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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 300



the whole nobility of England was convoked by the king's edict, in order to take the affairs of the kingdom, now in a sadly disturbed and pauperised state, into diligent consideration, at Westminster. Accordingly there came thither, besides a great number of barons and knights, and abbots, and priors, and clergy, two bishops and an equal number of earls. And when the lord the king had demanded pecuniary assistance of them, the nobles became very indignant ; especially because, at the last exaction of the kind, to which the nobles of England hardly consented, the king had granted a charter in which he had promised that he would no longer inflict such an injury and grievance on them. Moreover, the king was reproved for his indiscreet invitation of foreigners into the kingdom, among whom he with great prodigality lavished and distributed all the riches of bis kingdom, to its great impoverishment. He also had married the nobles of his realm to strangers and people of low birth ; in many instances without requiring that mutual consent which is requisite to make a proper marriage. Besides all this, he was blamed for seizing by force everything which he wanted for his expenses in meat, drink, or clothing, without making any agreement, or granting any delay. He was also reproached for mercilessly impoverishing the bishoprics and abbacies, and even the wardships which were vacant, contrary to that oath which is the first and principal one that he takes at his coronation. And he was also bitterly accused for not having, as his noble father and predecessors had had, a justiciary and a chancellor, and treasurer, appointed by the common council of the kingdom, as was proper and expedient ; but only such men as followed his will, whatever it might be, as long as it was profitable to themselves to do so ; men who sought not the advantage of the commonwealth, but each his own gain. When the lord the king heard these accusations, he was confused, and blushed, and, blushing, he grieved that he had offended God and man in so many particulars ; and he promised, with all humility, that he would most certainly and cheerfully'amend his conduct in all these points. But though with lowly countenance and frequent entreaties he thus endeavoured to bend them to his will in the matter, that is, of granting him pecuniary aid, yet the whole body would not consent, having been so frequently deceived ; and all answered him with one consent—we eagerly desire amendment, and are


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