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HISTORY OF CYPRUS

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Benedict of Peterborough
How Richard, king of England, seized and conquered Cyprus
page 2

 

sleep, were as dead men, knowing not what to do, nor whither to fly.  The Emperor himself escaped with a few men, naked, and leaving behind him his treasure, his horses, his armour, his magnificent tents, and his imperial standard wrought all over with gold, which the king of England at once dedicated to the blessed Edmund, King and Martyr of glorious memory.
On the morrow many counts and barons of the kingdom came to the king of England, and became his men, swearing fealty to him against the Emperor and all men, and gave him hostages.  Three days later Guy, king of Jerusalem, Gaufrid of Lezinant his brother, Anfrid of Turun, Raimund [Boemmund III.] Prince of Antioch, Boemund [Raymond III.] his son, count of Tripoli, and Leo, brother [cousin] of Rupin of the mountain, came to meet the king of England in Cyprus and there they became his men, and swore him fealty against all men.
On the same day the Emperor of Cyprus, seeing that all his people were deserting him, sent ambassadors to the king of England, to sue for mercy, and offered to make peace on these conditions, namely, that he should give the king of England 20,000 marks of gold, by way of compensation for the money taken from the bodies of those who had perished in the shipwreck, and surrender the persons and goods of the survivors; also, that he should himself accompany the king to Syria, and remain there in the service of God, together with a hundred men-at-arms, and four hundred Turcople horsemen, as long as the king stayed there; also, that he should deliver his only daughter and heiress into the king's hand to be married by him to whomsoever he would, and with her his Empire; furthermore, that he should surrender the castles of his realm to the king, as a pledge for the steadfast observance of the treaty.
These conditions having been proposed and accepted, the Emperor came to the king of England, and, in the presence of the king of Jerusalem, the Prince of Antioch, and the rest of the Lords and of the Princes of all his Empire, swore fealty to the king of England and his heirs, as his liege lords, against all men, binding himself also by his oath to keep and perform the aforesaid treaty, steadfastly and unshakably, in good faith and without guile. On the same day after the midday meal the Emperor was in his tent: whilst the king's men-at-arms, into whose charge he had been given, took their midday sleep, the Emperor, repenting of having made the abovementioned treaty with the king of England, secretly made his escape.  Then he sent a message to the king to say that never would he keep peace or treaty with him.  This, as it appeared, gave the king great pleasure, and, like a wary and prudent man, he immediately placed a large part of his army under the command of Guy, king of Jerusalem, and the other princes, saying to them, "Pursue and take the man, if you can.  Meanwhile, I will sail round Cyprus with my galleys, and station guards all round the island, lest that forsworn deceiver escape my hands."
As he had spoken, so did he.  The galleys he divided into two squadrons, handing one over to Robert of Tornham, and retaining the other under his own command.  Then they embarked, and setting sail, the king in one direction, and Robert in the other, sailed round the whole island, seizing all the ships and galleys they found in their course. The Griffons and Herminians, who had been charged with the defence of the Emperor's towns and castles and stores, seeing such a. host of armed men and ships coning, fled into the mountains, leaving them without a guard.  So the king and Robert took all the castles, towns and ports which they found empty, and having garrisoned and provisioned them and left guard ships, returned to Limeszun; on the other hand, the king of Jerusalem and his forces were able to achieve but little in the course of their expedition.
On the 12th day of May, being Sunday, and the feast of Saints Nereus, Achilleus and Pancratius, Richard, king of England, took to himself in marriage Berengaria, daughter of the king of Navarre.  Nicolas, the king's chaplain, performed the office of this sacrament. On the same day the king caused his wife to be crowned Queen of England in the city of Limeszun by John, bishop of Evreux, in the presence of the archbishops of Apamea and Auch, the bishop of Bayonne, and many others.
After this the king of England, hearing that the Emperor's daughter was in a very strong castle called Cherin, went thither with his army. On his approach towards the fortress the Emperor's daughter came to meet him, and falling at his feet, did him obeisance, putting herself and the castle at his mercy.  Then was delivered to him the exceeding strong castle called Buffevent, and after that all the towns and fortresses of the Empire were surrendered.
The wretched Emperor lay in hiding in a certain strongly fortified abbey called Cape Saint Andrea. Hearing that the king was at hand, he went out to meet him, and falling at his feet prayed the king to spare him in life and limb, saying never a word about the realm, for as much as he knew that all was now in the king's hand and power.  This only he begged from the king, that he would not suffer him to be bound in fetters of iron.  The king heard his prayer, and put him in charge of Ralph, son of Godfrey, his chamberlain, to watch and ward, giving word that fetters of gold and silver should be made, to bind the Emperor's hands and feet withal, and that he should be made fast in them.  All these things befell in Cyprus in the month of June, on the first day of the month, being the vigil of Whitsunday. All things having been ordered for the security of the king's Empire, and garrisons placed in the towns and castles, the king put in charge of Cyprus Richard of Camville and Robert of Tornham.
On the same day (June 1, 1191) Berengaria, Queen of England, the Queen of Sicily, and the daughter of the Emperor of Cyprus, accompanied by the greater part of the king's fleet, came to the camp before Acre. On the same day also died Philip, Count of Flanders, in the siege of Acre.
 

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