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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 134



if I am your liegeman for the tenement which you have given me, I am so far bound to you ; but with respect to the kingdom of England, what right have you to determine anything at all ? I submit myself to the judgment of my peers, as to whether you have any power to compel me not to follow up my rights, especially such as do in nowise concern you, or whether you are not, on the contrary,· bound to do me justice, because I am prepared, if need be, to fight even to the death for the inheritance of my wife, the niece of king John." And when the legate heard this, he requested the king to grant him a safe conduct through his territories, which the king kindly did grant. Accordingly, king Philip still dissembling, Louis hastened his march to the sea-coast, in order to cross over to England, and arrive there before the legate. And when he was on the point of embarking on board ship, he found in the harbour of Calais a most gallant and numerous fleet, amounting to six hundred ships and eighty transports, well equipped, which Eustace the monk, who has been mentioned above, had collected there against his arrival. . Then Louis and all his followers embarked on board the ships, and came with a fair wind to the isle of Thanet, and anchored in the place which is called £tani)ore, on the twenty-first of May. King John was at that time with his army at Dover, but as he was surrounded by a band of foreign mercenaries, who loved Louis more than John, king of England, he did not dare to encounter Louis in a hostile manner, lest his troops might'perchance desert king John himself in his necessity, and transfer themselves to Louis. From which considerations he preferred retreating at the time to engaging in a doubtful battle. Therefore, he retreated, and withdrew to Canterbury, and left and entrusted the castle of Dover to the custody and good faith of Hubert de Burgh. And soon afterwards, Guaio, the legate, landed in England, for the protection of king John and the kingdom against Louis and his partisans. But king John fled as far as Winchester, and Louis, when he found that no one offered to resist him, disembarked from his ships, and landing at Sandwich, subdued immediately the whole of that district, * with the exception of the town of Dover, and hastening towards London, he made himself master of the castle of Rochester, and on the second of June he arrived in London, where first of all he offered up prayers at Saint Paul's, and was afterwards publicly received by the clergy and laity with


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