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Richard of Devizes Chronicle

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Richard of Devizes
page 2

Sect. 6. A circumstance happened on the selfsame day of the coronation in Westminster Abbey, a presage of such portentous omen, as

2Henry, son of King Henry II., is frequently styled Henry the Third, in the early Chronicles.

then was hardly allowable to be related even in a whisper. At Complin, the last hour of the day, the first peal that day happened to be rung, neither by any agreement, nor even the ministers of the church themselves being aware of it, till after it was done; for Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, and the solemn service of vespers and two masses were celebrated without any ringing of peals.

Sect. 7. Stephen de Marzia, (3) seneschal of Anjou, under the king lately deceased, he great and mighty, singularly fierce, and the master of his lord, being taken and cast into chains, was dragged to Winchester, where being made a gazing-stock to angels and to men, emaciated with woeful hunger, and broken with the weight of his irons, he was constrained to the payment of thirty thousand pounds of money of Anjou, and the promise of fifteen thousand pounds, for his ransom. Ralph de Glanville, justiciary of the realm of England and the king's eye, a man not inferior to Stephen, except in manners and riches, being deprived of authority and given into custody, redeemed merely his liberty to go and come for fifteen thousand pounds of silver. And whereas this name, Glanville, had been so great the day before, a name as it were above every name, so that whosoever, to whom it should be given by the Lord, would converse among princes, and would be adored by the people, yet the next morning there remained not one in the land who could be called by this name. That was the ruin of those two, to wit, of Stephen and Ralph, which also it is certain has been the ruin of thousands before them, and which hereafter may ruin others, namely, a suspicion arising from the confidence of their former lord.

Sect. 8. John, the king's brother, who alone of the sons of his mother, queen Eleanor, survived his brother, besides the earldom of Mortain, which, by his father's gift, he had long enjoyed, was so greatly enriched and increased in England by his brother, that both privately and publicly it was affirmed by many that the king had no thoughts of returning to the kingdom, and that his brother, already no less powerful than himself, if he should not restrain his innate temper, would, impelled by the desire of sovereignty, endeavour to drive him vanquished from the realm.

(3) Otherwise called Stephen de Turonis.

Sect. 9. The time of commencing his journey pressed hard upon King Richard, as he, who had been first of all the princes on this side the Alps in the taking up of the cross, was unwilling to be last in setting out. A king worthy of the name of king, who, in the first year of his reign, left the kingdom of England for Christ, scarcely otherwise than if he had departed never to return. So great was the devotion of the man, so hastily, so quickly and so speedily did he run, yea fly, to avenge the wrongs of Christ. However, whilst he kept the greater matter in his mind, giving himself in some little measure to deliberation for the kingdom, having received power from the pope that he might withdraw the cross from such of his own subjects, as he should desire, for the government of his kingdom, he first appointed Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham, to be chief justice of the whole realm, and with design, as is thought by many, further creating him a young earl of Northumberland out of an old bishop, the custody of as many castles as he liked being yielded to him, he diligently cleared from his coffers ten thousand pounds of silver. Geoffrey Fitz Peter, William Briwere, and Hugh Bardulf being permitted to remain at home, the cross being withdrawn from them, the king's treasurer transferred the whole collections of the three as three nuts into the Exchequer. All the sheriffs of the kingdom, on any trivial accusation falling under the king's displeasure, were deprived of their unlucky power, and scarcely permitted to see his face, even by the mediation of inestimable treasure. Ralph de Glanville, than whom none of his time was more subtle whilst he was in power, now being reduced to a private person by his prince, was so stupefied through grief, that his son-in-law, Ralph de Ardenne, utterly lost, by reason of his careless talk, whatever he had previously acquired by the judgment of his mouth. He too, himself, because he was an old man, and not able to bear fatigue, if he had been willing to give the king that little which remained after the payment of the fine, as a gratuity, would easily have obtained a remission of the peril of the journey. The king received security from the tributary kings of the Welsh and of the Scots, that they would not pass their borders for the annoyance of England during his absence.

Sect. 10. Godfrey, son of that renowned Richard de Luci, Richard (Fitz Neale) the treasurer, Hubert Walter, and William de Longchamp, four men of no small virtue, and of no mean praise, were elected at Pippewelle to the four vacant sees, viz. Winchester, London, Salisbury, and Ely. They all obtained sufficient canonical nomination, and especially the elect of Winchester, who obtained his nomination to the dignity on the seventeenth of the kalends of October (Sept. 15), while the election of the other three was delayed till the morrow, the king consenting and the archbishop confirming what was done, although at the first he would rather have had it somewhat otherwise: concerning which it wonderfully happened that he, who had been nominated to one of the sees by the archbishop's means, died that very day. William, bishop elect of Ely, retained the king's seal on the payment of three thousand pounds of silver, although Reginald the Italian had bid one thousand more. The bishops elect of Winchester and Salisbury were consecrated at Westminster, by Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, on the eleventh of the kalends of November (Oct. 22). On that day, Hugh de Nonante, bishop of Coventry, laid his complaint before the archbishop and bishops assembled at the consecration of the bishops elect, against his monks of Coventry, for having laid violent hands on him and drawn his blood before the altar. He had also expelled the greater part of the congregation before his complaint, nor did he cease from his importunity until he had obtained the sanction of all the bishops in attestation to the pope against the monks.

Sect. 11. Godfrey, bishop of Winchester, mindful of his profession, suing for the restoration of the possessions of his church, which had been taken away, as no one had any right of replevin against the church of Winchester with respect to its two manors, namely Meones and Weregrave, recovered them by judicial decree, three thousand pounds of silver being privately given to the king. Nor did the considerate man omit at the same time to pay a fine to the king for

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