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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 233



the Saracens and those worst of all Saracens, the Chorosmines, and all the Christians who were able to bear arms, and a terrible slaughter, and one to be lamented throughout all ages, took place, and the masters of the Temple and the Hospital were both taken and led into captivity, and so were nearly all the Templars and Hospitallers, and other brethren of the different orders, so that the house of the Germans of Saint Lazarus, and nearly all the nobles of the Holy Land, either fell in battle, or were oppressed in captivity by the Saracens. For the soldan of Babylon, whom the Templars had attacked, having broken the treaty of truce which had been entered into by earl Richard, in revenge for such an injury, urged on the Chorosmines to their extermination. But the Tartars had previously repelled the aforesaid Chorosmines from their territories with the edge of the sword, and so the miserable Christians became, as their sins had well deserved, the prey of robbers and plunderers. This melancholy battle then, so ruinous and disgraceful to the church of Christ, took place under an unhappy star, between Ascalon and Gazara, on Saint Luke's day. And while the whole human race was thus in agitation and disorder in Syria, the divine power also raged against human affairs throughout England and its borders. Therefore, the Roman church, laying aside all shame in the time of our new pope, Innocent the Fourth, in a manner very contrary to the hopes which we had entertained, ceased not, by daily measures, to extort revenues in an unwise manner, not departing at all from the path of his predecessors, but rather making his hand heavier upon all men. Therefore, the murmur which had been long conceived and suppressed in the hearts of the English, now, although late, burst forth into open complaints, and men, as if labouring to speak, were not able to contain themselves any longer ; for their patience was sluggish, and their humility produced no advantage, but was rather injurious to them, and the insatiable wantonness of Rome took advantage of it. Accordingly, the nobles of the whole kingdom assembled together, and made a vigorous representation to the king on the subject, asserting that it was better to die than any longer to submit to such enormities ; for it was not their intention, nor that of their predecessors, when they conferred estates on men of religious orders, and other places built out of pious considerations, to give them merely to be distributed at the pope's pleasure among Italians,


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