to his Father, and asks his pardon; which his Father as freely grants, as if he had never committed any fault; and thereupon King Henry employs him to King Louis and his brother Henry, to persuade them to peace: who wearied now with the wars, were easily drawn, and so reconciliation on all parts is made; and to confirm the reconciliation between the two Kings, Henry and Louis , his daughter Adela Alice is affianced to King Henry's son Richard, as Earl of Aquitaine , and because the Lady was but young, she was committed to the care of King Henry, till she should be fit for marriage. Upon this King Henry sets Robert Earl of Leicester , and Hugh Earl of Chester, giving hostages and oath for their Allegiance, at liberty; and William also King of Scots, paying a certain mulct; for which he delivered in pawn the strong Castles of Berwick, , Roxburgh , and Stirling to King Henry, and was fined to lose the County of Huntington, and never to receive any Rebels into his protection. These things done, the King with his sons returns into England, where with all joyfulness they were received.

It was now the year 1179. when King Louis began again to grow discontented with King Henry, because his daughter was not yet married to his son Richard, as was agreed: but King Henry making him promise to have them married within a few days , gave him satisfaction; though indeed he meant nothing less, for it was thought he kept her for himself, as with whom he had before that time, had unlawful familiarity .

The year 1184 was memorable for nothing, or for nothing so much as the death of the young King Henry , who died then being of the age of one and twenty years: whose Widow Margaret returning into France, was afterward married to Bela King of Hungary. Now King Henry’s Son Richard, no longer enduring to have his marriage delayed, which his Father often promised, but would never suffer to be performed; falls into his old fit of discontentment: wherein though he cannot perhaps be justified, yet he may justly be excused, for to be kept from a wife at that time of his age, for which a wife was most proper; and especially having been affianced so long before, which could not choose but make his appetite the sharper: must needs be, if not a just cause, at least a strong provocation to make him do as he did, Howsoever, from this fit of discontentment, he fall into a relapse of Rebellion, and infecting with it his Brother John , and a great part of his Father's Adherents; they all take part with Philip (now after the decease of Louis ) King of France, who willing to make use of their assistance, before the stream of filial awfulness should return into the natural Channel, takes them along with him, and besieged the City of Le Mans , in which King Henry at that time was himself in person ; who apprehending the danger, and then resenting the mischief of falling into his enemies hands, gets him secretly out of the City, leaving it to defend it self, till he should return with greater forces: but hearing afterward that the Town was taken, he fell into so great a distraction of mind, that it made him break out into these blasphemous words; I shall never hereafter love God any more, that hath suffered a City so dear unto me, to be taken from me: but he quickly recollected himself, and repented him that he had spoken the words . Indeed Le Mans was the city in which he was born, that to have this City taken from him, was as much as to have his birthright taken from him: and to say the truth, after he had lost this City, he scarce seemed to be alive; not only because she shortly after died, but because the state of Majesty which had all his life accompanied him, after this forsook him: for now he was fain to beg peace of his enemies, who often before had begged it of him: now he was glad to yield to conditions, which no force before could have wrested from him. It is memorable and worth observing, that when these two Kings had meeting between Terwin and Arras, for reconcilement of differences; there suddenly happened a Thunderbolt to light just between them, with so terrible a crack, that it forced them for that time, to break off their conference; and afterward at another meeting, the like accident of thunder happened again, which so amazed King Henry, that he had fallen off his horse , if he had not been supported by those about him; which could be nothing but drops let fall of the Divine anger, and manifest presages of his future disasters . And thus this great Princes troubles, which began in little ones, and were continued in great ones, ended at last in so great a trouble, that it ended his life, and left him an example of desolation, notwithstanding all his greatness; forsaken of his friends, forsaken of his wife, forsaken of his children; and (if he were not himself when he blasphemed for the loss of Le Mans ) forsaken of himself ; which might be exemplar in this King, if it were not the common Epilogue of all greatness.

Troubles in his Dominions in his absence.

KING Richard at his going out of England, had so well settled the Government of the Kingdom, that might well have kept it in good order during all the time of his absence; but disorders are weeds which no foresight can hinder from growing, having so many hands to water them: where occasions of distaste are no sooner offered, then taken; and oftentimes taken before they be offered, as was here to be seen. For King Richard had left in chief place of authority, William Longchamp , Bishop of Ely; a man who so carried himself, that although the things he did, were justifiable; yet the pride with which he did them was insufferable : seldom riding abroad without five hundred, some say a thousand in his train; not for safety, but for state: and though there were other left in authority besides himself, yet his power was so predominant, that he made of them but ciphers, and ruled all as he list himself . This insolency of governing was soon distasted by many, and especially by John the King’s brother, who counting the greatness of his birth an equal match at least with any substitute greatness, affronted the Bishop in the managing of affairs, in such sort, that while some adhered to the one, and some to the other ; the Kingdom in the mean time was in danger to be rent asunder, till at last the Bishop finding himself too weak, or at least fearing that he was so; but rather indeed deposed from his authority by the King’s Letters, and the Archbishop of Rouen put in his place, thought it best for him to flee the Realm: whereupon for his greater safety, disguising himself in woman’s apparel, and carrying a Web of Cloth under his arm, he sought in this manner to take shipping and pass the Sea . But being discovered and known, the women in revenge of the abuse done to their clothes , in making them his instruments of fraud; fell upon him, and so beat him, that it might have beaten humility into him for ever after . This disgrace made him glad to get him into Normandy, his native Country , where to little purpose he wooed King Richard and Q. Eleanor for reparation. But this was but a sport in comparison of the mischiefs done in Normandy by Philip King of France: for first he invades Normandy, where he takes many Towns, and amongst others Gisors , and draws the King’s brother John to combine with him, promising to assist him in winning the Kingdom of England, and to have his sister Adela, whom King Richard had repudiated, to be his wife; with which promise Duke John had been ensnared, if his Mother Queen Eleanor had not dissuaded him. But in England Duke John took upon him as King, persuading the people that his brother King Richard was not living ; and indeed it was easy to remove, the knowing him to be a prisoner, to the affirming him to be dead; but such was the faithfulness of the Archbishop of Rouen , and other the Princes of the Realm to King Richard, that they opposed Duke John, and frustrated all his practices : and the Bishop of Ely had told him plainly, that though King Richard were dead, yet the succession in the kingdom belonged not to him, but to Arthur Duke of Britanny , son of Geoffrey his elder brother. And in these terms King Richard found his State when he returned from the Holy Land. ​ ​

His Acts and Troubles after his returning from the Holy Land.

AT his coming home from the Holy Land, the first thing he did, was to give his Lords and people thanks for their faithfulness to him in his absence, and then for their readiness in supplying him for his Ransom . But as for his brother John in whom ungratefulness seemed to strive with Ambition, which should be the greater in him; he deprived him of all those great possessions he had given him : some ado he had to make sound certain pieces which he had corrupted, as the Castles of Marlborough , Lancaster, and a Fortress at Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall; but chiefly the Castles of Nottingham and Tickhill , which stood so firmly for Duke John, that they were not reduced to obedience without some blood , and much expense. But his greatest trouble was with Philip King of France, in whom was so increased a spleen against King Richard, that he seemed to be never well but when he was working him some ill. Now therefore King Richard to make it appear he had not left the Holy War for nothing (having first obtained in Parliament a Subsidy towards his charges, & caused himself to be new Crowned at Winchester , (when the King of Scots bore one of the three swords before him) lest the people through his long absence might have forgotten they had a King) he departs with a hundred ships into Normandy; but it was withal , upon this occasion: sitting one day at dinner, in his little Hall (as it was called) news was brought him, that King Philip had besieged Vernoill Vernoil-le-Fourrier , with which he was so moved, that he swore a great Oath, he would not turn his face till he were revenged: whereupon he caused the wall right before him to be presently beaten down, that so he might pass forward without turning his face; and thus in haste he goes to Vernoill Vernoil-le-Fourrier , whither he was no sooner come, but the King of France made as great haste to be gone, not without some loss, and more disgrace. Here his brother John submits himself to him, and with great show of penitence intreats his pardon, which he readily granted; saying only, I wish you may as well remember your fault, as I shall forget it . The King of France having left Vernoill Vernoil-le-Fourrier , enters Touraine , and near to Vindocinum pitched his Tents; thither King Richard follows him, and with his coming so affrighted him, that leaving bag and baggage, Munition, Tents, and Treasure to a marvelous value, he gets him gone, and glad he was so rid of King Richard. After this a Truce was agreed upon for a year, which each of them longed till it were expired, as having no pleasure but in troubling one another . In this time there was a trouble at home, though not to the King, yet to the Kingdom: for Robin Hood accompanied with one little John, and a hundred stout fellows more, molested all passengers upon the Highway ; of whom it is said, that he was of noble blood , at least made Noble, no less then an Earl, for some deserving services: but having wasted his estate in riotous courses, very penury forced him to take this course; in which yet it may be said he was honestly dishonest, for he seldom hurt any man, never any woman, spared the poor, and only made prey of the rich : till the King setting forth a Proclamation to have him apprehended, it happened he fell sick at a certain Nunnery in Yorkshire, called Birckleys Kirklees ; and desiring there to be let blood , was betrayed, and made bleed to death . Such another trouble, though not to the King, yet to the Kingdom, fell out by reason of the Jews: and first at the Town of King's Lynn in Norfolk, upon this occasion: A Jew being turned Christian, was persecuted by those of his Nation, and assaulted in the street; who thereupon flying to a Church hard by was thither also followed, and the Church assaulted; which the people of the Town seeing, in succor of the new Christian, they fell upon the Jews, of whom they slew a great number, and after pillaged their houses. By this example the like assaults were made upon the Jews at Stamford; and after that at Lincoln ; and lastly at York, where infinite numbers of Jews were massacred; and some of them blocked up in the Castle, cut the throats of their wives and children, and cast them over the walls upon the Christians heads, and then burnt both the Castle and themselves : neither could this sedition be stayed, till the King sent his chancellor , the Bishop of Ely, with force of Arms, to punish the offenders. His last trouble was a punishment of covetousness, for one Guydomer having found a great treasure in the King’s Dominions, and for fear of King Richard, flying to a Town of the King of France for his safeguard ; was pursued by the King, but the Town denied him entrance, and he thereupon going about the walls to find the fittest place for assaulting it, one Bertrand de Gourdon , or as others call him, Peter Basile, shot at him with a Crossbow , and hit him on the arm, of which wound he died within four days after, and so ended all his troubles . ​ ​ ​

Foreign Conquests

Of his Acquest of Ireland.

Robert Fits-stephen was the first of all Englishmen, after the conquest, that entered Ireland , the first day of May, in the year 1170. with 390. men: and there took Waterford , in the behalf of Diarmait , son of Mac Murchada , called Mac Murg, King of Leinster . In September following, Richard Earl of Chepstow Pembroke , surnamed Strong-bow, sailed into Ireland with twelve hundred men, where he took Waterford and Dublin; and married Eve, the daughter of Dernutius, as he was promised . From these beginnings, King Henry being then at rest from all Hostile Arms, both at home and abroad, takes into his consideration the Kingdom of Ireland, as a Kingdom which oftentimes afforded assistance to the French; and therefore purposing with himself by all means to subdue it, he provides a mighty Army, and in the Winter season sailed thither, taking Shipping at Pembroke, and landing near to Waterford: where entering into consultation what course was fittest to be taken in the enterprise, suddenly of their own accord the Princes of the Country came in, and submitted themselves unto him, only Roderic King of Connacht stood out; who being the greatest, thought to make himself the only King of that Nation: but King Henry forbearing him for the present, who kept himself in his fastness of Bogs and Woods, and was not to be followed in the Winter season, takes his journey to Dublin, the chief City of the Country ; and there calling the Princes and Bishops of the Nation together, requires their consent to have him and his heirs to be their King: which they affirming they could not do without the Pope's authority, to whom, at their first conversion to the Christian Religion, they had submitted themselves , the King sent presently to Adrian the then Pope an English man, requiring his assent; which upon diverse good considerations he granted; and hereupon the King built him a stately Palace in the City of Dublin ; and having thus without blood possessed himself of the Kingdom, the Spring following he returns joyfully into England. About four years after Roderic also sends his chancellor to King Henry, to offer his submission, with a tribute to be paid of every ten beasts, one sufficient. After this, in the one and thirtieth year of his reign, he sent his Son John to be the Governor there .

Of his Journey into the Holy Land .

KING Richard having prepared an Army of thirty thousand foot, and five thousand Horse, and having appointed to meet Philip King of France in Sicily , at the latter end of June, in the year 1190. sets forward himself by Land to Marseille , and there stays till his Ships should come about; but his Navy being driven by tempest to other parts, and the King weary of long staying, after six weeks, he hired shipping for himself and his company, and passed forward to Messina in Sicily , where arrived also the King of France; and not long after, his own Navy. In this Island the King William now lately dead, had married Joan , King Richard's sister; from whom Tancred the present King withheld her Dower: and therefore though he showed King Richard fair countenance , yet he dealt secretly with the Messanians to use all means to get him gone; whereupon the Messanians taking a small occasion, set suddenly upon the English, and thrust them out of their Town: with which King Richard justly offended, who had his Camp without the Town, prepares himself to revenge the affront; when Tancred sending to him, to signify that the affront was offered without his knowledge, and much against his liking, so pacified him, that for the present he remained satisfied; but understanding afterward, that the Messanians did but wait their opportunity till the Spring, when King Richard should be going: he resenting their intention, stays not their leisure, but assaulting the Town with fire and sword, in one days labour takes it, and had made great slaughter in it, if King Richard had not been moved to compassion with the Messanians tears , but chiefly with King Tancred's offers; both to pay his Sister Joan her Dower, and to marry his daughter to King Richard’s Nephew, Arthur, Duke of Britanny , and to give a good part of the portion in hand. But King Philip was not well pleased with these conditions, yet he breaks not out into open dissension , till more fuel was afterward cast upon the fire of his anger. In the Spring King Philip sails with his Army to Ptolemais otherwise called Acre ) which the Christians had long besieged, and with them he joins : while King Richard taking his sister Joan , and Berengaria the young Daughter of the King of Navarre with him, in 190. Ships, and 50. Galleys, puts to Sea for the Holy Land , but is by tempest cast upon the Coast of Cyprus; where the Islanders seeking to hinder his landing, he sets upon them with his forces; and invading the Island, easily subdues, and brings it under his subjection; and the King of the Country being taken Prisoner, and intreating King Richard not to put him in bonds of Iron, King Richard gives him his word, and keeps it, but puts him in bonds of Silver . In this Island he solemnized his marriage with Berengaria, and then leaving Richard de Camville , and Robert de Turnham, his Lieutenants in Cyprus ; he passed on to Ptolemais, which City was defended by Saladine, and had been besieged now two years: when the enemy seeing and fearing the increase of the Christian forces, propounds conditions, upon which accepted, they deliver it up in August, the year 1192. ​ ​

At the taking of this Town there fell out an accident, seeming an honour to King Richard for the present, but proving a disgrace, at least a great trouble and charge to him afterward. For Leopold Duke of Austria had first set up his Colours upon the wall, which King Richard caused to be thrown down, and his own to be set up; but this was no place to stand a quarreling , it came not to the reckoning till some time after . When Ptolemais was taken, Saladine fearing the Christians further proceeding, dismantles all the best Towns that were near it: as Haifa , Cesarea, Ashkelon , Gaza; but of Jaffa King Richard takes a care, and placed in it a Colony of Christians: For Jaffa is a City of Palestine, that was built before the Flood ; and hath belonging to it a Haven of great convenience ; And now the King of France, though valiant enough himself, yet thinking his own great acts to be obscured by greater of King Richard’s ; he began, besides his old hating him, now to envy him. For indeed emulation when it is in virtue , makes the stronger knot of love and affection: but when it is in Glory, it makes a separation, and turns into the passion of envy and malice; and so did it with King Philip, who pretending the air of the Country did not agree with his body; but was indeed because the air of King Richard’s Glory did not agree with his mind; obtained King Richard’s consent to return home, swearing first solemnly not to molest his Territories in his absence. But this fell out for the present enterprise most unseasonably: For the departure of the King of France, though it diminished not much the strength; (for he left Odo, Duke of Burgundy in his place) yet it diminished much the show of assistance: and indeed Saladine, who was at this time in terms of surrendering Jerusalem; when he saw the King of France departed; as knowing there must needs be a conclusion, where there was a beginning, doubted not but the rest would follow soon after, and thereupon stayed his hands; and grew more confident then he was before. At this time Guy of Lusignan possessed of the City of Tyre, and with it, of the right of the Kingdom of Jerusalem: with him King Richard makes an exchange, that Guy should have the Island of Cyprus which King Richard had won, and King Richard should have the Kingdom of Jerusalem, to which Guy had a right: and upon this title the Kings of England, were styled Kings of Jerusalem a long time after: as likewise the posterity of the said Guy hath by this exchange held the Kingdom of Cyprus to this day . Now was King Richard more hot upon taking Jerusalem then ever before, and had certainly taken it, but that by ill counsel diverted, because the Winter drew on: and indeed by the drawing back of Odo Duke of Burgundy, who envied that King Richard should have the honour of taking it, he removed for that season to Ashkelon , after which time, the Enemy growing stronger, and the Christians weaker, all opportunity of taking it was utterly lost, and they could never come to the like again. And shortly after King Richard was advertised of the King of France his invading Normandy, contrary to his oath at his departure; which forced King Richard, much to his grief, to conclude a peace with Saladine, and that upon conditions not very honourable for the Christians; and himself presently to return home: and so sending his wife Berengaria, and his sister Jane, with a great part of his Army into Sicily , and from thence into England : he passed himself with some few in his company, by the way of Thrace, and was by tempest brought into Dalmatia; from whence being to pass through Germany, and particularly through Duke Leopold's Country of Austria: he remembering the old grudge , changed his apparel, and travelling sometimes afoot, and sometimes on horseback, he used all means possible to keep himself from being known: but destiny is not to be avoided, for as soon as he came to Vienna, partly by his tongue, and partly by his expenses, it was presently found he was an Englishman, and withal some great man; and by and by a rumour was spread, that it was Richard King of England: who finding himself to be discovered, and no means possible to escape, he puts off his disguise, putting on his Princely apparel, and avows himself: which Duke Leopold understanding, sent presently to have him apprehended; but King Richard refusing to yield himself to any, but to the Duke himself; the Duke himself came and led him to his own Palace honourably enough, but yet strongly guarded: whereof as soon as Henry the Emperor heard, he sent with great instance to Duke Leopold to send King Richard over to him, under pretense of safer custody, but with a purpose indeed to be a sharer in his Ransom : And the Duke though well knowing his meaning, yet knowing withal that it was not safe for him to deny the Emperor , he sent him over to him; who soon after put him into a prison he had, called Trifels , into which no man was ever known to be put that escaped with life, though done perhaps to him, but in terrorem, to draw the better Ransom from him. That with which King Richard was charged, beside the wrong done to Leopold, in throwing down his Colours at Ptolemais, was the death of Conrad Duke of Tyre, whom they pretended King Richard had murdered ; wherein though King Richard made his innocency appear by the testimony of Limboldus, who confessed himself to have been the author of the Marquesses death ; yet the pretense served to detain him in prison; and in prison indeed they kept him, till his Ransom was agreed upon and paid: which being a hundred thousand pounds, eighty thousand was paid in hand: whereof two parts to the Emperor , a third part to Duke Leopold: and for the rest, hostages given to the number of fifty; of whom the Bishop of Rouen was one: though the hostages afterward were delivered without paying the rest : for Henry the Emperor dying shortly after, his Sucessor had the conscience not to take it, as knowing it had been unjustly exacted: and indeed the accidents that befell both the Emperor and the Duke Leopold, were evident demonstrations of the injustice they had done; for the Emperor shortly after died; and the Duke Leopold, in a Tilting for solemnity of his birthday , fell off his horse, and so broke his leg, that to save his life, he was fain to have his leg cut off. And now after fifteen months imprisonment, King Richard is released, and returns into England four years elder then he went out; and thus ended his journey to the Holy Land. Yet one memorable accident happening to him in the Holy Land, may not be omitted; that going one day a Hawking about Jaffa , finding himself weary, he laid him down upon the ground to sleep; when suddenly certain Turks came upon him to take him; but he awakened with their noise, rised up, gets a horseback, and drawing out his sword, assaults the Turks, who feigning to flee , drew the King into an Ambush where many Turks lay; who had certainly taken him if they had known his person : but one of the King’s servants, called William de Patrellis, crying out in the Saracen tongue, that he was the King; they presently lay hold upon him, and let the King escape . ​

Taxation and Finances

His Taxations and ways for raising of money.

TAxation in his time, was chiefly once; when he took Escuage of Englishmen, towards, his wars in France, which amounted to 12400 pounds: but confiscations were many, because many Rebellions, and every Rebellion was as good as a Mine. Also vacancies of bishoprics and Abbeys, kept in his hands sometimes many at once; no time without some . He resumed also all Lands which had either been sold or given from the Crown by his Predecessors : but a principal cause that made him plentiful in money, was his Parsimony ; as when he was enjoined for a Penance, to build three Abbeys, he performed it, by changing Secular Priests into Regular Canons, only to spare cost: And it was not the least cause of alienating his Sons from him, that he allowed them not maintenance answerable to their calling. And it could be nothing but Parsimony while he lived, which brought it to pass, that when he died, there were found in his Coffers, nine hundred thousand pounds, besides Plate and Jewels .

Of his Taxations and ways for raising of Money.

OF Taxations properly so called, there were never fewer in any Kings' reign: but of ways to draw money from the Subject, never more. It is true, the first money raised for his journey, was all out of his own estate, by selling or pawning of Lands; but then at his coming back, he resumed the Lands into his hands again, without paying back the money he had received; this if it may not have the name, yet certainly it had the venom of a bitter Taxation. Likewise the feigning to have lost his Seal, and then enjoining them to have their Grants confirmed by a new; though it went not in the number, yet it had the weight of a heavy Taxation where it lighted. Afterward, the money raised for his Ransom, was not so properly a Taxation, as a Contribution: or if a Taxation for him, yet not by him; which was done in his absence, by the Subjects themselves: and indeed no Taxations are commonly so pinching, as those which are imposed upon the Subject by the Subject, and such was this; for to raise money for his Ransom , there was imposed upon every Knights Fee, 20. s. of all Lay-mens Revenues the fourth part; and the fourth part of all the Revenues of the Clergy, with a tenth of their Goods. Also the Chalices and Treasure of all Churches were taken to make up the sum. Afterward, this only was a plain Taxation, and granted in Parliament; that of every Ploughland through England, he should have two shillings, and of the Monks Cisteaux, all their Wool of that year: And one more greater then this; and was this year imposed towards his Wars in Normandy; that every Hide of Land, as much as to say, every hundred Acres of Land, should pay five shillings; which computed without deductions, will rise to a sum that will seem incredible.

Laws and Ordinances

Laws and Ordinances in his time.

In the beginning of his reign, he refined and reformed the Laws of the Realm; making them more tolerable & more profitable to his people then they were before. In the one and twentieth year of his reign, he divided his whole Kingdom into six several Circuits; appointing in every Circuit three Judges, who twice every year should ride together, to hear and determine Causes between man and man : as it is at this day, though altered in the number of the Judges, and in the Shires of Circuit. In this King’s days the number of Jews all England over was great: yet, wheresoever they dwelt, they might not bury any of their dead any where but in London; which being a great inconvenience to bring dead bodies oftentimes from far remote places, the King gave them liberty of burial in several places where they lived . It was in this King’s days also ordained, that Clergy men offending in hunting the King’s Deer, should be punishable by the Civil Magistrate, according to the Laws of the Land; which order was afterward taken with them for any offence whatsoever they committed . Though it be not a Law, yet it is an Ordinance which was first brought in by this King, that the Lions should be kept in the Tower of London . Also this king made a Statute, concerning Armour and Weapons; that every man that held a Knight's Fee , should be bound to have a pair of Cuirass , an Helmet, with Shield and Spear; and that ever man of the Laity, having Goods and Revenues to the value of fifteen Marks, should have one pair of Cuirass , an Helmet, a Spear and a Shield; and every man worth ten Marks should have an Habergeon, a Steel Cap, and a Spear.

Laws and Ordinances in his time.

HIs Ordinances were chiefely for the Meridian of London: for where before his time the City was governed by Portgraves, this King granted them to be governed by two Sheriffs and a Mayor , as now it is; and to give the first of these Magistrates, the honour to be remembered , the names of the Sheriffs were Henry Cornhill, and Richard Reyner; and the name of the first Lord Mayor , was Henry Fitz-Allwyn, who continued Mayor during his life, which was four and twenty years . But Fabian who was himself a Sheriff of London, and by that means most likely to know the truth, affright , that the Officers ordained now by King Richard, were but only two Bailiffs: and that there was no Mayor nor Sheriff of London, till the tenth year of King John: and therefore at that year, I will begin their Catalogue: But howsoever, now began the City first to receive the form and state of a Commonwealth , and to be divided into Fellowships and Corporations, as at this day they are: and this Franchise was granted in the year 1189. the first year of King Richard the first. He made also diverse Ordinances concerning the measures of Corn, and Wine, and Cloth, and that no Cloth should any where be dyed of any other colour then black, but only in principal Towns and Cities: also he ordained Justs and Tournaments to be holden for the exercise of his Gentry in arms . ​ ​

Religious Affairs

Affairs of the Church in his time.

THis King’s reign is famous for the contention of a Subject with the Prince, and though it may be thought no equal match, yet in this example we shall find it hard to judge which of them had the victory. But before we come to speak of the Contention, it is fit to say something of the Man, and of the Quarrel: The man was Thomas Becket, born in London, his Father, one Gilbert Becket, his Mother an outlandish woman, of the Country of Syria; His first rising was under Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury, who taking a liking to him, (as one saith, no man knew for what) made him first Archdeacon of Canterbury, and then used means to have him be the Princes's Tutor, after that to be chancellor of England, and after the decease of the said Theobald, was himself made Archbishop of Canterbury in his place. One memorable thing he did at his coming to be Archbishop, he surrendered his place of being chancellor , as not thinking it fit to sit at the Helm of the Commonwealth , and of the Church, both at once . But now began the contention between the King and him: the difference was the King would have it ordained that Clergy men who were malefactors, should be trialled before the Secular Magistrate as Lay men were: This Becket opposed, saying, it was against the Liberty of the Church, and therefore against the honour of God. Many Bishops stood with the King, some few with Becket; the Contention grew long, and with the length still hotter, till at last Becket was content to assent to the Ordinance with this clause, Salvo Ordine suo: the King liked not the clause, as being a deluding of the Ordinance: He required an absolute assent, without any clause of Reservation: At last, after many debates and demurs, the Archbishop yields to this also, and subscribes the Ordinance, and sets his hand unto it : But going homewards, it is said, his Cross bearer and some other about him, blamed him for that he had done; but whether moved with their words, or otherwise upon second thoughts, the next day when they met again, he openly repented his former deed, retracts his subscription, and sends to the Pope for absolution of his fault: which the Pope not only granted, but encouraged him to persist in the course he had begun. It may be thought a fable, yet is related by diverse good Authors, that one time during this contention, certain fellows cut off the Archbishops Horses tail; after which fact, all their children were born with tails like Horses; and that this continued long in their Posterity , though now long since ceased, and perhaps their families too. But King Henry finding there was no prevailing with Becket by fair means, begins to deal more roughly with him, and first makes use of Authority upon his Temporalities ; and withal a censure was spoken of to be intended against his person; which Becket understanding, thought it his best course to flee the Realm, and thereupon passing under the name of Dereman, he passed over Sea, and there, two years by the Pope, and five by the King of France, was maintained as it were of Alms: in which misery, nothing vexed him so much, as that King Henry sent all his kindred, Men and Women , old and young into banishment after him . And now King Henry finding that Becket stood much upon his Legatine Power, sent messengers to the Pope, desiring him to take that power from him, and to confer it upon his Archbishop of York; but the Pope answered, he would not do so, but was content the King himself should be his Legate, and sent him Letters to that purpose , which King Henry took in such scorn, that he threw away the Letters, and sent them presently back to him again. This dignity of Legateship , for the diligent service of Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury, was by a special Decree of Pope Innocent the second, to remain to the Archbishop of Canterbury; so that they were intitled Legati nati, Legats born.

In this mean time, the King of France prevailed with King Henry to afford Becket a conference, hoping to bring them to some Agreement, where being together, King Henry alleged before the King of France, that he required nothing of Becket, but his assent to an Ordinance, to which in his Grandfather King Henry the first's time, all the Bishops of the Realm, and the Archbishop of Canterbury that then was, did give their Assent; yet this moved not Becket at all, but he continued his former Tenet; it was against the honour of God, and therefore desired to be excused : See now (saith King Henry) the perverseness of this man, all that agrees not with his own humour, is presently against the honour of God. While these things were thus a working, Becket had gotten him more friends at Rome, and by their means prevailed with the Pope, to give him power to interdict some Bishops in England that had done him wrong, and the Pope spared not to threaten Excommunication to King Henry himself, if he restored not Becket to his dignity. But whether awed with his threatenings , or won by the King of France's importunity, or else perhaps relenting in himself, he was contented at last that Becket should return home, and enjoy his Bishopric ; who being come to Canterbury, the Bishops whom he had indicted, for Crowning the young King Henry, (which he said was his right to have done) made humble suiteunto him, to be released of the censure. Which, when the Archbishop would not grant, but with certain cautions and exceptions, the Bishops discontented went over to the King, complaining of the hard measure that was offered them by the Archbishop: whereat the King being much moved, Shall I never (saith he) be at quiet for this Priest? If I had any about me that loved me, they would find some way or other to rid me of this trouble: Whereupon four Knights standing by, that heard the King make this complaint, namely Reynold Fits-urse, or Bereson, Hugh Morvill, William Tracy, and Richard Britton, thinking they should do an acceptable service to the King, went shortly after into England, and going to Canterbury, found the Archbishop then at Church, when upon the steps there, they struck him upon the head with their Swords and slew him the thirtieth day of December, in the year 1172 . Afterward with much ado, by King Henry’s means they were pardoned by the Pope, only enjoined Penance to go on Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, as some write, but others more probably, that the King abhorred them ever after; and that within three years after they all died miserably . You have heard his persecution, and (as some would have it called) his Martyrdom: now hear the honours that have been done him, and the visitations to his Tomb . And first King Henry himself coming to Canterbury, as soon as he came within sight of Becket's Church, lighting off his Horse, and putting off his hose and shoes , he went barefoot to his Tomb ; and for a further penance suffered himself to be beaten with rods, by every Monk of the Cloister. A few years after, King Louis of France comes into England of purpose to visit the Shrine of St. Thomas, where having paid his Vows, he makes Oblations with many rich Presents. The like many Princes since that time have done; and many Miracles are reported to have been done at his Tomb , which yet may be unbelieved without unbelief, and with Faith enough. It is worth observing, how some days are to some men more fortunate then other days : as Matthew Paris writes of this Becket; that Tuesday was observed to be a fortunate day to him: for upon Tuesday he was born: upon a Tuesday he was banished: upon a Tuesday he was recalled from Banishment: upon a Tuesday he suffered Martyrdom: upon a Tuesday fifty years after his death, his body with great solemnity was translated.

Another difference in this King’s days , was between the two Archbishops of England, about the jurisdiction of Canterbury over York, which being referred to the Pope, he gave judgement on Canterbury's side . Also in this King’s days there was a Schism in the Church of Rome,two Popes up at once, of whom Alexander the third was one; which schism continued the space of almost 20 years . Also in this King’s days , one Nicholas Break-spear, born at St. Albans, or as other write, at Langley Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire , being a bondman of that Abbey, and therefore not to be allowed to be a Monk there, went beyond Sea, where he so profited in Learning, that the Pope made him first Bishop of Albano , and afterward Cardinal, and sent Legate to the Norway , where he reduced that Nation from Paganism to Christianity, and returning back to Rome, was chosen Pope, by the name of Adrian the Fourth , and died , being choked with a Fly in his drink . In his days also, Heraclius Patriarch of Jerusalem, came to King Henry, desiring aid for the Holy Land , but not so much of money as of men; and not so much of men neither, as of a good General, as himself was; to whom King Henry answered, that though he were willing to undertake it, yet his unquiet State at home would not suffer him with which answer the Patriarch moved, said, Think not Great King, that Pretenses will excuse you before God, but take this from me, that as you forsake God's cause now, so he hereafter will forsake you in your greatest need. But (saith the King) if I should be absent out of my Kingdom, my own Sons would be ready to rise up against me in my absence; to which the Patriarch replied , No marvel , for from the Devil they came, and to the Devil they shall; and so departed. Also in this King’s days there came into England, thirty Germans, Men and Women, calling themselves Publicans, who denied Matrimony, and the Sacraments of Baptism and of the Lords Supper, with other Articles, who being obstinate, and not to be reclaimed, the King commanded they should be marked with a hot iron in the forehead, and be whipped, which punishment they took patiently , their Captain (called Gerard) going before them singing, Blessed are ye when men hate you. After they were whipped, they were thrust out of doors in the Winter, where they died with cold and hunger, no man daring to relieve them. This King after his conquest of Ireland, imposed the tribute of Pater pence upon that Kingdom, namely, that every house in Ireland should yearly pay a penny to Saint Peter . In this King’s time, was held by Pope Alexander the third, the General Council of Lateran consisting of 310 Bishops: where many Ordinances were made for the peace of the Church. Also in the 33 year of his Reign Jerusalem was taken by the Turks. ​

Affairs of the Church in his time.

THe Church within his own Dominions was quiet all his time, no contestation with the Pope, no alterations amongst the Bishops, no difference between the Clergy and the Laity or the Clergy amongst themselves; they also seemed to lie asleep, till they were afterwards awakened, in the time of the succeeding King. But abroad, in his time, there was an addition of three Orders of Devotion; the Order of the Augustine Friars , called Friars Mendicants, begun by William of Paris; then the Order of Friars Minors begun by St. Francis; and lastly the Orders of Friars Preachers begun by St. Dominic , though not confirmed till the first year of Pope Honorius . ​

Acts of Piety

Workes of piety done by him, or by others in his time.

THis King Founded the Church of Bristol , which King Henry the eighth afterward erected into a Cathedral: He also founded the Priories of Dover; of Stonely; and of Basingwerk ; and the Castle of Rhuddlan : and began the Stone bridge over the Thames at London . He caused also the Castle of Warwick to be built . Maude the Empress his Mother, founded the Abbey of Bordesley . In his time also Hugh Mortimer founded Wigmore Abbey: Richard Luci the King’s Chief Justice laid the Foundation of the Conventual Church, in the honour of St. Thomas, in a place which is called Westwood, otherwise Lesnes, in the Territory of Rochester in the new Parish of Southfleet. He also built the Castle of Ongar in Essex. Robert Harding a Burgess of Bristol , to whom King Henry gave the Barony of Berkeley ; built the Monastery of Saint Augustine's in Bristow. In the tenth year of his reign, London Bridge was new made of Timber, by Peter of Colechurch a Priest . Robert de Boscue Earl of Leicester , founded the Monastery of Gerendon, of Monks; and of Leicester , called St. Mary de Pater, of Canons Regular, and his Wife Amicia, Daughter of Ralph Montford, founded Eaton, of Nuns. In the two and twentieth year of his reign, after the foundation of St. Mary Overies Church in Southwark, the Stone Bridge over the Thames at London, began to be founded, towards which a Cardinal, and the Archbishop of Canterbury gave a thousand Marks. Aldred Bishop of Worcester founded a Monastery at Gloucester of Benedictine Monks. ​ ​

Works of Piety in his time.

WOrks of Piety are for the most part works of plenty; penury may inwardly have good wishes: but outwardly it can express but little: and indeed all parts of the kingdom, all sorts of people were drawn so dry; by the two great occasions of his Journey and his Ransom , and afterward by other Taxations, that the richest men had enough to do to maintain themselves, without being at the charge to make provision for others. All works of Piety were now for the service of the Holy Land , and therefore it may well pass, if not for a work of Devotion, at least worthy to be remembered ; that William Bishop of Ely built the outer wall of the Tower of London, and caused a deep ditch to be made about it, with an intention the River of Thames should have surrounded it, though it could not be effected. Only Hubert Walter, who at one time was Archbishop of Canterbury, the Popes Legat, Lord Chancellor , Lord Chief Justice, and the immediate Governor under the King, both in Wales and England, Founded a Monastery at West Derham in Norfolk , where he was born: begun another at Wolverhampton, and finished a Collegiate Church at Lambeth.

Casualties During the King's Reign

Casualties that happened in his time.

IN the eleventh year of this King’s reign, on the six and twentieth day of January, was so great an Earthquake in Ely, Norfolk, and Suffolk, that it overthrew them that stood upon their feet, and made the Bells to ring in the Steeples . In the seventeenth year of his reign, there was seen at St. Osyth in Essex, a Dragon of marvelous bigness, which by moving burned houses; and the whole City of Canterbury was the same year almost burnt. In the eighteenth year of his reign, the Church of Norwich with the houses thereto belonging was burnt, and the Monks dispersed. At Andover, a Priest praying before the Altar, was slain with Thunder. Likewise one Clerk and his brother was burnt to death with Lightning. In the three and twentieth year, a shower of blood rained in the Isle of Wight two hours together . In the four and twentieth year, the City of York was burnt; and on Christmas day, in the Territory of Darlington , in the Bishopric of Durham, the Earth lifted up her self in the manner of an high Tower, and so remained unmovable from morning till evening, and then fell with so horrible a noise that it frighted the Inhabitants thereabouts, and the earth swallowing it up, made there a deep pit, which is seen at this day: for a Testimony whereof Leland saith, he saw the Pits there, commonly called Hell Kettles . Also in the same year, on the tenth day of April, the Church of St. Andrews in Rochester was consumed with fire. In the eight and twentieth year of his reign, Barnwell with the Priory, near unto Cambridge, was burnt. In the thirtieth year, the Abbey of Glastonbury was burnt, with the Church of St. Julian. In the year 1180. a great Earthquake threw down many buildings, amongst which the Cathedral Church of Lincoln was rent in pieces the five and twentieth of April: and on the twentieth of October, the Cathedral Church of Chichester, and all the whole City was burnt. This year also, near unto Oxford in Suffolk, certain Fishers took in their Nets a Fish, having the shape of a man in all points, which Fish was kept by Bartholomew de Glanville in the Castle of Oxford six months and more; he spake not a word; all manner of meats he did gladly eat, but most greedily raw Fish, when he had pressed out the juice ; oftentimes he was brought to Church, but never showed any sign of adoration: at length, being not well looked to, he stole to the Sea, and never was seen after. In the year 1188. on the twentieth of September, the Town of Beverley with the Church of St. John there was burnt. And in this King’s time the bones of King Arthur, and his Wife Guynevour, were found in the Vale of Avalon, under an hollow Oak, fifteen foot under ground ; the hair of the said Guynevour being then whole and of fresh colour; but as soon as it was touched, it fell to powder, as Fabian related . ​ ​ ​

Of Casualties happening in his time.

IN his time the Town of Malling in Kent, with the Nunnery, was consumed with fire, and in his time the bones of Arthur the famous King of Britain were found at Glastonbury in an old Sepulcher , about which stood two Pillars, in which Letters were written but could not be read : Upon the Sepulcher was a cross of Lead, whereon was written, Here lies the Noble King of Britain Arthur. Also in this King’s days for three or four years together, there reigned so great a dearth, that a Quarter of Wheat was sold for 18. shillings 8. pence, and then followed so great a mortality of men, that scarce the living sufficed to bury the dead . ​


Of his Wife and Children.

He married Eleanor Daughter and heir of William Duke of Guien Gascony , late Wife of Louis the seventh, King of France, but then divorced, but for what cause divorced is diversely related; some say King Louis carried her with him into the Holy Land, where she carried her self not very holily, but led a licentious life, and which is the worst kind of licentiousness, in carnal familiarity with a Turk; which King Louis though knowing, yet dissembled, till coming home, he then waived that cause, as which he could not bring without disgrace to himself , and made use of their nearness in blood, as being Cousins in the fourth degree, which was allowed by the Pope, as a cause sufficient to divorce them, though he had at that time two Daughters by her. Being thus divorced, Duke Henry marries her, with whom it was never known, but she led a modest and sober life, a sufficient proof, that the former report was but a slander . By this Queen Eleanor he had five Sons, William, Henry, Richard, Geoffrey , and John; and three Daughters, Maude, married to Henry Duke of Saxony; Eleanor married to Alfonso the Eighth of that name, King of Castile; and Joan , married to William King of Sicily. Of his Sons, William died young. Henry born the second year of his reign, was Crowned King with his Father, in the eighteenth year, and died the nine and twentieth year, and was buried at Rouen ; married to Margaret, Daughter of Louis King of France, but left no issue. Richard born at Oxford (in the King's Palace there called Beau-mont), in the fourth year of his Father's reign, and succeeded him in the Kingdom. Geoffrey , born the fifth year of his Father's reign, married Constance Daughter and Heir of Conan, Earl of Brittany , in the fourteenth year, and in the two and thirtieth year died; leaving by his Wife Constance, two Daughters, and a Posthumus Son named Arthur. John his youngest, called John without Land, because he had no Land assigned him in his Father's time ; born the twselfth year of his Father's reign, and succeeded his brother Richard in the Kingdom. And this may be reckoned a peculiar honour to this King, that of his five Sons, three of them lived to be Kings; and of his three Daughters, two of them to be Queens. Concubines he had many, but two more famous then the rest; and one of these two more famous then the other: and this was Rosamund, Daughter of Walter, Lord Clifford, whom he kept at Woodstock, in lodgings so cunningly contrived that no stranger could find the way in, yet Queen Eleanor did, being guided by a thread: so much is the eye of jealousy quicker in finding out, then the eye of care is in hiding. What the Queen did to Rosamund when she came in to her, is uncertain; but this is certain, that Rosamund lived but a short time after, and lies buried at the Nunnery of Godstow near to Oxford. By this Rosamund King Henry had two Sons, William called Long-sword; who was Earl of Salisbury in right of his Wife Ela, Daughter and Heir of William Earl of that Country , and had by her much issue, whose posterity continued a long time: And a second Son named Geoffrey , who was first Bishop of Lincoln, and afterward Archbishop of York, and after five years banishment in his brother King John's time, died in the yeer 1213 . The other famous Concubine of this King Henry, was the Wife of Ralph Bloet a Knight; by whom he had a Son named Morgan, who was Provost of Beverley , and being to be elected Bishop of Durham, went to Rome for a dispensation, because being a Bastard, he was else incapable : But the Pope refusing to grant it, unless he would pass as the Son of Bloet , he absolutely answered, he would for no cause in the world deny his Father; and chose rather to lose the Dignity of the Place, then of his Blood, as being the Son, though but the base Son of a King . ​

Of his Wife and Children.

IN his Infancy he was contracted to a Daughter of Raymond Earl of Barcelone, after that affianced to Adela, or Alice, Daughter of Louis King of France, yet married to neither of them: but he married Berengaria Daughter of Garsias King of Navarre, whom his Mother Queen Eleanor brought unto him into Sicily, from whence passing into Cyprus, their marriage was there solemnized: afterward, going forward to the Holy Land , he carried her and his sister Joan Queen of Sicily along with him, where they remained till his return home; and then sent them to pass to Sicily, and from thence into England: but that ever she came into England, no mention is made, neither what became of her after she parted from King Richard at the Holy Land . But children certainly he had none, either by his Wife, or by any Concubine, unless we reckon, as a Priest in Normandy did; who told King Richard, he had three Daughters: and the King marveling who they should be, seeing he knew of none he had; yes (saith the Priest) you have three Daughters, Pride, Covetousness, and Lechery; which the King taking merrily, called to the company about him, and said; I am told by a Priest here, that I have three Daughters, and I desire you to be witnesses how I would have them bestowed: my daughter Pride, upon the Templars and Hospitals : my daughter Covetousness, upon the Monks of the Cistercian Order: and my daughter Lechery, upon the Clergy . ​

Personage and Appearance

Of his Personage and Conditions.

HE was somewhat red of face, and broad breasted; short of body, and therewithal fat, which made him use much Exercise, and little meat. He was commonly called Henry Shortmantel, because he was the first that brought the use of short Cloaks out of Anjou into England . Concerning endowments of mind, he was of spirit in the highest degree Generous; which made him often say, that all the World sufficed not to a Courageous heart. He had the Reputation of a wise Prince all the Christian World over; which made him often say, that all the World sufficed not to a Courageous heart. He had the Reputation of a wise Prince all the Christian World over; which made Alphonsus King of Castile, and Garsyas Sancho King of Navarrerefer a difference that was between them, to his Arbitrament: who so judiciously determined the cause, that he gave contentment to both parties; a harder matter then to cut cloth even by a thread. His custom was to be always in action; for which cause, if he had no real Wars, he would have feigned : and would transport Forces either into Normandy or Britanny , and go with them himself, whereby he was always prepared of an Army: and made it a Schooling to his Soldiers , and to himself an Exercise . To his children he was both indulgent and hard: for out of indulgence he caused his Son Henry to be Crowned King in his own time; and out of hardness he caused his younger Sons to rebel against him . He was rather Superstitious then not Religious; which he showed more by his carriage toward Becket being dead then while he lived. His Incontinency was not so much that he used other Women besides his Wife, but that he used the affianced Wife of his own Son : And it was commonly thought, he had a meaning to be divorced from his Wife Queen Eleanor, and to take the said Adela to be his Wife. Yet generally to speak of him, he was an excellent Prince; and if in some particulars he were defective, it must be considered he was a Man. ​ ​ ​

Of his Personage and Conditions.

HE was tall of stature, and well proportioned, fair, and comely of face, of hair bright auburn , of long arms, and nimble in all his joints , his thighs and legs of due proportion, and answerable to the other parts of his body. To speak of his moral parts, his Vices for the most part, were but only upon suspicion: Incontinency in him much spoken of, nothing proved; but his Virtues were apparent, for in all his actions he showed himself Valiant, (from whence he had the appellation or surname of Ceur de Lyon) wise, liberal, merciful, just, and which is most of all, Religious ; a Prince born for the good of Christendom; if a Bar in his Nativity had not hindered it. The remorse for his undutifulness towards his Father, was living in him till he died : for at his death he remembered it with bewailing, and desired to be buried as near him as might be, perhaps as thinking they should meet the sooner, that he might ask him forgiveness in another world. ​


Of his Death and Burial.

HE was not well at ease before, but when the King of France sent him a List of those that had conspired against him, and that he found the first man in the List to be his Son John, he then fell suddenly into a fit of fainting, which so increased upon him, that within four days after he ended his life: So strong a Corrosive is grief of mind, when it meets with a body weakened before with sickness. He died in Normandy, in the year 1189. when he had lived threescore and one years; reigned near five and thirty: and was buried at Fontevraud in France; the manner of whose burial was thus: He was clothed in his Royal Robes, his Crown upon his head, white Gloves upon his hands, Boot of Gold upon his legs, Gilt Spurs at his heels, a great rich Ring upon his finger, his Scepter in his hand, his Sword by his side, and his face uncovered and all bare. As he was carried to be buried, his Son Richard in great hast ran to see him, who no sooner was come near the body, but suddenly at his Nostrils he fell a bleeding afresh ; which though it were in Prince Richard no good sign of Innocency, yet his breaking presently into bitter tears upon the seeing it, was a good sign of Repentance. It may not be unseasonable to speak in this place of a thing which all Writers speak of, that in the Family of the Earls of Anjou, of whom this King Henry came, there was once a Princess a great Enchantress, who being on a time enforced to take the blessed Eucharist , she suddenly flew out at the Church window, and was never seen after: From this Woman these latter Earls of Anjou were descended, which perhaps made the Patriarch Heraclius say, of this King Henry's children, that from the Devil they came, and to the Devil they would. But Writers perhaps had been more complete , if they had left this story out of their Writings. ​ ​

Of his Death and Burial.

HE died of a wound with an Arrow in his Arm, shot at him by one Bertrand, or Peter Basile, which neglected at first, and suffered to rankle, or as others say, ill handled by an unskilful Surgeon , in four days brought him to his end. But his Charity deserves to have it remembered , that finding himself past hope of Recovery, he caused the party that had wounded him to be brought before him, who being asked what moved him to do this Fact? answered, that King Richard had killed his Father and two of his Brothers with his own hand, and therefore would do it, if it were to do again. Upon this insolent answer, every one looked the King should have censured him to some terrible punishment, when contrary to all their expectations in a high degree of Charity, he not only freely forgave him, but gave a special charge he should be set at liberty, and that no man should dare to do him the least hurt: commanding besides to give him a hundred shillings for his pains . An act that well showed he had been at the Holy Land , or rather indeed that he was going to it. But Polychronicon saith, that after King Richard was dead, the Duke of Brabant who was then present, caused the said Bertrand to be slayed quick, and then to be hanged. He died the sixth day of April in the year 1199. when he had lived 44. years, reigned nine, and about nine months, and had his body buried at Fontevraud Abbey , by his Father; his heart at Rouen , in remembrance of the hearty love that City had always borne him; and his bowels at Chȃlus , for a disgrace of their unfaithfulness; others say at Carlisle in England. ​

Men of Note During the King's Reign

Men of Note in his time.

OF Clergy men, there was Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury, Hugh Bishop of Lincoln; Richard Bishop of Winchester; Geoffrey of Ely; Robert of Bath ; Aldred of Worcester; all learned men, and of great integrity of life. Of Military men, there was Robert Earl of Leicester; Reynold Earl of Cornwall; Hugh Bigod , Robert Ferrers , Richard Luci , Roger Mowbray, Ralph Robert Fulger, Ralph Granula Ranulf de Glanvill , William Vesei Vesci , and Barnard Bayliol Bernard de Balliol II ; men of great achievements in War, and of no less abilities in Peace.

Men of Note in his time.

IN his time were famous Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, who followed King Richard into the Holy Land , and died there; Hubert that succeeded him: Hugh Bishop of Lincoln; William Bishop of Ely, a man equally famous and infamous; also Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, a learned Writer in Divinity; Daniel Morley a great Mathematician, John de Herham, and Richard de Herham, two notable Historians; Guilielmus Stephonides a Monk of Canterbury, who wrote much in the praise of Archbishop Becket; also one Richard Divisiensis, Nicholas Walkington, and Robert de Bello Foco, an excellent Philosopher. Of Martial men, Robert Earl of Leicester ; Ranulph de Fulgers; two of the Bardolphs, Hugh and Henry; three Williams, Marshall, Brunell and Mandeville , with two Roberts, Rosse, and Sevevile.