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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 122



of York, died, after having passed seven years in banishment for his defence of the liberties of the church and the execution of justice. King John, being in great straits, wished to turn the miseries which he had incurred by his own guilt on those who had sought to restrain his madness ; and began to accuse first one and then the other of his nobles of treason, calling them jealous, miserable wittols, whose wives, as he used to boast, he had violated, and whose daughters he had deflowered. Among others, he began to insult beyond measure Robert Fitz-Walter with reproaches and threats ; and he endeavoured to destroy his castle which he had in London, namely, Castle Baynard, on the Monday which was the day after the feast of Saint Hilary, by stirring up enemies against him in London. The same year, in the month of January, Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of London, and Eustace, bishop of Ely, returned from the court of Rome, and having held a conference in the countries beyond the sea, they formally laid before the king of France, and the Gallican bishops and clergy, and all the people, the sentence which had been passed at Rome against the king of England for his contumacy. After which, they, on the part of the lord the pope, laid an injunction on the king of France, and on all the rest then present, that, for the remission of their sins, they should all march in a hostile manner against England, depose king John from the throne of the kingdom, and elect in his stead some one else who might be worthy, in obedience to the Apostolic authority. Then, the king of France perceiving that matters had come to the point which had been long desired, girded himself manfully for the war, and commanded all the men in his dominions, dukes, earls, and barons, knights and esquires, to assemble in strength at Rouen in Easter week, on pain of being accounted base, and as they wished to avoid appearing guilty of the crime of lése majesté. He also caused all the ships that belonged to him, and all that he could collect from all quarters, to be furnished to the best of his power with corn, and wine, and meat, and all kinds of arms, in order that his large army might have abundance of all necessary supplies. But when king John received information of all this, he, in the month of March, caused all the most stronglybuilt ships to assemble from all the harbours of England, that he might be able to make a gallant and effectual resistance to those who were endeavouring to invade England. In


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