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Richard of Devizes Chronicle

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Richard of Devizes
page 9

the castles should be ready at all times for their reception, that he would no longer bear in silence the destruction of his brother's kingdom and affairs.

Sect. 39. The chancellor, incredibly troubled at these threats, having summoned before him the peers and chiefs of the army, begins: "Never trust me if this man seeks not to subjugate the kingdom to himself; what he presumes is exorbitant, even if he had a right to wear the crown by annual turns with his brother, for Eteocles has not yet completed a full year in his government." He uttered many words of anguish after this manner; and then again having' taken heart, as he was greater in moral courage than in physical, conceiving great things in his mind, he sent the archbishop of Rouen to the earl, demanding in an imperative manner that he should deliver up the castles, and that he should answer before the court of King's bench for the breach of his oath to his brother. The archbishop, skilful in working with either hand, praised the constancy of the chancellor; and having proceeded to the earl, after the delivery of the mandates, he whispered in his ear, that whatever others might say, he should dare something great, worthy of Gyara and the dungeon, if he desired to be any thing. In public, however, he advised that the earl and the chancellor should agree to all interview, and that a reference to arbitration should end their disagreement.

Sect. 40. The earl, greatly exasperated at the impropriety of the mandates, was so altered in his whole body that a man would hardly have known him. Rancour made deep furrows in his forehead, his flaming eyes glistened, paleness discoloured the rosy complexion of his face, and I know what would have become of the chancellor, if in that hour of fury he had fallen as an apple into his hands while frantically raging. His indignation increased so much in his stifled breast, that it could not be kept from bursting out at least in part. "This son," said he, "of perdition, the worst of the evil ones, who first borrowed from the pleasantry of the French, and introduced among the English, the preposterous practice of kneeling, would not harass me, as you perceive, if I had not refused to learn the new craft offered to me" He would fain have said more, whether true or false, but recalling his presence of mind, and repressing his rage, "If I have spoken amiss," said he, "O archbishop, I ask pardon." After these frivolous expressions, they applied themselves to the weighty matters. They consulted about the demands of the chancellor; and the counsel of the archbishop, that there should be a meeting of them both, was agreed to, about the middle of the day. The day was fixed for the fifth of the calends of August; the place without Winchester. The chancellor allowed what they had settled to stand, and, having broken up the siege, returned to London.

Sect. 41. The earl, however, fearing his craftiness, brought thither four thousand Welsh, that, if the chancellor should endeavour to take him during the truce, they, being placed in ambush close beside the conference, might thwart his endeavours by a sally. Moreover, he commanded that it should be summoned, and required that every one of his men, and others, his adherents, should be prepared to go to battle, should attend him at the place and on the day of the engagement, so that as the interview between himself and the lord of the whole land had been undertaken, at least he might escape alive, if he, who was more than a king, though less in his eyes, should transgress against the law, or should not consent to an arrangement. The chancellor, however, on the other hand, commanded that one-third of the soldiery, with all the arms of all England, should proceed to Winchester by the day appointed; moreover, at the expense of the king's revenue he also hired some Welsh, that if it should come to a contest with the earl, he might have an equal array, and javelins threatening javelins.

Sect. 42. They came to the interview as was before agreed on, and it happened to terminate better than was feared. The agreement, moreover, made between the earl and the chancellor was thus, and in this way provided. First of all were named the three bishops of Winchester, London, and Bath, in whose fidelity each party considered himself secure. The bishops chose for the chancellor's part the three earls of Warren, of Arundel, of Clare, and certain other eight by name. For the earl's part, Stephen Ridel, the earl's chancellor, William de Venneval, Reginald de Wasseville, and certain other eight by name. These all, some beholding some touching the holy gospels, swore that they would provide satisfaction between the earl and the chancellor concerning their quarrels and questions to the honour of both parties and the peace of the kingdom. And if hereafter any disagreement should happen between them, they would faithfully end it. The earl also, and the chancellor, swore that they would consent to whatever the aforesaid jury should settle; and this was the provision. Gerard de Camville, being received into the chancellor's favour, the custody of the castle of Lincoln was reserved to him in peace and safety; the earl gave up the castles which he had taken, and the chancellor having received them, gave them over to the king's faithful and liege men, namely, to William de Wenn the castle of Nottingham, and to Reginald de Wasseville the castle of Tickhill; and each of them gave an hostage to the chancellor, that they would keep those castles in the safe peace and fidelity of their lord the king, if he should return alive. If, however, the king should die before his return, the aforesaid castles should be delivered up to the earl, and the chancellor should restore the hostages. The constables of the castles of the earl's honours should be changed by the chancellor, if the earl should shew reason for their being changed. The chancellor, if the king should die, should not seek the disherison of the earl; but should promote him to the kingdom with all his power. Concluded solemnly at Winchester, on the seventh of the calends of May.

Sect. 43. The chancellor, by wonderful importunity and earnestness, persuaded first a part of the monks, and afterwards the whole congregation of Westminster, to permit his brother, a monk of Cadomo, to profess a cohabitation in Westminster, and to be elected by all for their abbot for his profession and cohabitation on a day appointed; and that this election should not be broken, security was taken by a bond, with the church's seal affixed as a testimony.

Sect. 44. Geoffrey, a brother of King Richard and Earl John, but not by their mother, who had been consecrated archbishop of York at Tours, by the archbishop of Tours, by the pope's command, continually solicited by message John the king's brother and his own, that at the least it might be permitted him to return to England; and having obtained his consent, he

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