Chronica Majora 1236 is in Matthew Paris' Chronica Majora.
Chronica Majora 1236 King Henry marries Eleanor, daughter of the count of Provence
14 Jan 1236. Anno Domini 1236, which was the twentieth year of the reign of King Henry the Third, he held his court at Winchester at Christmas, where he observed that festival with rejoicings. He was at this time anxiously looking for the return of the special messengers, whom he had sent into Provence to Raymond (38), count of that province, with letters containing his own inmost thoughts about contracting a marriage with his daughter Eleanor (13). This said count was a man of illustrious race and brave in battle, but, by continual wars, he had wasted almost all the money he possessed. He had married the daughter (38) of Thomas (58), the late count of Savoy, and sister of the present count, Amadeus (39), a woman of remarkable beauty, by name Beatrice (38). This lady had issue by the aforesaid count, two daughters of great beauty, the elder of whom, named Margaret (15), was married to Louis (21), the French king, as we are told by a clerk named John de Gates; and the king of England had now, by the aforesaid messengers, demanded the younger one, a young lady of handsome appearance, in marriage. In order to obtain this favour, he had secretly sent Richard, prior of Hurle, in advance, who faithfully and with diligence brought the matter to a conclusion. On the prior's returning and telling the king the result, the latter sent him back to the count with some other messengers, namely, the bishops Hugh of Ely, and Robert of Hereford, and the brother of Robert de Sandford, the master of the Knights Templars. These messengers were received by the count on their arrival in Provence with the greatest honour and respect, and from his hands received his daughter Eleanor, for the purpose of being united to the King of England; she was also attended by her uncle, William, bishop elect of Valentia; a man of distinction, and by the count of Champagne, a relation of the English king. The king of Navarre, on learning that they would travel through his territories, went joyfully to meet them, and accompanied them as a guide through his dominions during a journey of five days and more; he also, from his natural generosity, paid all their expenses, both for horses and attendants. Their retinue consisted of more than three hundred horsemen, not including the people who followed them in great numbers. On reaching the boundaries of France, they obtained not only a safe but honourable passage through that country, under conduct of the French king (21) and his queen (15), the sister of the lady about to be married to the English king, and also of Blanche (47), the French king's mother. They embarked at the port of Sandwich [Note. Should be Wissant], and with full sail made for Dover, where they arrived, after a quick passage, before they were expected. Having thus safely landed, they set out for Canterbury, and were met by the king, who rushed into the arms of the messengers, and, having seen the lady and received possession of her, he married her at Canterbury; the ceremony being performed on the fourteenth of January, by Edmund, archbishop (61) of that place, assisted by the bishops, who had come with the lady, in the presence of the other nobles and prelates of the kingdom. On the 19th of January the king went to Westminster, where an extra-ordinary solemnity took place on the following day, which was Sunday, at which the king wore his crown and Eleanor was crowned queen. Thus was Henry the Third married at Canterbury, and the nuptials were celebrated in London, at Westminster, on the feast of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian.
Chronica Majora 1236 The ceremonies at the marriage of Henry the Third
19 Jan 1236. There were assembled at the king's (28) nuptial festivities such a host of nobles of both sexes, such numbers of religious men, such crowds of the populace, and such a variety of actors, that London, with its capacious bosom, could scarcely contain them. The whole city was ornamented with flags and banners, chaplets and hangings, candles and lamps, and with wonderful devices and extraordinary representations, and all the roads were cleansed from mud and dirt, sticks, and everything offensive. The citizens, too, went out to meet the king (28) and queen (13), dressed out in their ornaments, and vied with each other in trying the speed of their horses. On the same day, when they left the city for Westminster, to perform the duties of butler to the king (which office belonged to them by right of old, at the coronation), they proceeded thither dressed in silk garments, with mantles worked in gold, and with costly changes of raiment, mounted on valuable horses, glittering with new bits and saddles, and riding in troops arranged in order. They carried with them three hundred and sixty gold and silver cups, preceded by the king's trumpeters and with horns sounding, so that such a wonderful novelty struck all who beheld it with astonishment. The archbishop of Canterbury (61), by the right especially belonging to him, performed the duty of crowning, with the usual solemnities, the bishop of London assisting him as a dean, the other bishops taking their stations according to their rank. In the same way all the abbats, at the head of whom, as was his right, was the abbat of St. Alban's (for as the Protomartyr of England, B. Alban, was the chief of all the martyrs of England, so also was his abbat the chief of all the abbats in rank and dignity), as the authentic privileges of that church set forth. The nobles, too, performed the duties, which, by ancient right and custom, pertained to them at the coronations of kings. In like manner some of the inhabitants of certain cities discharged certain duties which belonged to them by right of their ancestors. The earl of Chester (29) carried the sword of St. Edward, which was called "Curtein", before the king, as a sign that he was earl of the palace, and had by right the power of restraining the king if he should commit an error. The earl was attended by the constable of Chester (44), and kept the people away with a wand when they pressed forward in a disorderly way. The grand marshal of England, the earl of Pembroke (39), carried a wand before the king and cleared the way before him both, in the church and in the banquet-hall, and arranged the banquet and the guests at table. The Wardens of the Cinque Ports carried the pall over the king, supported by four spears, but the claim to this duty was not altogether undisputed. The earl of Leicester (28) supplied the king with water in basins to wash before his meal; the Earl Warrenne performed the duty of king's Cupbearer, supplying the place of the earl of Arundel, because the latter was a youth and not as yet made a belted knight. Master Michael Belet was butler ex officio; the earl of Hereford (32) performed the duties of marshal of the king's household, and William Beauchamp (51) held the station of almoner. The justiciary of the forests arranged the drinking cups on the table at the king's right hand, although he met with some opposition, which however fell to the ground. The citizens of London passed the wine about in all directions, in costly cups, and those of Winchester superintended the cooking of the feast; the rest, according to the ancient statutes, filled their separate stations, or made their claims to do so. And in order that the nuptial festivities might not be clouded by any disputes, saving the right of any one, many things were put up with for the time which they left for decision at a more favourable opportunity. The office of chancellor of England, and all the offices connected with the king, are ordained and assized in the Exchequer. Therefore the chancellor, the chamberlain, the marshal, and the constable, by right of their office, took their seats there, as also did the barons, according to the date of their creation, in the city of London, whereby they each knew his own place. The ceremony was splendid, with the gay dresses of the clergy and knights who were present. The abbat of Westminster sprinkled the holy water, and the treasurer, acting the part of sub-dean, carried the Paten. Why should I describe all those persons who reverently ministered in the church to God as was their duty? Why describe the abundance of meats and dishes on the table & the quantity of venison, the variety of fish, the joyous sounds of the glee-men, and the gaiety of the waiters? Whatever the world could afford to create pleasure and magnificence was there brought together from every quarter.
Chronica Majora 1236 Heavy falls of rain
10 Feb 1236. About the same time, for two months and more, namely, in January, February, and part of March, such deluges of rain fell as had never been seen before in the memory of any one. About the feast of St. Scholastica, when the moon was new, the sea became so swollen by the river torrents which fell into it, that all the rivers, especially those which fell into the sea, rendered the fords impasSable, overflowing their banks, hiding the bridges from sight, carrying away mills and dams, and overwhelming the cultivated lands, crops, meadows, and marshes. Amongst other unusual occurrences, the River Thames overflowed its usual bounds, and entered the grand palace at Westminster, where it spread and covered the whole area, so that small boats could float there, and people went to their apartments on horseback. The water also forcing its way into the cellars could with difficulty be drained off. The signs of this storm which preceded it, then gave proofs of their threats; for on the day of St. Damasus, thunder was heard, and on the Friday next after the conception of St. Mary, a spurious sun was seen by the side of the true sun.
Chronica Majora 1236 A messenger arrives in England from the emperor
11 Feb 1236. When the nuptial rejoicings were concluded, the king (28) left London and went to Merton, where he summoned the nobles to hear a message lately brought from the emperor (41), and to discuss the business of the kingdom. For messengers had come direct from the emperor to the king with letters, asking him without delay to send his brother Richard, earl of Cornwall (27), whose circumspect skill report had spread far and wide, to make war on the king of the French. He also promised, by way of assistance, to send all the Imperial forces, especially in order to enable the English king (28) not only to recover his continental possessions, but also, when they were regained, to extend his former possessions. To this, the king (28) and the nobles there assembled, after due deliberation, replied that it would not be safe or prudent to send one so young out of the kingdom and to expose him to the doubtful chances and dangers of war, since he was the only apparent heir of the king and kingdom, and the hopes of all were centred in him next to the king. For the king, although he was married, had no children, and the queen his wife (13) was still young, and did not know whether she was fruitful or barren. But if it was agreeable to his excellency the emperor to summon any other brave man he chose, from amongst the nobles of the kingdom, for the purpose, they, the king, and all his friends and subjects, in accordance with his request, would at once render him all the assistance in their power. The messengers, on receiving this reply, returned to inform their lord.
Chronica Majora 1236 Certain new laws made by Henry the Third
12 Feb 1236. About the same time, king Henry the Third (28), for the salvation of his soul and the improvement of his kingdom, influenced by a spirit of justice and piety, made some new laws, and ordered them to be inviolably observed throughout his kingdom.
In the first place with respect to widows, who, after the death of their husbands were deprived of their dowry, or could not hold it and their quarentin without a plea, it was decreed, that whoever should deforce them from their dowry, from the tenements of which their husbands died possessed, and the widows should afterwards recover their dowry by plea, and the deforcing party shall be conNdcted of unjust deforcement, they shall make the damages good to the said widows, to the fall value of the dowry falling to them, from the time of the decease of their husbands to the day on which they recovered possession by judgment, and nevertheless the deforcers themselves shall be at the king's mercy. Also, all widows shall henceforth be at liberty to bequeath all the com on their land, as well from their dowries, as from other lands and tenements, saving the services which are due to their lords from their dowries and other tenements. Also, whoever shall have been disseised from his free tenement, and shall have recovered possession by assize of a new disseisin before the justiciaries, or shall have made a disseisin with their cognizance, and when disseised shall have held possession through the sheriff, if the said disseisers shall have disseised them after the circuit of the justiciaries or during the same, and shall be convicted thereof, they shall be taken and detained in a prison of our lord the king, until by him they are liberated, either by ransom or in any other manner. And the following is the form of conviction to be observed with regard to them: When the complainants come to the court, they shall have a brief from the king directed to the sheriff, in which shall be contained their evidence of the disseisin made on disseisin, and therein the Sheriff of shall be ordered to take with him the overseers of the pleas of the crown, and other legal officers, and to go in person to the tenement or pasture about which the complaint has been made, and in their presence, by jurors first, and by other neighbours and liege men, to make a careful inquisition in the matter, and if they shall discover it to be disseised as above mentioned, then they shall proceed according to the provisions before declared, but if not, then the complainants shall be at the mercy of the king, and the other party shall go away quit. The same shall be done in the case of those who recover possession by assize of the death of their predecessor; the same also shall be done in the case of all tenements recovered by juries in the king's court. Also, whereas several of the nobles of England have enfeoffed knights and their free tenants of small tenements in their manors, and have complained that they cannot effect their conveniency as regarded the residue of their manors, as of wastes, woods, and pastures, so that the feoffees might have sufficient as was proper according to their tenements, it was provided and granted, that feoffees of this kind, from whomsoever they should hereafter bring an assize of a new disseisin, if before the justiciaries it shall be proved that they have sufficient pasturage, in proportion to their tenement, together with free ingress and egress from their tenements to that pasture, they shall be content with the same, and those of whom such complaint has been made shall be satisfied with having effected their will in the matter of their waste lands, woods, and pastures; but if they say that they have not sufficient pasture or sufficient ingress and egress, then the truth shall be inquired into by assize. And if it is discovered by assize that there was any obstruction in the ingress or egress, or that the pasture was not sufficient, as aforesaid, then he shall receive possession after inspection by the jurors, so that at their discretion and on their oaths, the complainants may have sufficient pasture and free ingress and egress, in the form above stated. And the disseisers shall remain at the mercy of the king, and shall pay damages, as they used to be paid before this provision; but if it shall be found by assize that the complainants have sufficient pasture and free ingress and egress, as aforesaid, then the other party shall be allowed to do what is right with the residue, and shall depart quietly. It is also granted by our lord the king, with the consent of the nobles, that from this time, interest shall not accumulate against a minor from the time of the decease of his predecessor, whose heir he is, till he lawfully comes of age; but that on this account the payment of the principal shall not be delayed. Also, with respect to those who commit offences in parks and warrens, a discussion was entered upon, but not decided, for the nobles demanded to have each his own prison for offenders they might take in their parks and warrens; but this the king would not grant them, and therefore this remains as formerly.
Chronica Majora 1236 A conference held at London
28 Apr 1236. In the same year, on the 28th of April, the nobles of England assembled at a council at London, to discuss the affairs of the kingdom. It was a cause of astonishment to many that the king followed the advice of the bishop elect of Valentia more than he ought, despising, as it appeared to them, his own natural subjects, and at this they were annoyed, and accused the king of fickleness, saying amongst themselves, "Why does not this bishop elect betake himself to the kingdom of France, as the French king has married the elder sister of our queen, to manage the affairs of the French kingdom, like he does here, by reason of his niece the queen of that country?" And they were highly indignant. On the first day of the council the king went to the Tower of London, and gave great cause of discontent to many about this matter, and more unfavourable than prosperous conjectures were entertained. The nobles would not either singly or in numbers go to the Tower to the king, fearing lest he, yielding to evil counsel, should vent his rage on them, and being warned by the words of Horace — Quia me vestigia terrent Omnia te versum spectantia, nulla retrorsum. [Because the footsteps of these beasts all point towards your den, But none of them, as far I can see, come back again.]
The king, nevertheless, restrained by motives of prudence, went from the Tower to his palace, there to discuss the urgent business of the kingdom more suitably with his nobles. After discussing several matters, he came to one praiseworthy determination, which was, that all the sheriffs should be dismissed, and others appointed in their places, because they had been corrupted by bribes and deviated from the paths of truth and justice. The king, therefore, substituted in their places men who possessed more tenements, who were richer, and of more noble race, who would not be driven by necessity to covet presents, nor to be cornipted. He also made them swear that they would not accept any gifts, unless in food and drink, and that only moderately and not to excess; or any present of land by way of reward, by which justice would be corrupted. To this council the king of Scotland (37) sent special messengers, who urgently demanded from the king the rights which pertained to their lord, the said king of Scots, concerning which they said that they held a charter and had the testimony of a great many nobles; but the determination of this matter was put off for the present. At the same time, too, the king, because he could not re-establish peace between Earl Richard (27), his brother, and Richard Seward, banished the latter from the kingdom, saying that he would rather incur his anger than that of his brother.
He also, to the astonishment of many, removed from their offices and dismissed from his councils, Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, seneschal of his palace, and several other high offices of his household. He also demanded instantly his seal from the bishop of Chichester, his chancellor; although he had blamelessly discharged the duties of his office, proving himself a remarkable pillar of truth at court. This, however, the chancellor refused to do, seeing that the kings violence exceeded the bounds of moderation, and said that he could on no account give it up, since he had undertaken the charge by the general consent of the kingdom, and therefore could not resign it without that same consent. About the same time, too, the emperor sent messengers to the king, demanding from him a large sum of money which he, the king, had promised him with his sister.
Chronica Majora 1236 Of a battle fought in Scotland
Apr 1236. About the same time, several nobles and powerful men from the various provinces of the West, namely from Galloway, the Isle of Man, and parts of Ireland, assembled at the instance of Hugh de Lacy (60), whose daughter had been married to Alan of Galloway (42), lately deceased, and they all united together for the purpose of restoring Galloway to the illegitimate son of the aforesaid Alan, and of annulling by force the just disposition made by the king of Scots (37), who had distributed the inheritance amongst the three daughters of Alan, to whom it belonged by hereditary right. In order, therefore, to revoke and annul his distribution, and to restore the territory to the aforesaid Thomas, or to the son of Thomas, Alan's brother, or at least to one of that family, these presumptuous chiefs flew to arms, and, bursting forth into insolence, endeavoured to free themselves from the authority of the king. And in order to bring their attempts to the desired result, they entered into a strange kind of treaty, by means of a certain mode of divination, yet according to an abominable custom of their ancestors. For all these barbarians and their chiefs and magistrates drew blood from a vein near the heart, and poured it into a large cup, they then stirred and mixed it up, and afterwards, drinking to one another, quaffed it off, as a token that they were from that time forth allied by an indissoluble and, as it were, kindred treaty, and indivisible both in prosperity and adversity, even at the risk of their heads. They therefore provoked the king and the kingdom to war, burning their own houses and those of their neighbours, that the king, when he arrived, might not find either shelter or food for his army, and indulged in rapine and incendiarism, heaping injury on injury. On hearing of this, the king of Scotland collected his forces from all quarters, and, marching to meet them, drew up his forces in order and engaged them in open battle; and the fortune of war turning against the Galwegians, they were put to flight, and the royal troops, pursuing them at the sword's point, slew many thousands of them, and those who were taken alive by the king and his soldiers were put to an ignominious death without any chance of ransoming themselves. Some threw themselves on the king's mercy, and were consigned to close imprisonment by him till he could consult as to what should be done with them, and all of them, together with their descendants, he, not without good reason, disinherited. Having gained this victory the king glorified God, the lord of armies, and listening to good counsel, he sent word to Roger de Quincy (41), earl of Winchester, John Baliol (28), and William, the son of the earl of Albemarle, that, as they had married the three sisters, the daughters of Alan of Galloway, they might now, as the disturbances were quelled, hold peaceable possession of the rights pertaining to them. This battle took place in the month of April, the fortune of war favouring the king of Scots.
Chronica Majora 1236 A disturbance in the French kingdom
Apr 1236. In the spring of the same year, many of the nobles rose in insurrection, to make war against the kingdom of France, for it excited their indignation that France, the kingdom of kingdoms, was governed by a woman's counsel. Men of rank and renown, and who had been trained to arms from their early youth, joined in the insurrection; the king of Navarre (34), that is, the count of Champagne; the count de la Marche (53), the count of Brittany (18), and a great many other nobles, allied themselves together by treaty and oath.
Chronica Majora 1236 Death of William Daubeny
06 May 1236. About this time, too, on the 6th of May, William Daubeny the elder (85), a bold and magnanimous knight, and one endowed with all noble qualities, closed his life at an advanced age, leaving his son William (48), his legitimate heir, who took after his father in every respect.
Chronica Majora 1236 Cordova is taken, and the city of Cepta makes a truce
29 Jun 1236. In the same year the inhabitants of Genoa, assisted by the Pisans and Marseillese, and the king of Arragon, suddenly attacked a noble city of Spain, called Cepta, on which the pagan citizens, who had for a long while inflicted much harm and injury to the said invaders, in alarm at the great numbers of their enemies, and at their sudden attack, surrendered to their authority, making a truce for a time on the condition, that if their lord, the king of Africa, who was commonly called the Emir of the World, should not send them effectual assistance within three years, they would willingly, and without any difficulty, surrender themselves and the whole city to them; that in the mean time the king of Arragon and his allies might, at any time during three years, peaceably build a tower and fortify it at their pleasure, on a bridge which they had gained possession of before the arrangement of this truce. The city of Cordova, then being taken, and Cepta being ready for capture, the hopes of the Christians were raised, and alarm seized on the Saracens, and especially on the king of Africa.
Chronica Majora 1236 A prodigy
May 1236. About this same time, in the month of May, near an abbacy called Roche, in the northern part of England, there appeared bands of well-armed knights, riding on valuable horses, with standards and shields, coats of mail and helmets, and decorated with other military equipments: they issued from the earth, as it appeared, and disappeared again into the earth. This vision lasted for several days, and attracted the eyes of those who beheld it, as if by fascination; they rode in arrayed troops, and sometimes engaged in conflict; sometimes as if at a tournament, they shivered their spears into small fragments with a crash; the inhabitants saw them, but more from a distance than near them, for they never remember to have seen such a sight before, and many said that the occurrence was not without its presage. This occurred more plainly in Ireland and its confines, where they appeared as if coming from battle, and dragged their horses after them wounded and broken down, without a rider, and the knights themselves were severely wounded and bloody; and what was more wonderful, their track plainly appeared impressed on the ground, and the grass was borne down and trampled on. Many people on seeing this vision fled before them in alarm, and betook themselves to the churches and castles, thinking that it was not an illusion, but a real battle. These occurrences came to our knowledge some years after they happened, from a report and true account of the event obtained from the earl of Gloucester, and by the evidence of many other persons.
Chronica Majora 1236 The king endeavours to revoke some grants he had made
08 Jun 1236. In the same year, Peter de Rivaulx and Stephen Segrave (65), of whom we have made mention above, were received into favour by the king. In this year, too, on the eighth of June, the nobles of England assembled at Winchester in presence of the king, when the latter endeavoured, by a •warrant from tlie pope, to annul some grants which he had made to some of them before he had contracted his marriage, as though he was unable of himself, mthout the connivance of the pope, to whom, as he said, the giving of rights in the kingdom belonged. Many were astonished at this, and said that the king was endeavouring much more than became him, or was his duty, to place his kingdom in slavery, and to reduce it to its last extremity.
Chronica Majora 1236 Some of the English nobles assume the Cross
About the same time, Earl Richard, the king's brother, Earl G. Marshal, John, earl of Chester and Lincoln, the earl of Salisbury [Note. Unclear as to who this is referring since the last Earl of Salsibury William "Longsword" Longespee 3rd Earl Salisbury 1176-1226 died in 1226 and his wife Ela Longespee 3rd Countess Salisbury 1187-1261, de jure Earl of Salisbury, remained unmarried], G. de Lucy, his brother, Richard Seward, and many other nobles, assumed the cross. Earl Rchard at once ordered his woods to be cut down and sold, and endeavoured by all the means in his power to raise money to sustain his pilgrimage. Not long afterwards, by means of Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, and (as was reported) Peter de Eivaulx, Richard Seward unjustly incurred the king's anger, and was taken and imprisoned; but was soon afterwards released with the same ease.
Chronica Majora 1236 The massacre of the Jews
At this time a great slaughter of the Jews took place on the continent, especially in Spain; and those on this side of the sea, fearing that they would suffer in the same way, made the king a present of money, on which he caused a proclamation to be made by the crier, that no one was to do any injmy or cause any annoyance to any of the Jews.
Chronica Majora 1236 The emperor's present
Around 11 Jul 1236. In this year, about the feast of St. Benedict, the emperor (41) sent a handsome present to the king of England (28), consisting of eighteen valuable horses, and three mules laden with silks and other costly presents. He also sent some valuable horses and other desirable things to Earl Richard (27), the king's brother.
Chronica Majora 1236 A long drought and scorching of the crops
Aug 1236. In the summer of this year, after a winter beyond measure rainy, as has been mentioned, a constant drought, attended by an almost unendurable heat, succeeded, which lasted for four months and more. The marshes and lakes were dried up to their very bottoms; water-mills stood uselessly still—the water being dried up; and the earth gaped with numerous fissures; the corn, too, in a great many places scarcely grew to the height of two feet
Chronica Majora 1236 Pacification of the French nobles
Aug 1236. In the same year, as the summer was drawing to a close, the nobles of France, who had engaged in the disturbance of that kingdom, made some terms of peace, and were received into favour by the king. About this time, too, some bold but rash young nobles in England—we know not by what spirit seduced—conspired together and entered into an execrable alliance to ravage England, like robbers and night-walkers. Their designs, however, became known; and the chief of the conspiracy, one Peter de Buffer, a door-keeper of the king, was taken prisoner, and by him others were accused. A dreadful machine, commonly called a gibbet, was erected at London to hang them on; and on it two of the chief conspirators were suspended, after having engaged in single combat; and one of them being killed in the struggle, was hung with his head cleft open; and the other, living, breathed forth his miserable life on the same gibbet, amidst the lamentations of the multitude assembled.
Chronica Majora 1236 A diagreeement between the citizens of Orléans and the clergy
May 1236. In the same year, about Whitsuntide, a lamentable dissension sprung up between the clergy and the citizens at the city of Orléans, wliich originated about, and was promoted by, a chattering, brawling woman; and the tumult was fanned up and increased to such a pitch, that some scholars, illustrious youths of noble family, were slain in the city by the townsmen. Amongst these were the nephew of the Count de la Marche, the nephew of the count of Champagne, king of Navarre, a relation by blood of the count of Brittany, a blood relation of the noble baron Erkenwuld de Bourbon, and many others, some of whom were drowned in the river Loire, and others were killed; some, however, escaped with difficulty, and, hiding themselves in caves, vineyards, and other secret places, thus escaped death. On hearing of this, the bishop of the city, inflamed with zeal for justice, went out of the city, excommunicated all the perpetrators of this crime, and laid an interdict on the whole place. The above-named nobles, too, hearing of the murder of their relatives, attacked the city, and put many of the inhabitants to death at the sword's point, without awaiting the formahty of a trial; some others, too, they, with their swords still reeking with blood, beheaded on the road as they were returning from some market with their panniers laden with merchandise. This sedition did not cease till the royal mandate, at the wish of both parties, made terms between them, and calmed the tumult. About the same time, too, several cities and provinces of the French kingdom were laid under an interdict; amongst which were Rheims, Amiens, Beauvais, and other places, schisms having arisen amongst them from various causes.
Chronica Majora 1236 A discord which sprang up at Oxford
Aug 1236. In the same year, a quarrel arose between the clergy and the citizens of Oxford, and it was with difficulty, and after a long time, that the strife was lulled to rest by the interference of the king and nobles, the bishops, and other men of rank and authority, and the university restored to its former state. In the month of August of the same year, the bishops, John of Worcester [Note. This is probably a mistake for Bishop William de Blois -1236], and Thomas of Norwich, departed this life; and about the same time died Henry, abbat of CroyJand, a man of illustrious family, and renowned for his piety, after having governed his church, almost the whole of which, together with the buildings, he had rebuilt, for nearly fifty years.
Chronica Majora 1236 The complaint of the king of Scotland
Sep 1236. In the same year, the king, by the advice of his nobles, proceeded to York to consult vith them and make arrangements for settling the dispute between him and Alexander (38), king of Scotland, and which had now grown into hatred. For to wise men, who weighed future events in the scale of reason, it seemed foolish that the kingdom of England, surrounded on all sides by enemies on the continent, should secretly generate internal hatred. The origin of this discord was (it is said) as follows: —The king of Scotland had constantly demanded the county of Northumberland, which King John (69) had given him as a marriage portion with his daughter Johanna (45), and for which he declared that he held a charter and had the evidence of a great many bishops and clergy of rank, as well as earls and barons; and he declared that it was an unworthy and execrable action to revoke what proceeded from the lips of kings, and to annul a compact made between persons of such noble station. He also added, that unless the English king would peaceably give him what plain reason proved to be his right, he would seek it at the sword's point. He was inspired with confidence by the secret, although suspected, friendship of Llewellyn, and by his alliance and affinity with Gilbert Marshal (39), who had married his sister Margaret (36), a most handsome lady. The hostility of his continental states, too, was always in conspiracy against him, and moreover, his cause was just, as was proved by the muniments of former kings. After much discussion on both sides, the king of England, for the sake of peace, and for the protection of his kingdom, as far as lay in his power offered the king of Scots a revenue of eighty marks from some other part of England, in order that the boundaries of his kingdom might not be broken in upon in the northern parts. But whilst he waited until the affair should be settled to the satisfaction of both parties, the conference ended, and all for the moment remained at peace.
About that time, the knight, Philip Daubeney (65), a noble devoted to God, and brave in battle, after fighting for the Lord during several pilgrimages to the Holy Land, at length closed his life by a praiseworthy death there, and obtained a holy burial in the Holy Land, which he had long desired when living.
Chronica Majora 1236 The preaching of the crusade
Sep 1236. In the same year, on a warrant from the pope, a solemn preaching was made, both in England and France, by the brethren of the orders of Preachers and Minorites, and other famous clerks, theologians, and religious men, granting to those who would assume the cross, a full remission of the sins of which they truly repented and made confession. These preachers wandered about amongst cities, castles, and villages, promising to those who assumed the cross much relief in temporal matters, namely, that interest should not accumulate against them with the Jews, and the protection of his holiness the pope for all then* incomes and property given in pledge to procure necessaries for their journey, and, thus incited an immense number of people to make a' vow of pilgrimage. The pope afterwards sent also Master Thomas, a Templar, liis familiar, into England, with his warrant, to absolve those crusaders, whom he chose and thought expedient, from their vow of pilgrimage, on receiving money from them, which he considered that he could expend advantageously for the promotion of the cause of the Holy Land. When the crusaders saw this, they wondered at the insatiable greediness of the Rom.an court, and conceived great indignation in their minds, because the Romans endeavoured thus impudently to drain their purses by so many devices. For the Preachers added, that if any one, whether he had assumed the cross or not, should be unable in person to undertake such a toilsome journey, he must not omit to contribute as much of his property as his means permitted, for the assistance of the Holy Land, and that thus he would fully enjoy the before-mentioned indulgence; but all these things rendered their hearers suspicious; for they said, " Will our dispenser prove faithful?" And so it turned out; for the pope, conceiving indignation against the people, made war, extorted money, collected a tenth part from all countries, and accumulated an endless sum of money to defend the Church; but peace was soon made, and he and the emperor became friends; the money, however, was never restored, and thus the devotion of many became daily weakened, and their confidence was abated.
Chronica Majora 1236 The emperor's preparations to conquer Italy
Sep 1236. About the same time, the pope, by mandatory letters, strictly forbade the emperor (41) to invade Italy; for the latter had, in the summer, called together ail the Imperial forces he could muster, to attack the insolent Italians, and especially the inhabitants of Milan, for that city was a receptacle for all heretics, Paterines, Luciferians, Publicans, Albigenses, and usurers; and it seemed to the emperor to be an ill-advised plan for him to assist the Holy Land by the presence of himself and such a large army of God, and to leave behind him false Christians, worse than any Saracen. He moreover wondered beyond measure that the pope should be in any way favourable to the Milanese, or shoiild seem in any manner to afford them protection, since it became him to be a father to the pious, and a hammer to the wicked. In reverence, however, for such a great father as his holiness the pope, the emperor modestly and prudently replied to him as follows.
Chronica Majora 1236 The emperor's answer to the Pope
Sep 1236. " Italy is my inheritance, and this is well known to all the world. To covet the property of others and abandon my own, would be ambitious and sinful, particularly as the insolence of the Italians, and especially the Milanese, has provoked me, showing no proper respect to me in any way. Moreover, I am a Christian, and, however unworthy a servant of Christ, I am prepared to subdue the enemies of the cross. Since, therefore, so many heresies are not only springing up, but are even growing thick in Italy, and the tares are beginning to choke the wheat throughout the cities of Italy, and especially Milan, to proceed to subdue the Saracens and to leave these unpunished, would be to inib the wound where the steel has entered with superficial fomentations, and to cause an ugly scar, not a cure. Again, I am alone and am human, and therefore not capable of such a great undertaking as that of subduing the enemies of the cross, without a great force to assist me; a^s they are so numerous and powerful. Again, as I am not of myself sufiicient to carry out such an arduous matter without a great deal of money, I have determined to apply the wealth of the said country to lend assistance to, and to avenge the crucified One; for Italy abounds in arms, horses, and wealth, as all the world knows."
Chronica Majora 1236 The emperor marches into Italy to take Milan
Sep 1236. The pope, on hearing such profound reasonings, in order that he might not seem opposed to such incontrovertible arguments, pretended to give his consent; and that he might cross the mountains and enter Italy according to his purpose, his holiness promised, without fail, as far as he was able, to afford him his paternal assistance in every necessity. The emperor, encouraged by this, having by an imperial edict collected all the forces he could muster, entered Italy, followed by a large body of troops. The Milanese, not without reason, fearing his terrible anger, sent to the pope, asking advice and effectual assistance from him; and he, after receiving a large sum of money, with a promise of more, sent them much relief and assistance, to the injury of the emperor, and this seemed incredible and contrary to every one's opinion, that in siicli case of necessity the father would be converted into a stepfather. The citizens then sallied forth from the city in great force, to the number of about fifty thousand armed men, and proceeded with their standard (which they called " carruca," or " carrochium,") to meet the emperor, sending, word that they were ready to fight him. About this time, a certain knight named Baldwin de Yere, had come from England as a messenger from the English king to the emperor, to arrange some secret business concerning the said king and the emperor; and on all these matters he afterwards gave his hearers full information. When the emperor heard that the Milanese had broken out into such audacity as to kick against him, he at once prognosticated that they liad conceived this boldness, depending on the support of others than themselves; and after the matter had been carefully weighed in council with his nobles, it was agreed by acclamation that all who were present on the side of the emperor, from the highest to the lowest, should, without delay, fly to arms and attack this Milanese rabble, which dared, like mice coming from their holes, to provoke their lord to battle and to try their strength with the imperial forces. When this determination was made known to the Milanese, they halted for a little, and one of the elder citizens, on whose judgment the opinion of all depended, arranged the others in a circle around him and spoke a^ follows: " Hear me, noble citizens. The emperor is at hand in great power and vnih a large army, and he, as is known to the whole world, is our lord. If this lamentable struggle should take place, irreparable harm will arise from it; for if we are victorious in it, we shall obtain a reproachful and bloody victory over our lord, but if we are conquered, he will destroy our name, and that of our people and our city for ever, and we shall be a disgrace to every nation. Since, therefore, in every event it is dishonourable and dangerous to proceed further in a hostile manner, I consider it a wise plan to return to our city, where, if he chooses to attack us, it will be lawful for us to repel force by force; and whether he allows us to make peace with him, or compels us to drive liim from our territory by force, our city will be preserved and our good name will remain unimpaired." All the rest acquiescing in this plan, they acted upon it, which was a pleasant sight to the emperor; however, that no fear or alarm might be shown on his part, he pmvsuecl them and prepared for a siege. Whilst all these events were passing, either by the instrumentality of the Roman church, or the enemies of the emperor, an internal discord was stirred up in the German provinces, by the duke of Austria, to quell which, letters and messengers were sent with all haste, explaining the great urgency of the case, and to summon him to return immediately. The emperor therefore raised the siege, for which he had made preparations, and returned into Germany, and the Milanese, on hearing this, seized by force on some castles, which the emperor had taken, and their garrisons, and put all the knights and soldiers of the emperor to death. When the emperor heard of this, he was much enraged, and not without good reason, and poured forth all his just indignation against the author of this evil; and punished the duke of Austria, by depriving him of his honours, lands, castles, and cities, scarcely granting him hislife; so that vengeance for the crime perpetrated by him against King Kichard, on his return from the Holy Land seemed even at this time unsatisfied, as the prophet says, "Although late, God severely punishes wickedness," and " visits the sins of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation."
In this year, about Michaelmas-day, Baldwin de Vere, a discreet, faithful, and eloquent man, returned to England and brought the emperors reply to the king, and gave a full account of all those matters to all who chose to listen to him.
About the same time, too, Peter, bishop of Winchester, returned from the continent, deprived of his bodily strength by disease. Near about the same time, too, namely on the Monday following that feast, deluges of rain fell in the northern parts of England, to such a degree that the rivers and lakes, overflowing their usual bounds, caused great damage by destroying bridges, mills, and other property near the banks.
In the same year, on the 16th of August, died Thomas de Blundeville, bishop of Norwich. And about the same time died William of Blois, bishop of Worcester, and Henry de Sandford, bishop of Rochester. Thomas, abbat of Evesham, also died in this year, and was succeeded by Richard, prior of Hurle.
Chronica Majora 1236 Violent storms of wind and destructive inundations
11 Nov 1236. On the day after the feast of St. Martin, and within the octaves of that feast, great inundations of the sea suddenly broke forth by night, and a fierce storm of wind arose, which caiLsed inundations of the rivers as well as of the sea, and in places, especially on the coast, drove the ships from their ports, tearing them from their anchors, drowned great numbers of people, destroyed flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle, tore up trees by the roots, overthrew houses, and ravaged the coast. The sea rose for two days and the intermediate night, a circumstance before unheard of, and did not ebb and flow in its usual way, being impeded (as was said) by the violence of the opposing winds. The dead bodies of those drowned were seen lying unburied in caves formed by the sea, near the coast, and at Wisbeach and the neighbouring villages, and along the seacoast, an endless number of human beings perished: in one town, and that not a populous one, about a hundred bodies were consigned to the tomb in one day. In the night of Christmas eve, also, a very fierce storm of wind raged, attended by thunder and a deluge of rain, and shook towers and other buildings, and the confusion of the elements rendered the roads and seas impassable. And thus in that year about the equinoctial season, the storm twice repeated ravaged England with irreparable damage. The Lord indeed seemed, owing to the sins of the people, to have sent this flood as a scourge to the earth, and to fulfil the threat contained in the Gospel "There shall be upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring."