History of England W.W. Dulcken P.H.D. ( WARD LOCK & Co )
The Holy Land, held since the middle of the sixth century by the Mussulmans, had been one of the first victories of the disciples of Mohammed; and henceforward the subjugation of the country had been a theme of indignation and sorrow to Christendom. It was believed that an especial sanctity was attached to the places where Christ had suffered death for mankind, and where His tomb was yet to be seen. The pilgrimage to Jerusalem was regarded as the most effectual means for the expiation of sins; and great numbers of pilgrims journeyed, alone or in bands, to Palestine, to pray at the tomb of the Saviour. Already adventurous knights, after seeking through Europe new fields for their valour, had carried defiance to the Mussulman; but most of these had been slain, and only a few returned to Europe, where the recital of their perils and of their glorious deeds of arms filled every soul with an ardent and pious emulation. Such was the public disposition of feeling, when an enthusiast, known as Peter the Hermit, quitted the town of Amiens, his native place, to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The sight of the holy places excited to the highest degree his pious fervour: he returned to Europe and repaired to Italy. There he exhorted Pope Urban II. to place himself at the head of the nations of Europe, conjoined for the deliverance of the Holy Sepulchre and the rescue of the bones of the saints from the hands of the Mussulmans. He won over the Pontiff to his views, and received from him letters to all the Christian princes, with the mission of stimulating them to this holy enterprise. Peter the Hermit travelled through Europe, he inflamed the imagination of the nobles and the people, he preached to them salvation, and promised them Paradise if they would go to Palestine.
Two years later, in 1095, a council, convoked by
the Pope, assembled at Clermont in Auvergne, on the 18th of November. A great number of princes and nobles of all
ranks flocked thither, and 310 bishops supported the solemnity under the presidency of Urban II. himself. After
having settled clerical affairs, Urban drew a pathetic picture of the desolation of the holy shrines; he lamented
bitterly the afflictions suffered by the Christians of Palestine, and the listening throng burst into sobs and
"Enrol yourselves under the banners of God: advance, sword in hand, like true children of Israel, into the land of promise : charge boldly and doubt not that, opening a path through the armies of the infidels and the numbers of their host, the Cross will ever be victorious for the Crusader. Make yourselves masters of those fertile lands which infidels have usurped: drive out thence heresy and impiety; in short, make their land produce palms only for you, and out of their spoils raise magnificent trophies to glory, religion, and the French nation." At these words the transport was general, his hearers quivered with indignation, and impatiently desired to arm at once - at once to depart :-" Let us go," said the whole assembly, "it is the will of God it is the will of God " "Go then" replied the Pope, " go, brave champions of Jesus Christ, avenge His wrong; and since all together have cried 'It is the will of God 'let those words be the battle-cry of your holy enterprise." The distinctive sign, adopted in common by all these warriors, was a cross of red cloth worn on the right shoulder, and from this was derived the name Crusade - from the French croisade, from croix, cross. The princes and nobles received such crosses from the hands of the Pope; the people came in crowds, and the cardinals and bishops distributed these badges with their benedictions : to take the Cross, was to vow to make the sacred journey.
The substance of this oration, which was composed
and written, is preserved by William of Malmesbury, who assures us that he has retained some parts of it unchanged.
"Go I" said he, with confidence, " to attack the enemies of God. The cause of your labours will
be charity (that is, piety joined to benevolence); the wages of charity will be the favour of God ; the favour
of God is followed by eternal life. They have usurped Asia, the greatest part of the globe, where sprung up all
the branches of our worship ; which the apostles have consecrated by their martyrdom. They usurp even the sepulchre
of our Lord, and sell admissions to that city, which ought above all to be open to Christians. The Turks and Saracens
oppress even Spain, a noble part of our own Europe. They threaten the rest. Let such as will fight for Christianity
put a red cross upon their garments, as the symbol of the Redeemer's suffering, as an outward sign of their own
love. Go, and employ in noble warfare that valour and sagacity which you waste in civil broils. Do you fear death
? - Death hastens the entry of the good into their country; death hinders the ungodly from adding to his wickedness?'
The Crusaders separated to prepare for departure and to communicate to others their pious ardour . The general meeting of the ardent host was fixed for the spring of the following year. The , enthusiasm meanwhile extended to every class in Christendom. Each one desired to merit salvation by devoting , himself to a desperate undertaking, by essaying an adventurous life in unknown lands. An immense number of serfs, peasants, homeless wanderers, and even women and children, assembled together; and their impatience could brook neither obstacles nor delays. They divided into two bands, led, the one by "Peter the Hermit," the other by a knight named "Walter the Moneyless."
Their fanatic zeal displayed itself on the way by a general massacre of the un-offending Jews. They devastated for their support the countries through which they passed, raising up in arms against themselves the outraged population; and almost all perished of famine, fatigue, and misery, before they reached Palestine. Notwithstanding, the flower of European chivalry took up arms for the Cross, and the nobles pawned their property to defray the expenses of the enterprise. Robert Curt-Hose, of Normandy, mortgaged his duchies of Normandy and Maine to his brother William II., Rufus, for 10,000 marks (£6,666 13s. 4d sterling), a sum raised by great oppression by the English king; and William, Duke of Guienne and Count of Poitiers, followed his example. "In later periods, the temporal benefits of undertaking a Crusade undoubtedly blended themselves with less selfish considerations. Men resorted to Palestine, as in modem times they have done to the colonies, in order to redeem their fame or repair their fortune. Thus Gui de Lusignan, after flying from France for murder, was ultimately, 1186, raised to the throne of Jerusalem. To the more vulgar class were held out inducements which, though absorbed in the over-ruling fanaticism of the first Crusade, might be exceedingly efficacious when it began rather to flag. During the time that a crusader bore the cross, he was free from suit for his debts, and the interest of them was entirely abolished ; he was exempted, in some instances at least, from taxes, and placed under the protection of the Church, so that he could not be impleaded in any civil court, except on criminal charges or disputes relating to land- Hallam.
In the first Crusade the warriors divided themselves into three formidable armies the first was commanded by Robert, Duke of Normandy and Maine, eldest son of William the Conqueror,-the second by Godfrey of Bouillon, the hero of his age, who was son of Eustace, Earl of Boulogne, had received Antwerp from the Emperor Henry IV., and became Duke of Lower Lorraine in 1089, - and the third by the Count of Toulouse, Raymond de St. Gilles. Godfrey was proclaimed commander-in-chief: 10,000 knights followed him, with 70,000 men on foot from France, Lorraine, and Germany; the general muster was at Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Emperor, Alexius Comnenus. The Eastern successor of the Caesars received them with discourtesy, and hastened to give them vessels to cross the Bosphorus, after having cunningly obtained from them the oath of homage for their future conquests. The Crusaders first possessed themselves of Nicaea, - 20th June, 1097, - then of Antioch, - 3rd June, 1098,- through sanguinary struggles; and at length achieved the conquest of Jerusalem, after a siege from the 7th of June to the 15th of July, 1099. In 1099 - Christian kingdom was founded in Palestine; Godfrey de Bouillon was its recognised king, but contented himself with the title of "Baron of the Holy Sepulchre." Feudalism was organized in the East; three great fiefs of the Crown of Jerusalem were created: there were the principalities of Antioch and Edessa, and the earldom of Tripoli; there was a Marquis of Jaffa, a Prince of Galilee, a Baron of Sidon; and the name of "Franks" became in Asia, and continued, an appellation common to all Christians. Such were the principal facts of the first and most celebrated crusade . There only returned to Europe one tenth of the number who quitted it .
The Second Crusade
During Stephen's reign the Second Crusade, 1147
- 1149, - occurred. It was preached with great success by St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, and was commanded by
King Louis VII. of France in person, who went forth on his journey at the head of 100,000 Frenchmen. But here he
ended his reputation as a king and knight Conrad III., Emperor of Germany, preceded Louis VII. with a formidable
army, led by Greek guides; and the Crusaders started for Palestine by the land route through Iconium ; but they
were led by Turkish guides into desert, mountainous regions, where, after first suffering terribly from want of
provisions, they suddenly found the hills around covered with Turkish troops. Exhausted by hunger and thirst, and
harassed by the arrows of the enemy, the Germans endeavoured to retreat. They fell by thousands, from exhaustion,
or pierced with the arrows of the Turks. Of the magnificent army, scarcely a tenth part escaped with Conrad to
Constantinople. A second detachment, led by Bishop Otto of Freising, the king's half-brother, by another route
to Syria, fared little better.
Warned by this result, Louis VII. set out on the road along the sea-coast through Smyrna and Ephesus, but with no better success. When the army, after innumerable hardships, reached the coast of Pamphylia, in the most lamentable condition, an agreement was made with the Greeks, that they should take the king, the barons, and the wealthier knights by ship to Antiochia, the Crusaders, and conduct the remaining Crusaders by land, furnishing them with provisions. But the agreement was not fulfilled. After the remaining Crusaders had parted with everything they had, they were abandoned to destruction. Many perished of hunger, pestilence, and privation ; others were slain by the Turks, or sold into slavery. Only a few escaped through the compassion and generosity of the enemy.
At Jerusalem, which Louis and his escort reached after passing through Tyre and Ptolemais, and where Conrad also arrived at last with the remains of his army, a plan of operations was decided on against Damascus. But the design was frustrated, in spite of Conrad's heroic courage and daring, by the treachery of the Eastern Christians and the strength of the city. Presently Damascus, the beautiful seat of government of one of the still independent Mohammedan chiefs, also fell into the power of the brave and just Nureddin, who thus approached near the frontiers of the Christian kingdom. Louis VII. had lost the half of his own forces on the mountain of Laodicea. He fruitlessly undertook many enterprises, each of which was marked by a disaster; at length the whole expedition of Louis VII. was reduced, as far as he was concerned, to a pious pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre. He returned to Europe with the Crusader princes, and brought with him only a few soldiers. His entire force had been annihilated. After Nureddin's death, the generous, brave, and cultured Saladin, the chief of the Kurds, and commander of the mercenary troops, seized the Sultanship of Egypt in 1174, put an end to the Shiite caliphate on the Nile, and in a short time united under his sceptre all the countries from Cairo to Aleppo.
Soon the kingdom of Jerusalem was threatened. In the battle of Ramla, in 1178, not far from Ascalon, the bravery of the Crusaders achieved the last glorious victory over the powerful enemy, by which the fall of the Christian supremacy was delayed a few years longer. Saladin granted a truce; but when this was violated by a Christian knight in the valley of Hebron, the treacherous adventurer Rainald of Chatillon, who with insolent audacity surprised and robbed a passing caravan, the Sultan marched into the field with an armed force, July, 1187. The battle of Hittin, on the Lake of Gennesareth, not far from the town of Tiberias, was decided against the Christians, who were weakened by discord and treachery, for "their God had turned from them." King Guido and many of his nobles were taken prisoners after a brave contest; the Templars were repulsed, and Rainald was slain by the Sultan's own hand; Joppa, Sidon, Accon, and other towns fell into the hands of the conqueror ; and at last Jerusalem itself was lost, in October, 1187. The crucifixes were torn down, and the Christian symbols and vessels destroyed; but the inhabitants were treated with lenity
The Third Crusade
Richard I. was enthusiastically devoted to the new
or the third Crusade, in which his father had also been preparing to take part; but he was by no means scrupulous
in the means he took to raise money for this purpose. He sold benefices and the Crown lands, and "would have
sold London itself if he could have found a purchaser," as he himself declared. He even degraded the Chief
Justiciary, Ranulf de Glanville, the earliest writer on English law, from his office, and gave the office to the
highest bidder, a Frenchman, William Long-champ, bishop of Ely, for 3,000 marks, £2,000 sterling. He sold
to the Scottish king his claim to the suzerainty for 10,000 marks, £6,666 13s. 4d. sterling. Having extorted
all he could, he left for Normandy on the 11th of December, 1189, and after some months of similar extortion in
his continental provinces, he set out at the head of his forces, and on July 5, 1190, joined Philip Augustus of
France on the plains of Vezelai. Thence he marched to Marseilles; but his fleet, which he had expected there, had
been delayed by storms, and he had to hire transports to convey a portion of his troops to Genoa, the remainder
being left for the fleet. Philip had marched to Genoa, and thence he sailed to Sicily, where Richard rejoined him.
Richard obliged the Sicilian king, Tancred, to pay 40,000 ounces of gold in lieu of the dowry of Richard's sister
Juan, the widow of the late Sicilian king, and betrothed his nephew Arthur to Tancred's daughter. on his voyage
to Messina, which he left in April, 1191, some of his ships were wrecked on Cyprus: they were maltreated by the
king Isaac, on which Richard seized the island and imprisoned Isaac. On this island, on the 12th of May, 1191,
Richard married the daughter of the King of Navarre, Berengaria, who had joined his fleet at Cyprus, under the
protection of Richard's aged mother, Eleanor
A month afterwards, on the 4th of June, he set sail for Acre, and on the 10th joined the great Christian force which had been besieging this town since 1189. Two days after Richard's arrival the besieged capitulated, 12th June, 1191. The late chief justiciary, Ranulf de Glanville, who had accompanied Richard, was slain in the siege.
For the regulation of the voyage, and the maintenance of good order, certain rules had been put down, to be observed by all. The following may be cited as instances : - If any one were convicted on legal testimony of drawing his knife upon another, or of shedding blood in any manner, he was to lose his hand. For giving a blow with the hand, without drawing blood, the offender was to be plunged three times into the sea. If any one reviled or insulted another, he was on every occasion to pay to the offended party an ounce of silver. A thief was to have his head shaven, hot pitch poured upon it, and feathers shaken over him, and he was to be turned ashore at the first land at which the ship might touch.
In the previous year, 10th June, 1190, the Emperor, Frederick I., Barbarossa, of Germany, who had led his army to the East by land, had been drowned when crossing the river Selef, near Seleucia in Syria; and Philip II. and Richard I. were now the too great chiefs of the Crusaders. Philip became jealous of the exploits and popularity of his rival, whilst Richard, indignant and irritated at the superiority which Philip affected towards him as suzerain of his continental possessions, supported with impatience the feudal yoke. In consequence, Philip set out for France with his troops, about the end of July, 1191 leaving only 10,000 men under the Duke of Burgundy. There had been various causes of disagreement between the two kings, which could not fail to produce a rupture. Philip demanded a moiety of Cyprus in virtue of a treaty which had stipulated the equal division of conquests. Richard observed that the treaty provided only for conquests made from the Turks. It was agreed to confine it to acquisitions in Syria and Palestine But all these, both the competitors for the throne of Jerusalem claimed, as justly belonging to that crown. A warm contest for the kingdom arose between Richard, who supported Lusignan, his vassal in Poiton, with the help of the Pisans and Venetians, and Philip, who maintained with equal zeal the claims of his relation Conrad, which were also espoused by the Genoese. Philip was desirous of immediate peace on moderate conditions Richard took fire at so base a compromise. A secret understanding with Saladin, - the heaviest imputation on the chief of a crusade, was laid to Philip's charge. Perhaps he was influenced by views, hitherto almost secret to himself, on the territories of his great vassal. He proclaimed the crusade to be ended, and declared his determination immediately to return to France. "If Philip think," said Richard, "that a long residence here will be fatal to him, let him go and cover his kingdom with shame."
Philip however, quieted Richard, by swearing that he would attack neither Richard's possessions nor those of any other prince who remained in Syria, but rather protect them with all his might. In the beginning of August, 1191, he sailed from Syria, was released from his oath by Pope Celestine II. at Rome, and before the end of the year reached his capital city. Richard pursued his career in Palestine; he defeated Saladin at Arsoof, on September the 7th, after which the Saracen king destroyed Ascalon. Negotiations were begun, but with-out effect. In January, 1192, the Crusaders approached Jerusalem, and again in June ; but their dissension's on each occasion led to their retreat. In the spring, Richard constructed some forts at Ascalon. Shortly afterwards he quarreled with the Archduke Leopold of Austria. In April of this year Conrad, marquis of Montserrat, who contested with Guy of Lusignan the empty title of king of Jerusalem, was assassinated at Tyre ; and Richard, who had supported Guy, was afterwards charged with being privy to the crime. Joppa or Jaffa was now besieged by Saladin, but relieved by Richard when at the very point of surrendering.
Richard's brilliant but fruitless victories had wearied the Crusaders, and they began to urge their return to their homes. Saladin offered to the Christians peaceable possession of the plains of Judaea, and liberty to perform the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Richard accepted these terms on the 3rd of September. The departure of the English king from Palestine, the scene of his chivalrous exploits, and of so many unfulfilled aspirations, was shortly followed by the death of his noble foe, the Sultan Saladin. Richard, who was as well pleased to bestow as to win kingdoms, conferred that of Cyprus on Gui de Lusignan, whose posterity enjoyed it for two centuries. Stern as he was, he shed bitter tears at being prevented by illness from visiting Jerusalem with the other pilgrims, and declared his determination to return speedily, that he might perform his vows at the Holy Sepulchre. Had he remained in the East six months longer he might have absolved himself of his vows more easily and speedily than he hoped; for on the 4th of March, 1193, Saladin expired, in the fifty-seventh year of his age, leaving behind him the just reputation of the most upright and the wisest prince who ever filled a Mussulman throne, lie had risen to be sovereign of Asia, from the station of a private Curdish soldier, by the general Mahometan title of the sword.
Richard I. embarked for England on the 9th of October, 1192. The fleet was soon scattered by a storm. Berengaria's ship reached Sicily in safety ; but Richard's was shipwrecked near the land of the Adriatic. The English king assumed the garb of a pilgrim, and thus attempted to cross the Continent. - The utmost wariness became needful; for he had mortally offended not only Duke Leopold of Austria, but all the German knights who had endured his arrogance in Palestine. Mainharn of Gortz apprehended eight of his companions. He fled to the town of Friesach, in the territory of Salzburg, to avoid the hostility of Ulrich of Carinthia. Here he met new enemies, and wandered with one William de Stagno and a little boy who spoke German, on horseback, with scarcely any nourishment, for three days and nights, till he was driven by hunger to go in quest of necessaries to Erperg, near Vienna . He sent his servant daily to the city to buy provisions. The boy imprudently attracted attention by expensive purchases , and was obliged to say his master was a rich merchant who would come to Vienna as soon as he had recovered. The Duke of Austria had received information of Richards arrival from Ulrich of Carinthia and commanded all strangers to be watched with redoubled care . the boy went to market with the gloves of the kings armour which were recognised by an Austrian knight who had served at Acre . The boy was put to torture till he confessed the truth . A band of armed men surrounded the house where Richard was asleep . Overpowered as he was , he refused to surrender to any but the duke, who received his sword on the 21st of December 1192 .