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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 347



the king was so delighted at this promise, that he already began publicly to call the aforesaid Edmund king of Sicily ; believing, in fact, that he was already in possession of the kingdom. Accordingly, the king sent all the money he could procure to the lord the pope, that he might subdue Conrad and all his Sicilians and Apulians. And the pope collected a considerable army, and provided it abundantly with necessaries. And when his money began to fall short he informed the king, who sent him letters patent in the way of security, and undertook to make every thing quiet. And the pope acquiescing in such a message as this, having received a treasure of great amount from the usurers, collected a vast number of men in his army, the greater part of whom were of little service to either the king or the pope. Therefore, king Conrad having suffered hostile attacks, and reproaches and calumnies, began to be afflicted with severe grief, and to take to the bed of death. And he said, " Woe is me, miserable that I am ! Why did my father beget me ? The empire which has flourished to this day, is now withering." And so, cursing the day of his birth, he departed from the body in a miserable state. But when the pope heard of this, he moved down to the further side of Apulia, and seized upon nearly the whole of the kingdom. And when the nobles of the country saw this they were indignant, and setting up a natural son of Frederic, by name Manfred, they adhered to him, doing homage to him ; and So thé last error was worse than the first. After the feast of All Saints, a most terrible pestilence came, which is called the tongue's evil, and which caused the death of many horses in England and France, and made many others sick and useless, so that it was afterwards scarcely possible to cure them. But on the day after the Assumption, the monks of the church of Saint Albans set out on a journey towards Rome, with a view of repelling the insolence of the bishops, who were endeavouring to hold a visitation in that church, according to the commands of the Apostolic See, but contrary to the tenor of their privileges ; their names being the lord William of Huntingdon, and the lord John of Bere tun. The same year, in the winter season, when the sea had overflowed all the neighbouring lands, so that the corn could not be seen, nor could the trees put forth buds or leaves, when the time of autumn arrived all those lands, although they had been diligently cultivated, were found to be barren of every kind of corn, being thoroughly saturated, with the


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