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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 210

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Captain Savile continues :— " Richard expressed his willingness to take over the island, but refused to return the 40,000 besants. King Guy de Lusignan now came forward, and having arranged with the Templars that in the event of his being made king of Cyprus he would refund to them what they had paid, went to Richard and asked him for the island as compensation for the loss of the crown of Jerusalem, engaging also to pay the same sum that the Templars had agreed to. This offer was accepted, and Guy intrusted to his Chancellor, Pierre d'Engoulesme, Bishop of Tripoli, the task of raising the money. The sum of 60,000 besants was collected by means of loans from the citizens of Tripoli and from the Genoese, and was paid by Guy to Richard, who asked for the remaining 40,000 besants ; but Guy then pleaded poverty, and it is stated that the English king did not urge this claim further. " Guy de Lusignan at once took possession of the island (May 1192), but it appears, according to De Mas Latrie, that he never actually assumed the title of King of Cyprus. His reign was but short, lasting only one year and eleven months ; but from all accounts he governed wisely, and restored order and tranquillity in the island. One of his first measures was the establishment of a feudal system, and he endowed with portions of land, according to rank, about 300 knights and 200 esquires, who formed the nucleus of the nobility and privileged bodies in Cyprus. The Lusignan dynasty thus commenced in 1192, continued until 1489, and terminated with Queen Catherine Cornaro, when Cyprus was annexed by the Venetian Republic. I did not ascend to the castle of Buffavento, which towered above the monastery about two miles distane, ο

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