Global Folio Search
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access


width="8" height="8" class="img_no_border">



London: James S. Virtue, City Road and Ivy Lane New York: 26 John Street 1860 And Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. March 17, 1901


The compunction of Richard, for his undutiful behavior towards his father, was durable, and influenced him in the choice of his ministers and servants after his accession. Those who had seconded and favored his rebellion, instead of meeting with that trust and honor which they expected, were surprised to find that they lay under disgrace with the new king, and were on all occasions hated and despised by him. The faithful ministers of Henry, who had vigorously opposed all the enterprises of his sons, were received with open arms, and were continued in those offices which they had honorably discharged to their former master. This prudent conduct might be the result of reflection; but in a prince like Richard, so much guided by passion, and so little by policy, it was commonly ascribed to a principle still more virtuous and more honorable. Richard, that he might make atonement to one parent for his breach of duty to the other, immediately sent orders for releasing the queen dowager from the confinement in which she had long been detained; and he intrusted her with the government of England, till his arrival in that kingdom. His bounty to his brother John was rather profuse and imprudent. Besides bestowing on him the county of Mortaigne, in Normandy, granting him a pension of four thousand marks a year, and marrying him to Avisa, the daughter of the earl of Glocester, by whom he inherited all the possessions of that opulent family, he increased this appanage, which the late king had destined him, by other extensive grants and concessions. He conferred on him the whole estate of William Peverell, which had escheated to the crown: he put him in possession of eight castles, with all the forests and honors annexed to them: he delivered over to him no less than six earldoms, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Nottingham, Dorset, Lancaster and Derby. And endeavoring, by favors, to fix that vicious prince in his duty, he put it too much in his power, whenever he pleased, to depart from it. The king, impelled more by the love of military glory than by superstition, acted, from the beginning of his reign, as if the sole purpose of his government had been the relief of the Holy Land, and the recovery of Jerusalem from the Saracens. This zeal against infidels, being communicated to his subjects, broke out in London on the day of his coronation, and made them find a crusade less dangerous and attended with more immediate profit. The prejudices of the age had made the lending of money on interest pass by the invidious name of usury: yet the necessity of the practice had still continued it, and the greater part of that kind of dealing fell every where into the hands of the Jews, who, being already infamous on account of their religion, had no honor to lose, and were apt to exercise a profession, odious in itself, by every kind of rigor, and even sometimes by rapine and extortion. The industry and frugality of this people had put them in possession of all the ready money which the idleness and profusion common to the English with other European nations, enabled them to lend at exorbitant and unequal interest. The monkish writers represent it as a great stain on the wise and equitable government of Henry, that he had carefully protected this infidel race from all injuries and insults; but the zeal of Richard afforded the populace a pretence for venting their animosity against them. The king had issued an edict, prohibiting their appearance at his coronation; but some of them, bringing him large presents from their nation, presumed, in confidence of that merit, to approach the hall in which he dined: being discovered, they were exposed to the insults of the bystanders; they took to flight; the people pursued them; the rumor was spread that the king had issued orders to massacre all the Jews; a command so agreeable was executed in an instant on such as fell into the hands of the populace; those who had kept at home were exposed to equal danger; the people, moved by rapacity and zeal, broke into their houses which they plundered, after having murdered the owners; where the Jews barricadoed their doors, and defended themselves with vigor, the rabble set fire to their houses and made way through the flames to exercise the pillage and violence; the usual licentiousness of London, which the sovereign power with difficulty restrained, broke out with fury, and continued these outrages; the houses of the richest citizens, though Christians, were next attacked and plundered; and weariness and satiety at last put an end to the disorder: yet

* * *

Back To Section  

© Idea and design by Galina Rossi

All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated. If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate Monsalvat as a source and place link to us.