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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 412



Α.Ό. 1263. MATTHIAS UE BESILL TAKEN PBISONEB. 405 η ors, domains, fortresses, and towns, and all the property which they could find, whether belonging to the church or to the laity. On which account, Peter, bishop of Hereford, a Burgundian by birth, was arrested in his own cathedral church, and conducted to the castle of Erdesley, his treasure, of which he had a great store, and all his farms being given up to plunder and confusion. But the secular canons, his fellowcountrymen, whom he had introduced into his church, being arrested in like manner, were sent off with him, and committed to prison. After this, that army advanced as far as Gloucester, and besieged the castle there for four days, in which Matthias de Besill, a foreigner, to whom the county and the governorship of the castle had been committed by the king, was shut up with a small garrison. And he maintained himself in it so long, positively refusing to surrender to the besieging army till the first gate towards the city was burnt ; and then by the treachery of those who were in prison, and who were released from confinement that they might be a help to the besieged, a postern in another part of the castle was opened to the entrance of the besiegers, and so the barons suddenly entered ; and Matthias was compelled to take refuge in a very strong tower, fortified with triple gates of iron, and the strongest bolts. But nevertheless that entrance was broken in with iron hammers and axes, and so the enemy entered, and Matthias was taken prisoner, though even now, neither the fear of death, nor the threats of the enemy, could make him willing to surrender, which was remarked to his praise, even by his enemies. And therefore he was conducted to the bishop above mentioned, to be treated in a similar manner to him. After that, the enemy marched to Worcester, and entered in without any opposition, or any barrier, although the citizens had received letters from the king on the subject of keeping the town and city safely. Having received oaths of fidelity from the citizens, the army proceeded to Bruges, and there took the royal town, which the citizens nobly defended the first day, and kept the barons out ; but at last they made a covenant with them, that the Welch (an innumerable host of whom were assailing the city on the other side) should not be allowed to enter, and then on the following day they surrendered. After this event those barons turned their steps towards the southern parts of the kingdom, taking with them the aforesaid earl as their general, by whom


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