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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 205



Vili.] FREDERICK II. 199 for the barons of the kingdom to meet and choose a regent or guardian. The practice seems to have been to leave the queen-mother as regent, with a bailiff or high-steward to do the work of government. In the year 1228 the case in Cyprus was this: the King Henry, although old enough at seven to be crowned, was still a minor. His mother, Queen Alice, had married a second husband, Bohemond V, heir of Antioch, and had quarreled with the lords of Ibelin, who were not only her nearest relations, but the most powerful and cleverest of the acclimatised baronage. These lords were the sons of that Balian of Ibelin who was supposed, by going to mass instead of to battle, to have ruined the chances of Guy of Lusignan at Nazareth in May, 1187: he had married the widow of King Amalric I, and his sons were thus half-brothers to the many-husbanded Queen Isabella, great-uncles to King Henry, and half-uncles to Queen Alice. So long then as the family party hung together, they formed a strong phalanx ; when they quarreled, all the internal strength of the kingdom was turned against itself. The second marriage of Queen Alice probably broke up the unity. Philip of Ibelin died in 1227; John of Ibelin, lord of Berytus, naturally expected to succeed him as bailiff ; the queen proposed a baron named Amalric Barlais. John succeeded in maintaining his position, and became bailiff or regent under the nominal guardianship of the queen. But the struggle was still proceeding when Frederick II, on his way to Palestine, arrived in the Levant. Frederick II, as I need not remind you, was already the ' Stupor mundi,' the man of unbounded ambition and almost ubiquitous versatility, who never did a great or truly kingly act, or followed any but a selfish aim. He was, as son of Henry VI, heir of imperial aspirations that coveted the whole world, and, as the husband of Yolanda of Brienne, father and guardian of the young heir of Palestine. Yolanda, who must have been a child when she


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