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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 391



III., none excited more universal dissatisfaction, than the adulteration of the coin. As the Jews were the principal money-lenders in the kingdom all embarrassments of this kind, were by common consent attributed to their charac-teristic avarice. Edward's crusade to the Iloly Land, had not softened his prejudices towards this people, who, more than the In-fidels poured contempt upon the rites of Christianity. In his zeal for the public welfare he proscribed the obnoxious race and confiscated their estates to the crown, and ban-ished no less than fifteen thousand valuable inhabitants from the kingdom. Notwithstanding these rigorous meas-ures he still retained in his employ certain of the hated sect to assist in the correction of the currency. The trivial circumstance of a change in the form of the penny gave rise to some of the most important occurrences that transpired during his eventful reign. The "Welsh, deriving their ancestry from the early Brit-ons, placed the most implicit confidence in the prophecies of Merlin, which in an oracular manner set forth the desti-ny of the nation. One of these half-forgotten traditions, asserted that when the Eqglish penny should become round, a prince, born in "Wales, should be the acknowledged king of the whole British island. No sooner, therefore, had the new coin begun to circulate west of the Menai, than the bards commenced to ring their changes upon the mysterious circumstance, and to inflate the minds of their countrymen with the hopes of conquest. The successes of Llewellyn, their prince, in reconquering all the territory that had been wrested from them by the Normans, gave great encouragement to their ambition. Not availing himself of the act of indemnity the Welsh prince still maintained his allegiance to the party of the Montforts, and was plotting with the remaining adherents of that powerful faction for assistance from France. To in-tercept these hostile communications, Edward ordered his fleet into the channel under the command of Earl Dermot do la Clare, both to testify a regard for the Irish noble, and a ELEANORA. 407


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