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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 221



England, full of suspicion to the Holy Land, pregnant with fear to the empire, turbulent as far as the whole church was concerned (since the papal chair was still vacant), and also to the brethren, who were separated from one another both in their situations and their hearts, so that scarcely seven or eight of them remained at Rome. The king of England delaying uselessly at Bourdeaux, money is collected in Englandfor his use. A.D. 1243, which is the twenty-seventh of the reign of king Henry the Third, the king was at Bourdeaux, not that he kept a Christmas feast there, but he wintered there, dawdling away his time unprofitably. And though the countess de Bearde, and Gerard, her son, and the men of Guienne, extorted from the king, whom they held to his promise, daily expenses according to their pleasure, and no inconsiderable sum as pay, yet neither the king nor the English thought of any warlike enterprise, except that, to avoid the imputation of doing nothing, they made themselves masters of some small towns on the borders of the district of Bourdeaux, which rebelled against them, and laid siege to a monastery whieh is called verrines, in which some rebels had taken refuge ; where, while one of the familiar councillors of the king, by * name John Mannsel, one of the secular clergy, was attacking the besieged with more animosity than all the rest, he was struck down by a blow from a stone, so as to be nearly killed, and wounded, too, with an arrow, so that he with difficulty escaped falling into the hands of his enemies. And because he had so cheerfully exposed himself to danger of death for the king's honour, though he was admitted to his familiarity before, he was more so now, and though rich before, he became richer now, so that he deservedly attained to the level of the nobles and chiefs of the land ; and most abundant revenues were bestowed upon him. About the same time, the monks of Coventry, having received information of the death of the abbot of Evesham, who was also bishop elect of Coventry, with the consent of some of the canons of Lichfield, elected their precentor, the lord William of Mont Pestle, a holy man, of high character and great learning, to be the bishop and shepherd of their souls ; but the lord the king, according to his established custom, wishing rather to promote some one else to be bishop,


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